I was just looking at the “Old Rumford Cookbook” and I thought about grandma Smith. I’ve had some bad things to say about her in the past, but she had a lot of good qualities also in one of these was cooking. Ma Smith was a great cook and I ate a lot of of her cooking while I was growing up. If you think it’s hard to cook now. you should have lived during Ma Smith’s time. She cooked all of her life on a wood stove.
Every morning when she first got up she would build a roaring fire in the cookstove. Now the stove had a water tank on it and furnished hot water for shaving bathing etc. In those days Ma and Pa didn’t have a water heater.
She not only did the cooking but she went out and cut the stove wood and a lot of time she went and got the wood from the woods. She dearly love to go down in the woods and hunt for litard “rich light wood.” She used it to start the fire in her stove every morning. I can remember one time she was chopping wood and the peace of the wood flew up and hit her in the face and broke her glasses. Fortunately I it did not injure her eyes, but it sure did not knock her in the face.
I remember going out to Ma and Pa’s especially on Sunday for dinner and she would cook roasts and fresh vegetables and things like that. No wonder I was a chubby little boy.
After she got her stovewood up then she would prepare the food for cooking. Vegetables didn’t just come out of a package but had to be shelled, pealed, washed and cut depending upon what it was. Meat also had to be prepared and it was either canned or dried because refrigeration was not very common in those days. It greatly reduced the amount of work required when the rural folks got electricity.
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