Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cast iron pot...

Our mom had a big cast iron pot...I don't think it had a handle.  I also think hers was taller and not quite so wide in diameter as this one.  I don't remember where she kept it, or what has happened to it.  She only used it a couple times a year that I know of...well, maybe give or take a time or two.

She made lye soap in it.  I don't know of anyone besides her that ever made lye soap.  And I think when she made a batch of it, a batch lasted longer than a year.  I don't even recall what she used it for.  I think I remember her using it for laundry occasionally.  Maybe rubbing on a stubborn spot and washing on the washboard.  I almost think she maybe added some to the regular wash water.  (We were washing with a wringer washer.)

She also used this same pot to make lard in.  When I was growing up, we raised and butchered 4 hogs every year.  I say we...but I really didn't have much to do with it.  It was my mom and dad and brothers.  At least that I remember.  But the one thing I did do was help cut the fat into chunks for mom to make lard with.

I can remember every thing just being coated with grease from us handling the fat and cutting it into chunks.  I can remember the feel of it on my hands.  To the best of my memory, we cut the fat into chunks an inch or so...we were not exact.  

I don't know how long mom could wait till she made lard.  I would think she would have had to make it within a day or two because we had no place to refrigerate the pieces of fat.    Anyway, she used the cast iron pot.  She always built a small fire, and I think she used bricks to set the pot on over the fire.  And the pot was filled to the brim almost with the fat.

She always used a small fire...didn't want to get it to hot.  I am not sure why.  Hoping one of my brother will maybe fill in the pieces for me.  For stirring, she had a stirrer similar to the one the woman is using in this picture.  I can remember mom making me stand and stir...I think the fire was kept small and we had to stir almost constantly to keep the lard/grease and cracklings from scorching.

And she always made the lard outside, and sometimes did it for other neighbors.

How I wish I had written stuff down back then....or had better memories.

Sarah sent me the following conversation between Lorelei and her daddy this evening:

Lorelei:  daddy, you're not the boss of me.
Jeremy:  excuse me?
Lorelei:  you're not the boss, God is.

I don't know what they were talking about...I didn't think to ask.
The house was just soooo quiet after we got back from taking her to meet her mom.   While she was here, one of the morns we were talking about what we were going to have for breakfast.  She says, "I know what we could have!"  I ask "What?'  She says, "Biscuits, gravy, and sausage!"  Of course I fixed it the next morn.

But that is not the point of the story...the point is on Sunday night she was talking to her mom and dad...she told them, "I'm coming home tomorrow."  And I forget what they say...something along the lines of Oh, okay.  Then she pipes up, "But I Got to Eat First!"  I just figured she was saying that because I always tell her we have to have breakfast before we can leave.  She is fine the time she stays here, but usually on the day she says she is going home, she would like to get up and just leave.

Anyway, that night as we were settling down for sleep, she was asking me if I had packed her stuffed toys, and did I have her dirty clothes, etc....and I said yes, I thought I had everything but we would check before we leave the next morn.  She says, OK, but I got To Eat First!  I figures she was leading to having biscuits and gravy a second timem or more of her papaw's pancakses, so I asked what she wanted.  She didn't know...she just knew she had to eat!


DeniseinVA said...

Wonderful post! That's a cute story, I got to eat first. Love it! I also enjoyed your memories of your mom. Wish I had asked more questions and written more things down but I guess that's just the way it is. We don't figure it out until years later. I'm just thankful that I have the memories that I do and I have tried to record them.

Quiltedtime said...

I remember when lard was standard fare. We sent one of our hogs to a professional butcher and it came back with a giant tin of lard. I guess that is something people really wanted and expected to get back when their hog was slaughtered. Now I am allergic to pork. Really.

Montanagirl said...

Lorelei is so funny - And a very quick study I think!

joyce delph said...

Rose I was reading some of your post and enjoyed reading about your life. Also loved seeing your quilts, was looking for pictures of your string quilt but haven't found it yet.

Lynne said...

The stories . . . the innocence . . .
I am often wishing I could ask my mom and dad things, wished I had been more astute to have done so when they were alive.
Maybe why I believe in and try to tell my stories . . .

Small City Scenes said...

What a kid, that Lorelei. So cute. So funny. Are you writting all this down and not just on your blog?

Bob and I just rendered beef fat into Suet. sorta like rendering lard. Lard is pig--tallow is beef. I know you know that.
we are not using the tallow for making anything but suet for the birds. It is so pretty and shiny white. We cut it up in small pieces and then through the meat grinder hoping it would cook faster. MB

Sandra said...

mother used Crisco lard and i have never seen the home made lard...i like the pot, i could build a fire in it and take photos...LOL.
L is just to cute for words... i wish i had asked mother questions and written them down because the details of memories are gone. and non one knows because they are all deceased now. mother, daddy and all my aunts and uncles... that leaves us with a lot of gaps in memory

don said...

I enjoyed reading of the "lard' making days. The conversations with Lorelei are priceless. What a sharp yound lady!

Caron said...

That's funny how kids get things stuck in their minds and it becomes A Thing to them. Did the lard smell as it was cooking? Were your hands soft for a bit after you got that chore done?

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I remember my mother always used lard when cooking and I also used it during our early years of marriage. When you had hogs butchered, the lard would usually be put into a big can, maybe 10 gallon can? It would last a long time if you kept it in a cool place. I loved the cracklings!
I'm like you and wish I'd written things down.
Lorelei is just too cute. Love reading about her and the things she says!

Carletta said...

My Dad lived and grew up on a farm. We don't have but a couple of old treasures. One is a glazed jug my husband dug up out of the ground near an old cellar house and the other is a iron pot big enough to make apple butter in. My husband helped my Dad carry it out of the 'hollow'. It had a handle so they used a pole to carry it on. It sits on the top of an old cistern at my Mom's. I never thought to ask what they used it for exactly but I assume it served many uses. I'm sure my Dad could have told me stories but back then it wasn't an interest like it is to me today.
You have your blog which is a record but you should write your stories down for Lorelei to keep. Don't just write down your stories but her 'stories' with you as well. :)

Dee said...

I just love hearing about Lorelei...I always smile or giggle out loud. Sometimes I wish I had grown up on a guys all have such interesting stories to share.

Dee said...

I just love hearing about Lorelei...I always smile or giggle out loud. Sometimes I wish I had grown up on a guys all have such interesting stories to share.

EG CameraGirl said...

I wish I had asked my grandparents more questions and written the answers down. What a shame that we don't care so much until it's too late.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

that child would have been a hit on Art Linkletter.
In the winter, my cast iron pot stores firewood by the wood stove. In the summer, not sure yet...haha.