Archive for Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aunt Norie’s sewing room

September 16, 2009

I’ve often thought I was born at a very special time. In 1920, I was 9 when the Great Depression hit, so I remember it well. There was so much history right in the making so to speak.

Then to top it all off, I married the youngest of nine children. I was the eldest of four and that put our mothers in two different generations. My mother-in-law did not remember the covered wagon, however, her older sister did.

They were still using a lot of the older ways of preserving food. In the corner of her garden she had this scooped-out large bowl area, she planted spring cabbage very early and then a couple of months (it seemed) the fall crop. Late in the fall before frost, she pulled the cabbage, stripped the outer leaves down to the nice clean head, leaving most of the root on. She turned the cabbage head upside down on the straw she had lined the bowl with, carefully so no head touched another. Another layer of straw followed and the whole mound looked like a small straw stack.

Any time through the snow and cold winter, she could burrow back into the mound, grab a root and pull out a fresh crisp head of cabbage.

I had also grown up riding horseback to school. We had tin lunch pails, now on collectors’ lists. You know, you’ve seen the Roy Rogers lunch pails with lots of cowboys on those. Another simple, little, round pail many kids had for lunch was syrup pails. Yes, pancake syrup came in round tin bucket pails with lids on, sturdy little pails. Many kids had them so they could run their arm through the handle and have their arms free to handle the pony.

She also used that same syrup pail for canning. I had trouble believing that would work and would be safe. But she would have peaches all cooked boiling hot with that pail upside down in boiling water. She then put the fruit into the bucket, placed the sterile lid on top, making sure it was completely set, and then poured hot sealing wax all over the edges.

I had learned to can in glass jars. I remember my great surprise when she opened one of those pails of peaches, every bit as good and the very same quality as those in glass jars.

Look for more next week.

God bless and keep our leaders in your prayers.

Aunt Norie, P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie 66086;


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