Books: Looked at the 2 Cavitch books last night. I.....can't recommend them. There's nothing *wrong* with them, but....I don't like attitudes in books, and there is one. Soapmaking is *hard*, y'all, and if ya don't do it JUST like her, then.....that's crap, BTW. Soapmaking is NOT hard, and there are various ways of accomplishing things.
The books were also written before stick blenders took the soaping world by storm...she recommends a stand mixer. Fine, but they (so I hear) tend to whip in air, which can mess up the batch.
Her recipes look good - I want to resize some of them and try them out. :grin: She's got a couple for shampoo bars - which look surprisingly like the one I came up with myself :preens: (Which...was pretty good, considering I just blindly picked the oils. :grin:)
We broke down and got a Novo Cream separator. We have the manual one from the Ukraine.....I can, now, tentatively endorse it. With the caveat that you find a manual for an English one - yes, we got a translated manual. No, it still made no sense.
The Novo manual does - and the 2 machines look almost identical (of course, 1 is electric....:grin:). Same plastic parts, same metal parts.....we have discovered that the Ukraine one didn't have the tools you need to properly dismantle it to clean it. :sigh: Can you say Disgusting? :ick: We're going to get it all cleaned and reassembled, and I'll try it - once we get the electric one up and running. So far, it runs, and the milk doesn't spill out (which happened with the Ukraine one, because we didn't get it up to speed before pouring in the milk.), but we can't get it to separate the cream. I think we need to readjust the disk-thingy....it's all trial and error, but we WILL get cream. Soon. I need butter!