Saturday, December 8, 2007


Can you guess that I love barns? This barn is along highway 41, in Parke County. Maybe it is because I spent so many happy hours in the barn when I was a child. It was one of my favorite places to play...going to the barn to milk the cow, feed the pigs, and feed the cows in general was never a chore for me. And even though that has been over 30 years ago, the smell of cow or horse barn is a pleasant smell to me that takes me instantly back to my childhood.

We were dirt poor in so many ways. We raised almost all the food we ate...we raised and butchered four hogs every year, we almost always had a cow or two that we milked, and raised all our vegetables. And we picked wild blackberries, as well as there was a couple old apple trees that my mom gathered apples from to make jelly with. To this day my favorite job on earth is to pick blackberries. Why I don't know...as a kid I always ended up with bunches of chiggers...if you have never had them you haven't missed anything other than misery!

My mom filled every jar she had and also had a deep freezer that was always stuffed to the brim with food we raised. And there would be guys bring truckloads of peaches up from Georgia and drive along the roads and stop and ask if you wanted to buy peaches...my mom always bought a couple bushels and we would freeze and can them. It is so refreshing to come in from hoeing the garden and to have peaches that are just beginning to thaw--that are still in that crystallized state. I am getting hungry just thinking about them.

We had cornbread almost every day of our life, and my mom made biscuits every morning too...there were a few times when she got bronchitis that she didn't get up and make biscuits but I bet that was not five times a year. And her biscuits were unlike anybody's I have ever seen. But oh, so yummy good! When grand kids were home, I have seen them have her make them a pan of biscuits after breakfast and they would eat every one of them.

She didn't measure anything, just mixed them up by feel. And she didn't roll them out and cut with a cookie cutter, she just pinched off a little bit of the dough, and worked it between her hands, and placed in the pan. And every one was the same size! I do not know how to explain what they were like...but I would give anything to have a pan of them right now!

Another thing I never hear of any where up here is shucked beans...or do not even hear them called dried beans. We always took green beans and snapped the ends off them, and if need be we took the 'strings' off--I wonder if anyone that is reading this knows what I mean? Anyway, then we would have just use regular string/or crocheting thread and a big needle and would run the beans on the strings and hang them to dry. And everyone called them shucked beans down there...they had a sort of strong flavor, but I really liked them. I think I have a picture somewhere of some...I will hunt for it after while and scan it in...

Enough reminiscing for now...

4 comments:

Barb said...

Oh my gosh Rose, YES I do know about the beans ~ but we did not string them on the string, we snapped the ends, pulled the strings and then canned them! Jars and jars of canned vegetables and fruit lined our shelves in the *cellar*! The worst thing for me was to go to the cellar and bring up the jars of canned things for the meals ~ SCAREY!! You know "scarey" because that is where there would be dark corners and low ceilings and a coalbin...and *rodents* ~ chills just thinking about the *rodent* part of it!

I also grew up in a home with little means, but it is amazing how we made do...and I learned so well how to *make do*...and I consider that a very valuable lesson for *life*!!

Thank you for taking me back to the days...some are good memories and some not so good but all of them can be applied now! Barb

Pieceful Jane said...

Thanks for sharing. It takes me back to my grandma'a house. She also canned and froze loads of homegrown goodies. She could make a feast from nothing at the drop of a hat and her house always smelled wonderful. Thanks for the warm fuzzy.

Marge said...

Rose - yes, my DH still goes and buys green beans, sits and "snaps" them for me - we add red potatoes, onions and bacon and he thinks he is in heaven. This was a dish I didn't grow up with but he did and I certainly use it now. I also can relate to what barb said about the scarey cellars. My grandma's cellar was very scarey like that but it sure held lots of wonderful things.

Rose said...

I still haven't taken the time to see if I can find the photo of beans strung up on string...and Marge, I didn't grow up with green beans, potatoes, and bacon or ham in my case,either, but I sure love it. I always try to cook that when I feel a cold coming on...feel like smelling and eating the cooked onions helps.

By the time I was old enough to remember we had built the 'new' house so I didn't have a cellar to go into...

And yep, mom could always come up with a wonderful meal for company even if they were unexpected. And here I can run to the store for anything I happen to need or want and I still like to have time to plan meals.

We are still a make do-make it yourself family. For one thing, I usually don't want someone doing for me what I can do for myself, but other times we just simply have to do it ourself to be able to afford i--whatever it may be.

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