Monday, January 20, 2014

An Old Time Kitchen

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters, May 2005.}

And ya know if ya make jam or jelly and it dont turn out or set up then pack it
 in your cupboard and use it for pancake syrup..Or you can use it in bread for a
 cup of the liquid..Or in muffins or whatever..The old time mothers didnt use
 recipes.they used what they had in the cupboard and nothing was wasted..I use a
 pressure canner to can beans. Yet the old time mothers didnt use .anything but
 the waterbath method to can their beans..For my tomatoes i use what we have
 always called the "open kettle method"..I just have 2 pots on the stove..One is
 the tomatoes boiling and the other is the jars and canning lids and rings
boiling..And then you work quickly to fill the jars while everything is boiling
 ..Then you cap the jars and you are done..I think Kelly does this in a more
 simple way..Kelly when ya have time wud you tell the ladies how ya do it? With
 my way you have to work real fast and make sure the children arent around at the
 time..or they cud  get burned from splashing hot water..I am thankful to say i have never burned
 any of my children during canning time..But my kitchen is so small that there is
 no room in there for more than one person anyway.I have the Little Rose today
 ..later this morning..Jim used to help his mother can when he was a boy. She
 canned outside and it was Jims job to dig 2 fire pits and put bricks around
 them for the big washtubs to rest on..One wash tub held the jars and the other
 one held the food to be canned..Mom Hultquist made all sorts of things in her
 washtubs..She made ketchup , pickles and canned many vegetables for the
 winter..She made rootbeer for the neighbor children in her big wash tubs...She
 canned her corn on the cob on the cobs in big jars..She made many different
 kinds of pickles.All the old timers made a barrel of saurkraut for the winter to
 keep in the root cellar..But you can make saurkraut in a few canning qt jars.Its
 easy, it just has to ferment.  I am good at fermenting.  No snickering from the balcony..thanks you so very much..In the fall i make blender ketchup,Jim loves it and even puts it on his
 fried potatoes..it is so delicious !! i make it in the fall after all the other
 good tomatoes have been canned...My sister in law Kris used to let me come and
 glean the rest of her tomatoes she didnt want in her garden after she had canned
 ..And in the fall i wud take the less than perfect tomatoes and clean them up
 and make tomatoe sauce and ketchup..Kris had the big farm garden and often
 planted extra for me, plus i had my own town garden..The old time Mothers wud
 make picklelilly in the fall...Just before a frost they wud pick the last of the
 vegetables in their gardens..They may have a handful of beans and some small
green tomatoes and some onions and dill..A few small peppers ..and a few
cucumbers.Some lil heads of cauliflowers, cabbage or brocolli.that grew back
 after the big heads were  cut..But whatever it was they picked it as they wudnt waste anything..They wud  take these odds and ends into their kitchens and put it all thru their steel
 grinders mixed with vinegar, sugar, fresh herbs and spices....And they made a
 pickle relish and canned it for their winter family tables..Most old time
 families had pickles on the table for most every meal and snack..Also homemade
 breads and berry jams and home churned butter..And this was not so long
 ago..And we can do all of this now if we need to or if we just put our minds to
 it..And Mom Hultquist had to have all her canning done by Saturday as she needed
 the wash tubs for the Saturday nite baths.Then Monday she had to have them for
 wash day.She had 13 children and never lost one thru any kind of neglect..That
 says alot for her..Never had a miscarriage.and raised her children right thru
 the Depression era..What a woman..Love connieh

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