Mama’s Kitchen –

wood-burning-kitchen-stove Being the oldest of 4 boys and 3 girls, I was task with the job of filling mama’s fire wood box two times a day, morning before going to school and again late in the afternoon after school. It set next to her wood burning stove in her kitchen.

I can still remember the smells, sights and sounds in her kitchen. That old blue with white speckled enamel 1/2 gallon coffee pot, setting on the far right back corner of her stove, filled with hot water ready to make a pot of coffee within minutes at meal times or when we had friends or neighbors dropping by for a visit. The smell of mesquite wood burning. Her kitchen always had a lingering smell of fresh fried bacon and fresh homemade biscuits and white yeast bread.

Mama never reminded me to refill her fire wood box, but if in the early predawn morning hours everyone in the family found a sweet pickle and a slice of buttered white bread on their breakfast plate, I knew, I knew it was to late to get fried bacon, biscuits, eggs and gravy. I knew I was in serious trouble because I had forgot to fill mama’s fire wood box the night before.

IBR-1413046 - Β© - Florian Kopp Over the years as I got older I was given more responsibility and that lead to more important and difficult chores. Like hand milking our 2 old milk cows. That was a 2-time a day chore just like filling mama’s firewood box.
I’m not complaining about my chores. Everyone had chores that had to be done. My 2 oldest sisters were responsible for letting our poultry out of the coop in the morning and locking them into the coop at night to keep them safe from predators as well as feeding and watering the chickens, ducks and turkeys. Finding all their nest and keeping the eggs gathered.

In the summer months, each brother and sister had garden chores. Keeping the weeds pulled. No, no kid was allowed in the garden with a hoe rake or shovel. It was all done by hand so the plants were not damaged. Each was given a few rows to work. Each one had to care for and harvest tomato’s or maybe okra, pepper or squash everyday. What was harvested today mama cooked and served the next day.

When we started harvesting more than we could eat, mama canned the excess so we would have garden vegetables during the lean winter months. In the summer Mama sent us kids out to pick wild plumbs and in the fall we gleaned harvested potato and onion fields for missed and vegetables rejected because they were bruised or to large or small to be sold at the supermarket. Mama carefully cleaned and canned these vegetables as well.

This was life on a dry-land farm after the end of that so called Great Depression when WWII food rationing was coming to an end.

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17 responses to “Mama’s Kitchen –

  1. This is A Wood- burner!!! What an amazing huge thing!

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    • Re lenaf – Thanks for taking time to visit my little blog and for your comment(s)
      πŸ™‚ The stove is not really as big as it looks. The fire box is on the left side, taking up about 1/4 of the stoves width, in the center is a large oven and on the right side is a water tank for heating dish water or water for anything else that hot water may be needed for.
      Happy summergardening

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      • Thank you for the detail description. I still amazed by the stove, by its functionality and beaty as well. Haven’t seen anything like that! I saved the picture on my computer. Happy gardening to you as well ))

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  2. What an amazing stove! I have never seen on in that style here in Sweden. What an amazing heriloom for you children and Grandchildren. Thank you for sharing your charming childhood memory.

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  3. the stove is a treasure! so is this memory, i’m sure. i have very limited farm life on my grand’s (dad’s side – during school hols) when i was young. collecting eggs was a daunting job as i was afraid the hens might peck at me. thanks for bringing me back to my childhood on farm πŸ˜€

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  4. What sweet memories! Happy Nesting.

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  5. Thank you Robert, for revisiting the comforting memories of wood heat. In high school, it was my job to start the morning fires (we heated and cooked with wood), and milk the cow. Naturally, Winter in the Canadian Rockies can be cold. Wherever we go, whatever we do, whomever we become, it is the small responsibilities that make us big people. β€” The Healing Garden gardener

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    • Re garden98110 – Thanks for your kind thoughtful comment(s)
      Unlike most families today, we sat down as a family at mama’s table for 3 meals a day. It may not have been just what you wanted, but, it was all you were getting and.was always filling prepared. πŸ™‚ A coke and bag of potato chips cost 10¢ but who had a spare dime to spend on things like a coke and chips?

      Happy gardening

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  6. Having responsibilities as a child usually makes them a better adult. It teaches us a lot about real life.

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    • Re wordsfromanneli πŸ™‚ I did learn that I like hot homemade biscuits and gravy better than sweet pickles and buttered bread for breakfast!
      Thanks for your comment(s)
      Happy Gardening

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  7. wish I had that stove ! lovely story … now for more homemade biscuts

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  8. Loved reading this tale of your farm life and “stove chores”. I grew up in the city but spent the long summers on the farm in Tipperary,( mostly dairy farming). I had hen and kitchen garden chores.

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