Guess what time it is? It's time for the DG County Fair! Now in it's sixth year, enter your blue-ribbon photos or mouth-watering recipes for a chance to win a gift subscription! Click here here to get all the details, dates and entry rules.
A friend of mine, a homesteader, found an old recipe for drawing salve and wants to try it, but can't find sources for the three ingredients.; sheep tallow, gum camphor and rosin. From the few references I found it appears both sheep and beef tallow are fatty acids similar to those found in glycerin, Camphor is available as an oil, and rosin might be replaced by pine tar. Has anyone concocted a similar recxipe or know of sources for these ingredients?. Thanks for any clues you can offer. Yuska
Glycerin is derived from saponified fats and oils of all kinds. The commercial soap industry extracts it from the soap they make and sells it as a by-product. I'm not sure why any other animal tallow ( beef being the closest) wouldn't be a good substitute. You can buy suet from a butcher an render it yourself or buy a package of lard off the shelf at the grocery store.
Pine Tar is hard to work with!! You can find it at feed stores and some tack stores.
Camphor can be very toxic, even when it is absorbed through the skin. There was an article not too long ago about a young runner who died from the toxic effects of using too much muscle rub. Menthol is like camphor is more readily available!
My mom (and her mom) made drawing salve by scraping brown soap (American Family or Fels Naptha) with a spoon and mixing it with sugar and applied it to a boil or infected sore.
We also used warmed Camphorated Oil as a chest rub for bad lung-involved colds. I don't think you can buy it anymore - just "Spirits of Camphor".
The old recipe sounds interesting. Just keep in mind that although camphor has some wonderful uses medicinally and spiritually, it can be fatal to infants and young children. There is usually a warning on camphorated products saying not to use on kids.
My grandmother had a recipe for rosin and tallow...no camphor. She used beef tallow when she couldn't get sheep tallow. It's the same rosin as used in violin bows but it's ground to a powder. I found some in an art supply store but I don't have the proportions. Could the person who has the recipe please give the measurements? I have a very small amount left and I treat it like gold. It smells bad but it works!
I love doing/making old timey stuff, even if it is cheaper or easier to buy it. =0)
As a boot maker, pine tar is softer and gummier than rosin, which we use to coat the flax cord to sew the soles to the uppers. I've seen drawing salves made with pine tar, but it sure seems like rosin would be nicer to work with. IMO
You might find rosin at someplace like Lehman's. It is sold (although seldom anymore) as a cooking aid. My uncle had a cast iron rosin pot. He would heat the rosin, and then drip in baking potatoes. When they were fully cooked, they would rise to the top. He would fish them out and immediately wrap in newspaper where the rosin cooled into a shell that kept the heat in, and gave the potatoes a wonderful taste. You cracked them open and scooped out the potato. Cracker Barrel used to have rosin potatoes on their dinner menu.
Quoting:Margie Anderson commented on 15 June 2005:
I am looking for pine resin that can be used to make a drawing salve that was a frontier Dr. recipe. Thie recipe has been handed down in my family and is very good. I need a pound of it. Please let me know if you have this available.
This sounds very interesting and I'm thinking of giving it a try... when I get my outdoor stove set up. I was thinking outdoor, and that one thread with the woodsy guy confirmed it.
I'm waiting on trying to make the hominy for when I get that stove set up. All those warnings about the lye fumes got me cautious... so that's on the summer project, once the wind stops blowing like the dickens list. =0)
I bought my one pound of powdered rosin at Dick Blick art supply. I have a butcher nearby who will supply me with the beef tallow when I am ready to make it. Further research after my last post indicates the ratio of four parts tallow to one part rosin. You have to be sure you render the tallow several times in order to remove impurities and other bits of meat. I am going to try it very soon. If anybody has any other proportions, please post. Thanks
I found a local abitoire and the butcher gave me 2 long sections of beef fat from around the kidneys, which they normally trash. The kidneys were still encased in it! My cats got the kidneys, and I rendered the tallow 3X. After the 3rd rendering, it sat for 3-4 weeks and really got hard and waxy-feeling. It is a lot different than beef fat.
