Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

The Hominy Block

No sooner was the hand mill set up than father decided we would make a hominy block, so that it might not be necessary for us to call upon the neighbors for theirs.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

First, he took a block of wood about three feet high, and so large around that I could barely clasp it with both arms. In the top he burned a deep hole, and afterward scraped it out until it was almost as smooth as the inside of a gourd. He made the hole wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, so that when the corn is pounded with a pestle, it is thrown up on either side in such a manner that it will fall again to the bottom and thus be cracked evenly.

Some people use a hand pestle with which to bruise the grain; but father put up a slender pole, rising as high as the flooring above, with the butt end resting against the lowermost log in the side of the house. This pole was held in position by two forked sticks standing perhaps eight feet from the butt, and on the upper end was a piece of sapling long enough to come down within twenty inches of the bottom of the hole.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

On the sapling he fastened, by a wooden pin, a pestle, which is nothing more than a piece of maple wood fashioned to fit the hole in the block. Billy and I have only to tie a bit of wild grapevine to the upper end of the pole, and, having placed the corn in the hole, pull the pestle down and let it fly up again, which, as can readily be understood, is far less labor than raising the heavy block of maple by hand.

The same man who sold us the hand mill gave mother his corn grater, no one in the fort being willing to buy it. Just then it would be of little service, but I understood that later, when we had raised a crop of corn, it would be of great value, even though such a tool may be used only when the grain is too soft to be ground.

This grater is nothing more than a half-round piece of tin with holes punched through it in such manner that the ragged edges of the metal are on the outside. It is nailed to a piece of puncheon after the fashion of a horse's hoof, and the ears of corn are rubbed over the rough edges of the holes, allowing the pulp to fall through on the puncheon, from which it can be scraped into a dish.