The Backwoods of Canada eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 306 pages of information about The Backwoods of Canada.

There are several other sorts of rising similar to the salt-rising.  “Milk-rising” which is mixed with milk, warm from the cow, and about a third warm water; and “bran-rising,” which is made with bran instead of flour, and is preferred by many persons to either of the former kinds.


Of the making of soft soap I can give little or no correct information, never having been given any certain rule myself; and my own experience is too limited.  I was, however, given a hint from a professional gentleman, which I mean to act upon forthwith.  Instead of boiling the soap, which is some trouble, he assured me the best plan was to run off the ley from a barrel of ashes:  into this ley I might put four or five pounds of any sort of grease, such as pot skimmings, rinds of bacon, or scraps from frying down suet; in short any refuse of the kind would do.  The barrel with its contents may then be placed in a secure situation in the garden or yard, exposed to the sun and air.  In course of time the ley and grease become incorporated:  if the grease predominates it will be seen floating on the surface; in such case add more ley; if the mixture does not thicken, add more grease.  Now, this is the simplest, easiest, and clearest account I have yet received on the subject of soap-making, which hitherto has seemed a mystery, even though a good quantity was made last spring by one of my servants, and it turned out well:  but she could not tell why it succeeded, for want of being able to explain the principle she worked from.


Every one makes their own candles (i.e. if they have any materials to make them from).  The great difficulty of making candies—­and, as far as I see the only one, is procuring the tallow, which a bush-settler, until he begins to kill his own beef, sheep, and hogs, is rarely able to do, unless he buys; and a settler buys nothing that he can help.  A cow, however, that is unprofitable, old, or unlikely to survive the severity of the coming winter, is often suffered to go dry during the summer, and get her own living, till she is fit to kill in the fall.  Such an animal is often slaughtered very advantageously, especially if the settler have little fodder for his cattle.  The beef is often excellent, and good store of candles and soap may be made from the inside fat.  These candles, if made three parts beef and one part hogs lard, wil burn better than any store-candles, and cost less than half price.  The tallow is merely melted in a pot or pan convenient for the purpose, and having run the cotton wicks into the moulds (tin or pewter moulds for six candles cost three shillings at the stores, and last many, many years), a stick or skewer is passed through the loops of your wicks, at the upper part of the stand, which serve the purpose of drawing the candles.  The melted fat, not too hot, but in a fluid state, is then poured into the moulds till they are full; as the fat gets cold it

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The Backwoods of Canada from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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