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How Homemade Alfredo Sauce Reminded Me About Soapmaking and Simplicity

Fettuccine Alfredo. Photo credit to  Megan Sparks*. https://www.flickr.com/photos/meginsanity/6105362476

Fettuccine Alfredo. Photo credit to
Megan Sparks. https://www.flickr.com/photos/meginsanity/6105362476

My mom and I have a very good relationship. She has taught me many of the things I know and she encourages me to learn something every day. During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was cooking with my mom and we were having another one of our cooking lessons and that lesson was about Alfredo sauce. My mom told me a story and it resonated with me and my preferences.

Have you ever heard the story of how Alfredo Sauce came about? While I’m not completely sure if the story is true, it is a good one that my mom told me. A man named Alfredo owned an Italian restaurant in the early 1900s. When his wife was pregnant with their child, she suffered from horrible nausea and she could barely keep anything down. Alfredo was so worried that he went into the restaurant kitchen and made a simple pasta dish with Parmesan, butter and cream. His goal was to give his wife a dish that was simple and yet could give her something to keep down. She loved the dish and the care he had put into making the dish for her. The dish was food for more than her body, but her soul as well.

Alfredo sauce is a cream sauce and surprisingly easy to make. While my mom starts by sautéing garlic, the rest of the ingredients are butter, cream and Parmesan cheese. It is a dish that seems more complex than it is. For me, Alfredo sauce feeds not only my body, but my soul.

How did Alfredo sauce remind me of soap making and simplicity? So many of us think that we have to add more or different ingredients to make our soaps (or foods) stand out. While I admire soaps that have intricate designs or require intensive skills and time, I find myself drawn back to simple soaps.

When I say simple, I mean soaps that have a base formula, a scent (optional) and/or no more than two additives. I think that we find too many additions and we make our soaps more prone to failure. My first batch of soap that I made by myself is a prime example of a soap that was too complex.

My first soap had lanolin, milk, and honey. Each one of the ingredients makes a lovely soap on its own, but combined with my inexperience and the temperamental nature of each ingredient, I had a volcano in my mold.

So my thought for today and challenge for you is to step back, think about your products, and make a simple soap, lip balm or lotion. Think about the reason why you started making and the love, care and intention that was the reason for your first handmade products.


*This picture was taken by Megan Sparks and is available under the Creative Commons License.

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