I used it in bird suet cakes but if I do it again, I will only render it twice so it's softer and easier to mix with nuts and seeds for suet.
OMG, Darius... that's gourmet stuff you've got there! The tallow from around the kidneys is supposed to be the very, very best stuff for making pie crust dough. They say you will get the flakiest, lightest crusts ever.
Another one of those things I want to try...
Well, after mine was rendered 3X, it would be impossible to use it in pie crust dough... but I'll keep that in mind next fall when there is lots of beef butchering going on around here. Maybe just rendering once and straining with fine cheesecloth would do the trick. I had cleaned mine pretty well before rendering, so there wasn't much to filter out.
Lolliecarr, I tried to inquire about the ingredient proportions, but haven't been able to reach my homesteading friend who found the old-timey recipe. The acreage where he has been roughing it is in a section of Oklahoma where one of the lesser tornados went through recently. The electrical power at his place has always been iffy; since he hasn't responded to e-mails I'm guessing he can't use his computer.
Thanks, all, for the info on rosin potatoes. Great project for my clan on camping trips. Yuska
Jay, I don't remember exactly, but I think between 225ºF - 250ºF. Long and slow. The beef fat has to be cut into small pieces; I think mine were about 1/2"... but the fat around the kidneys crumbles a lot, so I had a lot of 'crumbs' too.
Each time I rendered it, I strained it while it was fairly hot but let it cool overnight before rendering again. (I cooled it in the same pot I used in the oven... why clean more pots?)
LOL... I was thinking a couple hours ago that if I had some chicken feet, I'd make stock today. I love stock from marrow bones but never think to drive to the next town to ask at the abitoire for some. Do you roast your bones first?
Technically the fat around the beef kidneys is just "suet" but also called leaf fat. Once it's rendered, it's tallow.
Earlier today I strained seeds out of a case of tomatoes I canned last fall (I was lazy), and I'm cooking it down to make spaghetti sauce with sweet italian sausage. I just sautéed a large sauce pan full of onions and garlic... my kitchen smells great! I'll probably can most of the sauce since the freezer is full of mostly frozen junk foods. I cook/eat separately from my sister and her daughter, so I usually can stuff in pints except pie fillings. My preferred cooking days are when they both are at work; other than that, I seldom use the kitchen much anymore because I have to clean it first. (And, they each only work part-time.)
No, not all beef fat is suet, and not all rendered beef fat is tallow. Sorry. If you had a sample of any regular beef fat, and a sample of the suet from around the kidneys, you'd immediately notice the difference.
I roasted chicken bones once, along with the veggies for stock. Mine roasted into "inedible mess" very quickly, I guess because the bones are so thin. Now I roast the veggies but simmer the cracked bones with some vinegar in the water. Cracking chicken bones sure makes a mess, spattering all over the kitchen!
My tomatoes were very watery so they are taking a long time to cook down. Beginning last fall, I started freezing tomatoes whole, first. Makes it very easy to get seeds out and a big percentage of the water out too, before making sauce. Then I got lazy, or maybe just busy, and canned about 3 cases of tomatoes just cut in chunks, seeds and all. I'm paying for it now.
But... I had the opportunity to go to Asheville (150 miles away) last week and bought some good Italian sausage, no fennel. So, time to make some spaghetti sauce! Can't get any good Italian sausage here at all, and I make my own breakfast sausage from venison. I have about 50 pounds of raw pork fat, still has skin, out in the cold storage room. It's starting to thaw so I'll have to trash it. It would keep if I rendered it, but I'm not up to the work right now. I still have several pounds I skinned and ground stored in the freezer, and I won't make any more sausage until next fall anyway.
I wish I knew more about using the whole beast... there's a book out now by that name, I think. I just grew up eating packaged meat, my family never raised their own, so it's all an adventure. I'm finally finding folks who are raising beef, goats, and sheep... the one small scale hog farmer went out of business. And hunting's big here, but no one I knows hunts. =o( But obviously I've got plenty to keep me busy. Now that I've found more fresh goat milk, I'm working up to cheeses. I made some pretty good ice cream last week, and some good yogurt, too. I'm ordering a kit to make chevre.
