From Colonial Kettles to Modern Kitchens: The Timeless Tradition of Apple Butter Making

OilyEscapades Admin

Apple butter making has a rich history dating back to colonial America. It originated as a way to preserve excess apple harvests. Early settlers would cook down apples, often with added spices like cinnamon and cloves, in large copper kettles over an open flame. The slow cooking process, sometimes taking hours, would result in a thick and spreadable butter like consistency.

One of the reasons fall is my favorite time of year is not only the beautiful fall foliage, but our family tradition of making apple butter. Every fall our family would get together and make apple butter in a copper kettle over an open fire, just like the settlers did. It certainly was an all day affair! We started bright and early peeling and cutting apples to make applesauce. Then my Mom would prepare the bag of spices (a secret recipe she took to her grave). We would all take turns stirring the pot with a big wooden paddle until it was ready to be put into jars. Fresh apple butter is the best! I really miss those days! The picture of us is one of my favorites. You see Mom never and I mean never let us lick the spoons, whether we were cooking/baking in the kitchen or over an open fire. So my sisters and I staged licking our spoons in hopes she would catch us. And she did!! It was a perfect picture that day. It was hilariously funny and we still laugh about this picture. Absolutely love the memories our Mom created for us.

Over time, apple butter became a popular condiment and sweet spread in households. As technology advanced, cooking methods shifted from open flames to stovetops, and later to electric stoves. The process became more efficient, but the basic principles of slow-cooking and flavoring with spices remained consistent.

Today, apple butter making is often done using modern appliances like slow cookers or stovetops. Commercially, it's produced on a larger scale using industrial equipment. While its primary function as a preservation method has diminished due to modern refrigeration, apple butter remains a beloved treat enjoyed for its taste and historical significance.

Please join us in celebrating Apple Butter Festival in Kimmswick, Mo Saturday October  28 and 29 from 10a-5p both days! Oily Escapades will be there with a new apple butter soap!  Stop by and say hi! 

Until next time, leave your troubles in the bubbles!

       Oily Escapades

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It's Fall Y'all!!

OilyEscapades Admin

Fall is my favorite season of the year! There are so many activities and fun things to do during this season for families, couples, and even for singles. Autumn, often referred to as fall, is a season that captivates the senses with its enchanting display of colors, crisp air, and a sense of transition in nature. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures gradually drop, the world undergoes a magnificent transformation, inviting us to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of autumn in nature.

One of the most iconic features of autumn is the changing foliage of deciduous trees. The vibrant green leaves that adorned the trees throughout the spring and summer undergo a metamorphosis, turning into shades of fiery red, warm orange, and rich gold. This display of colors is a result of chemical processes within the leaves, as chlorophyll breaks down and other pigments become pronounced. The result is a picturesque landscape that seems to be painted by nature's own hand. I love driving through long, curvy roads to see the beautiful foliage in the fall. The majestic colors on display is a true sight to behold! 

The falling leaves not only create a stunning visual spectacle but also contribute to the earth's cycle of renewal. As the leaves blanket the ground, they decompose over time, releasing valuable nutrients back into the soil. This natural process enriches the ecosystem and prepares the earth for future growth, making autumn the season of both beauty and significance in the natural world. And who doesn't love jumping into a pile of leaves!

Autumn is also a time of transition for wildlife. Many species begin to prepare for the colder months ahead by migrating to warmer climates or adapting their behavior to suit the changing conditions. Animals like squirrels and birds gather and store food to sustain them through the winter, while others, such as bears, enter a period of hibernation to conserve energy.

The air in the autumn carries a distinct crispness, and there's a unique quality to the sunlight that casts a warm and golden hue upon the landscape. This combination of cool air and soft sunlight creates the ideal atmosphere for outdoor activities like, hiking, apple picking, bonfires, and hayrides. Of course, there are a lot of other outdoor activities to enjoy, such as, picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, cider tasting, making your way through corn mazes and haunted houses, camping, and stargazing...like I mentioned...lots to do in the fall months! The aroma of fallen leaves and the taste of freshly harvested apples evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort, making autumn a time of cherished traditions and simple pleasures. 

