This photo was taken in the summer of 1954. I was a good big sister.
I am sure I did not let go and let my baby brother topple over..did I?
This photo sat in amongst a bunch of film to be developed for a long time. In January of 1956 the film was finally developed. Those were tough times financially for my parents..crop failures..grasshoppers..army worms..farming was a real challenge back then.
My much younger brother and sister don’t remember the hard times. By the time they were born in 1960 and 1966 my Dad had been working out on the road (construction) for many years to help make ends meet at the farm.
We didn’t have dry cereal out of a box.. only porridge either Oatmeal or Malt O Meal..or Cream of Wheat. I hated and still hate hot cereal. When we had chickens I learned to eat eggs for breakfast…over hard.
There was no syrup for pancakes or French toast. I learned to eat mine plain with butter. My Mom would boil up a syrupy concoction on the stove sometimes..but I found it too sweet. I still like my pancakes plain with butter.
We rarely had a candy bar and if we did it was shared. We would enjoy a whole candy bar all by ourselves every Halloween from Ray and Bev’s grocery store in Ponsford.
My Mom would can what she could..green and yellow beans ( I love yellow beans) and she made a sauce out of rhubarb that was wonderful. This time of year the jars would all be lined up on the shelves in the basement waiting for winter. Quart jars full of Peaches, pears, cherries and rhubarb sauce. Green and Yellow beans, old hens cooked and canned, and pickles..sweet and dill and my favorite Russian dills. Pickled beets and spiced crab apples in half pints. A working crock of sauerkraut..yummy! Sometimes I still get hungry for mashed potatoes covered in sauerkraut.
The only thing I disliked was the stewed tomatoes..I like tomatoes but only fresh ones..not cooked and not chunky. Sometimes supper was some macaroni with some of the horrid stewed tomatoes on top..I would eat the macaroni and slide the chunky tomatoes to the side of my plate..in fact I still do that whenever I encounter chunky tomatoes:)
Hunger is a big problem in the town and county where I live with my hubby, I spent a lot of time in the country far from this tiny town, but learned to make just about anything from my grandmother..I am fortunate to be able to buy the meat, protein and veggies and haul them by public bus, gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon, I use a cooler with free ice from the grocery store..make some great lunches and dinners for people who work like the dikens, pay bills and still not enough for them to have any any food it is nearing the end of August, people are mighty hungry..I would can if I had any extra money to do so, but we accept food from farmers and sometimes some sweet lady and gentlemen brings in food gleemed from a farmer off the ground...I read your blog daily, it sounded like you lived an ideal childhood, many here are not so fortunate, give Chance a big smooch and hug what a good doggie he is..ciao!!!!
Its funny, back in the day, we didn't even know we were poor. Dad was a builder, and his income was determined by the farm community around us. If they had a good year, so did we! Even when he was doing well, we never lived in excess. A good lesson to learn, always saving for a rainy day! Oh my, home canned pickled beets, my absolute favorite.
I was never so lucky to live on a farm or to have "real" food as I grew up. My mother always fixed a meat, a vegetable, and potatoes. When she discovered instant mashed potatoes, we never had anything else. I still dislike mashed potatoes, just like you and stewed tomatoes. I don't have much of a sweet tooth so I don't have pancakes, but sometimes my mom made them for dinner when my dad was away.
Your childhood sounds an awful lot like mine, only I didn't live on a farm. However, we did get eggs from a farmer and always had a big garden. So there was lots of canning going on. Candy was a real treat and the syrup was Karo Syrup boiled on the stove with maple flavoring put in. Boy, does this bring back memories.
Crab apple pickles - haven't thought of them in years! Helped can growing up, canned as an adult, don't can in retirement. Karo syrup was our syrup of choice, too, but no maple because Daddy didn't like maple. He was a wonderful father, but a very fussy eater!
Such a precious photo.
Rhubarb sauce is the best stuff in the world - great on plain cake or a slice of bread. Yum!
I can distinctly remember the smells of Fall and all the frantic pace of canning season. Thanks for jogging my memory.
Isn't interesting the circle that has gone round. Back then it was a necessity to can all that food, today these youngsters act like it is some kind of "special thing".
LOL I love rhubarb sauce! The sauerkraut I can do without.
I grew up in a poor family with 7 siblings. I LOVE macaroni and tomatoes! No sauerkraut please.
My grandmother canned - I remember "helping" her (mostly staying away from the hot stove). We didn't do syrup because Mom was one of the early ones about kids eating too much sugar. And this was in the mid-60's. We always had homemade applesauce on our pancakes, waffles, and french toast. Mmmmm....
Meredith feels the same way as you about chunky tomatoes:)
reading this post, Connie, brought back memories of my own childhood. I can't recall us eating many items that were canned or frozen, just lots of veggies from my parents garden.
This post reminded me of my own childhood, and of the days when my own kids were small. I also canned all that I could. My son hated the stewed tomatoes. He reacts the same way to chunks of tomatoes in dishes to this day. I love them!
Frugal certainly went with the early fifties. Living in the city we didn't have a big garden my mom was canning all the time in late summer. Veggies from cousins on the farm and crates of stuff brought home by my dad from the St. Paul farmers market which was a huge and interesting place for me...:)
You are making me hungry just reading your post. I was very lax this summer and we didn't get the time to put in our garden. Next year is a must though. I do have to get more tomatoes, beans, fruit, sauerkraut and lots of other veggies put up next year though! A must! I am the opposite, I don't mind cooked tomatoes, but I don't really like to eat them fresh all that much. I will eat them fresh but usually on sandwiches and things. Loved your post!
Lisa, the only way to get REAL tomatoes any more is to grow them in your own garden. Oh, how I miss real tomatoes...the kind you can eat fresh that aren't green on the inside and taste like rubber...People may have been poor back then, but they did have many delicious blessings!
Oh my, I adore the photo!
It's funny how our 'diets' as we grew up influence what we will and won't eat today.
Very descriptive time of life. I still like farm fresh stuff. I haven't had home canned food for a long time. I really liked canned chicken. You missed some things but in other ways you had so much more.
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