Canning Peaches

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

Monday, September 14, 1914: Did the washing this morning, while mother canned peaches. I helped eat some, too.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Here are the directions in a hundred-old-cookbook for canning peaches:

Canned Peaches

4 pounds peaches

2 pounds sugar

1 pint water

Pare peaches and cook in sugar and water, either whole or in halves, until tender. Arrange in jars, fill with syrup, and seal.

Pears, pineapples, and plums are canned in the same way as peaches.

Lowney’s Cook Book (1907)

I hope that Grandma’s mother was already very knowledgeable about canning because this recipe does not give me anywhere near enough information to even begin trying to can peaches.

 

A Little More About “Tweet”

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

Sunday, September 13, 1914: Went to Sunday School this morning. Was up at Tweet’s this afternoon, and went to church this evening.

Wesner's Dairy Milk Bottle

Wesner’s Dairy Milk Bottle (Photo Source: Worthpoint)

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

Tweet was the nickname of Helen Wesner. She was a friend of Grandma’s who was occasionally mentioned in the diary. Based on the diary, and other sources, here’s what I know about her:

Helen was three years older than Grandma. Helen never married—and worked on her family’s farm and in their small dairy processing plant that produced bottled milk. She died in 1976 at the age of 84.

Anyone with the nickname of Tweet had to have been a fun person. Here are two previous diary entries that mentioned Tweet or the Wesner’s.

On December 6, 1913 Grandma wrote:

The whole family was invited out for dinner today. We all went except Pa. It was up at Tweet’s place. We had something that I always had a curiosity to know what they tasted like. It was waffles.

And, on January 3, 1914, Grandma wrote:

Made a call this afternoon, so that the time wouldn’t be so tedious. I’m wishing and longing for a sleigh ride, now that there is sleighing.

Ruth and I went up to Wesner’s this evening. There were some other girls there too. Renewed my acquaintance with a former school mate whom I hadn’t seen for over three years I guess, until I saw her on Christmas eve. Had a good time.

Household Hints and Tips from Ladies Home Journal Readers

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

Friday, September 11, 1914: Nothing doing.

DSC09294

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

Since Grandma didn’t’ write anything of substance a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some hundred-year-old household hints and tips from the April, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.  The hints were published in a column called “What Other Women Have Found Out.” It’s basically an old-time version of Hints from Heloise.

The Ladies Home Journal Readers’ Exchange encouraged readers to submit helpful hints; and, according to the magazine “a crisp dollar bill is paid for any idea accepted.”

What Other Women Have Found Out

When Making Muffins or Cakes in muffin-pans or rings, if there is not enough of the mixture for all of the pans you may prevent the empty ones from burning by filling them with water.

M.G.M.

When Straining Soup set a coarse strainer inside a fine one and pour the liquid through both; thus you will avoid clogging the fine one with pieces of meat and broken bones.

E.T.P.

burlap bag b

Play Aprons for Children may be made most satisfactorily of burlap. An ordinary feed-bag will do. Fold the material at the shoulders and cut a kimono slip apron having a square neck large enough to permit of dropping the apron over the child’s head. Do not seam it, but bind it all around with some bright-colored material and fasten under the arms with large buttons and loops. These kinds of apron require little washing, as the coarseness of the material prevents the dirt from sticking to it. Such aprons will protect the children when playing in the sand or dirt, or making mud pies.

Ohio

Use a Fork in Mixing Pie Crust and in mixing baking-powder biscuit, if you wish both to be praised for their lightness.

N.H.

Children’s Collections, however dear to them, are often a great bother to the mother. She dislikes to destroy what the child has taken so much trouble to get together, yet there are few houses big enough to hold all that a child can accumulate. One good mother, who had nearly exhausted all the places she had for storing treasures committed to her care, has two deep drawers made under the framework of an old-fashioned high lounge. These deep drawers the children have in which to keep their collections and no one ever interferes with the contents of them. The house has been much neater and the children are proud of having a special place for their possessions.

N.S.

Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Almost Half the Pictures Were “No Good”

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

Wednesday, September 9, 1914: The last of my pictures came today. Of the seven that were taken while we were at the Falls, three were no good.

old folding  Brownie camera

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

Poor Grandma– It sounds like a near disaster if 3 of the 7 pictures were “no good.” Maybe the mist (or the lighting) at Niagara Falls affected the pictures.

Even though it hasn’t been all that long since I had a camera that used film, it seems like a vague memory. Some things have changed for the better!

Stores Closed on Labor Day a Hundred Years Ago

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

Monday, September 7, 1914:  A foolish girl I was today. Took it into my head that I wanted to go to town to buy some things this afternoon. Well I went. Rode in with Pa. While on the way I thought it will be altogether useless, as the store would not be open since it was Labor Day.

Recent Photo of Watsontown

Recent photo of  downtown Watsontown

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

Labor Day? . . . Oh, of course, this was the first Monday in September in 1914. This year Labor Day was on the earliest possible date; in 1914 it was the latest possible date.

Stores are open around here on Labor Day.  In 1914,  it must have been a bigger deal if stores were closed– though it apparently was a bit random whether schools were open. In 1912, Grandma wrote:

Had to go to school, even if it is labor day. We had this day off last year. . .

September 2, 1912

Took Trolley to Montandon

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

Sunday, September 6, 1914:   The whole family spent the day down at Aunt Lizzie’s. Ruth and I went down on the trolley. I took my camera along and had a shot at the crowd in the afternoon. Walked out from town this evening. Felt that I was benefited by my jaunt for I had eaten too many good things for dinner.

DSC03708.cropped b

Grandma would have ridden the trolley from Watsontown to Milton, and then continued on to Montandon. (Postcard Source: Milton Historical Society)

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

Grandma-

What a fun Sunday! It sounds like an almost perfect day.

Aunt Lizzie was a sister of Grandma’s father, Albert Muffly and a previous diary entry indicated that she lived at Montandon. I’m not sure who she married. Montandon is located about 8 miles southeast of the Muffly farm.

Montandon map

Recent map of the area

I’m amazed at all the transportation options that were available in a fairly rural area a hundred years ago. Back then there was a trolley that ran from Watsontown to Lewisburg with stops at several intermediate locations including Milton and Montandon.

Apparently Grandma and her sister Ruth walked a mile and a half or so from their farm near McEwensville to Watsontown, and then boarded the trolley. Probably the rest of the family traveled via horse and buggy.

Hundred-year-old Advice: What Should I Feed My Family?

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

Saturday, September 5, 1914: Ditto

vegetables 1

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

The previous day Grandma wrote, “Nothing much for today.” Since nothing was happening in Grandma’s life I thought you might enjoy some quotes from an article on nutrition in the July, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Since the members of the family have to be fed three times a day for each of the three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, how to feed them is a subject worthy of consideration, is it not?

The very best meal planning, of course, is that based on a thorough knowledge of human nutrition, but we housewives cannot all of us get that accurate training. The thing to strive for in feeding your family is what is called “the balanced rations.” Adults and children have very different food needs, brain workers and body workers have still different ones, and surely I do not need to tell you that the sick and the well require diets of quite opposite character.

Muscular work demands energy-and-iron-producing food, such as meats, starch-producing things, sugar, and fats. Therefore you are safe in letting the man folks have their buckwheat cakes and sausages, and pie and doughnuts in reason. Children need bone-and tissue-building foods, so see to it that they get plenty of milk, eggs, cereals, vegetables and fruit, with meat and sweets sparely. Brain workers need easily digestible foods and a lighter diet than people who work with their hands. Give the invalids mainly nutritious liquids, and your boarders whatever they want.

None of this is so difficult as it seems, if you keep in mind that certain kinds of food have uses for nearly all of the family, and can be served for general consumption at the general table. The foundations of all living tissues are in milk, eggs, cheese, meat, legumes, nuts, and cereals. This gives you a basis to go on, and you can add to the list foods for special needs and vary the menu with great variety. Keep in mind that the greatest medicinal agents are vegetables and fruits; include them in the family dietary the year round and you will not go far astray.

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