Thursday, 28 July 2011

Feeding the Dream

  When my husband and I had made the decision to settle in our home here on the lake I knew I wanted it to be a little homestead like my grandparents place. I spent  many of my summer days there and it left an
indelible impact on my life. My grandparents were largely self-sufficent. They raised a hog every year, had chickens for meat and eggs, raised rabbit to eat and sell. My grandpa fished and hunted also. They had apple
trees, gooseberry bushes, nut trees and a huge garden, of course. Grandma canned and dried most of the foods. There was a cold cellar for root crops. I bet many of your grandparents lived a lifestyle similar to this.

Many years ago when our family was young we were able to have a huge garden and enjoyed canning our bounty. This is one of the old canning books that my mother gave me from her collection. It is so much more than just a canning book to me though. It's an encyclopedia of life from a by-gone era. It is the book I turn to when I want to "keep the vision before me". Oh, I know I'm not really going to implement all the self-sufficient procedures they use in this book, but  I love to pick it up every now and then and dream about all the possibilities.

As you can see this canning book was published in 1942 during WW2. Here is a small portion of the inside cover. Certainly an indication of a completely altered lifestyle and much sacrifice for the families of that time.
But also, a willingness on behalf of a nation to pull together and do what had to be done.

What do you think of this way of drying your foods?

  •         And then we all need a recipe for homemade yeast and soap.           

    I can't begin to copy all the helps that are in this magazine. If you have any questions  about information you think may be in the contents of this book, just ask and I'll be glad to  find the info
  • and send it on to you.
  • I think tomorrow I may have to dedicate the post to asking editing questions. As you can see, I'm having quite a time with the alignments on this page!  Have a great Thursday!


  1. This is awesome....kind of like a grandmother to Mother Earth News.

  2. I just finished a book called "Farm City" and you would enjoy it I am sure. It all sounds so romantic but it also is a huge amount of work and commitment. I wish you the best............

  3. I am fascinated! I read everything you put up and my eyes hurt!! ;) What a treasure. I too love to get into the life of people by seeing how they were living their every day life during a period. Of course the kitchen and garden are 2 of the most alluring.

    Blessings, Debbie

  4. This is soooo interesting - but what is water glass?

  5. What a special treasure in more ways than one! I love this type of book and always pick up anything like it because of the wealth of information and history.

  6. Pondside
    Waterglassing was a way of preserving eggs for up to two years without refrigeration.
    It is sodium silicate. It is still produced by the Reliance Ink Co. in Winnipeg, Manitoba. But can be found in poultry feed stores and some drug stores. Type in "waterglassing eggs" to get more info. It's very interesting!

  7. Oh, I love books like this! I had never heard of water-glassing eggs. We usually give away excess or sometimes sell a dozen here or there. Our hens haven't been laying very well this summer. They're still upset about the raccoon taking one out earlier this summer :-(

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  10. All your old articles,(previous posts and current), are wonderful. Are they from magazines or just pamplets?

    Your Grandparents have given you a rich history. Now, you are living that dream. How wonderful is that!

  11. Our parents and previous generations certainly had to learn how to do things at home and to preserve as much food as they could. I guess the hard lean 30's and the war years made it so and to live in the country or on a city lot with a garden would be a blessing. It must have been hard for those city dwellers living in tenement housing to survive by times. Your book is a great one to have on hand. Have a great day! Pamela

  12. That is awesome book. I have lots of soap recipes but I have never seen one that simple before. I will have to try that one. I really did at one time dream of living off the grid. So I read everything I could get my hands on about it.
    I did make my own dehydrator once in my backyard. It worked really good too. I even dried grapes on my roof for raisins.
    I love stuff like this. So glad you shared all of your wealth of information.

  13. I would love to have such a book -- lucky you .. about the drying over a stove - not sure about it in the summer - maybe use it in the winter??? good ideas back then that's for sure - Yes, my parents did most of those things..

  14. Kristeen
    I noticed it said "laundry" stove so I'm wondering if it wasn't a stove located in a summer kitchen.
    It was popular in Missouri were I was raised to have a kitchen separate from the house for canning. This kept the heat out of the home.

  15. Our grandparents were very good at taking care of themselves. It seemed like they knew how to do everything! It was a simpler time in some ways but a more complicated one in others. :)

  16. Not only my grandparents but my parents themselves were self sufficient. I grew up on a farm and we lived off the land. There was a grocery truck that came through every Saturday...and you placed your order for what you wanted delivered the next week. It was a Red&White store...the chain is long gone. Great memories here-xo Diana

  17. That is just great...what a treasure.

  18. I remember my grandmother canning in the heat of the summer over a wood stove. I would like to more self sufficant but some of the work scares me. I would like to can though


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You are dear and lovely friends!