Jams and Pickles


Early in the morning, the entire family of women and children would set out with empty pails and a packed lunch. When they returned at dusk, their backs might ache but their pails were full and their spirits high.

Sometimes there were exciting tales to tell since it was often necessary to build small fires to keep the bears away from the picking area.

Throughout the summer months the kitchens would hum with the activities of jam and jelly making, but in the fall there was a constant hustle as garden vegetables were brought in for pickling all had to be carefully prepared and stored against the long winter ahead.

The entry to the cellar was usually outside the house. Two slopping doors had to be raised in order to gain the steps that led down into the cool darkness. Walls were lined with stones and the floor was packed earth.

Here, long shelves reached from the rafters to the floor.

Here were rows and rows of neatly arranged jars, each marked according to its contents. Prosperity was measured not by money but by the quantities of provisions stored in that personal mint the cellar.

The above taken from: Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale

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