When my mom was a child, she used soap her grandmother, who was a daughter of Utah pioneers, made from bacon and hamburger drippings for laundry soap. It amazes me that not really all that many decades ago people actually made things. I make bread; I occasionally sew things; I cook my own food instead of buying pre-made or going out. But there is a whole class of stuff I would never consider making, and wouldn't have a clue how to go about making.
I have been reading the Letters of Catharine Cottam Romney, Plural Wife off and on since I had Sylvia. The thing that's struck me most about the life she describes in her letters isn't the polygamy; it's the starkness of her life. She and her family lived at a subsistence level, growing just enough to live and probably not much more. Her most frequent requests from her parents (who lived in St. George) were for papers and for fruit, which apparently didn't grow in Arizona and Mexico. I may be a descendant of pioneers (as are the lovely young women featured on the DUP site) but the more I read about their lives, the more I realize my life is nothing like theirs.