Last week, I took a Soapmaking 101 class at Abbey Brown Soap Artisan. The class covered the "Cold Process method of soapmaking wherein we will learn about lye safety, necessary equipment, vegetable and plant based oils, and essential oils for scenting bars naturally." It's a basic course that combines lectures, demonstration, and a hands-on portion in which students make three large batches of soap together. Each student comes away with handouts, a bar of olive soap, and the knowledge of how to make basic soaps safely. This last part was exciting to me because I'd wanted to make soaps for a long time but had been intimidated by the process of working with lye, which is extremely toxic. Now, though, I'm confident I can do this safely, and in my own kitchen. I also appreciated Deborah Kraemer's advice around sourcing oils (both essential and olive) and the strong emphasis on using the right ingredients to make products suitable for sensitive skin.