An old-fashioned way of preparing hulled corn was to put a peck of old, dry, ripe corn into a pot filled with water, and with it a bag of hardwood ashes, say a quart. After soaking a while it was boiled until the skins or hulls came off easily. The corn was then washed in cold water to get rid of the taste of potash, and then boiled until the kernels were soft. Another way was to take the lye from the leaches where potash was made, dilute it, and boil the corn in this until the skins or hulls came off. It makes a delicious dish, eaten with milk or cream.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)