Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let Them Eat Soap

We have a visitor in our cabin. I'm beginning to think he or she has moved in for good.

I normally keep bars of handsoap in the mirrored cabinets above the bathroom sinks. When guests arrive I inevitably forget to tell them where the soap is. Our most recent company set a nice bar of hotel soap on the edge of a sink. After they left, I noticed it and left it alone.

Although I made a point of keeping the doors to that bathroom closed, yesterday morning I noticed the sweet little round bar had disappeared. Gourmet soap. Who ate it? Not Virginia, I'm sure. I'll have to remember this if I ever have a craving for cocoa butter, oils, lard or anything else that might give me some energy. But what about the lye? Or the glycerin?

As I looked around to see if glycerin is edible, I discovered it's in many food products, including some toothpastes. Glycerin can be derived from either vegetable or animal sources, so all you vegeterians and vegans, watch out!

Then I searched to see if lye is edible. It's safe to say eating lye is not generally recommended. Children do it sometimes without parental permission. Curiously, several sources have criticized Swedes for eating Swedish meatballs, a staple made of cat meat soaked for hours in lye. That sounds like trouble to me, but I'm not going to bet my life, or even a nickel, on the truth of it.

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