Old Gems # 5 Pickles

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Back in the 1920’s and 30’s….

“Children of all ages worked and had a lot of chores to do. The most undesirable chore generally was washing the everlasting, large stack of dishes after every meal and in between from baking.

Children’s summer vacations consisted of work.  Beans and cucumbers were planted by the acres to sell to the area canning plants.  Children helped plant, weed and harvest; being paid 1 cent per pound for beans and 5 cents a bushel for select small cucumbers.

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Since children always went barefoot, stepping on nails when running around the sheds was not uncommon.  A remedy used to draw out the poison was a slice of salt pork tied securely with an old rag over the foot (Penicillin had only just been discovered).  Blood poisoning was generally fatal.

Ear aches were treated with melted butter or skunk oil warmed slightly; blowing smoke from a pipe into the ear would relieve the ache considerably.”   – Janet Schwab

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Imagine the horror of kids’ faces today if they had to spend their summer vacations working (or wearing salt pork for that matter) to help support their family, rather than sitting around watching TV, texting and getting fat and out of shape. I’d love to see that happen!  America would surely be in a better (and healthier) place I would think? But what do I know?

Well I do know I’m looking forward to spring and summer, getting my hands dirty in the garden and growing some cucumbers so can I start making some pickles. ~A

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