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Ever since I knew I existed, I remember my grandparents cellar, stocked with canned food, implements, anything you could think of. Homemade wines, canned fruits, vegetables, tools.
I wish I paid more attention, they did that to protect us, because they lived it where they did not know if they would eat the next day. I always wondered why they had all of that food down there.
With that comes a lot of Polish tradition also, how to make pickles, smoked kielbasa, saurkraut [kapusta]. I see now especially during these times why they did what they did, but to us it was just "can you get me a can of peas from the fruit cellar?". I know a ton of older people who have great stories and recipes I am sure, I am going to try to capture that somehow so it is not forgotten. My grandmother (94yrs old) has taught me more in the past 2-3 years about tradition than I have ever known, my 5 year old daughter can now make babci's noodles. We need to try to save this, or it will be lost. Clara's depression recipes were a delight.
 

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You are so right! My grandmother didn't have a root cellar, but she did have a canning room. By the end of fall this room was bursting with canned fruits and vegetables. She lived on 15 acres in the Portland, Oregon, area.

Her homestead is long gone and replaced with a huge subdivision. We learned a lot from her on how to can, garden, use and reuse.

My mother lived on the Washington side of the Columbia river. Yea, she was a river rat. She learned to garden, can, and fish. These are some of the lessons she had passed down to all of her children.

I live on 20 acres and garden and can every year. This past year with so many people canning (out of fear), canning supplies were gone in the middle of the summer. So, by the end of the summer I had dried an awfull lot of vegetables and fruit and bagged them up. I will have enough food to suppliment my groceries through the winter.

I am also, storing up food. I don't have a years worth of everything yet, but I am working on it.
 

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When I was growing up, we had a tornado shelter that also served as a root cellar. It looked like the one they showed on the movie Twister. We also had a smoke house, cistern and windmill.

Town trips were scarce and my mom went on Saturdays with one of my older sisters. My mom would only buy staples and shoes. Everything else we either grew, raised or made. If we needed new shoes, my mom would trace our foot and take the trace with her and use it to buy our shoes.

We didn't work on a Sunday. My mom would cook Sunday's meal on Saturday and we would warm it on Sunday. We went to church and rested the rest of the day.

We had to be curtious and respectful are we got into serious trouble. If we got in trouble at school, we got in trouble at home too.

We were only allowed to watch TV on Saturday mornings and that was mainly cartoons. The rest of the time, we spent doing homework and chores or playing.

No one had to lock their doors. We use to sleep with all windows open and a screen door was the only type of door that was closed during the day or night.

There is so much we have lost and should try to recapture and remember how things use to be.
 

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I live on 20 acres and garden and can every year. This past year with so many people canning (out of fear), canning supplies were gone in the middle of the summer. So, by the end of the summer I had dried an awfull lot of vegetables and fruit and bagged them up. I will have enough food to suppliment my groceries through the winter.
I was a bit shocked at how fast the canning supplies went off the shelf this year. I always pick up lids everytime I go to the Amish. The day after the bailout I went up to pick up a few items and the canning section had just been depleted. I have never seen it so empty. The Amish guy who runs the store said they had a run on basics just that morning. They have since stocked back up, the Amish need their canning supplies, but we both agreed that it was the most scared either of us had seen people in a long while--even after 9/11.

Tury
 

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I learned everything I know about canning at the knee of my own grandmother. She's going to be 86 in January and is still going strong. I plan on passing the same knowledge down to my own daughter...that will make four living generations of home-canners!
 
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