I was instructed by my cousin, who remembers these things, to put the fat in a big pot with a lot of water and cook it down very slowly. Let it cool and the tallow will be on top. Lift it out when it hardens, change the water and do it twice more. Then melt down the tallow again, slowly, and gradually stir in the powdered rosin. Keep an eye on it so the rosin doesn't sink to the bottom. You only need a very small amount of the salve at a time so four pounds of tallow to one pound of rosin should last a good while.
Jay, be glad your family didn't butcher livestock. I am still haunted by my childhood experiences. I was about nine when one October a hog was butchered. Big ol innocent fellow came up to the corner of the pen to greet Dad and Granddad. They answered him harshly - Granddad shot him between the eyes and Dad brought down an axe on his head. My mind's ear can still hear that animal's scream. The carcass was hung from the eave of the barn to drain. The hams were salted and smoked (no eletricity/no refrigeration). Rendering the lard was a chore for Grandmother and me. We sat on the back step holding up the smelly entrails, carefully cutting the fatty strips away. Cooking down the lard on a wood stove took all day. The snowy white result did make wonderful biscuits and pie crusts. We didn't know then what we were doing to our arteries.
For Sunday dinner we often had fried chicken. Mother and Grandmother would each snatch up a chicken by its legs, lay its head on the ground, step on it and yank. The bodies flopped wildly around the yard for a seemingly long time before becoming still. The carcasses were then plunged into buckets of scalding water and the feathers were stripped away. Last step before cutting out the entrails was singeing - the small hairlike pin feathers were burned away with a lighted stick - my mind's nose recalls the smell.
Later when we lived on the edge of town we nearly always had a milk cow. As each calf grew large enough it was sent to the butcher. We rented a coldstorage locker to keep the meat. Dad shot squirrels, we caught fish and on a few dark nights we rowed along the lake's shore line to gig frogs.
It's a wonder I'm not a vegetarian. I do eat meat sparingly and I feel a great respect for the creatures who feed us. Yuska
When I was a kid our family butchered hogs each year. We hunted for rabbits, squirrels, deer and birds. We sent a calf to the slaughter house each year. We also hunted and butchered gators and turtles. We fished for crabs, fish and crawfish. We raised a garden and had a milk cow. We had chickens for meat and eggs. We weren't well off but we never went hungry.
As an adult I've learned to kill and butcher my own meat, it's just not something I grew up with, so I butcher with a knife in one hand and a book in the other. I had to put a horse down once and skinned it out for a robe... never did get around to tanning it, but it was an experience.
It does give one a great respect for the lives that support our lives... but being a vegetarian doesn't remove you from killing, you're just not eating what you kill. How many earthworm get cut in half when you stick a shovel in nice rich earth? If you live in the country, then it's a battle with all the critters that also want to eat your garden. On an industrial scale, the control of pests, rodents, and birds in crop fields is every bit as devastating as industrial meat raising (which I'm not a big fan of). No, from my side, vegetarianism is just make believe not killing. Our lives depend on others in many, many different ways.
Best to just be thankful and grateful and make one's life an offering in return...
I think killing and preparing the carcass for eating gives me a greater respect and appreciation for animals. I believe that God put the world and all it's resources at our disposal. With that priviledge comes responsibility and sadly we have dropped the ball in many ways. I try each day to be a better steward of the earth. I like to think I make a difference, though small my contributions may be.
Yes, I can think of nothing that speaks to the insult of all creation than treating living, thinking, feeling beings as "commodities", the same as a ton of iron ore or a barrel of oil.
I, too, try to live my life as a better steward of the earth and all her creatures. Past, present and future. I don't kid myself thinking it's possible to do this purely, but I do believe that it is possible to care and care deeply, and let my heart break over and over in the loving of life and its gifts.
Each living being's life is precious to it, and it shudders in the face of death. From the most powerful human on the planet to the cockroach in their kitchen. I respect that. So I try to be mindful when I am killing and do it as wisely as I know how.
Drawing salve For the lady in Leighton, I just found this receipe in my Mothers cook book . 1 pound rossum
2 oz sheeps tallow
2 oz bees wax
1 teaspoon dry camphor
1 teaspoon laudlum
boil rossum sheeps tallow and bees was first. Very slowly add camphor and laudlum. Then put pan in cold water and stir until ckold enough to work into sticks ( like a cigar). To use, heat end of stick and apply where needed. .
