Thursday, December 23, 2021

Citrus and Nuts - Muhahahahaha

Ah, foolish Advent Mortals, you shall now suffer because Kramp-Beans is now in control, muhahahahaha.

Okay, seriously, tis Advent and almost Christmas Eve (checks time, Oh Holy Night it IS Christmas Eve, no, it's Christmas Eve Eve, whew...) and so it's time to bring past memories of various Christmas Pasts of which I remember.

First I speak to all of the entitled peoples out there who think things are soooo bad these days.  No. No they are not.  And this is why.  In ancient days until about the 70s or 80s (that would be 1970s to 1980s) very popular stocking stuffers used to be things like oranges, kumquats, nuts in the shell.  Why?  Because there used to be this thing called seasonal foods that were only available seasonally.  Like citrus and nuts-in-the-shell.  Oh, if you were filthy rich you could have those all year long, but for most people those things were very seasonal, like not available from one's local or non-local groceries when out-of-season, unless one's grocer was very Tony and expensive and you could afford in pre 1990's money a $2.00 per orange.  Not saying that orange juice wasn't available, as oranges for juice could be kept in special warehouses and pulped and the juice frozen or concentrated, but fresh orange juice out of season?  That started in the late 70s to early 80s for us normal-class citizens.

Now, what is totally cool about citrus in the stocking (as long as you made sure that none were left for next year, ewwwwww, and yes, I found out the hard (or would that be the soft) way...) is that citrus is a tradition going back to medieval times in Europe.  Filthy rich Medieval Europe, and just Rich Renaissance Europe, and middle-upper-class till the Industrial Revolution, and then middle class to about WWI and then lower middle to upper lower class in post WWII era.  Which means that orange that Grandma dropped in my stocking has roots all the way down her family line to back to Norman pre-Invasion (1066) times.  

Kids these days freak when they can't get fresh avocados for their avocado toast.

One year, for the local SCA group's 12th Night celebration, Mrs. Andrew and I did the cooking and setup for the event.  And we decorated the hall of the local Episcopal church's hall (a wood paneled building that was shipped from Germany in the late 1800s and sadly destroyed by some arsonist punk a few years after the event) with holly and ivy (not poison ivy, fortunately) and pine boughs (cedar, from one of the local abandoned limestone quarries) and mistletoe (no Baldars were harmed during harvesting, though I did use my rattan 'spear' to pop the bundles out of trees.)  A special treat, or we thought so, was we had stopped off at Harvey's Groves on US1 south of Cocoa on the way home from Christmas with the families and gotten several bags of 2nds oranges (not perfect) and also had 4 bags (these were paper bags, not those new-fangled plastic ones) of tangerines off the neighbor's overly productive tree.)  So bowls of oranges and tangerines were our presents to our members.

And, in the glorious way that the SCA ignores real medieval stuff, that gift went over like a lead balloon full of frozen farts.  I mean, citrus, free citrus, glorious citrus, oranges and tangerines, a veritable king's ransom of citrus and maybe 2 - 3 people got it?  

I still like oranges at Christmastide.  As to kumquats?  Grew up eating kumquats at Christmas, thanks to my dad of which kumquats were a tradition. Mrs. Andrew loves those, but nobody in this benighted town has kumquats, and hasn't had for years.  And, of course, kumquats fell out of favor by me for a long while, but now that I can't get any, the hankering has begun.

Kumquats, about the size of the first joint of a normal man's thumb, or slightly bigger.
You eat the whole thing, skin, seeds and all (not the green leafy part)
And makes good marmalade, too.

Mesum wants sum kumquats.  May have to just get a tree and grow one on my back porch.

On the other hand, the apartment complex behind me has a key-lime tree that nobody in the complex ever touches.  So all summer long I harvested as many as I could, and juiced them and froze them, getting 2.5 gallons of lime cubes for to use on Fajita Sundays and on chicken when I have alfredo.  Next year we're getting both a small chest freezer and a fruit picker so I can freeze at least 5-6 gallon bags of lime-cubes.  Yumm. 

Am I nuts?  Well, yes, and that's the next topic.  Nuts.  Tree-nuts or True-nuts as they call them these days.  In the shell.  Walnuts and pecans and brazil-nuts and hazelnuts.  Again, gotten along with citrus in one's stocking back in the day.  Along with some chocolates and candy-canes.  Whooot!  Real treasures.  Fresh nuts in the shell!  Yum.

