Saturday, March 18, 2017

Treasures: Soothing Goat's Milk Soap

Rustic bars of goat's milk soap, made by hand locally, is a special treat I look forward to. It is a treasure that I purchase for myself each year. Typically, I buy a bar or two when I go to the local National Apple Harvest Festival and I use it when I'm in the mood to pamper myself. I have a favorite brand and a scent that I always look for at the festival. But more recently, I have discovered Etsy and am thrilled to have more options to purchase soothing bars of goat's milk soap with just a click of a button - any time I am in the mood to pamper myself. 

Stonefield Goat's Milk Soaps

Stonefield Soaps is the brand I always look for at the annual National Apple Harvest Festival. I impulsively bought a bar of Stonefield soap years ago and loved the feel of the lather and my soft skin afterwards.  

During my research to write this, I decided to look for Stonefield Soaps on Etsy. I did not locate them there, but I did find the Stonefield Soaps website. I am able to order these soaps online after all!  What a pleasant surprise.

Each chunky, little bar of soap comes wrapped in a thick paper, tied with a ribbon, and complete with a label to denote the fragrance. My favorite is the Lavender. 

Stonefield Soaps

Chickens In The Road Goat's Milk Soaps

There is a homesteading blog that I have followed for years.  Over those years I have read Suzanne McMinn's adventures after moving to a "slanted little house" and small farm in West Virginia. They eventually moved on to Sassafras Farm. At this farm she continues writing her blog but also gives workshops on things related to country/farm living. The workshops include soap-making. Someday I will attend one of the workshops and learn how to make my own soap - in preparation for retirement on my own homestead. In the meantime, I am super excited that Suzanne is offering her own goat's milk soap in her Etsy store.  

I want a sampler pack because I know I will enjoy all of Suzanne's soap recipes, but I am MOST excited about the Beer Me Babe recipe. I can only imagine how soft my skin would feel after the beer, shea butter, and coconut oil. And the orange and patchouli essential oils are a scent combination I enjoy (please refer to the listing for the complete list of ingredients). The Chickens In The Road bars of soap are large, unique, and rustic bars of soothing soap.

Chickens In The Road Goat's Milk Soap - Beer Me Babe

 Related Links:

The National Apple Harvest Festival is held in Pennsylvania each year. If you love apples, crafts, handmade items, bluegrass music, antique tractors and a car show (when it doesn't rain so much that the cars can't safely drive onto the field) and so much more, you would enjoy this festival.

Chickens In The Road is Suzanne's blog. There you will find all of the information about her farm, her book, recipes, the workshops, and her Etsy store. There are also forums for her followers to chat about their farms, gardens, and lives.

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you shop via one of the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission - at no additional cost to you.  I am very appreciative of every reader who visits my articles. Thank you

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Camping Coffee Dilemma Solved

I am not a coffee snob nor am I considered by some as a "real" coffee drinker since I only drink iced coffee.  But I like my morning coffee. Oh who am I kidding? I MUST have my morning coffee.  I have developed a way to ensure I have iced coffee at home daily. However, making sure I have a morning coffee while camping at The Shack has been a problem.  Fortunately, I am reminded that a Moka coffee pot is the solution to most of my camping coffee problems!

My Process for Making Iced Coffee at Home Does Not Work Well for Camping

Some time ago, I had been buying coffee (and usually donuts) at a local coffee shop every day.  Determined to save money (around $1,800 a year!) and to get my iced coffee made how I like it (closer to black than the splash-of-coffee-over-creamer I often received at the coffee shop) I learned how to make my own iced coffee. The very summarized version is:

  • using a typical 12 cup drip coffee maker, I brew my coffee
  • I let it cool down sufficiently to avoid melting a plastic/lidded pitcher (I learned my lesson - pouring hot coffee into a glass pitcher is not a good idea)
  • I place it in the fridge over night
  • in the morning, I pour the cold coffee over ice and add my tiny splash of creamer

This method keeps the coffee from becoming diluted when poured over the ice. Then I use my AWESOME Bubba Tumbler to keep it cold and carry it safely with me to work or prevent nasty spills if I'm just hanging out at home.

Making Iced Coffee at The Shack

When camping at The Shack in cold weather, having cold coffee should be easy, right? I make the coffee as usual and take the coffee jug with me when I drive up there. Easy, right? Nope.  I tend to forget the coffee jug in the fridge. And once, I remembered the jug but I spilled a good portion of it in the Jeep because the lid wasn't tight enough. Maddening.

stove top percolating coffee pot
In cold weather, I can brew it in an old fashioned percolating pot. Easy, right?  Well, no.  My wood stove doesn't seem to get hot enough to cause it to percolate. 

I could use my BBQ grill. It doesn't have a side burner, so I have to sit the pot on the grill.  The fire of the grill gets plenty hot enough, but how clumsy sitting a little coffee pot over one of those large grill burners. Seems like a too much flame and propane for one tiny pot.  Not to mention that I can't seem to add the right amounts of coffee to water in my little percolating pot.  

However, I have had some successes with the grill and the stove top percolating pot method. Then, if it is cold enough, I leave the pot outside to cool. Not quite iced coffee, but close enough. 

Single Burner Camp Stove
I did finally figure out how to use a small propane single burner camping stove with the stove top percolator coffee pot. Propane camping stoves are awesome and work well for a variety of things. And they work well in all seasons. But that didn't solve the ratio of water to coffee problem I have. And the fact that the pot is so tall makes me a bit nervous on top of the propane bottle/stove set-up.

Moka Coffee Pot - The camping coffee solution

Just yesterday I found a Moka Coffee Pot review. Voila! My solution for making good coffee while at The Shack. I had already known about the Moka coffee pots but I had forgotten. Years ago I went camping with a friend who brought one on our camping trips. The measuring of the coffee and the water was almost fool-proof. The water heated quickly and the coffee "brewed" quickly.  

The only drawback is that it doesn't hold enough water for multiple large mugs of coffee. But that's okay.  I'm typically camping at The Shack with just the dogs and I. And thus far, they haven't asked for a cup of coffee. 

The Moka expresso coffee pot my friend used

Thank you Brenda at Culinary Favorites from A - Z for the Moka coffee pot review and reminder of the perfect coffee solution for making coffee while camping at The Shack. 

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you shop via one of the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission - at no additional cost to you.  I am very appreciative of every reader who visits my articles. Thank you.