|Daniel and Ellen McFadden |
in front of their farmhouse
The first thing I did yesterday was laundry. She would have been doing laundry, too; but she would have had to pump the water, heat it on the stove, wash the clothes in a tub, wring them out with a wringer, hang them on the line, and then fold them. She had thirteen children to enlist in the process, and I know from my grandmother that she did delegate. Still, all things considered, my load was considerably less work. I put the clothes in my washing machine, transferred them to the dryer when the washer beeped, and took them out of the dryer and folded them when the dryer beeped.
|Daniel and Ellen McFadden Family, 1907|
Great-grandmother didn't have an electric dehydrator; she canned everything. Over a wood-burning stove. In the middle of the summer in Minnesota. No electricity, no air-conditioning, no deep freeze in the garage in which to put them.
You see where this is going?
I washed out the dehydrator trays (I have running water! Heated running water!), prepared a big batch of kale chips and plugged in the dehydrator. I gave it a little wave and left it to do its thing for the next couple of hours. I weeded the garden, picked blackberries, squash, and peppers. I checked on the peaches, plums, pluots, plumcots and nectarines; they're all getting close, but done of them are quite ripe yet. I have a couple of days respite from preserving fruit.
Yes, most of my time in the summer revolves around preserving our harvest, just as hers did; and even though she had a lot of help from her children, she had to preserve a lot more than I do in order to feed them over the winter. I am grateful for her legacy, and I am extremely grateful for my modern conveniences.