This was Mom’s E-mail from this afternoon… I hope you are as captivated as I am! Next time I see her, I will have to get pictures to go along with these stories!
I have a few minutes before dinner is ready…
As I mentioned before, Grandmother and Granddad BK had a large family — not terribly large by early 1900 standards, but certainly large for those of us in this century. Grandmom relied a lot on her garden to keep food on the plates. The garden was tended primarily by Grandmom and the children, particularly the female children, but the males did help when the heavier tasks were required.
Thanks to the garden, Grandmom had a staple supply of vegetables — which could be consumed or used as barter to get grits, flour, etc., from Mr. Becker’s store (the only one in the little town — and a story in itself!). I remember special dishes that Grandmom saved for large gatherings: a rice “salad” served cold with pineapple and raisins, a large bowl of grits, potato salad or mashed potatoes (always with gravy), fish that was caught by the men, of all ages, in the family and fowl which was brought back from hunting excursions. Grandmom had a large chicken yard — and was constantly admonishing us to “not” chase the chickens!
Did I mention that my grandparents did not have running water, indoor plumbing or even electricity until my mom, as a new teacher, paid to bring it to the house. Water was obtained from the well in the back yard; we had a water bucket with a ladle on the back porch. As a child, one of the first things you learned was to take only what you would drink. Putting back what you left in the ladle was absolutely forbidden — and water was too precious to waste. Grandmom cooked on a large cast iron wood-burning stove. It even had a marvelous water reservoir on the top so that she could heat water when she needed it.
Oops, time to get back to work on the quiche — with renewed thanks for the modern conveniences we have come to expect in our lives!