How To Make Lye
The Old Fashioned Way
To get lye, they used a section of a hollow tree,
set it on a base that slanted, and filled the hollow part of the tree section with ashes from the fireplace.
The very best ashes were green oak ashes.
Water was then poured through the ashes.
When the water trickled through at the bottom, it was caught in a bucket and poured back through the ashes until the lye water was as strong as they wanted it.
They used this lye water to make hominy and homemade soap.