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Page:The White House Cook Book.djvu/606

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then set the barrel OB it, and cut a groove around just outside the bar- rel, making one groove from this to the edge of the board, to carry off the lye as it runs off, with a groove around it, running into one in the centre of the board. Place all two feet from the ground and tip it so that the lye may run easily from the board into the vessel below prepared to receive it. Put half bricks or stones around the edge of the inside of the barrel ; place on them one end of some sticks about two inches wide, inclining to the centre ; on those place some straw to the depth of two inches, over it scatter two pounds of slaked lime. Put in ashes, about half of a bushel at a time, pack it well, by pound- ing it down, and continue doing so until the barrel is full, leaving a funnel-shaped -hollow in the centre large enough to hold several quarts of water. Use rain-water boiling hot. Let the water disap- pear before adding more. If the ashes are packed very tiglitly it may require two or three days before the lye will begin to run, but it will be the stronger for it, and much better.

To Make Boiled Soft Soap. Put in a kettle the grease consisting of all kinds of fat that has accumulated in the kitchen, such as scraps and bones from the soup-kettle, rinds from meat, etc. ; fill the kettle half full ; if there is too much grease it can be skimmed off after the soap is cold, for another kettle of soap. This is the only true test when enough grease is used, as the lye will consume all that is needed and no more. Make a fire under one side of it. The kettle should be in an out-house or out of doors. Let it heat very hot so as to fry ; stir occasionally to prevent burning. Now put in the lye a gallon at a time, watching it closely until it boils, as it sometimes runs over at the beginning. Add lye until the kettle is full enough, but not too fall to boil well. Soap should boil from the side and not the middle, as this would be more likely to cause it to boil over. To test the soap, to one spoonful of soap add one of rain-water; if it stirs up very thick, the soap is good and will keep ; if it becomes thinner, it is not good. This is the result of one of three causes, either it is too weak, or there is a deposit of dirt or it is too strong. Continue to boil for a few hours, when it should flow from the stick with which it is stirred like thick molasses ; but if after boiling it remains thin, let it stand over night, removing it from the fire, then drain it off very

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