As we embrace autumn in nature, we are reminded of the impermanence of life and the cyclical nature of the seasons. The changing leaves serves as a reminder that change is a natural part of existence, and that even as we witness the beauty of transformation, we can find inspiration in the way nature gracefully navigates its own transitions.

Autumn in nature, like soap making, is a symphony of colors, scents and experiences that stir the senses and connect us to the rhythm of the natural world. It is a time of reflection, appreciation, and renewal, offering us the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of change and find solace in the embrace of changing seasons.

Enjoy this fall, y'all! Until next time, leave your troubles in the bubbles!

                         Oily Escapades

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The Marvelous Benefits of Handmade Pine Tar Soap

OilyEscapades Admin

In a world flooded with mass-produced skincare products, the allure of handmade creations has never been stronger. Among these artisanal offerings, handmade pine tar soap stands out as a true gem. Derived from natural ingredients and crafted with care, pine tar soap has been cherished for centuries for its unique benefits and exceptional qualities.

1. Skin Soothing Properties:

Pine tar, a byproduct of wood processing, has been used for its soothing properties for generations. Handmade pine tar soap contains this natural ingredient, which can help alleviate skin irritations, itching, and inflammation. It's particularly beneficial for individuals with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions, as it aids in reducing redness and discomfort. 

 

2. Deep Cleansing Action:

Handmade pine tar soap is known for its remarkable ability to cleanse deeply. Its natural components penetrate the pores, helping to remove impurities, excess oils, and dead skin cells. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with acne-prone skin or those seeking a thorough, yet gentle, cleanse.

3. Antibacterial and Anti-fungal Properties:

Pine tar has been historically used for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Handmade pine tar soap can help fight against bacteria and fungi that can lead to skin infections. This is particularly valuable for maintaining healthy skin, especially in areas prone to bacterial and fungal overgrowth.

4. Natural Deodorizer:

Due to its strong and pleasant woodsy scent, pine tar is often used as a natural deodorizer. Handmade pine tar soap not only cleanses the skin but also leaves behind a refreshing aroma, keeping you feeling fresh and invigorated.

5. Moisturizing Benefits:

Contrary to common belief, handmade pine tar soap doesn't leave the skin dry. In fact, it contains natural oils that provide moisturizing benefits. While it deeply cleanses, it also helps maintain the skin's natural moisture balance, preventing excessive dryness.

6. Environmentally Friendly:

Handmade pine tar soap is typically crafted in small batches, utilizing eco-friendly processes. This artisanal approach reduces the carbon-footprint associated with mass production and minimizes waste. Choosing handmade pine tar soap supports sustainable practices that are kind to both your skin and the environment.

7. Unique Artistry:

One of the most captivating aspects of handmade pin tar soap is the artistry that goes into its creation. Crafters pour their creativity and passion into each bar, resulting in unique designs and textures. using such a soap not only benefits your skin but also connects you to the craftsmanship and dedication of artisans. 

8. Chemical-Free Option:

Commercial soaps often contain a laundry list of synthetic additives and harsh chemicals. Handmade pine tar soap, on the other hand, is typically formulated with natural ingredients, making it a gentle and chemical-free option for your skincare routine. 

In conclusion, handmade pine tar soap brings forth a myriad of benefits that cater to a wide range of skin needs. From its skin-soothing properties to its antibacterial benefits and environmentally friendly production, this artisanal creation stands as a testament to the power of nature and craftsmanship. By choosing handmade pine tar soap, you not only pamper your skin but also embrace a holistic approach to skincare that honors tradition, sustainability, and wellbeing.

As a soap maker, this is a tricky soap to make, as a consumer, I love the way my skin feels after using it. 

Until next time, leave you trouble in the bubbles!

Oily Escapades

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Have you made the switch?

