In The Old Days | Giftie Etcetera: In The Old Days

Saturday, April 19, 2008

In The Old Days

I'm reading a book set in the late 1800s. ("Saints" by Orson Scott Card. I'm always interested in learning about various religions, and Card belongs to the Church of Latter Day Saints (also known as "Mormons") and writes fictional stories about Mormonism. I read nonfiction about various religions, too, but fiction is more fun sometimes.) Anyway, a mom in this book is cooking dinner and nursing a baby and watching a toddler...and I'm overwhelmed just reading it.

While I was reading, Alan made red beans and rice for Ander and himself for supper. (I have a current pregnancy aversion to beans, so I turned down his offer of dinner.) The beans are from a can. (Called Blue Runner Creole Cream Style Beans, they are precooked for hours in onions and sauce. And they are cooked about 5 miles from our house. Sometimes, you can smell them cooking. Hence, my current pregnancy aversion.) The rice was Minute Brown Rice, nuked for one minute in the microwave. He added a slice of cheese (it's a family thing down here) and supper was done. I made Julienne Potatoes from a box. With cooking and cleanup (including rinsing the bowl and putting it in the dishwasher), it took about five minutes.

But in the 1800's, julienne potatoes would have taken at least two hours, between boiling and peeling and making a cheese sauce over an open flame. And red beans and rice took ALL DAY up until my grandmother's time. Plus, the mom in this book, and most moms back then, had tons of children.

How did they do it? And how can I ever complain about having to spend 15 minutes a day picking up mess, or 5 minutes cooking?


1 comment:

Stac Cole said...

I often wonder how Mawmie ever did it. But I think life back then was alot simpler and easier too. They didn't have things like TV and internet to distract them....and finding a recliner in the middle of the kitchen never seemed odd :)

Also, another thought is that more kids equals more help around the house! (or in the fields)