Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Week 28: Summer. What was summer like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.
Living in the country in Kansas, it was usually hot and windy. During the summer we would harvest the wheat, Mom would fix a meal, to take to the field, and we would eat our noon meal out in the middle of the wheat field. One of the special treats my mother made was fresh squeezed lemonade. To a gallon of water she would add the juice of 3 lemons, and 1 orange, then add sugar to taste. It was put in the jug over ice cubes, and was a good cold drink out there in the hot field. Many times for the evening meal we would go in to town for supper at the restaurant.
Back on the farm, mom would be tending her garden. We always had fresh radishes, leaf lettuce, string beans and peas. Some times she would have a patch of sweet corn. It was also during the summer months that the chicks we had gotten in early spring were reaching the age to either be the new egg layers or be butchered for eating. One of my jobs was to bring out the pails of scalding water out after my mother had wrung the necks off the chickens. I didn’t enjoy watching them flop all over the place. Then we would scald the feathers and pluck the chickens. I was 10 or 11 when I asked my mother to show me how to cut up the chicken. After that I would help pluck, and butcher the chickens. Some days up to 25 a day. When we were dressing chickens we would almost always have a fresh one fried up in Crisco for supper with mashed potatoes and white gravy.
If there weren’t chickens to dress, there would be peas to shell, and beans to snap. My mother canned which was also done during the summer months. We did not have air conditioning, but we did use a lot of fans.
A real treat was a day when I got to go to swimming. The pool was 15 miles away, so I didn’t go everyday. After my swim, we usually stopped at the Sweden Crème. They served soft ice cream. On a hot day, after a swim, a banana split tasted sooo good.
Another favorite treat was on the Fourth of July we would buy our first watermelon. To keep it cold we stored it in the milk cooler, where the milk cans were kept until the truck came to pick them up. It was so cold and refreshing.
Summer was always a busy time on the farm.
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.
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