OilyEscapades Admin

Handmade Soap vs. Manufactured Bar Soap: Unveiling the Differences

In today's bustling market, consumers are faced with a multitude of choices when it comes to personal care products, including soap. Handmade soap and manufactured bar soap are two popular options that cater to diverse preferences and needs. While both types serve the fundamental purpose of cleansing, they differ significantly in their production methods, ingredients, benefits, and impact on the environment. In this article, we delve into the distinctions between handmade soap and manufactured bar soap, helping you make an informed decision about which one suits you best.

Production Methods

The most prominent distinction between handmade soap and manufactured bar soap lies in their production methods. Handmade soap is crafted in small batches by artisans using traditional methods. These artisans carefully select ingredients, formulate recipes, and combine them by hand, often employing techniques like cold-process, or hot-process methods. In contrast, manufactured bar soap is mass-produced using mechanized processes. Large-scale production facilities utilize sophisticated equipment to mix, shape, and mold soap bars with efficiency. 

Ingredients and Formulation

Handmade soap is celebrated for its use of natural ingredients. Artisans often choose high-quality oils, fats, and butters that are beneficial for the skin. They may also incorporate herbs, essential oils, and natural colorants to enhance the soap's properties and aesthetics. These ingredients are thoughtfully selected to create unique blends that cater to the various skin types and preferences.

Manufactured bar soap, on the other hand, may include a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients. While many commercial soaps include moisturizing agents and fragrances, they might also contain chemicals and preservatives that can potentially irritate sensitive skin. Manufacturers often prioritize cost-effectiveness and extended shelf life, which can lead to compromises in ingredient quality.

Skin Benefits

Handmade soap enthusiasts praise the product for its potential skin benefits. The natural ingredients used in handmade soap can provide moisturizing, nourishing, and soothing effects. Essential oils, herbs, and natural additives can contribute to specific skin care benefits, such as acne reduction, eczema relief, and improved overall skin texture. Furthermore, the absence of harsh chemicals in handmade soap is believed to contribute to a gentler cleansing experience.

Manufactured bar soap offers a wide variety of options, but the effectiveness of its skin benefits may vary depending on the ingredients used. Some manufactured soaps incorporate additives that target specific skin concerns, while others are designed for general cleansing purposes. However, the presence of synthetic fragrances, colorants, and harsh chemicals might lead to skin irritation, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin. 

Environmental Impact

Handmade soaps tend to be more environmentally friendly than its manufactured counterpart. Artisans often prioritize sustainable and eco-friendly ingredients, reducing the reliance on synthetic materials that can harm the environment. Additionally, small-batch production methods used in handmade soap creation generally generate less waste and consume fewer resources.

Manufactured bar soap, due to its mass production scale, can have a larger environmental footprint. The production processes might involve more energy consumption, resource usage, and packaging waste. However, there is a growing trend among manufacturers to adopt sustainable practices and create eco-friendly options, offering consumers a more environmentally responsible choice. 

 

In the debate between handmade soap and manufactured bar soap, the choice ultimately depends on individual preferences, values, and skin care needs. Handmade soap's focus on natural ingredients, artisanal craftsmanship, and potential skin benefits can be appealing to those who prioritize quality and a more personal touch. On the other hand, manufactured bar soap offers convenience, a wide range of options, and potential affordability, albeit with varying ingredient quality and environmental considerations.

Before making a decision, it's advisable to read product labels, research brands, and consider your own skin's sensitivities. Regardless of the choice you make, both types of soap play a crucial role in personal hygiene and self-care routines.

I made the switch, have you? For me it was an easy choice. Skin care is very important as it is our largest organ. Skin is our front line defense in protection from illness and diseases. The healthier our skin is the healthier we will be! I hope this article helps you decide to make the switch.

Until next time, leave your trouble in the bubbles!

