Sunday, December 14, 2014


Both Ina and her sister Bertha cooked on woodstoves their entire lives, but perhaps they didn’t mind. I think successfully baking in a woodstove is an art. The even heat bakes differently than our modern ovens which constantly cool and re-heat.
Ina & Bertha

Ina doesn’t mention baking cookies and goodies in preparation for Christmas. I don’t know if she did that. But in 1934, she writes that Bertha helped her with the Christmas dinner:

Christmas with Ina, 1951
Bertha helped me out by dressing a fat young rooster and bringing it ready for the roaster. She also insisted on making pies since I had my hands full – mince and pumpkin. One of each would be plenty, I said, but no – here came two each and ginger cookies frosted. She’d tried a new recipe. So we had mince and pumpkin pie with whipped cream on it, ginger cookies, fruit cake and do-nuts, and fruit and whipped cream for that, coffee, oranges, nuts and candy besides the after dinner mints. Well, we just parceled out the leftovers. Mr. Boehm got half of each kind of pie. I believe Mrs. Cordell got a whole pie, some donuts, cookies, and buns. Mr. Boehm also got some of each. Bee got the remains of the roast, buns and donuts, and this is how we do. It was a good day.” 

I love Ina’s observation, “It was a good day.” Initially I thought she seemed a little irked with Bertha because she showed up with too much food, but in the end, they were able to send food home with the guests, and Ina obviously felt good about that. KW

Monday, Dec. 14, 1896 -- on this day at Gilbert:
Warm last night or froze but little. Rainy part of the day. Ed, Gene, and Ben made shakes in P.M. Gene and Ben dug rock for their chimney. 
~M. L. Dickson


Hallie said...

Like you've said, farmers didn't have a lot of money but they ate well. It must have been a nice celebration.

Kathy said...

They had what they grew and put by, but they didn't have goodies. And as people grew older on the farm, it became difficult to cope. Mr. Boehm is an example. His wife had recently passed away and Grandma refers to him as "a poor lonely soul." Being able to share with him undoubtedly made Ina and Bertha feel good.