Thursday, May 31, 2012

MeatShed Hands

I think I may have found it...   And if I did, it is going to be awesome.  
I better start at the beginning. 
Once upon a time many years ago when I was in high school and college, I worked alongside my dad helping with his business.    Now for those who know me in real life, know that my dad is Master Plumber by day and a butcher by night.   I don’t mean that to sound as creepy as it sounded, what I mean is that my dad owns and operates a deer processing business.   It is a little side hobby job, that has turn into quite the profitable business.  Last year alone, my dad and company processed over 300 deer during a three month period.  That is pretty impressive.
Now my dad has hired one or two people to help him and my mom, but when I was in high school, I was the help.  And while I minded at the time, I don’t mind too much now.   Anyways, while I working with my dad, I had the softest hands.   When Justin and I were first dating, he commented on how soft my hands were.   There was a secret that I eventually let him in on.   It was the work in the meat shed that made my hands soft.  Handling the meat and the fat for the sausage worked miracles for my hands. And before you have a chance to think that is gross, let me remind you that is the most natural way you can soften your hands.  The fancy smancy lotions that we can buy in stores are not natural and they are so full of chemicals, no wonder we don’t see the same results. 
Fast forward to now, I live in Atlanta and that means I rarely have my hands in pig fat these days.  My hands are definitely proof of that. So that brings me to current adventure.   As I was browsing around on Pinterest, I found this blog.  This blog provides a recipe for homemade lotion bars.  I briefly read through the post, and almost discarded it. 
Until two things caught my attention:
1.      It uses Crisco aka fat.  And I have had success with that.
2.      It boasts of a protective film that is left on the hands even after you wash your hands.  This is exactly what I experienced when I was had “meatshed” hands.

So I decided to make some of these bars.  I made a very small batch.  There are only three ingredients, and they are pretty easy to find.

1 part Crisco
1 part Olive Oil
1 part Beeswax (I found this at a local farmer’s market, but it is available at Michaels)
I added some essential oil, but I don’t think I added enough

I only had an oz of beeswax, so I started with that.  I tried to cut it up before I melted it, but that was way too hard.  It ended up being unnecessary, since it melted really quickly in the double boiler.  I melted all three ingredients together, let it cool to 150 degrees, and poured into a soap mold.

This is what they look like when I first pour them into the molds...

And this is what they look like 5 minutes later.  They only took about an hour and half to completely harden, and then they popped right out.

Easy Peasy

Have I recreated “meatshed” hands?  I am not entirely sure.  I know from a day of using it.  I am definitely getting closer.  I am going to give a bar to my mom tomorrow; she will be part of my test audience.  She has had plenty of experience with “meatshed” hands.

So I will keep you posted...

P.S.  I was pretty busy last night.  I finished the most adorable hat I think I have ever made.  I am waiting on an address to mail to the mother to be, and once I have it mailed I will post.  Stay tuned and Stay classy.

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