Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Harvest Continues

"Wed, Sept 22, 1926: On Mon we made apple sauce plus cooked 2 kettles of plum preserve or 4 ½ qts. and made a batch of catsup. That was besides digging some potatoes, gathering in plums,crab apples,tomatoes and pop corn.I went looking for hickory nuts but didn’t find many yet at our place. Meanwhile,Dad gathered nuts all day on the Weis’ hill. Tue we made 4 qts plum preserve and made crab apple pickles and baked bread, fired two stoves and nearly baked ourselves. Len & Ruby went to town in the afternoon and brought home a box of peaches. Today it is cloudy & gloomy most all the time but cooler. We put up 9 qts peaches, churned, and made apple sauce. Uncle Edd & the Aunts came down this evening brought 4 mush* & a watermelon.

* mush - yes you guessed it - is muskmelon. Although I have heard people pronounce it mushmelon as well as muskmelon. Either way, I am allergic to it and don't even remember what it taste like anymore.

Although this entry is not that exciting, it is an ideal example to illustrate how hard our ancestors worked just to keep going. During the September and October entries each year in "Lillian's Diaries: Whispers of Galena's Past" most of the information is about harvesting, preparing and canning the food that they would live on over the winter months and until spring when the process begins again - this time with all the berries. And all without air conditioning, food processors, electric stoves and all the other appliances and cooking aides that today we consider to be essential!

Once a year I get into my "Lillian" mode and for a few weeks spend all my free time preparing Wolf River Apples....this year we added Michigan peaches so the tiny freezer of our side-by-side is overflowing with unbaked French apple pies, peach cobbler, applesauce, peach freezer jam, peach/blueberry freezer jam and apple crisp! I have about a half bushel left to go and I am exhausted and we are going to buy a small freezer chest to suppliment the one we have! How did they ever do all this work and still manage to go into town?

Today, I also included the picture at the top of the post. This is a piece of farm equipment that Lillian's father, Charles Trudgian, designed and patented. It is currently at the Galena Historical Museum with some other items from the "old Trudgian house". Can anyone guess what this machine does?


  1. A seat with two funnel-shaped containers on either side? A planter of some sort. I agree with Harold. Time to fess up!

  2. I will have the answer in a little while. I actually have it written down - but can't remember where? So if you haven't made a guess already there is still time to do so>

  3. My dad (Franklin Co.) also pronounces them "mushmelons".
    Thanks for posting your thoughts - which are my thoughts (how did they do it all?).
    I'm inspired.