Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wednesday, August 25,1926

Wednesday, August 25, 1926

Put up the rest of my peaches I bought Monday and bought about half a bushel more. I feel that every dollar I spend to put up fruit now means two saved on my grocery bill next Winter. So I am broke most of these days, but Smith trusts me till pay day and I’m getting a lot of fruit put up – almost got my cans full.

(I wonder how many cans of fruit and vegetables she put up each year? My other grandma was on a farm and she wrote the following about how they put up nearly 2,500 cans of fruits and vegetables every year:

We always had a big garden and would can lots of vegetables. The boys would pick lots of blackberries and some years we would can up to 400 quarts. We always canned around 225 to 250 quarters of peaches as Carl had an uncle… who had a big orchard. We would go down and pick about 10 to 12 bushels of peaches. Next day my Mom and Dad would come out to the farm to help. Everyone would sit on the front porch. The younger boys would sort and wash peaches; older boys would use a peach peeler. One would push the peach onto 3 prongs to hold it, the other would turn a crank and a knife revolving at a faster speed would peel the peach in about 2 seconds.

My Mom and Dad and Grandpa would cut peaches in halves to remove the seed and cut off any spots. Loretta (their hired girl) and I would take the peaches and cook in an open kettle about 15 minutes and can and it was a continuous process. By evening we would have about 125 to 150 quarts canned and lined up on the cupboards. It usually took two days to can 200 to 250 quarts. We gave Mom and Dad part of them.

Later when it was time to freeze corn in summer to put in the locker in Dale (Indiana), my father’s sister, Aunt Margaret from Cincinnati, would always plan her visit so she could be there to help cut off corn. Again Mom and Dad, Grandpa, and all the boys would each have their certain job to do and we would freeze about 50 to 60 quarts in a day.

We canned fruits, vegetables, pickles, jellies, etc. all summer, then when winter came, we canned meats both pork and beef to last all summer so during a year we usually canned 2,500 quarts.We baked bread twice a week, then rolls, coffee cakes on Saturday. On Friday, we always baked several cakes. All this on the old coal stove which really heated up the kitchen and whole house in summer.

I never will forget around 1935, one day Carl brought home a can of food from the store. I thought it was almost a disgrace to buy canned food. That was a sign of a lazy housewife. I took the empty can way over in a field and buried it so no one would see it around my house.” Written by Grandma M, 1982

One of the big differences seems to be that Grandma worked alone to can the produce she bought. Grandma M. grew most of what they canned and it was a family operation to can a lot of food.)


  1. We are so spoiled now. To go back to your garden blog, and how hard it has been to get much out of the vegetable gardens this year, think what it would be like to know that your family depended on what you grew in your garden in order to eat. It was a harder life back then.
    Kathy, the older sister

  2. I'm glad I was not a farmer's wife. I always thought they had a lot of hard work to do in a hot kitchen during the summer. Of course I think all wives had it harder back then as they were expected to do much more than the wives today. Today there are so many more conveniences & It's no sin to buy your food at the store.