I am sure everyone on the Peninsula has a story to tell about the wind storm that went through here. High winds, snow and cold. Then the lights went out and without electricity, it causes all kinds of problems — such as no heat, if you do not have a wood stove. We were so concerned about people without wood stoves and hoped they had a back up generator to take care of their families.
We had just gotten three cords of wood split by the guys from Frontier Mission and an hour later we had no power. Good timing guys! It is much appreciated!
Of course you all know we heat with a wood stove. So I cranked up my by-gone knowledge of cooking on the top of the woodstove and cracked open the “Cookin’ on the Wood Stove” cookbook. Put on a pot of beans, fried up some hamburger and onions. Added a few ingredients and we had good chili for supper. Instant rice cooked very well too. I have baked bread in the Dutch oven with the lid on inside the woodstove, with the coals pushed around it.
We had bottled water, thanks to Susan. We played Kings Corner, read books, laughed and told each other stories, by candle light. We love TV, but really got along pretty well without it. No phones ringing, no motors whirring, no clicks and clacks, just silence. The little LED tea lights that you put in pumpkins were our lights in the dark. I am stocking up on those! Also candles and batteries — we have to restock and we are ready for the next storm. I guess the only thing we had to complain about was the trips to the outhouse and how cold the seat was! I do know that my neighbor could not say enough about flushing toilets. Me either!
More on feed sack and flour sack aprons
I had a lot of feed back from this story and one of them is a story I wish to share with you from my cousin, Jim Nelson in Kansas who is 85-6-7-?
"In the past I worked in the feed mill in Westfall, Kansas, when I was 12, 13 and 14, preparing and grinding the chicken feed. We used the ‘printed’ sacks, and yes, men who came to buy, were instructed to what pattern to take home! I did all the mixing, grinding and filling the sacks to 100 pounds, then sewing the tops. The whole works. So your article brought forth a lot of memories. Imagine a 12-year-old boy working today for 12 hours a day for $1! Only because my uncle Ralph was the manager, did I have the job.”
He also stated that he knew all about the “Perfection” Kerosene Ranges, like the one in the picture of my Grandma. Those stoves cooked a lot of turkeys and cookies — there was always a little hint of kerosene in the food, but we just thought that was normal! My sugar cookies NEVER ever tasted like my Grandma’s … I cooked with an electric stove — still do!
Stop and think about the old days of no electricity and the trip to town was once a month or once a year, or you made everything and did not have to depend on the store bought things that are so convenient for us nowadays. I hope your days this week were not uncomfortable and that you are back in a warm house and bed. We appreciate all the concerns about our welfare.
Fireweed Herb Garden and Gifts will host a Christmas Open House from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday with special guest Ann Berg on hand to sign her Grannie Annie cook books.
The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.” They are available at Fireweed Herb Garden and Gifts in Kenai and M & M Market in Nikiski.