Recipes and Remedies

  • Sprained ankle relief

  • Scrapes and Cuts

  • Lye Soap

  • Chow Chow

  • Chow Chow 2

  • Chow Chow 3

  • Flannel Cakes

  • Grape Juice

Sprained ankle relief

When I was about 11 and living in California, I sprained my ankle very badly. I remember it hurt like the devil and I thought for sure it was broken. Grandma was over and said vinegar and brown paper would take the pain and swelling away. After everything else failed, we gave Grandma's remedy a try - right away I could tell it was helping and sure enough next day I was able to walk on it. It was still a little tender, but the swelling was down, etc.

When my children were little, I couldn't recite "Jack and Jill" without thinking of that time.
Happy Hunting
Mary Floy Katzman
Framingham, Massachusetts
1998

Scrapes and cuts

Another home remedy still in use in the 1950s: "bamagillia" buds (which I suspect to flatlanders might be balm of Gilead). Both our neighbors and we used the sticky sap from the leaf buds as an ointment on scrapes and cuts.

--Ginger Ballard
1998

Lye soap

That lye soap and washboard Granny used to wash clothes didn't help her hands either. She even had to make the soap. After hog-killing time, the hide was rendered in the witches kettle (same one used for apple-butter, etc.) Of course, this produced cracklins. The lye was made from ashes. If you were rich, you bought Bulldog lye. After the soap was made it was then cut up into yellow blocks. Again, the rich folks used Octagon which was a commercial grade of the same thing. Lye soap did a pretty thorough job cleaning up the kids on Saturday night.

Cousin Foy
1998

LYE SOAP (City recipe) 5 cups cold water 1 can Watch Dog Lye 11 cups melted grease 1/2 C Borax (20 Mule Team) Dissolve lye in the water in an enamel pan or crock. Stir until thoroughly dissolved. Then add the grease and stir until it thickens. Then add the Borax and let stand for a while. For a desired fragrance, you may add sassafrass oil or glycerine. Cut the soap into squares before it hardens.

Chow Chow 1 

Chow Chow Laura Hampton's dated Oct. 5, 1917 in Lodi, Va. Rt. 2.

One gallon of chopped cabbage
1 gallon of chopped tomatoes
1 pod of green pepper salt overnight and drain well
4 tablespoons ground mustard 2 of ginger 1 of cloves 1 of mace 1 of cinnamon 2 lbs sugar mix well and cover with good vinegar

Submitted by Basil McVey, 2005

Chow Chow 2

½ gallon cabbage
1 qt. green tomatoes salt & stand over night. 
½ pint onions 
¼ lb. brown sugar 
½ tablespoon black pepper 
¼ tablespoon ground mustard cloves & cinnamon to taste 
1 pint cider vinegar, do not tie up until cold.

Chow Chow 3

1 qt, cabbage 
1 pt. green tomatoes 
¼ pt. onions 
1/8 lb. brown sugar 
¼ tablespoon black pepper 
1/8 tablespoon ground mustard 
½ pint cider vinegar

                                             Chow Chow 2 & 3 - Addie Wagner London submitted by Debby Neves

Flannel Cakes

To one pint of milk put one or two eggs 1 teaspoon of soda 1 teaspoon of shortening and a handful of corn meal -

Enough flour to make a batter 
Addie Wagner London submitted by Debby Neves

Grape Juice

Pick the grapes from the bunch off the vines - wash and brush them, put in granite kettle (don’t allow juice to touch the tin) Heat until juice flows, then strain through heavy cloth add as much water as juice and to every quart of this 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, can or bottle and you have a drink fit for the “gods” 
Addie Wagner London submitted by Debby Neves