Saturday, March 13, 2021

Knitter's Hand Cream

I don't know about you but I always find winter and early spring very hard on my hands. Working in a print shop doesn't help, either. My hands get incredibly dry. Each year, I end up with cracks around the edges of my finger nails and it takes a long time for them to heal. 

Thing is, I make soap and bath & body products. Good thing, too. Late last year, I made a Knitter's Hand Cream that I'd almost forgotten about. I came across my last jar of this rich cream last week and have been using it this past week. It has made an incredible difference. 

It's a thick rich cream, made with the addition of lanolin, argan oil, jojoba oil, quinoa extract, and colloidal oats. Lanolin is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of domestic sheep primarily raised for their wool. Lanolin's role in nature is to protect the wool and the sheep's skin from climate and the environment. In cosmetics, lanolin is used in the protection, treatment, and beautification of human skin, making it a great addition to a luscious hand cream.

Jojoba oil is more of a wax than a true oil and comes from a shrub native to the south west area of the US (California, Arizona) and the north west of Mexico. It is very close to our skin's natural sebum and, as such, is a great addition to creams and lotions meant to moisturize. 

Argan oil has been used as an edible oil and in skin care in Morocco, where it comes from, for centuries. A few small studies indicate that argan oil may be effective at reducing signs of aging, either when ingested or applied directly to your skin.

Colloidal oatmeal acts as a natural, deep penetrating moisturizer that can help reduce the itching and irritation caused by dry skin. It's easily available in any local drug store, along with products using it. You may know it by the brand Aveeno. It's an amazing addition to a rich hand/body cream.

Quinoa Extract is a water soluble product that is commonly used on aging skin and in hair strengthening products, as it is full of amino acids and minerals. 

With all that goodness in a small pot of hand cream, it's got to be effective, right? What I do know is that my hands love it! And the addition of a little bit of Karma fragrance oil (from the product description: "an aura of orange, lavender and pine with notes of patchouli, lemongrass, cashmere and musk". This rich cream smells amazing and works well. What more could you want in a hand cream?

Knitters rejoice!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

On Pause

 Well, it doesn't look as if non-food vendors will be allowed at local Farmer's and Crafter's markets any time soon. If I'm not mistaken, Dr. Henry will be revisiting the guidelines in April. So, for now, my soapmaking forays have been curtailed. I am still making an occasional batch just to keep myself inspired but I've definitely cut back from my usual one to two batches per week. 

Instead, I've been focusing on using my kitchen for what it was intended for -- cooking food. Yesterday, I was given a dozen free run eggs by a local farmer and we still had almost two dozen eggs in the fridge so John suggested I make something with eggs. Challenge accepted!

Quiche Lorraine is a good start, don't you think? I'd forgotten just how labour intensive making a quiche from scratch can be. Normally, I take the easy way out and buy a pastry crust; this time, the whole quiche is from scratch. I used an old-fashioned 100% lard pastry recipe because, yeah, I just happen to have a few pounds of lard around here for making soap and nothing makes a better pie crust... or soap. Well, butter's good, too, but not so much for soap.

The pastry was made first thing this morning and allowed to rest in the fridge until needed. Then, I mixed up the eggs (4 of them!) and cream mixture and stored that in the fridge as well. I grated the cheeses and prepped the rest. Instead of strictly following the traditional Quiche Lorraine recipe, I decided to add a couple of sauteed leeks and a handful of spinach leaves because veggies are good for you. Right?

Once it was all prepped and the pastry had been mellowing out in the fridge for a couple of hours, I rolled it out and blind baked the crust. Then, everything was put together and baked. 

My house always smells good when I'm making soap but walking into the house after making this just makes my mouth water. I'm looking forward to dinner!!

Oh, I thought I'd share a nifty little tool I picked up a while back at our local Asian market. I think it's meant for ginger but it works a treat for nutmeg! (Quiche Lorraine has a bit of nutmeg in it.)