An hour later, it was completely impossible to see that the contents of the bucket had previously been oil. Now there was only an opaque and yellowish liquid inside. After they continued to stir for another hour that substance became thick and viscous. Eventually, Su Tang looked at the contents of the bucket and could tell that it was finally finished.
The murky mixture already clearly smelled of soap, so the three of them worked together to pick up the big bucket and pour out the contents into the customized wooden box that had just been delivered earlier that morning.
Once the box was filled, Su Tang carefully pushed the separate grid piece inside the box and into the still-liquid soap, and just like that the grid naturally divided the soap into even squares.
At this point, Su Tang finally breathed a sigh of relief. “Carry this to the eastern room. Make sure to pay attention. Keep it dry but also let it ventilate!”
With that instruction, the three people worked together to carry the box over to the eastern room and then gingerly set it on the kang bed inside. Now, all that was left was waiting for it to dry.
After this success, Su Tang quickly ordered Zhang Cuilan to continue buying oil from town at the same proportions as before, before she headed off for the Song Residence.
Two days later, the carpenter delivered a second box, and Su Tang walked Zhang Cuilan and Baohe through all the same steps to make another box of soap. When the second box of soap was done, she took out a piece of cloth and spread it on the floor of the main room.
Then, she went to the eastern room and took the first box back to the main room where she set it on the floor upside down on top of the piece of cloth. After that, Su Tang tapped at the edges of the box with a small hammer until, slowly, the solidified soap fell down from the box. Once that was done, she swiftly pulled the grid up, leaving a bunch of evenly sized cubes of soap on the piece of cloth.
“Mother, this stuff really is soap.” Baohe quickly knelt down and helped Zhang Cuilan pick up the soap, but she looked very surprised as she did so. It was hard for her to imagine that they had actually made soap themselves. She almost couldn’t believe that some random oil could really turn into soap.
Zhang Cuilan was also very surprised, however, now she finally understood why Su Tang had so seriously warned them on the first day that they needed to keep their mouths shut and not discuss anything they saw inside this courtyard outside.
Of course, Zhang Cuilan herself had never used a rich person’s thing like soap. However, although she had never used it herself, she knew what soap was. She knew that the pieces of soap inside the general store weren’t as big as these pieces of soap in front of her, and they sold for fifteen copper coins each.
She estimated that Su Tang would probably be able to sell all of this soap in front of her at a similar price, even though she hadn’t even spent 300 copper coins making the whole batch, which meant that her profits would be huge.
However, Zhang Cuilan also realized that making this soap depended on the ‘water’ that Su Tang had added to the oil. She didn’t know what that ‘water’ was, but maybe it was very expensive.
Thinking to this point, and also hearing her daughter’s comment, Zhang Cuilan couldn’t help but scold, “Talk less and work more!”
Baohe stuck out her tongue after hearing her mother’s warning, but she didn’t dare to say anything else and just obediently continued to help pick up the soap and put it away.
Su Tang picked up a piece of soap to check and, sure enough, it seemed there would be no issues with the quality so long as she left the portioning to the orange cat. This soap was of the same quality as usual. Seeing that, Su Tang nodded with satisfaction and said, “Not bad.”
After that, the carpenter slowly delivered the rest of the wooden boxes and the three people began to make a routine of making soap every other morning. Because they were using so much oil, Su Tang asked Zhang Cuilan to directly contact the boss of the store that sold oil and set up a regular purchase schedule. By doing becoming regular customers in this way, the store was even willing to knock five copper coins off every ten jin of oil they bought.
And, in this way, Su Tang’s life slowly hit a steady stride of heling Su Nuo study, studying herself, and making soap, all the way until half a month later when Luo Xingchen returned.
That day, Su Tang was in the main room helping her younger brother with his studies. At the same time, Zhang Cuilan and Baohe were carrying the newly dried box of soap out of the east wing and preparing to knock the soap out and gather it up, when they heard a sharp knock at the door.
When there was suddenly an unexpected knock, Zhang Cuilan and Baohe looked up in surprise.
tl note: My internet research tells me this soap is drying a little unrealistically fast, but I guess that’s fine lol