Wednesday, October 22, 2008

THE WAY IT WAS

I just read this at Minion Report. It is a response about depression cooking. My step father used to tell about even eating the chickens feet as a boy when they grew up on the farm. Wish the farm was still in the family, alas. Jim Haddix

We raised just about everything we ate.

The only things we bought were sugar(but we used honey for most things), cocoa(the powder), salt, pepper(grew our red), and some spices.

About everything else we grew and swapped with others or bartered. Some of our wheat became flour, corn became grits, cornmeal, and feed for the animals.

We ate chicken, pork, beef, and wild game. One morning I caught six rabbits and had them skinned/cut up before going to school. A buddy and I shot 26 squirrels one evening. We only had 27 bullets and missed one shot.

We fished whenever possible and what ever bit got eaten. We drew the line at Carp and "Jack fish" but everything else was edible.

Sugar cane made molasses. Potatoes(sweet and Irish) were put into "hills" to keep over the winter. It was more work to "hill" them than harvesting. Green tomatoes were picked prior to frost, individually wrapped, and put up sometimes to past Christmas. Peanuts were hung upside down in a crib building to totally dry. The meat was salted down and later hung by wires to "rat proof" them.

When Mom wanted country ham(the only kind we had) she would simply slice off some and start cooking. We boiled our own pork fat down for the lard and then put the "cracklins" into cornbread or just ate plain(you call them pork skins today). Nothing was wasted on a hog. Brains and eggs were a delicacy(wasting disease was not heard of back then). Some folks even used the lungs for something but I don't think we ever did.

Pork tongue and beef tongue were delicacies that us kids fussed over. We did not know we were poor.

We had an old Chevy PU that had to be pushed off more times than it cranked by itself, an Oliver diesel tractor with all the implements, two mules/cows, several hogs, lots of chickens, guineas, couple of goats, and rabbits to chase down in the fields.

We had about a 200 acre farm that kept us very busy. On occasion we would work other's fields for pay.

The combine only had a six foot head and it took forever to harvest a field with it. The grain had to be put into sacks and individually tied, then picked backup off the ground, and stored in the dry

Lots of work-when I went into the Marines I made higher on my initial physical readiness test(PRT) than when we finished. My old DI just could not stand it when I told him I really appreciated them making a man out of me-lol, wc

2 comments:

scoutinlife said...

Thanks for sharing some of your childhood memories with us....

MeadowLark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.