It's Rhubarb time again
Rhubarb rewards it's owner handsomely if treated properly. It's not very complicated. It should be divided every 10-15 years, or when it stops being productive. It's a big plant and it needs plenty of nutrients. Manure is perfect, or some other form of organic fertilizer like chicken manure and seaweed.
There are many cultivars of Rhubarb, some are completely red through the stalks, others have red on the outside of the stalks and then some are completely green. The reds cultivars tend be give less crop than the others. The taste is also different between the cultivars and apparently is is malic acid that determines the taste, if there is too little it tastes of little, and if there is too much it is too sour. There is no correlation between the colour of the stalks and the amount of malic acid in the Rhubarb.
This year I have already made Rhubarb syrup, Rhubarb heels, Rhubarb drink and Rhubarb muffins. And of course Rhubarb soap! I wanted to try to make a gradient colour with Rhubarb oil. Maybe an Ombré type effect. I didn't quite succeed, its more stripes than Ombré, but it's nice anyway and I had fun.
I just eyeballed the amounts of Rhubarb oil (chop up some pieces of root into oil of your choise and let it infuse until you see a good colour) into the soap, so it wasn't very scientific, but the recipe is here:
Olive oil 49% 360g / 13oz (out of this 20g was Rhubarb root infused)
Coconut oil 25% 190g / 6.7oz
Rapeseed oil 17% 107g / 3.7oz
Cocoa butter 9% 70g / 2.5oz
Castor oil 2% 14g / 0.5oz
Water 33% 250g / 8.7oz
Lye 106g / 3.7 oz
I divided the soap into four approx. 200g /7oz each and colored the first part with about 2 tablespoons of Rhubarb oil. The second with just over one tablespoon. The thirds with about half a tablespoon and the last with about a teaspoon. I tried to pour very evenly, over a spatula, and slammed the mold down to even it, but there are still valleys in the colors bands. I put the soap into a cold oven when it started to gel, because I wanted it to gel evenly and it seems to have done just that.
The intensity of the colour surprised me a little bit. The darkest layer is really dark red. Quite beautiful and a blueish tint to it. The cut surfaces are more of a yellow red, but they turn more blue as the soap ages. The scent was a combo of Rosewood and Rose Geranium and it smells lovely. I still leave a lot of Rubarb left to harves and I just may need to try some of the hair colour recipes next. On myself. That could be interesting...