Monday, April 20, 2009

Kelli, here is a country woman making soap

I found this photo in an old Country magazine and I decided to post it for Kelli, who writes Thoughts of a Sober White Women, because she has been talking about making soap as an ecco friendly thing to do. This reminded me so much of our days of makng soap in the country out of animal fat and lye, water, etc. We used beef suet quite a bit because we did not make lard out of it as we did with pig fat. We would be tending the fire and stirring now and then until it set up, and then we would leave it over night and the next day we would cut it up in chunks leaving this caustic jelly we would have to find some place to pour out, as it would burn a place in the grass, but did not really do a lot of harm.
This was just one more big old task I would help with. My dad would not buy laundry soap out of the store ever. The only thing he agreed to buy willingly was pork and beans for camping out. Maybe a little can of vienna sausage once in a while. He had been raised to be very frugal like his Mom. He would have highly approved of you, Kelli, with your quilt making. My mom wanted to leave behind country ways which is why they never got along I suppose. She thought that if she went to all the trouble of building a country store and stocking it, she should be able to live out of it. She refused to make bread any more, so our dad recruited us girls to make his home made bread. He loved nothing more than warm bread, butter we churned ourselves, and home made jam we bottled in the summer out of a number of different fruits. He was ecco friendly like Kelli and didn't even know it!


sober white women said...

LOL! My mom was telling me that her grandfather had to have warm bread every night.
I make bread as a special treat, and the whole family loves it!
I love to quilt, and I will let you know how the laundry soap making goes.
With the price of everything going up I am sure that more people are going to go back to "old, country, cheap ways".

Lori said...

I love that picture! I don't think my mother ever made lye soap, but she can remember her mother talking about making it.

Ann said...

I wouldn't go back to the lye soap days...I didn't even like using it.
It almost felt like your hands were burned...of course we had to lift the clothes to get through the wringer. I remember turning the wringer then later on having it turn on electricity. The big danger then was getting your hand caught and take the skin off your arm. Linda did that once. Lye soap days can be in the past as far as I am concerned!

Paula said...

I can remember my mama making soap. Every year in August San Antonio has a Folk Life Festival and they make soap and all kinds of old fashioned things for people to see.

madcobug said...

I remember helping my Mother and Grandmother make homemade lye soap in the old black washpot like that.It turned out pretty and slick when cooled off. They used a big butcher knife to cut it into bars. They used lye someway mixed with lard from butchering a hog that they had cooked the fat down. I remember a lot of the olden ways. Some things my childern have never seen. But they have seen the black pots and the cracklins cooked into Lard for cooking. Helen

Malagutigrrl said...

Now THOSE sound like the good old days!

Amrita said...

Those were the good old days.

I still like making stuff from scratch if I can get all the raw materials.

I cannot tell how much I am enjoying the book you sent - Warriors Don 't Cry.

This book is helping me face the challenges I am facing.

What a story of those brave women.


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