(The following was written by Marilyn Gibboney, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
In the “Sweets” category fudge, toffee and caramel were the special candy treats. sometimes the children would sneak a lump of sugar from the sugar bucket for a treat. My father told me they would wait until Grandma was busy and then sneak a lump of sugar. In the winter popcorn was a treat and enjoyed by children and adults. Before Christmas the children would string popcorn for the Christmas tree for decorations.
A special dinner with trimmings was fixed for Christmas dinner. Roast goose was the meat and the meal built around that. Thanksgiving it was duck or wild game. Easter was special but the meat was varied.
Not all people had this much variety and certainly not each year. There were good years and bad years. If there was a drought or heavy freeze, then that particular produce would not be available. When the vegetables and fruits were ripe and ready to process it was a very busy time. The daily chores made everyday a long hard one, but everybody was in the same situation. That was the lifestyle. If you wanted food to eat you planted, tended, harvested and preserved it. That was the only way. Nothing was ever wasted.
My father said nothing smelled any better than coming into the house on a cold winter morning after milking cows, and smelling large skillets of mush frying on top of the stove. At the same time from the oven would come the aroma of soupbeans baking in the oven with sowbelly on the top of them. These memories stayed with the early residents of our area all their lives and gave them stories to tell their children and grandchildren.