I had received such lovely and thoughtful gifts from Em that I didn’t want to let the side down, so over the next few days I wracked my brains to think about what a) would travel well, b) be liked by all the participants and c) I was capable of making!
Eventually I came up with the idea of making a bathtime pamper package. After all, everyone likes relaxing in a hot bath and having some time to themselves. And for me, a bath isn’t complete without something to make the water smell nice, a good book, a glass of wine, candles and something delicious to eat.
Unfortunately sending alcohol through the post didn’t really feel like a good move (even though my mother has a delicious recipe for homemade sloe gin), and I thought that if I made candles I would seem like a one trick pony. But food, books and toiletries? These bits I could do.
Each pamper package included bath bombs, chocolate raisin fudge and a list of my top 5 bathtime books, written on a vintage postcard. I then put everything in a cotton bag that I customised with each recipient’s initial cut from felt. As a finishing touch I downloaded some label templates from Eat Drink Chic. (If you haven’t visited this site, go now: it is a haven of inspiration and free DIY downloadable materials.) I printed the labels on white card and tied one onto each bag with embroidery thread.
The recipe for the fudge was adapted from here, and I can confirm that it’s very easy to make and has extremely delicious results. I just hope it arrived in Scotland, Somerset, France and the US in one piece! I do fear for the bath bombs making it in one piece as well, but the good thing is that even if they’re not in shape when they arrive, the powder can still be used to the same effect.
The bathbombs were made using instructions from a book about homemade soaps and other toiletries, given to me by my sister in law. They’re really fun to make and very easy, so if you fancy having a go yourself, these are the instructions.
You will need:
2oz of bicarbonate of soda (I bought mine from my local Chinese supermarket, who only sold it in 3.5kg bags! Needless to say, I have a lot left over.)
3 tbsp of cornstarch
1oz granulated citric acid (this was from my local Indian supermarket; sadly not in such an awesome quantity as the soda)
1oz of cocoa butter (I bought mine from here)
6 drops of an essential oil of your choice (I used orange)
Firstly, melt your cocoa butter in a double boiler.
Whilst it’s melting, mix together your dry ingredients.
Add the molten cocoa butter to the dry ingredients along with the essential oil and food colouring. Don’t use too much otherwise the bombs will be too soft – the mixture should feel like slightly damp breadcrumbs.
Pour the liquid into ice cube trays. I used silicon ones so no need to grease them but if using rigid plastic then you’ll need to do this beforehand.
Freeze until the bombs are solid. Gently peel them from the moulds.
Draw yourself a bath. Dissolve a bomb under the running water and… relax!
Couple of notes I made on the way…
Don’t use too much cocoa butter otherwise the bombs will be too soft and won’t fizz properly.
When adding the cocoa butter to the dry ingredients, make sure that you dry off the bottom of the pan from the double boiler, as if drops of water get into the dry mix they’ll set off the fizzing reaction and ruin your bath bombs!
I hope the recipients enjoy the parcels as much as I enjoyed making them. It was a really fun thing to be part of, so thanks, Em, for introducing me to it.
For some reason known only to WordPress, I can’t upload some of the photos I took of the finished items. Em, however, has taken some lovely ones which you can check out here, and which are much better than mine anyway.