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A Good, Hard Soap

For anyone is interested, here is the old-time method of making:

Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking from AlansKitchen.comUse a specially constructed barrel raised off the ground high enough to allow a tub to be placed underneath.  The bottom of the barrel should be perforated with holes.  Then filled with wood ashes.

Now and then, toss a bucket of water on the ashes. As the water passes through the ashes it dissolves the potash and soda.  Take the solution obtained, put in an iron kettle with a quantity of grease fat.  Boil the mixture for an hour or longer.  Add salt.  As mixture cools, the soap will solidify on top of the water.

Or-take:

  • 5 - pounds grease
  • 3 - gallons soft hot water
  • 1 - pound concentrated potash

Boil these together for 5 or 6 hours, adding water as it boils away.  When done, it is a dark, yellowish brown, like jelly, almost transparent. It should taste smooth and pleasant. If sharp and acrid, it is not done. Stir frequently.  Pour into zinc-lined tin and let it harden.  Will be white when hard.  Cut in bars.

From an old cook book

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