Oily Escapades

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Enchanted Wings

OilyEscapades Admin

Recently I was invited to attend Monarch Madness in Weldon Spring as a vendor (September 16, 2023). So, I am my mothers daughter, I had to do some research into Monarch butterflies. I also designed a butterfly soap for the event... that was so much fun! For each bar sold , 1$ will be donated to Monarch Madness. Butterflies hold a special place in my heart. When my grandmother died a beautiful orange and black butterfly suddenly appeared at every family gathering. My Mom said it must be Grandma. That butterfly even made its way to Mexico for my sister's destination wedding. After my Mom passed away, there has been a yellow butterfly hanging at my house. Most people see red cardinals... we see butterflies. So back to researching Monarch butterflies.... I had no idea... 

Monarch butterflies play several important roles in the environment: 

1. Pollinators: Like many butterflies, monarchs contribute to the pollination of various plants as they feed on nectar, transferring pollen from one flower to another.

2. Food Source: Monarch caterpillars and adults are a source of food for various predators, including birds, spiders, and ants. Their presence in the ecosystem supports a variety of wildlife. 

3. Indicator Species:  Monarch butterfly populations can be used as indicators of environmental health. Declines in their numbers can signal problems in the environment, like pesticide use or habitat loss, that might also be affecting other species. 

4. Cultural Importance: Monarchs have cultural and educational value, serving as a symbol for migration, transformation, and the interconnectedness of nature. They're also popular subjects for study in schools, helping to educate young people about the importance of biodiversity and conservation. 

5. Genetic Diversity: Monarchs, through their vast range and varied migratory paths, contribute to genetic diversity, which can help species adapt to changing environmental conditions.

6. Plant Populations: Monarch caterpillars are particularly associated with milkweed plants, which they rely on for food. By consuming milkweed, they regulate the plant's population and thus contribute to plant community dynamics.

Protecting monarch butterflies means preserving these benefits they offer to the environment and us. Their decline could indicate wider problems in our ecosystems and have ripple effects on other species and processes.

Who knew how truly important butterflies are? Well now we know! 

These butterfly bars, Enchanted Wings, will be available at Monarch Madness on September 16, 2023. If they haven't sold out, as there is a limited supply, then they will be available at pop-ups and on website. 

Until next time, leave your trouble in the bubbles!

Oily Escapades

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Exploring the Artistry of Soap Designs: Crafting Beauty in Bars

OilyEscapades Admin

In a world where art knows no bounds, creativity has even found its way into the most unexpected places- including the realm of soap. The humble bar of soap has transformed from a mere cleansing agent into a canvas for intricate and captivating designs that showcase the intersection of creativity and functionality. Let's delve into the fascinating world of soap designs and discover how artisans are turning these everyday items in to miniature works of art. 

A Fusion of Form and Function

The allure of soap designs lies in the seamless blending of form and function. Artisans harness their skills to mold, carve, and shape soap bars into stunning visual representations that transcend their practical use. These designs can range from delicate floral patterns to abstract geometric shapes, from lifelike animal figurines to minimalist monochrome masterpieces.

The Creative Process

Crafting soap designs requires a unique blend of artistic flair and technical expertise. Artisans often start with a vision, sketching out the design they wish to acheive. From there, they choose the appropriate materials, colors, and techniques to breing their vision to like. Soap bases with varying textures and colores serve as the canvas, while natural pigments, fragrances, and essential oils enhance the sensory experience. 

Techniques that Amaze

A myriad of techniques are employed to create awe-inspiring soap designs:

 1. Layering and Embedding: Artisans layer differently colored soap base to         create intricate patterns and embed smaller shapes within the soap.

 2. Swirling: By strategically mixing different colored soap bases, artisans can achieve mesmerizing swirl patterns reminiscent of marble.

 3. Carving and Sculpting: Using specialized tools, artisans carve and sculpt soap bars into detailed shapes, transforming them in to lifelike objects.

 4. Molding: Silicon molds enable the creation of soap bars with detailed reliefs, ranging from ornate filigree to realistic landscapes.

