Unfortunately, after a bit Kenny decided that he didn't like the smell (seems mild enough to me) or the texture. Admittedly, they don't quite get as lathery as commercial soaps, but a bit of research seems to indicate that the lather is purely psychological anyway.
So back to laundry for the soap nuts. I started cooking up a litre of the mixture at a time, using the rice cooker during off-times of appliance use. Donna noticed occasional black deposits inside the container I was storing it in, and pointed out that she had read that you really shouldn't keep the prepared mixture of soap nuts around for more than two or three weeks, as it had the potential to go off, or grow mold, or explode, or something that I wasn't paying much attention to.
Last week, when I helped her set up to can some ground beef that had been on sale at a decent price, she suggested that she had also heard that you can pressure can the soapnuts (or was it the mixture only?) and then they will keep for much longer (of course!)
When Kenny and I arrived home from our rather extensive back-to-back dental appointments, the sun was shining reasonably well, and we had a couple hours left before sundown, so I thought I would take a crack at it. Especially since the processing time at pressure was a laughable fifteen minutes.
In the kitchen processing system, soapnuts processing is considered an especially simple operation. In the Aikihomestead kitchen, a dedicated husband and father is an asset known as "Daddy". This is one of his stories...
|Start out with my head assistant at Burger Barn.|
|Return home and begin assembling jars and setting up canning station.|
|Place four or five pieces of soapnut in each jar.|
|Half fill with room temperature water.|
|Add a splash of vinegar to the canning vessel to prevent any possible scale buildup.|
|Top up jars with boiling water to facilitate reaching proper temperature in the canning vessel.|
|Add Tattler lids, rings, and place in canning vessel, along with another half litre of boiling water.|
|Note the staggered position of the jars to help ensure more uniform steam exposure.|
|Crank up to 1000 watts to try to encourage boiling.|
|Add a jar of crystalized honey to take advantage of the warmth.|
|Grow impatient as the button doesn't pop up quickly enough. But still make sure you get 10 minutes of steam escaping.|
|Crank up to 1800 watts until the button pops up. Then dial back to 700 watts sheepishly.|
|Set timer for 15 minutes once steam starts.|
|Wait for button to drop again after power shuts off. N.B. liquid honey again!|
|Enjoy the cans of soap!|
|Looks good. I'll have to run it through a sieve before I can use it though.|