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Food and Funerals Traditions Part 5 Indiana

Food and Funerals Traditions Part 5 Indiana

Courtesy of of the New York Public Library

Courtesy of of the New York Public Library

I have been going through my collection of WPA food sources from the Great Depression era found in the archives of the Library of Congress in Washington DC. In our series on food and funeral we turn to the Indiana folder titled America Eats Notes, Reports, and Essays and the story “Pitch-In Dinner After a Funeral Service.” As always I have attempted to produce the content in a paraphrased format when necessary to make them legible and direct quotes as often as possible.Widow Mary next turned to “the cabbage relish and how many hot peppers to put in a 5-pound crock of it, and then corn relish and the pepper function of horseradish and pickling and finally came to a pause when a distant cousin brought up the subject of uncle John’s famous smoked ham.” Her husband always used green hickory and finished off the curing process with sassafras. He was great at making sausage too. He knew exactly how much sage and salt and pepper to use. She decided she would stay on the farm and go it alone. For her “it wouldn’t seem like living without sweetcorn and green beans and tomatoes and things like that. Somehow vegetables don’t ever taste the same when you buy them out of the store” she said.  “I’ll raise me some cucumbers for pickles, too.  And I’ll help probably dry some apples and can peaches and cherries just as usual, only not so many.  And I’ll expect I’ll pickle some pears and put up a few jars of persimmon pudding in case company come sometimes…. After a while everyone finished eating and the bustle of getting dishes and silver together to take home began. One by one the women in the men to slip up to Aunt Mary for goodbyes and offers of help, ‘anytime I can do anything just let me know,’ and finally they were all gone. Bill Daniels was coming back later, he only lived a mile down the road, take care of the stock and to “do the chores.”

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Food and Funerals Traditions Part 4 Indiana

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