Why nuts?  Well, hearken back to days of old when Old Man Winter was a rather miserable time.  Nuts were a good source of fats and carbs and retained nutrients, all essential to survive cold miserable winters.  Which hearkens back to medieval times, where nutting was a privilege granted your peasant and serf class by your local lord class.  Nuts, like citrus, became more accessible as the years went by, but even till WWII, nuts were a rather rich item unless grown locally.  Pecans in the South, walnuts in the north, the reason why pecan pie is a southern thing and walnut items are a northern thing.  And you got fresh nuts at harvest time (Fall) and spent the winter shelling and shucking them for use in cooking and eating (and one of the reasons for making fruit cakes a year in advance, you use this winter to prepare for next winter, hey, fruitcake is a privilege item.  Fruit, nuts, booze, in a long-term food storage item.  Good fruitcake is a Godsend to people who aren't able to get fresh fruit all year long.)

Nowadays?  Are you nuts?  Ew, icky nuts that have to be shelled, wah, too much work, available year-long, romance of the nuts gone.  Damn you, global economy that makes expensive things so inexpensive and available!

Seriously, I think a lot about this type of stuff when I go into the local supermarket.  Fruit, nuts, vegetables, available year-long at relatively reasonable prices (though things are cheaper when in season, out of season is still accessible to all except the seriously money-impaired (not rich, poor, or in between, one can be money-impaired and still have a huge income, or have little income but be very frugal so available excess money for frivolities like watermelon in winter can be a thing.)

I think about growing up in the 60s and 70s and how seasonal the food crops were. (Even turkeys, those were available usually only in late November and December, not year round.)

And the post-war years?  Especially in non-America that was still recovering from the Wars?  Food deserts.

Even pre-WWII, the Depression years, the Roaring 20s, The Gilded Age/Edwardian/late Victorian Eras, food was seasonal and regional for the most part.  Farther back you go, the more rare anything is out of season and out of region.

Something to think about in these 'fallen times' that we can still get citrus and nuts any time we want, almost everywhere we want.

So, Merry Christmastide.  Citrus and Nuts for all!  Everyone is a lord and lady in these modern times!

And a little music, too.  Have some Sting for the holidays.

Gabriel's Message performed by Sting.
No, I wasn't kidding.  Christmas Sting.

The angel Gabriel from Heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow,
His eyes as flame, 'All hail, said he,
'Thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

'For known a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
'To me be as it pleaseth God, she said,
'My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

"Gabriel's Message" or "The angel Gabriel from heaven came" is a Basque Christmas folk carol about the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God. (from wiki page on the song.)  It's also a very haunting song.


  1. So, Kumquats are like a small orange? I have never seen one.

    1. Yes, like a small, semi-sweet orange, peel and pulp and all. Little mouth-size semi-sweet oranges. Darned, now I really want one or several or lots.

      I guess they're that regional Southern thingy I was talking about.

      Som StB, what are some of the regional Badger-Land Christmas traditions that don't travel well outside of Badger-Land?

    2. Probably Lutefisk would be the top one, and thank goodness for that. Lutefisk is dried cod, dried to the consistency of a plank of wood. It is prepared for eating by soaking and boiling in a pot of water, with just tsp or so of lye, which helps break down the cell walls of the fish. It is then served hot, with melted butter. A truly nasty dish, that I think is partaken of, to show just how tough we Vikings are. This is one Viking Badger that wants nothing to do with it.

      I now it sounds like I am making this up, but alas, I am not.Imagine fish flavored Jello.

      On the other hand, we have Krumkake, the dessert of the Gods.

      And that Queen of Cookies, The Rosette!

      The very best krumkake are filled, either with a stiff whipped cream and berries, or thick chocolate pudding!

    3. Krumkakes are very good. I'm one of those weirdos who like them plain.

      Rosettes are neat, kind of a fancy patterned Beignet, with powdered sugar. Yum.

      As to lutefisk, no. Just... no.

  2. Lutefisk is served with mounds of mashed potatoes, slathered in butter.Which is always welcome.

    1. Mashed taters and butter, yum. Best served with jaegersnitzel along with saurkraut.

  3. My dad (a New Jerseyite) likes kumquats. But his mom was a Texan, so maybe that's the connection?

    He likes the ones preserved (?) in the jar of syrup, rather than the fresh ones, so periodically I can find them for him as a gift. Availability's been pretty spotty the last few years.

    1. Never had the preserved variety. And, yes, kumquats have been spotty in availability over the last few years.

  4. If you wanna talk about food deserts, go to the REAL source after WW II: The Soviet Union. Sergei Sputnikoff's channel: can help you understand!

