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MICHIGAN FOOD & BEES

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

But beef and pork were often scarce, and tallow or grease of any kind could not be had. There were no pine trees in this region, hence pine knots could not be found. But in their stead we gathered the bark from the shagbark walnut tree, and when we needed light, pieces of this bark were thrown on the fire. This created a bright blaze that was nearly equal, and full as lasting, as that from the pine knots. The old iron crane, tricked off with its various sized pot-hooks and links of chain, swung from the jams at the will of the housewife, who hung on it the kettles containing the meal to be cooked for the family, and pushed it back over the fire where the kettles hung till the meal was prepared for the table. Pigs, chickens, and spare-ribs were roasted splendidly by suspending them by a wire before the fire. The baking was mostly done in the old brick oven that was built in one side of the chimney, with a door opening into the room. The old iron covered bake kettle sat in the corner under the cupboard, and was used for the various baking purposes. Many will remember the much used "tin reflector" that was placed before the fire to bake bread and cakes, and how finely it baked the Pink-eye and Meshanic potatoes. The settler's daily fare, from a lack of abundance and variety in his larder, was necessarily frugal. The provision in store was wheat, corn, pork, and potatoes. There was no fruit save the wild plums and the various berries that grew in the woods and lowlands. The bill of fare for the table was bread, pork, and potatoes. Pork, as we have said, was often very scarce, families often going without meat, save the wild game they killed, for a whole season at a time.

Michigan


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