Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Chef of a Different Kind

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My friend, Heidi Corley Barto, recently wrote a book called, The Natural Soap Chef, and today I wanted to write a review of this book and encourage you to purchase it if you are at all interested in soap making.  You will not be sorry!  This is Heidi's first book and she did a wonderful job. 

Heidi began to be interested in making her own soap after purchasing her first bar from a craft fair.  Then her daughter began to develop skin issues which fueled her desire to find the perfect oil-based soap.  So many of the recipes she found used a soap base where you melt it and then add fragrance or rebatching where you shred existing soap and add liquid to it to make your soap base.

She wanted total control over the process so started looking at the cold process method of soap making.  This process allows you to create soap from the basic ingredients.  She began experimenting with different oils and the resources available to her at this point helped her to begin making her own soaps.

The thing I love about this book is that it is a step-by-step guide on the art of soap making.  She could have called it soap making for dummies! :-)  Heidi starts out with some basic soap making essentials, gives her detailed, step-by-step process, and then offers recipes.  She has recipes for beginners, as well as the more experienced soap maker.  She ends up with how to package and present your soaps.  She lists her resources for finding soap making supplies.

This book is fantastic because it can be used by someone who has never made soap (like me) and by those who have experience with it.  She doesn't just offer a few recipes either.  There are 34 different recipes in this book and they range from recipes such as sage & lemongrass to ocean rain to pumpkin spice to leaf spa bar.  The photographs are beautiful and after reading this book, I want to try my hand at soap making.

So if you have the desire to learn or even if you've made your own and are looking for a good guide to expand your process, this is the book!  It's $11.15 at Amazon.  It is also available on Kindle for $9.99.