Depending on the age of the original recipe, laudanum was probably included as an analgesic in the salve. It almost sounds like the laundanum and camphor was used as a substitute for paregoric (camphorated tincture of opium) as the analgesic.
LOL.. One time many years ago I was into making soap. I was talking to my Great-Grandma telling her I was going to make some soap. She said "Why in the world would someone do that for FUN?"
She told us some stories of soap making time when she was a kid.
"I say if God didn't want us to eat animals he wouldn't have made them out of meat. "
Now that's just too funny. I am a sort of vegetarian but only for the weight loss aspect. Not because of any belief issues except I believe it is bad for a 5' 2" woman to creep up to 300 lbs...So far I've lost 65 lbs. I'll probably lose more now that my consumption of adult beverages has been curtailed...
"vegetarianism is just make believe not killing"
That is also funny and true...
Call it like you see it...I love this place.
Hi - I'm new to DG, but I've read through this thread and found it very interesting. I make my own drawing salve or pine gum salve using olive oil instead of tallow. It's extremely easy and you don't have to render anything. I use only pine pitch/gum that I have collected myself (yes, go pull it off the tree). I have melted it down and strained it before I use it, but I usually just use it "as is" (brushing off as much bark and/or dirt as possible) and then strained it with the olive oil into a clean container. There really isn't a set amount of pine to use with olive oil, but a good guideline would be to use just enough oil to cover the pine gum. A good consistency for a salve is to use 1 oz beeswax with each 1 1/2 cups olive oil. The last time I made it, I used these amounts:
32 oz olive oil
2.6 oz weight bees wax
10.8 oz weight pine gum (w/debris)
It made about 44 oz, which is a large amount. Melt the ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water for about two hours (do not let the bottom boil dry). Strain through several layers of cheesecloth. Pour into containers. Allow to cool completely before closing the containers. Don't forget to label!
Yes, the pine gum is the yellow/brown sap on the outside of the tree.
I forgot to mention that there will most likely be gum/sap residue in the bottom of whatever you use for the top of your double boiler (I just use a stainless steel bowl). I have found that rubbing alcohol will dissolve the residue within a day or two.
I have heard that the pine gum is a good remedy for mouth sores. I tried it once, just to see what it was like. I would NOT suggest it to anyone. It is NASTY! :)
Drawing salve is a first aid remedy. There are many types, but basically you are relying on the drawing salve to draw out the impurity (including venom) that is causing (or will cause) an infection or inflammation.
There was another post about drawing salves in which a DGer used a charcoal based drawing salve on a friend who was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider. They both saw the spider that did the deed, so identification was 100% positive. The bite victim did not experience the extensive flesh damage normally associated with Brown Recluse bites, so the MD insisted the bite was from another type of spider. The point of all this is that the quick use of an effective drawing salve can eliminate or greatly reduce more serious problems. This is especilly true if you live out in a rural area and the nearest care is a long drive away.
Possibly. I'd use a drawing salve more for splinters, abrasions, boils, and bites. Others can chime in on how they use it.
How deep was the wound? Was it bleeding? If you needed to stop the bleeding (assuming not an acute gash here and that you made a resonable attempt to to clean the wound), I would apply tumeric powder and pressure to stop the bleeding. Tumeric is antimicrobial and a hemostat (stops bleeding). If tumeric powder were not available, I'd stop the bleeding with just pressure and apply drawing salve over the area after the bleeding has stopped and "crusted up" a bit.
I seen a few abcessed fingers etc that resulted from folks just smearing Neosporin on the abrasion or cut and adding a bandage. Guess it depends on where the wound occured. I always have tumeric around the house as we cook with it.
I didn't realize there was a competition to be even about???
Some folks smear Neosporin on a wound without cleaning it and expect miracles to occur because it is "anti-biotic". They don't recognize the warning signs of infection until things are pretty bad. Most of the folks I know who have drawing salve around the house and use it for scratches and bites etc will keep a close eye on the wound and seek further treatment if things aren't showing rapid improvement.