My sis-in-law and I have a good thing going, because she likes to make soap and I like to keep chickens.

Have you ever read the label on a bar of drugstore soap? So many unpronounceable words = so many ingredients I would rather not rub on my skin. It’s hard to find simple soap out there! When my Sis began to make soap at home naturally I was interested. So when she offered to trade some soap for eggs I enthusiastically agreed.

My whole family loved Sis’ soap so much, I asked her for more. “Come on over,” she said, “I’ll show you how to whip up a batch.” My Sis is very much a ‘teach a man to fish’ type of person, she likes giving people the tools. ❤️  So I went.

When I got there she had the equipment and ingredients all set up and we jumped right into it, her demonstrating and me assisting. As she worked and explained what she was doing and why, she made notes, in her usual efficient manner. My Sis is a project director in her day job, and it shows. She is a woman who Gets. Things. Done.

It got a little stinky when we mixed the oil and lye (outside), and safely whipping the hot mixture (till plump, with a good tail) was interesting; but soon we were pouring fragrant liquid soap into the silicon molds I would carry home,  where I would pop the fresh bars out after 24 hours and set them to cure for a month.

I know how to make soap now, but I like it better when Sis makes it for me and trades me for eggs. We keep a running tally of who has a credit and who a debit in our little soap-for-eggs syndicate, and we both agree our arrangement works very well.

Sis makes handcream too, and solid shampoo, and of course our family has to try these products when she has extra to barter. This means she usually has a credit which I chip away at, a dozen eggs at a time.

Her soap has gone camping, and to festivals, and a vial of her hand cream traveled around Europe for a month last year, keeping my hands happy despite all those harsh public washroom soaps.

I hope my Sis never gets tired of making soap, I don’t know what we’d do if she did!