Fruits

Mom had a garden at English Orchards. There were grapevines along one side with the best Concord grapes. That’s one of the things I miss living in Texas. Mom did a lot of canning. The basement shelves would be filled by fall with jars of vegetables, pickles and jams. I always wanted the dill. Bruce wanted the sweet – and we all wanted the bread & butter. Mom had to learn all of this after she married dad. Grandma Thayer taught her everything. When mom was very small, her mother, Mable Redd Smith, died. Her father, Emerson Emmett Smith married Emma (don’t know her maiden name). She was an “old maid” and kept house for him and mom. The other children were older and one-by-one started their own lives. It wasn’t “proper” for Emma to live in a home with a single man – so they got married. I guess they were poor. I was told he was a carpenter and did like to drink some. Emma made him bring his pay home and gave him an allowance.  Emma was always so afraid of waste that she wouldn’t let mom do anything in the kitchen, so mom never learned to cook or can or much else from Emma.

Lucky for her, grandma Thayer was a wonderful cook and taught mom everything.  Grandpa was always teasing mom about her being left-handed.  He said she could take butter in a churn and turn it back into milk.

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