Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Homestead Writings

I know some of my homestead writings to some of you lately are over the top. And yet I feel a real calling to write this stuff. I feel such a calling to leave something behind … my footprints in the sand, I guess.

I know that I am a cook who moves by inspiration and not usually by a recipe. But the pioneer mothers didn’t have all the right ingredients all the time, either. In the summer I used to go out to my garden at supper time, and whatever I had a lot of, that was supper for the night. Once Jim grew these carrots that were fat as sweet potatoes. I had to take an ax to ’em to get them cut in half, but once boiled, they were good. I mean, a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Well, I raised six children, and they were all well and healthy and still are. All of them are on the thin side and Jim is, too. So when I write about the Pioneer Mothers some of the writings are a lot “me.”

I don’t write recipes I have never tried. Well, I don’t write recipes, anyway. When I first learned to cook as a young bride of 19, I used the recipes. But over the years, you learn how to cook and then you know what you can do with a recipe. When I had all of my children at home and little groceries, I just decided I would make it, one way or the other, and I did.

And my children will tell you the funniest stories you ever heard about some of the meals I put together. Christian Joy loves to tell about bringing her boyfriend home for supper. I had just one can of green beans for a vegetable. So I just put three beans on David’s plate … he was about 7 or 8. So he ate his beans. I mean, I had a lot of other food out, too. But, anyway, he asks if he can have more beans and I said yes. And he went in the kitchen and got three more beans. But, like I said, we had a lot of other cheap food out, too. But Christian’s boyfriend didn’t know this and will never forget it. Christian Joy and I love to laugh. And I think she just brought friends home to supper so she could laugh later at their expressions.

Also, I had a friend I went to school with, Janice. She came from a family of seven children. They were having company, and so the mother told the children not to ask for seconds, as she didn’t want to be embarrassed about not having enough. So after the dinner was over, the children licked their plates. The mother, of course, was embarrassed to pieces. She was a dear old Catholic mother and was mortified that her children licked their plates.

But, ya know, we as mothers have to learn to laugh at ourselves and our problems and go on. Yet a lot of what I write is serious and may help some dear mother in the by and by, long after I am happily dead and on to my reward.

The family joke, too, was that Mom started out every meal with a pound of hamburger and went on from there. I remember once Christian Joy inviting someone to dinner and she ran out in the kitchen as I am frying the hamburger. As she looked into the fryin’ pan, she says, “I hope this is goin’ somewhere, Mom. I really do.” And I said, “It is, Christian Joy, don’t worry.”

Sometimes the kids would be embarrassed at what I put on the table, especially if we had company. But then, often, we would all break out laughing and it was a meal we never forgot.

Jim would get sick of all of us and he would bang his fist on the table and yell “Eat!” Dan loves to tell the story now that when Papa yelled “Eat,” their milk glasses would rise into the air about a foot and the children learned to catch them in midair.

Sometimes I had to pretend I had dropped something under the table so I could hide my laughing face.

One time, Mary had a friend over for “Tuna Casserole.” Patty said she loved Tuna Casserole. Well, I forgot the tuna or I didn’t have any to put in … I cant remember. And later Patty said, “That was good Tuna Casserole but it didn’t have any tuna in it.”

And so go the tales … in the life here at the Hultquist Homestead.

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