Canning

A few weeks ago, I posted the title page of a publication, which I thought was a book, published in 1918, about keeping poultry in household setting. I never did find the rest of the it but I did learn that the publication was some type of periodical or magazine, called the Winthrop Bulletin, published for members of regional home demonstration clubs located throughout South Carolina. The Home Demonstration Club Program was sponsored by what was the Winthrop Normal and Industrial College (now Winthrop University).

Last week, I found another edition of the Winthrop Bulletin, this one without a cover or title page, but with all the body in tact. This one is about home canning.

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Home canning is another food production method that has made a comeback in recent years as consumers are concerned about what goes into their food supply or want to preserve what they have grown in their own gardens. A quick glance at Clemson University’s Home and Garden Information Center’s webpage showed a variety of resources for the home canner. I know people in various age groups who can some of their own food. If one has time to devote to doing it properly, canning can be a viable method of preserving fresh foods.

But, if canning not done properly , the results can be disastrous, as sterilization issues may arise. The first
two pages of this book are devoted to making sure the home canner knows how to prevent molds, yeasts, and bacteria growing in canned food. These pages are printed in bold font. Sterilization issues are the main reason I’ve never attempted to can food myself. I’m afraid I’d do something wrong. In recent years, Clemson has offered classes in home canning through their extension service, and I really think I would take a class before I would make an attempt to do it myself.

Back to the ’80s

Who remembers jewelry that looks like this? Who had jewelry that looked like this?

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Today, I’m taking a break from my family’s history to bring you a very small piece of my own history. If you, like me, came of age in the 1980s, you can probably relate to this. As I was going through yet another container of family belongings, I came across these earrings, which are mine. If memory serves me correctly, I purchased these somewhere around 1984. They are made of some type of inexpensive metal (they couldn’t have cost much because I was a college student living on a budget then). Just for fun, I posted this photo on Facebook, and a couple of friends said they’d owned similar earrings, in fun colors like Pepto-Bismol pink.

All this got me thinking about ’80s fashion in general. Now, please understand that no one could ever accuse me of being a fashion plate. but when I was a young adult, I certainly followed the trends. Fashion, at the end of that decade, at least where I live, was very different from fashion at the beginning of the decade. About the time I bought those yellow earrings was when fashion was shifting away from preppy and toward neon.

In 1980, The Official Preppy Handbook was published, and I, along with many of my classmates had already embraced that particular style of clothing. The book seemed to spur things along, with more “preppy” clothing choices in the shopping mall stores than ever before. I bought a plaid kilt skirt, penny loafers, and button down shirts in many pastel colors. I also added beads to the add-a-bead necklace my mother had stared for me.

By the time I graduated from college in 1985, fashion was changing, rather dramatically. Khaki pants, a preppy staple, were being replaced by parachute pants (I did not own any of these), and stirrup pants (I’ll confess to owning a pair). Those add-a-bead necklaces were being replaced by neon colored jewelry, made from various metals and plastics. Actually, many clothing items were neon colored, as well. There were also the acid-washed jeans and the power suits with shoulder pads. And, who can forget those hair-pouffing perms, a trend I embraced as my hair was very fine and could be hard to style as a result.

Fashion, indeed, is a part of history. I’ve read many articles about how fashion is tied to what is going on in the world at a given time. So, what did these somewhat bizarre trends from the 1980s say about us as a society?

A Poultry Raising Find

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This is the back and front of a title page I found the other day when I was going through my paternal grandmother’s recipes. I wish I could find the rest of the book, and I’m hoping this will happen as I continue to go through old papers. In 1918, when this book was published, my grandmother was living in rural Lexington County, SC (it is no longer rural), and this was during a time when many people raised chickens of their own.

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I posted these pictures on Facebook yesterday, and a cousin of mine reminded me that the women on this particular side of my family- my great-grandmother and great aunts- were all active members of the local homemaker’s extension club. My grandmother was most likely a member, as well. The club was, in fact, renamed for one of my great aunts much later.

Fast forward nearly 100 years and things have come full circle. Many families moved to more urban areas and grocery stores supplied their food. Now, there is a renewed interest in raising and keeping poultry, even among people who live in urban areas. In several cities near where I live, regulations have been passed allowing residents to keep a certain number of chickens. I’ve enjoyed reading articles about city dwellers and their chickens, which seem most often to be raised for their eggs rather than their meat. It’s interesting to see the movement of people returning to the old ways of obtaining food.

A New Year, A New Project

The new year is here, and with it comes a new project for me.  I’m talking a rather large intimidating project that I’ve honestly been putting off for quite a while, even though I think it will be enjoyable (at least parts of it).  It’s time for me to organize my family photographs and memorabilia.  Yikes…..

It’s not like I’m starting from scratch.  I have baby books nearly done, and scrapbooks partially completed for both my boys.  There are some completed scrapbooks of various eras in our lives.  Fortunately, I already have many of the supplies I need to continue my work, and I’ve inventoried them recently.  Still, I’m sure I’ll be making plenty of trips to hobby and craft stores, either in person or via the internet.

But, the really big and intimidating part of my project is organizing family pictures and other memorabilia that literally span 100 years.  I’m not kidding.  You see, I have plastic tubs filled with artifacts my parents collected over the years.  Both my mom and dad are gone now, and they both have many items from their respective families that date back to the early 20th century. Now, I love old photographs, church bulletins, and newspaper clippings, but this is a rather large undertaking and I want to do a good job so these items will be preserved for generations to come.

While I intend to keep many photographs and papers (and share some with other family members), I also know I need to make digital copies as well.  My technology skills are middle-of-the-road, not fabulous, but not not awful, either.  I’m certainly not afraid of technology, or of trying new things, but I do need things to be done efficiently.  I am considering the possibility of using a paid source, such as Legacybox, as I have some slides as well as photographs.  If anyone out there has used such a service, I would love to hear your reviews.

In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated about my project.  I’m sure I’ll unearth some unexpected and fun things to share.