Hominy is made by soaking dried corn in cold water until swelled and then boiling with wood ashes (1-5 parts by volume of ashes to 10 parts dried corn) to loosen the skins or husks. Or dissolve 4 Tbs. store-bought lye in 2 gal water; add 2-4 qt. of dry corn and boil 30 min; drain and use the lye water for the next batch. After cooling, the skins can be removed with a strong water spray or by rubbing between the hands in a bowl of cold water; pick out the remaining hulls by hand. Hominy can be cooked until soft (2-4 hr), added to stews, or dried and ground for grits or tortillas. It was commonly mashed with a fork and fried with a little butter or bacon grease until soft. Pioneers who were not near a mill cracked or ground some grain with a wooden mortar and pestle. For this purpose, corn was usually soaked until soft, parched, or made into hominy.