    1. Well, it helped that it was a food desert before WWII and the depredations of war in the fertile plains between Poland and the Ural Mountains didn't help one darned bit.

      But the senior leadership lived full and happy lives with all the food any feudal leader could want.

  5. Now I understand the stockings when I was a kid. Mom did the stuffing, and oranges, apples, grapefruit, nuts and hard candy, like ribbon candy were the fillers. Dad always got a coconut in his boot. Not sure where that tradition came from but we all blamed Santa for it. Kumkwats. I'll have to look into that. I thought we had one of those trees a few years ago. Or someone local did. We had bitter oranges until the Freeze of Massive Proportions last Feb. Killed almost everything back to the roots.

    Thanks for the great memories, Don Frijoles.

    1. Heh, thanks for the new landed title, I like it.

      As to freezes killing everything, did you know that there were orange groves in Florida all the way almost to the Georgia border at one time? Killed off during the great freezes of the mid 70s. Global warming my arse.

      Though lots of citrus within the city proper or shielded by other trees survived and thrived, the huge groves weren't protected enough. Sad.

      Forgot about ribbon candy. That was one of Dad's favorite and I haven't seen it in, well, a century or so. Now I am curious as to what it tastes like now that I am no longer a wee babe.

  6. Beans - A very good history primer. One of my mother's strongest memories (probably around the end of WW II) was receiving an orange in her stocking, and that is what she got. And I am enough of a child of the 70's that I remember orange juice being a treat we got in the morning or possibly - possibly - one other time during the day. And never fresh squeezed.

    Walnuts were our thing. Not too far away from where The Ranch is, there was a walnut grove. The owners would pay anyone who showed up per bag, or one could take a bag home. We would take at least one home and crack them through the Winter (sadly, The Ravishing Mrs. TB does not like them at all, so my intake is limited to what I can secretly eat away from home).

    Seasonality of foods is actually a pretty large discussion point in parts of the organic farm/small farm/back to the land movement - all around the valid points that you raise. One of my agricultural heroes, Masanobu Fukuoka, describes what such a seasonal diet might look like in his book One Straw Revolution - and he writes of all foods that are naturally gathered or grown on small farms.

    The greatest hypocritical marvel to me of the modern food movement - well, maybe one of greatest - is the love affair with the almond (almond milk being the biggest issue here). Almond trees use a great deal of water, require bees to be shipped in for pollination, and have to be shipped all over the world for consumption. Hardly the friendly alternative to milk that many people envision (shipping bees half way across the country for two weeks work is pretty much not natural. And bad for the bees).

    Even most historical recreators do not get that on the whole, cuisine for most humans for most of human history were pretty meagre and pretty tasteless.

    Thanks for the link to the Sting song. I had no idea it was Basque.

    1. In reverse order, those tricky Basques...

      And there are some hardcore recreators out there. One of my favorite SCAdians also did Civ War and when 'encamping' only ate as period food as possible. And there was/is a movement in the SCA to do as period of food as possible, for evening feasts, which frankly sucks because medieval foods are not modern foods (like the medieval pea is not the green pea of today) and the flavors are decidedly different (like semi-rotting fish cooked with cinnamon and cloves, bleh.)

      As to the almond, yes, that is totally messed up. And most of the 'Great Bee Die-off' that is supposedly killing off the European honey-bee happens in those transportable bee colonies. Take southeastern bees and trek them across the nation to California and back and don't expect the bees to get sick?

      And most 'healthy alternatives' aren't. Healthy that is. Soy is okay in small quantities or as prepared in an oriental way that removes most of the pseudo-estrogens, but the way Westerners eat it, not so much. Soy milk is as bad or worse than almond milk. Me? I like cow milk, tasty modern processed cow milk. Yum.

      And I tend to fight the 'grow it locally' movement as I have never been able to fully afford locally grown artisinally fondled food. That's nice for people with disposable income, but I've always struggled for one reason or another and the stuff from the store has been good enough for me.

      Then, of course, there's the whole Green Revolution with dwarf varieties of grains and other things that make modern agriculture so productive. Like olive bushes. Olive trees take forever to grow enough to become productive (thus the symbol of peace is an olive branch, meaning there's been/to be peace long enough for olive trees to grow to the proper age) but olive bushes become productive in a year or so. Or dwarf wheat.

      Walnuts... never really developed a taste for them, too dark flavored and oily. But good in cookies and ground up for the filling in Poteca, yummy.

