The late summer and into fall was such a busy time for those who raised a big garden and their own meat for the coming winter.
My mother-in-law did as her mother and grandmother had done. She canned everything!
There were all those vegetables: tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peas,corn and more. Fruit such as apples and peaches.
A large kettle was taken to the yard and put on a big rock to elevate it so wood could be piled beneath it.
The jars that had been so carefully cleaned, then filled, would be set into the kettle and water added to cover them. Then the fire was lit, bringing the water to a boil.
After a time the jars were removed and there was no greater sound than the “ping” you heard when, one by one, the jars would let you know they had sealed their precious ingredient.
Sometimes the corn, still on the cob, would be put into a wooden barrel, filled with water and salt and brined. They would keep forever this way. Longer than you cared sometimes,i f you'd had your fill of it. Kraut was made in barrels, too.
Then there were dried apples. Miss Edith would spread sheets on the roof of the porch and place her sliced apples there in the heat of the day. Then she would bring them in the house at the end of the day so the dampness wouldn't get to them. The next day she would do it again, until they reached the desired dryness.
They were then stored away until some cold winter day when she would surprise the family with those good ol’ fried pies.
There was a Beef Club in Newby some time back. A man by the name of Heathman, who lived on what is now Jolly Ridge Road, organized it.
About a dozen men would form a group that agreed, in turn, to share one beef of their own a month. When the beef was killed, each man was given a portion. It was recorded who got what part and the next month you were given a different part. It worked pretty well.
A side of beef could be hung in the barn from a rope and pulley and covered with canvas. When you wanted to cook some of it, you went out, lowered the rope, got what you wanted and raised it back up till next time.
Weather has changed so much since those days it probably wouldn’t keep today.
Meat was canned right along with the vegetables. Everything but the squeal of the pig was canned. And the beef liver was always eaten right away.
On a cold winter night, as you sat around the table enjoying the harvest, you could take a bite, close your eyes and imagine those warm summer days when all this food was still on the hoof or in the garden.
Sure was good eatin’!
- Lifestyles & Community
Bee on the lookout as beekeepers convene
Summer vacation season is in full swing, and I had the pleasure of spending the last week and a half filling in at the Farm Store while the store manager, Bethany Pratt, got a welcome respite soaking up the beauty of Ireland.
Cicada-killer wasps are here
The extension office has received numerous phone calls over the past couple of weeks about large wasps hovering in yards all over the county.
This insect is called the cicada killer, and despite its aggressive name, it is not something to be scared of.
Converting from year-round calving to a controlled breeding season
Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers.
Uniform, heavier and more valuable calves are key reasons to keep the breeding season short.
Paper boys learned life, business lessons
I often flash back to the days from the mid to late 1930s when I was a paper boy.
There were 10 or 12 of us who rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. every day, jumped on our bicycles and headed downtown to the Glyndon Hotel and picked up our papers for delivery.
Here’s why teachers aren’t paid enough
The following were included in last year’s exams and were answered by 16-year-old high school students. The answers are genuine, and we must remember that these youngsters will grow up to vote, marry and become parents. It’s a scary thought.
4-H exhibits are family affair for the Houstons
Five children from the same family were the first to bring their 4-H exhibits Wednesday to the Madison County Fairgrounds.
Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus
The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.
Warning labels needed on energy drinks
The popularity of energy drinks has soared since they entered the marketplace, but at least one consumer group wants the FDA to order warnings on product labels.
Full Gospel ‛Back to School Bash’ is Aug. 2
I guess everyone is asking, “How much rain did we get?”
Thank the Lord for the rain
Hello readers, it’s a stormy Monday evening as I write this, and I’ve been thanking the Lord all day for the good rain – over an inch in the gauge now, and it looks like more before morning.
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