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Posts Tagged ‘starch’

Saturday 24th [September 1864]

Tena put the starch to sun today. We had one little shower & then fair. Mrs. Emaline Luther spent the day here. She came to see Mr. Henry. He was gone to town. She waited till he came home. He got back about three o’clock. I have knit all day. Elsie weaving today. Aunt Tena wove yesterday. Tis said that Gen. Early met with a defeat near Winchester the other day. I am sorry if it ‘tis so. Mr. Henry brought the mail today. I received a letter from Ell & they were all well. Dora had gone to see Powell’s relations. Fowler was home on furlough.

 

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Tuesday 23nd [September 1864]

Very little news this morning. Till Morris was here a short time this morning. Rained nearly all day. Mr. Henry in the house all the morning & at the mill in the evening. Matt & I made a shirt for Mr. Ball today. He stays here today waiting for his boots. He lets Mr. Henry have a pistol for the boots. He is a nice little soldier. Tena has been making some starch this week. She has not put it to sun yet as it has rained so much.

 

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Home-made starch

In the present state of the corn, as good starch can be made of it as any housewife needs. Grate it from the ear, mix the pulp thoroughly with cold water, and strain it through a sieve. Let the liquor settle and, pouring off the water, which will be discolored, the start will be found at the bottom of the vessel in a rather soft cake. Pour on more water, stir it up, and repeat the process.  At each repetition the cake will be found firmer. And when the water comes off clear and the starch is free from a pink or yellow tinge on the top, the process is complete, except for drying. I never knew but one miscarriage, and that was in warm weather, when the water was not cold enough, or was allowed to stand too long, and the mass fermented. A grater can be made from an old coffee pot or tin bucket, by punching it (outward) full of holes – a hammer and nail will answer the purpose – and taking it to a piece of board.

 

Source: Field and Fireside, February 7, 1863, as found in John Hammond Moore, ed., The Confederate Housewife (Columbia, SC: Summerhouse Press, 1997).

 

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