    2. Beans - On the "grow it local" note, you would like Fukuoka then. He made the specific point that organic foods should be no more expensive than industrial foods, as they cost less to grow overall.

      I hope you and Mrs. Andrews have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Here in south central Pennsylvania (York County) it's black walnuts. My farm is loaded with them and this year was a bumper crop. Unlike English walnuts these buggers are bitch to crack. Like someone noted above, I imagine earlier generations prizing them for a source of fats for winter survival.

    1. Mrs. Andrew grew up, sporadically, in East Tennessee and relatives had black walnuts. I like the flavor better than English walnuts but, yes, truly a pain to husk, and crack and messy besides. But a very good source of fats and proteins in a winter.

  8. Still have an use the stocking I had when young. Being Military, Dad and Mom didn't have a lot of money, so, yeah, the orange's, nuts and occasionally other fruit were viewed almost as gold to us kids. We might get another present, if lucky. Mine was usually a book. Hence, my love of reading to this day. Strange, though, given the vast improvement in "things" in recent years, I view those years with fond memories.

    Good Post, Beans. Thanks.

    1. Stocking full of nuts and citrus and some candy. One big present (usually a toy) and clothes and some smattering of weird stuff Grandma collected over the year.

      I look at the toy store most kids get these days and wonder why? Where's the thrill of having everything one wants as a kid. How do you store so much, and better yet, how do the parents afford so much? Truly crazy consumerism at its bloated finest.

      Glad you liked the post. I always think of things like this at this time of year. I mean, I'm an adult, there's not much I can't buy myself, so why the big thing about presents as an adult? Now really surprising surprises, like one's significant other buying a shed, or such, that's really cool, but I see adults doing the 'count the number of presents I'm getting' game and, well, what happened with 'it's the thought that counts' and 'being together is the greatest gift?'

      I grew up with my mother baking breads for Christmas. When she couldn't do that anymore, I took over. So that's my present to my family, a homemade bread along with some powdered sugar for them to make a glaze with. Nothing big or expensive (except for the shipping, but still under $25 per family group.

      And, yes, fond memories. I miss an orange in the stocking and the wonderment of fresh citrus.

      I fully expect to hear more about your shed adventures, by the way.

    2. I love black walnuts. Having grown up north all our cookies and desserts were made with black walnuts. Remember when I was small my aunt and uncle would go looking for trees that the nuts fell on to the 'free' side of the road. We would gather buckets full and my uncle would clean and crack them all winter long. He always made sure to crack a couple for the squirrels. People use to sell the tree's for a good amount of money. Have 2 that I need to take out and hate just taking down and using for fire wood. Margi

    3. Look at most old homesteads. The flatlands are for growing cash crops, there's usually a garden next to the house, and fruit and nut trees are planted on the slopes on ground otherwise not useful for other crops. So you find a lot of gone-wild fruit and nut trees on the southern slopes of hills.

      My wife used to run through the hills of Tennessee finding all sorts of nut and fruits on abandoned farmsteads.

  9. Fruitcake? I never thought about the 'why' behind it, makes sense, thanks.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. And thus the lowly fruitcake. Shelf-stable food that can last a year or more. Made from things grown seasonally and preserved. And also made during winter as one is trying to heat the kitchen (lots of early houses, the whole family moved to the kitchen area during the winter to stay warm) and might as well use that heat for multiple purposes. Which is something that the whole survivalist/homestead/back to basics movement doesn't understand. There's a reason for everything in the pre-industrial/pre-modern world.

      Fruitcake, so one has something 'fun' to eat during a bleak winter or bad times.

      Harvest Festivals to eat what's left of last year's food so it doesn't go bad, along with the excess and things (like organ meats) that won't last, eat them now and start that fat layer that is the difference between life and death in a cold environment.

      We modern first-world people, as a group, just don't get it. We (as a group) think that not having already baked goods is a horrid thing (a good bread takes at least 3-4 hours to make and is, unless using a machine, a very physical thing - mixing and kneading, first rise, punch down, second rise, manipulate into shape, third rise and baking, that's 2 hours or more just in letting rise.)

      As to good fruitcake, find some Collins Street Bakery (from Texas) fruitcake and you'll never think bad about fruitcake again.

    2. We as a "modern first-world people" don't need to get it, it's not relevant today. Not to say it won't be relevant to us ever again...we'd just have to go thru the learning curve to understand.
      My parents (born in the 20's) probably knew that stuff..

