By Margaret Heaton
What do you wake up and think about in the middle of the night? Bills? Your kids? Price of gas? World peace? Soap? I would not be surprised if you answered no to the last question. Most people probably donít wake up and think about soap. But let me assure you, I do!
I mentioned in my last column about wanting to make homemade soap. I was hooked with my first batch. This past month I have made many, many batches of soap. Everything from Castile Soap, a pure olive oil soap gentle enough for babies to goatís milk soap with milk right from the Amish farmerís goats in Fremont. Iíve used oatmeal, spices, lavender, all types of oils. Iíve made cold processed, hot processed and even tried the melt-and-pour variety of soap.
Two years ago I found a passion for exercise, itís like a gift to myself to be able to get up and move. And today, I have another passion, soap making. My husband is smart enough to recognize it and has joined me. No, he doesnít make soap, but he has started making me molds and moving things around to make room for this quickly growing addiction Ö I mean passion Ö of mine. Soaping to me is cooking without the calories, and today it was Cocoa Oatmeal with honey and goatís milk. TomorrowÖhmmmÖmaybe lavender/poppy?
Thanksgiving is next week. I want to share I am thankful for a great little grocery store in Whitehall. Save-A-Lot saved me money this past month. I had the opportunity to serve at a benefit concert, cooking of course. I needed 200 hamburger patties. I went to Sav A Lot checking prices. I was given a short time to pull the meal together and I was desperate. Dane, their meat manager, knew the right questions to ask to be the most helpful for me. After listening and discussing the meal I was preparing, he was willing to make my burgers, yet he actually recommended I could make more money by going with a different menu and even told me where to buy the food. Thank you Dane, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Another store I am thankful for isnít really a store, but the American Fitness Gym. I miss Thunder Bolt gym but had to get back into a gym environment for my health. I joined the ď24/7 gymĒ as itís called. This gym is located in the Plumbís plaza if youíd like to check it out. It has nice equipment with 24 hour access. Many from TBG have joined and itís like family being with my old friends again. If you decide to check out this little gym, the hours are very limited when staff is on hand but donít let that get in your way. Donít expect a personal touch or any special trainers on site but do expect to meet new friends. Come join the fun, because, as they say, the gangís all here!
And one more thankful item to tell you about: I attend Crosswinds Fellowship Church. The building we worship in is the old grocery store at the four corners in North Muskegon. In the past year a SpanishĖspeaking Apostolic church has begun holding Sunday afternoon services there also. North Side Seniors, an AgeWell program, uses the church Monday through Friday. And, now, we are being joined by Calvary Church, formerly of Fruitport. You may think Iím crazy, but three separate churches and one seniors program all in one building! Amazing! I thank God His plans are bigger than ours.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the busy season ahead, I am keeping this recipe in the fridge, ready at a momentís notice. It is an older recipe but worthy of keeping on file. You can email me for additional recipe suggestions.
Six-Week Bran Muffins
15 Ė 20 oz. Bran Cereal
1 quart Buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 ľ cup sugar
5 cup flour
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
Mix all together and may keep up to six weeks in fridge.
When ready to bake, spoon into greased cupcake pan with 2 teaspoons of Honey Schmear in bottom of each. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 Ė 21 minutes. Immediately turn out of pan. Cool muffins with honey side up. Use extra caution when removing from oven, honey is very hot.
Ĺ cup melted butter
Ĺ cup sugar
Ĺ cup brown sugar
5 Tbs honey
3 Tbs hot water