Happy Mother’s Day from Blue Cat

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Today is Mother’s Day in the United States – a day where we celebrate our mothers and the sacrifices they make to help us be successful. Blue Cat says that it doesn’t matter if you’re a biological mother, an adoptive mother, a grandmother, or any other kind of mother. You can even be a crocheting-creator-mother. This day is for you!

Blue Cat and his Crochet Mom

Blue Cat and his Crochet Mom

Blue Cat says “Don’t forget to honor your mother today!” And remember that (according to History.com) more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year – so he recommends you call early and not let the busy signals stop you.

Blue Cat loves his mother and really appreciates the fact that he wouldn’t have been crocheted without her. Leave him a comment about how you appreciate your mother!

© William P Doyle, Jr  2014  All Rights Reserved

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Special Post: Blue Cat Defrosts a Turkey

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Blue Cat’s family is having a big Thanksgiving this year. Really big – with 14 family members (everyone except Blue Cat’s creator, who is still on her mission in California). That means Blue Cat needs turkey – lots of turkey – to feed all those hungry mouths. So Blue Cat bought two 18-pound turkeys on Saturday.

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But Blue Cat had a problem – all the store had left were frozen turkeys. And, although the wrapper says that an 18-pound turkey will defrost in the refrigerator in 4 days, Blue Cat didn’t believe it. Especially since one of the turkeys would be in the refrigerator in the garage, where the outside temperature is below freezing.

Luckily, Blue Cat understands thermodynamics. He knew that he needed the turkey in a warm place, but needed to keep it cool so it wouldn’t spoil. How to transfer heat  while keeping things cool? With a bucket of water.

Blue Cat found the right bucket at Lowe’s – but the 5-gallon orange ones at Home Depot would work as well.

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He put the turkey in the bucket and then filled the bucket with cold water. Now, the water would warm from contact with the side of the bucket, but the water would be cooled by the ice-cold turkey. Heat would flow into the turkey from the warm house air through the water, ensuring that the turkey never got too warm.

A pretty good solution, but those of you who know turkeys are probably laughing because you know … that turkeys float:

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Not good for Blue Cat – that part of the turkey that’s above the water line will get to room temperature quickly and start to spoil. What Blue Cat needed was something heavy and waterproof – like a tub of home-made soap:

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The tub holds the turkey under the water, and Blue Cat gets to sit in a cool place. And the soap just goes along for the ride.

Blue Cat is looking forward to Thanksgiving and all that turkey – especially since most of his family will be there to share it with him. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?

© William P Doyle, Jr  2013  All Rights Reserved

Blue Cat Helps Make Soap

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Blue Cat’s family is always trying new things, and the latest is making homemade soap. Blue Cat doesn’t really use soap (he’s very delicate and like most cats is not overly fond of water) but he appreciates it. And homemade soap is both economical and fun. And Blue Cat likes fun.

Soap is made from fats, liquids and lye. For the fats, Blue Cat’s recipe uses olive oil, castor oil (from the castor bean, which is really a seed), coconut oil, and lard. For liquids, Blue Cat’s family adds interesting things like aloe juice. And you can add other things like oatmeal and cinnamin. That makes the soap good from your skin and smell nice.

Soap making also requires some equipment. You need something to mix in, something to mix with (an electric “stick” mixer really cuts down on mixing time), and molds to pour the soap into. Blue Cat’s family likes silicon molds because it’s easy to get the hardened soap out of them. And Blue Cat is into easy.

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Blue Cat and the Soap Making Equipment

And then there’s the lye. NaOH – sodium hydroxide. Blue Cat is afraid of the lye, because it’s very base (meaning it has a high pH – the opposite of an acid) and it can burn through skin and yarn. He’s very careful with lye – he stays in the other room when it’s being used.

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No lie – you have to be careful with lye!

And of course you need a scale to measure your ingredients, since everything in Blue Cat’s soap recipe is measured by weight. As you can see, Blue Cat has been working out – he’s down to his fighting weight of 100 grams (the 4 extra grams are from clothing and shoes).

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Blue Cat feels lighter in grams…

Blue Cat bets you’re wondering what his recipe is for soap. It’s at the bottom of this post for those who want to give it a try. His scribe’s daughter created it using the tools at www.soapcalc.com.  She is the family soap expert, and she says they also have good instructions on cold process soap.  She also likes the tutorials and recipes on www.soap-making-resource.com.

Home-made soap has to cure for a couple of weeks, but it looks like soap when it comes out of the molds. Here are three batches of soap in various stages of curing.

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What kinds of soap ? The white ones are Aloe, the brown ones are Aloe-Oatmeal-Cinnamon, and the red ones are Aloe-Oatmeal. Blue Cat is hoping for some ice cream soap next, because he really likes ice cream. (Scribe Note: Blue Cat doesn’t realize that ice cream can’t be put in soap, but no one wants to break the news to him.)

Let Blue Cat know about your soap-making experiences by leaving him a comment below, or emailing him by clicking here. Here’s to staying clean!

Blue Cat’s Family Soap Recipe

“Water” – 190 grams (use any liquid here – for example, you use 190 grams of aloe juice for aloe soap)
Lye (NaOH) – 72 grams
Castor Oil – 68 grams
Coconut oil – 175 grams
Lard – 100 grams
Olive Oil – 157 grams

In a plastic pitcher, mix the oils and lard. Warm the pitcher in a hot-water bath to melt the solids

In a separate container, measure out the “water.” Add the measured lye to it and mix.
(Blue Cat says “Never add liquid to lye – always add lye to the liquid!”) Be careful – the mixture will get hot.

Add the water/Lye mix to the oils/fat. Use a stick blender to mix until thick (the soap will pile up on the surface of the mixture)

Then add other stuff (coloring, spices, etc) and stir

Pour into molds and let the soap set up overnight. Let it cure on a rack for 2-3 weeks.

© William P Doyle, Jr  2013  All Rights Reserved

Happy New Year from Blue Cat!

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Blue Cat wishes you a very Happy New Year, and hopes that it is filled with family…

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The Cat Family

…old friends…

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Blue Cat and Bosco

…new friends…

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Shiny is cool...

and a lot of exciting and cool adventures…

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Above the clouds...

May 2013 be the best year ever for you and yours!

(c) William P. Doyle, Jr.  2013  All Rights Reserved