Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI

Posts Tagged Yankees

8 May 2004

Heather: How did Grandma [MaryJane (née Vaughn Spencer] prepare the meals, especially in the cold winters or the hot summers when there was no electricity on the farm?


MaryJane Vaughn Spencer

Audrey: We Yankees, we never ate anything bad. We had vegetables from the land. We had plain food from the ground.

Grandma had a can of milk that hung down the well. The can had a cover and a handle and hung down the well. The milk was nice and cold as it hung in the well. Grandma would reach down and pull it (milk container) up. She would reach it and put (pour) milk in her pitcher. Then, she would put the pitcher of cold milk on the table (as we sat down to the table). We had cold milk.

We would hang the ham on a hook in the cellar. As you go down the cellar, about two steps down, you could reach over to the top shelf for butter. Everybody put milk in the well in a can with a lid and handle, and put everything else in the cellar.

It wasn’t easy with the snow. We had the cows in the barn. They would run out and get right back in.

Mother would pay me a penny to take a swallow of milk. Mother would peel a raw potato and dip it in vinegar. The vinegar was in a saucer. I loved vinegar and raw potato. Nobody else liked it, but me. Mother had a hard time to get me to eat anything good. I was a skinny little thing. Every winter I was in bed. I had all those childhood diseases. I would lie in bed and look out the window and wait for the green grass and I’d know it was spring.

School was a mile from my house and when I went there, I had to walk. I think the name of the School was Middle Road School. I would walk through the field. Edith went to a different place in Washington. Ed went to school, but when he went to Anthony, he was happy to get out of that school and go to work.

(Looking out the window at Alpine Nursing Home) here is a nice yellow bird. Here’s two, they are so pretty. Grandma always shook the tablecloth out the window for the birds. Birds would come for the crumbs.