    3. I think about it more and more as I watch the news...

  10. I haven't had a kumquat in a very long time.
    I don't recall that our stockings had any sort of food or fruit in them, but I would have to check with my slightly younger sister to be sure.

    I do recall the ribbon candy and the hard sugar candies, and I mostly recall them as shards of sugar glass that shredded the inside of one's mouth.

    I remember the years and years ago family Christmas activity of having to crack and shell nuts in order to bake something, but the identity of that something is lost in the mist.

    Thank you for the happy flashbacks. Not flashbangs, those are totally different.

    1. OOOoooo! I want some happy flashbangs. I've got some neighbors I want to share the joy with.

      As to hard candy, they're for sucking on and letting melt, not for chewing. So of course I chewed them.

      I remember having to crack and shell and separate nuts in order to do cooking with. Now you just walk into a store and buy a bag of shelled nuts and there's rarely, if at all, any of the shell or bad membranes. We moderns have it so easy.

  11. Wow, just wow. The memories this post brought back. Oranges, ribbon candies, hard candies with a soft center, all those things which were a natural for a '50s/'60s Christmas stocking.

    Thanks for the Sting video, I've been known to post it over the years, it's a huge favorite. The first time I ever heard Sting's version was when Lex used the music in one of his last Christmas posts. A real happy/sad sort of thing. Happy at the birth of Our Savior, sad at the loss of Lex. It's a beautiful song.

    Good stuff Beans, really good stuff.

    1. Thanks. Glad you liked it and glad the post brought memories back. I remember hoarding the hard candies for as long as I could, which wasn't long because I was a kid and a sugarholic.

      That song is haunting to begin with, and the way Sting did it just makes it even more haunting. Really gets the point across that the Christmas 'Gift' wasn't going to be all happy and sweet and wonderful.

  12. The first year we had ribbon candy was 1945. I was 4 1/2, next was middle brother about 3, and the youngest at 16 months. No. 2 son & myself, not knowing the difference, thought the thin glass ornaments were the same as the candy. Mom caught us breaking ornaments on the hearth and feeding them to No. 3. Parents didn't know whether to discipline us for breaking the ornaments and trying to eliminate our brother or to praise us for sharing. We all survived childhood and joined the Navy. Old Guns

    1. Never made the connection between ribbon candy and glass.

      And children, given half a chance, are resiliant things in the days of antibiotics and modern vaccinations (for things like Diptheria and Measles.)

      Eating ornaments? Seriously? Okay, that's just weird. Again, surprised my brothers didn't try it with me.

    2. We were mostly pre-antibiotics. I contracted Pneumonia in 1946 and was bedridden for 7 weeks before they decided to give me penicillin. It wasn't approved for children until later. I missed first grade from Halloween until decoration day and had to repeat the year.
      The glass was the same shiny colour as the ribbon candy and at 4 1/2 I didn't know the difference. OG

    3. Regarding sickness, people these days don't understand the look of horror and despair that people used to get when their child became sick. Going through old graveyards is spooky when you notice the sheer number of child deaths before modern pharmaceuticals.

  13. The title of your post reminded me of an old saying;

    "If IFS AND BUTS were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas!"

    1. Yep. There's a reason for the saying, just like most old sayings.

  14. Used to sell the Colin Street Fruitcakes every year as a band fundraiser when I was in school in the late 60s. Yes, they are well above average.

    My father's employer always gave large fruit and nut baskets to the employees for Christmas back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, & 80s. Those who are under age 40 do not realize how seasonal these things were until fairly recently. Transport of fresh fruits and vegetables was very limited in range, and they were NOT air shipped like many are today. If you ate fruits out of season, they were almost always from a can.

    1. Or you were very rich.

      Same with most of our food ingredients for today's food. Can you imagine what food would be like today if it only was sourced regionally and seasonally?

      Just for things like fish, you can get frozen or fresh cod every day of the week even in the middle of Arizona or Utah, places far from the reach of old-school shipping methods.

  15. At the risk of high-jacking the thread, the first time I saw an "image" of the Covid virus I thought "It looks just like an orange with cloves stuck in it" that is, a "pomander"

    Consumption of citrus fruits is negatively correlated with tuberculosis infections. TB is a disease of poor people and poor nutrition. Citrus consumption may be a proxy rather than a cause.

    Great post.


