Thursday, July 17, 2008

Colonial housewives and cooks began their days very early by modern standards. They built the fire, carried water, gathered fresh fruits and vegetables for the day's meals from the kitchen garden, got meat from the smokehouse, and prepared breakfast. This meal usually consisted of mush with milk, which was sweetened with molasses. The mid-day meal, dinner, was the heaviest, generally served between noon and 3 pm. This meal was commonly a stew, the ingredients of which varied with the seasons. The advantage of serving stew was that it required little tending from the housewife and required only one pot. Puddings could also be steamed in fabric bags suspended above the cooking pot of stew. Individual portions of meat and vegetables were uncommon in the colonies until the 1700's, and then were had by well-to-do colonists. Supper, the evening meal, was generally warmed up leftovers.
Women trained girls to be wives and mothers by having them help around the house. Girls helped with cooking, preserving food, caring for children, cleaning the house, washing clothes and gardening. They milked cows, churned butter, and made cheese. Girls' work was important to cloth making. After the men and boys grew flax and sheared sheep, girls and single women did the spinning, knitting, sewing, and sometimes weaving. Girls spun wool and flax so that it could be woven into fabric or knitted into socks, hats, scarves, and mittens. They usually brought yarn to weavers to have cloth woven and they used the cloth to make clothing and sacks. Girls sewed by hand, with strong, tiny stitches that would hold clothes together during many washings over years of wear. Most girls became wives and mothers who worked on the farm and in the house. Some became midwives, servants, tavernkeepers, or school mistresses. Girls could not go to college.


Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

Welcome to blogging! Now you'll have to upload pics of your lovely home on here so everyone can see it.
The fastest way to get others to visit you is to go to their blogs and leave comments and then they can click on your name and get to your blog and respond back.
If someone leaves a comment, then you can click on their name and get to their profile and thus their blog and respond there. That helps speed up the getting to know others process! I hope that helps!

~SkullBlossom~ said...

Your blog is lookin' good! Enjoyed reading the information about colonial times. I think it's important to keep the knowledge of the past intact.

Debra said...

Great article! You are doing well so far!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Hi Cheryl
Your blog is looking great! I agree with Linda - get some personal pics of your home, garden, etc. You will enjoy this.
I enjoyed the well written articles.

Denise * KKL Primitives said...

That was interesting! *Ü*
Enjoyed it very much.

Jennifer said...

Hi Cheryl! LOVE your blog and i am always thrilled to meet another critter lover!!! I added your link to my blog!!!