sábado, 26 de enero de 2008

Lard for Soap Making

If you want to have the purest of soaps without perservatives you need to Render your own lard. The lards you buy in the store have perservatives in them. They will work however. You can go to the butcher shop and request "Leaf Lard"
I am going to tell you how to render lard in this article. A slow fire and a heavy pot that conducts heat evenly are most important in making lard. Put 1/4 inch of water in the pot to keep the fat from scorching at first. Remove any fibers, lean meat, or bloddy spots fro the fat and cut it into very small pieces. It is not necessary to remove pieces of skin, but many people prefer to. Put a shallow layer of fat in the pot. Add absolutely NO salt or other spices. When the first layer of fat has started to melt, add more. Do not fill the kettle to the top- it can boil over too easily(What a mess that is!!) Stir frequently and keep the fire low.
The temperature of the lard will be 212 degrees F at first but as the water evaportes the temp. will rise. The lard is ready for putting up at 255 degrees F. Be forewarned that this will take a long time at low heat, and that you must stir the lard frequentlyl to prevent scorching. It took me most of one morning to render 10 lbs of lard. However I could do other things around the house as long as I watched it and stirred occasionally. As the lard renders, the cracklings(brown bits of crispy fried fat that do not render) will float to the surface. When the lard is almost done the cracklings have lost the rest of their moisture, they will sink to the bottom.

At this point, turn off the heat and allow the lard to settle and cool slightly. Then carefully dip the liquid off the top into clean containers. Strain the cracklings and residual liquid through cheesecloth (I use a fine metal sieve when dipping it off the top as well as straining the cracklings) Fill the containers to the top- the lard will contract quite a bit while cooling. Chill as quickly as possible for a fine grained lard. Lard should be stored in dark, cool area. If the water was completely removed in the rendering process and the lard was chilled thoroughly before capping, there will be no souring.
The residual of cracklings are a favorite of many people. Drain them , add salt and eat the crispy bits. These make great bacon bits for salads. Store in refrigerator.
This seems like a lot of work but once you do it you will enjoy knowing that you have made something yourself WITHOUT preservatives.
Thanks to my mom and dad for doing this when I was young so I could see how it was done.
Don't forget to check out my handmade soaps, lotion and health products in my store. http://stores.ebay.com/Nichols-Soap-N-Stuff
Until next time

Have a great day and God Bless all who read this.


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