Who could resist picking up a copy of this book?
It will eventually be tucked into a baby gift bag or an Easter basket. For now, it is providing me with great memories of childhood.
It has prompted me to tell you that one summer, long ago, my sisters and I invented liquid hand soap. Now, my sisters might not remember how this came about in the same way I do. That often happens when we are together and reminiscing. As for me, I like to share the fame as well as the blame. Here is how we developed this item.
J., B. and I were finding life a bit boring one summer's day. It was a hot afternoon in the south. Neighborhood ladies were languishing on front porches, sipping sweet iced tea and fanning themselves. Our mother and grandmother had spent the last day or so putting up berry jams and jellies, leaving us mostly to our own devices. Tired of playing hopscotch and double-dutch rope jumping, we looked around for another form of entertainment. One of us came up with the idea of making soap jam. We were off to the basement to collect empty baby food jars. It was a wonder we had any since the youngest of us was at least five years old. We then went about the house collecting bars of soap from various sinks. When we couldn't find sufficient used bars, the linen cupboard rewarded us with unopened bars of Cashmere Bouquet. We used case knives (dinner knives really) as we weren't allowed to play with sharp knives. In truth, we weren't supposed to be playing with the silver either!
We laboriously (never thinking to try the box grater) whittled away at the soap until we had a bowlful of soap slivers. To this, we added enough water to form a jelly/jam consistency. Then we carefully bottled the concoction. When mother found our soap jelly larder, she was not amused. However, being frugal, there was a period of time over the remainder of summer and part of fall, that those jars of soap were in the kitchen and the bathrooms. No one thought to get a patent on the idea which would have probably made us wealthy by now.
We also made mud pies out of the red Virginia clay but that is another post.