As I placed apples in the storage closet, my mind was thinking on these uncertain times for 2020. I began to think of my grandmother Maggie and how she raised 9 children during the great depression. Times were very hard for them and others. My grandmother was born in 1889 and she married in 1909. These were the days of wagons, horses and yes, she lived a life much like Little House. She saw hard times, death, war, the first car, planes, lived on a river boat one time and rode buses but she never learned how to drive.
My grandparents were poor before the depression hit and living during the great depression life became even harder for them.
My grandmother had no choice but reuse, save and make do with what she had been given to work with. However, she knew her plants and berries in the woods to help feed her family. She would take the older children in the woods and teach them which plants and berries were safe to eat. She knew which bark to use and how to make tea from flowers and roots. Many times she and the kids would gather walnuts to store for later. She would pick flowers to dry and use for teas or just brighten up their home. She always had a large garden and a kitchen garden.
Early in the morning, her older sons would go out and kill a couple of rabbits for supper. Grandma Maggie would cook the rabbits along with carrots and potatoes from the root cellar that was located under her house. She would pinch a hand full of dry herbs that hung on her kitchen wall and toss it in the rabbit stew. She placed the stew in a cast iron kettle and cooked it all day on a wood cookstove. Kindling and fire wood was placed in the woodstove all day to make sure supper would be ready by six.
After the stew was on, she would send the boys out to the woods to collect greens to be cooked in bacon grease to go along with supper. By supper time, the rabbit was so tender it would fall off the bone. She always served it with homemade biscuits and a pat of butter. Nothing was wasted. She would save the last spoonful of food and the last biscuit. She would always say, "someone may come in later and be hungry."
I thought I would share with you the struggles and life during the depression of my grandmother Maggie. Who knows maybe we can learn from it in these uncertain times.