Eco-Friendly Creativity

The soap design movement isn't just about aesthetics; it's also deeply rooted in sustainability. many artisans prioritize using natural, biodegradable ingredients to minimize their environmental footprint. These soap bars often come packaged in recyclable or minimalistic packaging, further underscoring the commitment to eco-conscious craftsmanship. 

Personal Touch and Unique Gifts

One of the most endearing aspects of soap designs is their ability to serve as thoughtful and unique gifts. Customizable soap designs allow individuals to add a personal touch by selecting colors, scents, and shapes that hold special meaning. Whether it's a wedding favor, a birthday gift, or a gesture of appreciation, a handcrafted soap bar can convey sentiment in a tangible  and memorable way

Exploration and Experimentation

The evolution of soap design is an ongoing journey of exploration and experimentation. As artisans push the boundaries of their craft, we can expect to witness even more breathtaking creations that challenge our perceptions of what a simple bar of soap can be. 

in a world inundated with mass-produced products, soap designs stand out as a testament to the enduring allure of handmade craftsmanship. Through a delicate dance between artistry and utility, these creations redefine the way we perceive an everyday item, transforming it into an object of beauty that enriches our sensory experience and elevates our appreciation for the art of creation. 

 

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A Bubbly Journey Through time :The fascinating history of soap making...

OilyEscapades Admin

Did you know that before soap many people used plain ol' water, with sand and mud as occasional exfoliants? Depending on financial status and where you lived, you may have had access to different scented waters or oils that would be applied to your body and then wiped off to remove dirt and to cover body odors. 

In today's modern world, soap is a staple of daily hygiene, but have you ever wondered how this essential product came into existence? The history of soap making is a captivating journey that spans thousands of years and takes us through different civilizations and innovations. In this blog, we'll dive into the intriguing history of soap making, from its ancient origins to the sophisticated soap making methods of today. 

The earliest evidence of soap making dates back to ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia and Egypt. Ancient Babylonians understood soap making as early as 2800 BC. Archeologists have found soap like material in historical clay cylinders from this time period. These cylinders were inscribed with what we understand us saying, "fats boiled with ashes" ( a method of making soap).

Egyptians used soap for medicinal use. Ancient Egyptians combined animal fats and plant oils with alkaline salts to create a substance used for threatening sores and skin ailments as well as washing. 

Syria's "green gold" is said to be the oldest soap in the world. The hand made soap gets its name from the city of Aleppo, located in Northwestern Syria, where it is manufactured in ancient underground tracts.

The primary ingredient used in early soaps was tallow they had saved from butchering and grease from the cooking of fat. Wood ashes were reserved to make Potash, the alkali. 

The Roman contribution....

Ever wonder how soap got its name? Legend has it that the ancient Romans named the soap from Mount Sapo, where the animals were sacrificed. Rain washed a mixture of melted animal fats and wood ashes down into the Tiber River below, resulting in a clay mixture found to make cleaning easier. Romans used soap to clean clothing and fabrics rather than toiletry use. 

After the fall of Rome in 467AD, bathing habits declined in much of Europe leading to unsanitary conditions in the Middle Ages. The uncleanliness of that time contributed heavily to illnesses and plagues.

Commercial soap making began in 1600 in the American colonies. Soap making was considered a household chore rather than a profession. 

In the 17th century cleanliness and bathing came back into fashion in much of Europe, particularly in wealthier areas. Soap was taxed, heavily, as a luxury item in several countries. When the tax was finally removed, soaps became more accessible to people and cleanliness standards across societies improved. 

In 1791, french chemist, Nicholas Leblanc, patented a process for making soda ash from common salt. This discovery made soap making one of Americas fastest growing industries by 1850, along with advancements and developments of power to operate factories. 

During WWI and WWII, there was a shortage of vegetable and animal oils and fats that were used in soap making. Chemists had to use other raw materials instead, which were "synthesized" into chemicals with similar properties. These are now known as "detergents".

Modern Soap Making...