    1. Which, funny, looks like every other cold and seasonal flu virus. Hmmm...

  16. Like Florida, SoCal used to be paradise for the citrus lover. Orange, lemon, and lime trees in every backyard, and fields a plenty everywhere. That land went to the developers a long long time ago though, so now we import the oranges from South America. After moving to Oregon in the mid-70s when my dad retired from the Navy, we loved visiting relatives down here which included my uncle always buying bags of oranges. We'd eat so much we'd pay for it- by way of too much fiber in the diet! Good times, good memories, thanks for the reminder. Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Beans, and to the whole Chant community of course.

    1. When Mrs. Andrew and I moved up from Satellite Beach to Gainesville, one of the things every Christmas was to stop at Harvey Groves and load up 2nds on oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. And we'd gorge for however long we could and make marmalade of the rest. Now most of even the famous Indian River groves are gone, literally the best citrus in the world. Gone, all gone, like tears in the rain. So sad.

      Merry Christmas to Clan Tuna, too.

  17. Thanks for the reminder of how much the little things have changed since I was a kid, Beans. Summer was Mom canning and preserving fruits and vegetables for Winter use, and in the Winter she'd be baking. Fresh sweet corn, grown just across the highway, was a major summertime treat. I mean literally minutes off the stalk if you wanted to go pick some of your own, which the farmer would let you do. Green beans, Navy beans, cukes, sweet peas, onions, chives, and garlic from the backyard garden, and apples, raspberries, and cherries from the relatives. Shucking and washing the walnuts was given to the kids to do, as was shucking the beans and peas for drying and storage.

    I never even saw an avocado until I was 10 years old! We knew it as some kind of "Mexican" veggie. Even tried to grow one from a pit to a tree, like "Arthur" from Mad magazine.

    We had a turkey farm on the outskirts of town, so you could get turkey just about anytime of the year, and we'd put an order in for one "Oven Ready" bird at Thanksgiving time. Mom made it clear she was NOT cleaning a bird that big! She did really well on the pheasants we brought in, but NO turkey! She wouldn't do rabbits, either, but one of my Aunts made killer rabbit stew, so she'd take the bunnies we bagged.

    Can you imagine the outcry today over 10 year old kids, out by themselves, hunting to bring food home for the table?

    The past is definitely a foreign country, and it's fun to revisit.

    1. Sometimes the past is fun to revisit. Other times it's downright scary. As mentioned above, there's a certain age group of people that when a child coughs or gets sick, the people either go really quietly panicky or shut down. That group of people are mostly gone, but..

      Like my sister, who died of a heart defect that is now detectable and repairable in utero. People these days just don't know about The Bad and The Hard Times.

      And cleaning and sorting vegetables, it's a lost art it is. Shucking corn and removing the worms and still eating the cob, shucking and shelling peas and snapping beans. I've put up homegrown vegetables before. It's fun once in a while. But it becomes serious work to can a whole garden for the upcoming year. Something that they leave out of all of those 'Homesteading' shows. They don't show... the drudgery.

      Gardens... First picking rocks and sticks, turning over the dirt, picking more rocks and sticks, plowing or furrowing, planting, watering, fertilizing, pest control (which meant Sevin Dust or hand picking bugs off) and hand pollinating if necessary and keeping other vermin out and then harvesting and preserving right away before things started rotting. Takes real love of the process to do it more than once, or even once properly.

      When in California, we'd drive up to a turkey farm and get one picked and processed while we'd wait for both Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. Except for the time Dad got some live ducks and he slaughtered them in the back yard. And, yes, we chased the headless ducks around the yard. Fun times.

      And, no, considering how much people put against even raising meat animals, sending out a kid to get table meat... It's actually illegal now in many states unless under adult supervision as in the adult must be with the child.

  18. "Ew, icky nuts that have to be shelled, wah, too much work..."
    Said by nobody with the patience to get the meat out of hickory nuts, but the reward is worth the work.
    I remember the novelty of citrus at Christmas; I was born in 1965, a rural Tennessean. A tangerine or orange in the stocking was a thing of mild wonder. Availability is, I suppose, a good thing, but it's a pity that the novelty is gone.
    --Tennessee Budd

  19. I remember these ads up to the early 60s from a company I believe from California called Mission Pack.

    And they would send boxes of selected citruses to anyone you designated.

    “Give the Mission pack Magic Way” was their motto

    I’ll have to look them up and see when they disappeared. One of those things you remember in your memory that was there and then you realize it’s been gone.

    My mother grew up in West Virginia and I remember her talking about the luxury of having citrus in the winter.

    Have or Orange Country groves.

  20. Well, the company is still around - interesting history.


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