Monday, June 26, 2017

The Old Farmer's Daughter: The Poker Game

The Old Farmer's Daughter: The Poker Game: At the Old Farmer's house, once a month we had his in-laws over for dinner and the bi-weekly card (Poker :  ) game.  Every other two ...

The Poker Game

At the Old Farmer's house, once a month we had
his in-laws over for dinner and the bi-weekly card (Poker :  ) game.
 Every other two weeks we went to their house. 

Us cousins spent the afternoon playing.
It was out one day a week we had a treat, usually potato chips and dip.
Sometimes pretzels. Dip = sour cream and french onion soup mix.
When at the cousin's house, in the big city, we could walk to the corner
to get and ice cream. And our Aunt always made the best spaghetti.



The card game lasted late into the evening.
It was a serious battle for pennies.
When a diversion was called for Uncle would jostle
the table to shake over everyone's neat stacks of pennies. 
Everyone would boo and fuss at him! 
We young'uns would  lay upstairs in bed and listen to the fun.


At the end of the night all the pennies went into the
toy safes or tin boxes ready for the next game.


Monday, June 19, 2017

The Bedtime Story

 

TV was not such a big part of life in the 50s.
Of course most homes had  ONE TV,
 ONE black and white TV.
And they had children to change the channels!



But storytime was very important at bedtime. 
The Old Farmer would sit between 
the two twin beds after we were all settled. 
He made up delightful stories 
about a little girl's adventures
for his little girls. 




One time he was going to read us a book, 
one chapter each night. 
I suppose the plan was that we would be eagerly looking forward to the rest of the story and go to bed without a fuss. 
I think the chosen story was 
Treasure Island.
I think I usually fell asleep 
before the end of each chapter. 
  



But the bedtime story taught us all the adventures
one might find between the pages of a book
and we all became voracious readers in our farm family. 


Good night Daddy.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trilliums, Dogtooth Violets, and Jack in the Pulpits. Oh My!





   The Old Farmers Daughter,
     
               I loved roaming the fields and woods. 
             
                       The snow melting in the spring,
                      
                                   running off into the pond or creek.
                              
                                                     The new growth sprouting.   


 The front woods is where the sun set. 
Here was the tree with the "3 J's" carved on it. 
At the back of these woods was a small natural spring,
 a little beauty spot I liked to visit. 
There was a deadfall where the ermine lurked.
Squirrel were abundant.




 Jack in the Pulpits would be found.
Early in the spring you would find 
dogtooth violets snuggled up 
to the base of trees.



 The back woods were behind the swamp.
 There were huge old vines
and on the far side old barbed wire 
grown into the trees. 



  
    This is where the
trilliums flourished.
 Huge patches of giant trilliums.
 Mostly in white and a few purple mixed in. 



   There also were ironwood trees. 
The Old Farmer said they were so named for the obvious reason,
 they were like iron. You would be hard put to cut one down.




Of course I had to put this to the test. 
 I was quite handy with the hatchet
having cut down lots of small trees. 
So I tackled an  ironwood tree with optimism. 

   Which soon turned to a pessimistic attitude.

 The Old Farmer was right.
Why would I even question his wisdom! 
But, we learn through experience.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A STRAWBERRY SOCIAL



In the old days we used to have Strawberry Socials in the season.
     No that little fellow up there wasn't invited!

The Old Farmer's Wife had a strawberry patch. 
This was a business venture. The best berries
were sorted and boxed to sell. 
The Old Farmer's Daughters were recruited to help pick.
We also ate a LOT! 


The Strawberry Social would arrive at our Grandma's church.
Dressed in our Sunday best off we would go.
There was a lot of visiting and catching up among the adults.
The children waited for the Main Course.
Strawberries and Ice Cream! 




The season passes all too fast but a thrifty housewife
would have many berries put up in the freezer
and many jars of strawberry jam on the pantry shelves. 

For the new homemakers who wish to store good homegrown food out there, 
freezing berries is about the easiest thing.
Wash the berries (do this in small batches as they easily become waterlogged!),
 cut off the leaves, slice in halves or thinner slices, I like them thinner.
More surface exposed to sugar, more syrup forms and more delicious! 
Put in your freezer containers and sprinkle on a good amount of sugar! 
I eyeball it, but say a quart container or ziplock freezer bag about 1/2 cup.
More if the berries are tart. You don't have to use sugar, but quite honestly
they keep their color and flavor better with sugar. 

Frozen sugared berries are great for yogurt smoothies!