1:02 PM

Welcome Back to my Blog!  Click images to enlarge 
I am escaping from my to do list # 2 
2.      Compiling a list for permission to use quotes from the RG Dun & Co. collection  I've done this    before- it just takes time and I respect their rules (between us, it is the best resource I have ever used...shhhhhh....well worth the two hour drive one way and tank of gas to use)  Guide
Yesterday I looked at The Ephemera Society’s Face book to find an interesting blog on food. Well, this got me to thinking about food in the 1850s. I pulled out an 1851 cookbook titled; Cook’s Own Book and free hand snapped a photo of the beautiful engraving above. It looks like an idealized place to be. The top shows preserving jars and bottles like you’ve seen at the Steamboat Arabia Museum. The bottom shows a bountiful harvest.

What was served in the 1850s kitchen was depended on what foods were ready for the picking. Canned foods were expensive at two dollars a can and the danger of lead poisoning was unheard of. Foods that could last the winter months in the root cellar were Potatoes, Turnips, butternut squash, onion to name a few. With our grocery stores importing foods from all over the world and hybrid varieties, we have lost this sense of eating for the season but there is hope- this sense can be relearned. I took my first step last spring when I purchased a “Farm Share.”
Local organic farmers here in New England sell shares of their crops allowing them to buy seed. Those who buy into the farm get a share of the harvest each week stopping at the farm. Mother Nature could affect the harvest like the tomato blight we had last year. Last week I got Boston lettuce, chard, parsley, bok choy and I expect this week to get the same. Veggies take time to grow and the 1850s kitchen, this time of year, were thrilled to serve the first taste of fresh greens. When was the last time you were thrilled with what you found on your plate?

While at the farm, I picked up a dozen eggs that brought me right back to my childhood on my Aunt Betty’s farm. The picture above shows what a fresh egg really looks like. The yoke sits high on the white and eggs have the favor of chicken.
One year as a present, I surprised my aunt with a dozen "Rhode Island Red" peepers (they grow up with black feathers not red).

Above- Butchered three pigs that weekend and yes, that is a pig's head behind me

I was very lucky to have the “Currier & Ives” Subsistence farm experience.  They grew, raised or shot what they ate (even squirrel), butchered, milked cows, canned everything, made lard and sold eggs, chestnuts, apples (Country King) and peaches etc… out of their house. I remember ice skating out on the pond, played in the coal pen, and could relate to John Denver’s song about a feather bed. My Aunt Betty was a humble lady who was criticized for saying they’d planted Red Beets this year because those who weren’t farmers thought all beets were red and never thought this was one variety of beet. You can tell by my tempo I really have fond memories.
Above I was lucky my children had some of the same experiences.