Pioneer Cooking

Pioneers

 

There is a ‘cooking show’ on TV….supposedly about the pioneers’ cooking.

 

I watched part of one episode, then switched it off. This ‘pioneer woman’ was using aluminum foil…something that was introduced in 1947. That is not the period in time when the people were classified as pioneers.

 

In their time, these pioneer women planted a garden and looked after it until maturity….some vegetables (and fruit) were canned,..root vegetables were stored in a root cellar.

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When my family moved to the Cariboo in the early nineteen thirties, this is the way we lived, but we were not pioneers.

 

The root cellar was dug into the side of a hill, and roofed over with sod growing green, and with bins built in there to hold the produce.  It was cool in summer but warm in winter, and nothing froze.

 

They used a wood burning stove.images

 

Trees were cut in winter and snaked out with a team of horses, then cut to the size needed for the stoves.

 

Temperatures reached forty below (F). I remember going to bed with my sister. We took a hot water bottle for our feet, and when we woke  in the morning, it was  a bag of ice. Yes, it was cold!

 

McCauley Lake, about a quarter of a mile from our house, froze over. Ice was three to four feet thick! Yes, FEET. We had a team of Clydesdale horses…big, and weighed a lot, along with  a heavy wagon. That was driven out on the ice, loaded with cut blocks of ice, and hauled home! There it was a pile out behind the house, and the cut wood was thrown on top of it.   We were able to make ice cream in summer!

 

I just now realized how hard my dad and 2 brothers had to work to get that ice!

 

images-1Dad had a permit from the game warden to shoot deer and moose ‘out of season’ for food. There would be a moose hanging in the hay loft of the barn…and when mom needed more meat to cook, they would take a saw and go to the barn to get some.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Pioneer Cooking

  1. Great memories to share! Generations are growing up in cities with no idea what it was like for people who had to fend for themselves without being able to depend on icemen, milkmen, butchers, grocers and bakers, and on piped natural gas, oil or electricity.

  2. Wow – great memories, Norma. I really enjoyed reading about how it really was. I can’t imagine waking up to a frozen hot water bottle. We have grown so soft!

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