About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Merriment and Love

January 17, 2024

I have felt very different lately since starting our 1917 study. 

I love researching and finding new information and when digging into the past there is a lot to learn. Some of the things that I find I do not like but I am looking for the good parts of the past because that is what I like to do.  Some of our history studies that Charles and I have done had a feeling of tension, excitement, and sometimes homesickness.  With this new study of 1917 I feel calm and homey.  

Many people love the Victorian and Edwardian era, and still today there is much Romanticizing of those times, their homes, the clothing. We can see these images in books, vintage magazines and houses still standing. 

Just like any of our history studies we see that there are great differences in how and where people live.  Not all was fancy, and not all was muck and mud and hard times.  There is a lot to learn about the in between and seems to be the least written about and difficult to find information, but then there is genealogy and diaries that helps with this problem.  I like to find the whole picture, the parts that were left out, such as the average working class family, the farmers the grocer.

I also research towns and cities during the time that I am researching, once you research the town and get to know that town you start getting a better picture of the time. After learning so much about our town in 1932 and 1942 I felt that I could see the people walk down the streets, some still using wagons, some in cars, some walking down the street carrying their groceries in paper bags or baskets.  We learned how much they paid for electricity and how much groceries were. We can find pictures of the towns they lived in photos, the styles of their clothing and study the occupations.  I learned about people by reading obituaries and their families.  There are many ways to research the time you are wanting to learn about.

I went on a search to find out what the era of 1917 was called. This was a loopy loop trail I went on trying to find the answer and I can say that this is one subject that has many answers and opinions and is comparable to the discussion of which comes first on a scone, the jam or clotted cream. 

Some research says the Edwardian era ended in 1910, Edward the VII reigned from 1901 to 1910.  Some say that it ended in 1914, at the beginning of ww1. There is much more to this but I am just briefly touching on this subject. I seem to be hung up on wishing there were still romantic eras today. 

Romantic eras seem to make life seem better doesn't it?  If we call 1917 an era or time in history, my research says it is called the Great War era.  Now that does not sound romantic at all.  The Great war era name was changed to the First Great War era and when another Great war started as we know as world war II, the second great war.

One thing that I have discovered is that life goes by really fast, and if we are not very wealthy, a royalty, or someone that fits into a category that can rule, preside, or dominate then anyone below that needs to make their own era and and live life with Merriment and Love. 

In May of 1917, I did a blog post about Sensible Living. In that post I said that I decided to make my own era and call it "The Vintarian Era" because at that time I could not find that word on the internet as I checked for original names or words.  So I mentioned it on my blog and said that I was going to make my own Era. I have noticed that the word does pop up now but that is okay with me, I still call it this name and many things have the same name but I know the true meaning. :) ?

We are studying the Great war era now (1917), but here at home we are living the Vintarian era.  This Vintarian era is my made up era that is a combination of the best parts of any time in history that we want to live like and our home is starting to resemble that over time.  The things we do and not do, the quiet in the home since removing modern items and replacing that void with something that makes sense or nothing at all.  

While I have been away from my blog last week, we had a whirly week.  A very bad storm came through, a tornado to our south and we were in a intense part of that cell and had tennis ball size hail to hit our house.

Our new roof that is 11 months old, was damaged and the entire back side of our roof, the vent caps and roof vent and all of the carport roof has to be replaced. Our neighbors cars were dented and they also have roof issues. The tornado did a lot of damage to houses and businesses.  This picture above is just one place of many scrapes and wounds to our pear tree and other trees.   

Scones with currants.

We learned to make clotted cream to go with our scones since we cannot find clotted cream anywhere in stores, it seems here in the United States unless we find a specialty store we will never taste it.  This method worked well and we are going to do another recipe this week and since we cannot taste the real thing straight from the Cows in the UK we will just have to guess if we have found that taste.  But what we made was so good that we could not speak and only make a noise that sounded like moaning. (My camera makes anything pale yellow look bright yellow)

So my research was on to real clotted cream and since I am so good at getting off track on to something else, I started searching very old recipes for clotted cream. My search went from 1900 to 1920.  I found a very interesting article from 1908 and it took the process from milking the cow to putting the milk into a water bath, cooling the milk without disturbing the top layer and then to hanging the water bath pan and the milk pan together on a tripod somehow to putting that over a fire.  

Then I read a 1930s article and the same method was used except it was put on top of a stove instead of a fire.  I read many articles and we are practicing with cream from the store.  Once we figure this out we will drive out to the dairy which is a a bit of a drive but we enjoy the drive.   

The dairy farm that we drive out to is called Working Cows Dairy.  You can google that and see their website.  There are lush green fields at this organic farm and you can see the cows grazing, I love to see the baby cows out in the fields. Their cream is the type of cream that we need to use to get the best results. 

We have let our ginger and the rest of our daikon radish remain in the raised beds which are water troughs to water animals on the farm.  They did go through a few frosts and we were concerned but then it was time for a hard freeze so we harvested the tanks.

The dirt part we harvested and we are finishing up.

We harvested 13 pounds of ginger.  I put a tangerine on top to show the size.

Then we pulled what was left of the daikon radish.  They taste similar to turnip root and are very good.  For us, Daikon radish are very easy to grow.

I washed them...



Blanched for 3 minutes...  Plunged into cold water to cool and then put them in freezer containers and froze them for meals. 

One night we had a special ice cream dessert. I have been surprised at how far back in time ice cream goes..  There were ice houses in towns and ice trains. The ice was packed in hay or straw, I cannot remember which it was but I think hay, and then packed in the train cars and transported to ice houses around the country.

This week I decided it was time to pull a old tablecloth out that I have been intending on resizing.  I purchased it a year or two ago for a few dollars, $3.00 I think.  It was too wide for our table but I knew I could resize it so I did that this week. 

I cut it to size and used my old treadle machine named Clara that I am now so fond of.  And those of you that say that you cannot pedal it, I say Keep trying because I had to do that and you will be so happy you did.  Put your feet on the pedal one foot slightly at the top corner and one foot and the opposite bottom corner for better control and keep the petal going the same direction to turn the wheel at the top forward. Do not thread your machine, and practice this without thread until you have caught on to the rhythm and control of you foot pedal.   If you need a post on this I can do one, just ask me.

Now it is just the right size.

I was sitting in the living room and the sun was coming in just right and shining on our washbowl that has my knitting yarn and needles on top of the sewing cabinet and I thought it was pretty.  

We should all find the small things that are beautiful and notice them instead of what is out there that is not friendly.  Embrace your family and home and this will make the world a better place because if we are doing this, we have happier and contented people.  

 The 2017 post that I mentioned in this blog post I am posting the link to below.  When I read it again today, I realize how much further back in time we have gone and what we "now" consider the good parts of long ago. This takes time to work our way back to what we feel is comfortable about the past and the whole journey is interesting and fulfilling. 

Here is a link to that post in 2017 when I made up the word Vintarian. https://gdonna.com/living-like-the-past/the-simple...

Grandma Donna

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