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Friday, November 02, 2007

MAKING LYE SOAP
For the record, I borrowed the three pictures I am posting today.
The first shows how soap was made in years gone by although some still prefer to do it this way. Mom and I made lye soap but we did it in the house. It was a very simple process, just had to be sure to be careful with the lye so we didn't get burned.
My grandma Lillie Fitzpatrick, born in 1891, left her life story and in it she tells how her parents made lye by setting a barrel of wood ashes on a stump under the corner of the roof where it would catch the rain water. She said the bottom of the barrel had a long spout driven into a hole which drained into a bucket. Apparently the rain water running through the wood ashes made lye. This is what they used to make their soap. Mom and I just bought it at the store.
Soap was usually made in the fall after hogs were butchered. The fat was rendered and all the lard saved, some for cooking but most for soap.
My soap looked like this when I poured it into a pan to harden. Always a beige color, and not very attractive, but it served the purpose. We didn't use it for bathing, but it was grated for washing clothes and dishes. I preferred fragrant store bought soap for bathing.

Yes, when I was a little girl, I had my bath in a washtub just like this little red head in the picture. As I got older I had a hard time fitting into that tub and a harder time getting out.

It was a pure delight when dad made us a real bathroom with real flushing toilet, Clawfoot bathtub and wash basin. I thought we had really come up in the world.

did a little research on soap and how it was invented. Here is a site you may want to check out. I found it really interesting.

Bye-Bye for now

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