Memories of Baking Cookies with Grandma

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, December 4, 1914:  Nothing much doing. More later on.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

As the holidays approach, I’d like to share a memory that includes both my mother and Grandma.

Mom always organized a cookie-baking party on an evening a week or so before Christmas. Each year my brother and I rushed to finish our farm chores so we could eat an early supper—and then bake cookies. Following the meal, we washed the dishes while Mom went to get Grandma, who lived in a bungalow two miles away.

Soon Grandma would be struggling through the kitchen door carrying a huge basket filled with cookie ingredients—walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, flour, baking chocolate—and her recipes.

We’d sort through Grandma’s (and my mother’s) recipes, and try to decide which cookies to make. Many of the recipe cards indicated that the source of the recipe was a great-aunt, cousin, or other relative.

The decision about which cookies to make required a discussion not only of the merits of each perspective recipe, but also of the person who originated the recipe. Should we make Great-grandma’s filled raisin cookies? (“Dad always loved them.”) . . . or that wonderful Sand Tart recipe that came from someone who was a neighbor of my mother’s 40 years ago (“Don’t know whatever happened to her, but she was a wonderful cook.”) . . .

Ah, the memories. . . I could go on and on.

____

Grandma’s diary ends on December 29. Over the past several months readers of A Hundred Years Ago have made many wonderful suggestions about how to send Grandma off to live the rest of her life.

I’ve decided to go with a Bake-a-thon because baking cookies with Grandma holds special memories for me and I know that the older version of Grandma loved our annual cookie baking party—so I think that she would have enjoyed a virtual Bake-a-thon.

Come back tomorrow—and I’ll share details about how you can participate in the Bake-a-thon.

Making Handkerchiefs for Xmas Gifts

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, December 2, 1914: Am making handkerchiefs for Xmas presents. They are to be real nice and fancy, with edging of my own makings on them.

tatted handkerchief

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma-

The handkerchiefs sound lovely. Do they have a tatted edging? Tatting is so delicate and beautiful. I have vague memories that your married sister Besse showed you how to tat last summer:

Besse was trying to teach me tatting today. Am awful stupid about it, but still I persist in trying to make the stuff. It takes some patience.

June 11, 1914

 

A Hundred-Year-Old Thanksgiving Picture Story: The Turkey and her Haughty Cousins

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, November 27, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Good Housekeeping (November, 1911)

Source: Good Housekeeping (November, 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Thanksgiving, 1914 has already come and gone; but, since this is Thanksgiving Day in 2014, I thought that you might enjoy this hundred-year-old picture story.

The Turkey and her Haughty Cousins

turkey story 2

turkey story 3

turkey story 4

turkey story 5

turkey story 6 (1)

(Good Housekeeping, November, 1911)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Carried a Sassy Goose Home from Town

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, November 26, 1914: Thanksgiving. Have been having quite a long vacation. We had a Thanksgiving dinner for one thing. My taster was lacking due to a cold and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have. Carried a sassy goose down from town last Monday. The remains are in the pantry awaiting further digestion for the morrow. Wonder if that goose will keep me awake tonight.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma—

You carried a sassy (live?) goose home from town?

How the heck did you do that? A goose must weigh at least 10 or 12 pounds—and a cage would make it even heavier.

I’m not sure where you got it, but you live a mile and a half or so from both McEwensville and Watsontown. That’s a long walk.

And, then I suppose you had to help butcher it –and then cook it. And, you probably also had to make some other foods for the big meal—maybe mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies. . . .

Whew, I’m tired just thinking about all you needed to do to prepare for Thanksgiving.

I hope that you feel better soon, and that your “taster” is back by tomorrow. After all your hard work you deserve to enjoy at least some of the goose’s “remains.”

Advertisement for Carving Sets for the Thanksgiving Turkey

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, November 25, 1914: <<no entry>>

Adversitement for Carving Sets for Thanksgiving turkey

Source: Milton Evening Standard (November 23, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought you might enjoy this advertisement for carving sets. It appeared in Grandma’s local newspaper, the Milton Evening Standard.

Are you prepared for Thanksgiving? You won’t want your guests to think that your turkey was tough just because you don’t have a good carving set. :)

Halloween Night

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, October 31, 1914:  This is All Saints’ Eve and the moon is shining brightly. Would have liked to have dressed up and gone out Halloweening.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (July, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (July, 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—

Boo! What a spookactular night! You should have gone to town and had a little fun.

Hundred-Year-Old Shrunken Apple Head Witch Craft

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, October 21, 1914: << no entry>>apple head witch

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share how I made a shrunken apple-head witch.

The October, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal had an article with suggestions for Halloween parties. It included the following picture.

1913-10-103.e

Unfortunately the magazine didn’t provide directions for making the apple head witch, and instead said that if you wanted directions for making the “novelties” shown that you should send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Entertainment Editor—so I was on my own when it came to interpreting the picture.

Here’s how I made the apple head witch:

First I made the shrunken apple head face. To make it I followed the directions in a wonderful YouTube video on how to carve apple heads. It also showed how to dry them in the oven.

I used a popsicle stick and nail that I taped together to create the skeleton. I stuck the sharp end of the nail into the base of the dried apple, and the popsicle stick into a potato.

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I then made the outfit using felt and staples. I didn’t like the way it looked when the potato based stuck out beneath the clothes—so I made the dress longer than in the old picture.

I used a part of a cotton ball to make the witch’s hair, and made the hat out of black construction paper.

The hat didn’t want to stay in place when I put it on the witch, so I broke a tooth pick in half and inserted it into the top of the head. I then placed the hat over the tooth pick.

Last year I made the carrot bogeyman that is in the old Ladies Home Journal picture. Click on the link to see that post.

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