Synthetic detergents began mainly as substitutes for fat based soaps, but developed into a sophisticated product superior in many respects to soap. Soap forms soap scum in hard water, synthetic detergents do not. After WWII, industrial detergents came onto the scene midcentury ( made using petroleum and its by products), and America was swept up in the "better living through chemistry" promise of convenience, lower prices, and shiny advertising of the detergent industry. 

Early synthetic detergents were pulled from production when they were revealed to be carcinogenic, hormone disruptive, and downright horrible for human health and the health of the planet, only to be quickly replaced by the new chemical panacea in a cycle of big promises and disappointing health and environmental consequences. 

If the bar of soap you use for bathing does not claim to be a "soap" on its label, it is probably a synthetic detergent product. The myriad of chemicals they contain, the way they are manufactured and the ingredients used prohibit them to be called true soap and use the word "soap" on their packaging. 

Artisanal & Natural Soaps...

The turn of the 21st century has witnessed a resurgence of interest in traditional soap making methods, often with modern twists. One of the most dominant trends currently is the growing demand for organic and natural soaps. Consumers have become more health conscious and aware of the potential irritants and harmful chemicals in many mass-produced soaps. There is a significant shift towards products with natural ingredients. 

Soap's role in hygiene and public health..

Washing your hands often and properly with soap and water can help prevent the spread of germs. Soaps are essential for keeping our skin clean and fresh. They remove sweat, dirt, and oils, reducing the risk of skin problems and unpleasant odors. Additionally, some soaps contain moisturizing agents, essential oils, or exfoliants to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. 

Why is soap one of the most important inventions? As one of man kinds greatest inventions, soap has had more of an impact than you might realize. Soap helps prevent the spread of bacteria and diseases, helping people live longer  and making the world a cleaner place to be. The history of soap is a fascinating one, dating back thousands of years...

The history of soap making is a testament to human innovation and the pursuit of cleanliness. From its humble beginnings in ancient civilizations to its modern incarnations, soap has been an indispensable part of our lives. This blog journeyed through time, uncovering fascinating evolution of soap making techniques and its enduring significance in maintaining health and hygiene. So the next time you use your favorite soap, remember the centuries of history that have contributed to that simple act of washing your hands!

Until next time, leave your troubles in the bubbles!

Oily Escapades

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What's in a name?

OilyEscapades Admin

 Coming up with a name for anything is often a daunting task. Take for instance, coming up with a name for a child, a pet, or a business/company, everyone has a comment or suggestion with whatever name you are tossing around. Whatever you decide...it's for LIFE. The task of choosing a name for my artisan soap business was, well, overwhelming. Every cutesy name I could come up with was already taken and the ones I thought no one else would come up with were already taken too. So back to the proverbial drawing board I went. 

 Thought after thought was shot down... talk about feeling like a sitting duck. Just when I thought I finally found "the one", someone comes along and distracts me (I have 6 kids/5 grandkids). Of course, once the distraction is gone, so is my train of thought and the name I chose. Again, back to the drawing board I went. As I was pondering a "forever" name, I began to think of reasons why I wanted a particular name. Why was it so important to me? I wanted a name that everyone would remember, a name that involved a smile and invoked a good memory.

 Growing up, we lived on a farm in the middle of a prairie township. We moved there from the city when I was 8 years old. Went from having lots of neighbors in a subdivision to having no neighbors for a 2 mile radius. My Dad wanted to name our new place in the country. He came up with "Triple 0 Ranch". We of course questioned that. What could that possibly mean? What sense does it make? His response? It stood for 3 ring circus. Not only was it fitting but it was funny too! See what I mean? Everything I hoped to have in a name, I wanted something like that. That memory gave me insight as to what to call my soap business. Learning how to farm and raise animals was truly a three ring circus and learning how to make soap and body care products... well that could also be classified as a three ring circus.  That's when it hit me... Oily Escapades, it was perfect!! Not only perfect, it wasn't taken. Call it a memory moment or Devine intervention, a new adventure began! 

 Stay tuned in to our escapades as we continue the soaping journey! Until next time, leave your trouble in the bubbles! 

                                                          Oily Escapades

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