Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 35 > Page 10 - Hattie Carmichael of the Meadow Road

Page 10 - Hattie Carmichael of the Meadow Road

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/12/1 (369 reads)

if it was for any special use, for fine dresses, and Sunday dresses, they would send it away where they used to get it dressed. And would it ever be nice mater? ial. I remember one of my sisters. Mother had made for her a piece of cloth that she took with her when she went to Boston. And a dressmaker made the dress for her. And where she was working, whenever they had a special occasion, like a big supper or any? thing, that was the dress she had to wear, a homespun dress that she took from home. It was beautiful. (Did women ever go around the butchering?) Oh heavens, no. Unless a woman would go with a basin or container of some kind, to get blood or to get whatever went in pud? ding. They made black pudding, blood pud? ding, and a white pudding, scads of it. A woman didn't have very much to do with butchering, only that she cleaned the coats for the puddings--the intestines. The women used to wash the intestines in a brook, if there was any brook to be got. If not, there was lots of water in the well. They'd clean them inside out. Make the pudding. You'd get the suet from the inside of the animal and the suet on the kidneys. It didn't matter--one was as good as the other. Cut it up. And you put corn- meal, flour, rolled oats if you wanted, pepper and salt, lots of onions, that's all. Cut it all up, mix it, and put it in? side the intestines, and tie both ends and put them in a pot and cook them. And were they ever good! I don't think there was ev? er a recipe for them. Mother would put so much of this in and so much of the other. (There'd be black ones and white ones-- what would be the difference?) Oh, a vast difference. The white ones, you just had the suet, and the cornmeal and the flour and the whatever. But in the black ones, you have that dam blood that comes from the animal. And it was soft. You'd have to put it in the coats with a spoon or some? thing. Fill them the same way and tie them up and put them in a pot and boil them. (How long did you boil them?) Oh well, no recipe. You would just try the coats, you know, with a sharp fork or a darning nee? dle, and you could tell on the feeling of the coats, whether they were ready to take off or not. If they're not done, they're still tough. But if they're all ready to take off, they're quite tender. Pierce them a little bit. You can't pierce them too much because if you do, you're skunk? ing yourself. I wish we had a scad of them right now. But that was one thing I always disliked, to help Mother with the black pudding. I didn't mind the other. I could make white pudding all day. But I would eat them-- they were awful good. I'll tell you what Mother used to do. Oh my goodness, there used to be so much butchering and so much pudding. She used to dry them. Put them on a string on the kitchen loft--you know, it was always warm on the kitchen loft from the stove. And they'd dry just as dry as__ Hattie's Mother, Euphemia Matheson anything. Then, when you were going to use them, you'd parboil them for a little while in water, and then fry them--and they were just as good as the day they were made. It keeps them--there was no re? frigerator. That was the only way you could keep them. But everybody didn't do that--a lot of people don't care for that. In latter years I can't work, because I'm too old and I get too tired, and I can't think of doing things that I did years ago. But I think I lived a pretty busy life. If I wasn't working for myself, I was working for somebody else, helping. Maybe I was more like my mother. 'Course, poor Father left us before we knew very much about him. I lost my husband when I was 43. (And no insurance, I suppose.) Not a cent. Look, my dear. The day my husband's clothes came home from the boat, from down north, I just had one 10-cent piece. No insurance, children small, no income, nothing--only myself and the children. We were buying a home, and I had to let that go, because I couldn't pay for it. And we got along some way or other. I don't think there was any of them hungry at any time. People were good to us. I don't think I was idle many minutes that I could do something for some? body else, or myself. I sewed for them. I-- oh, what do I be talking like this for? I bought sugar bags, I bought flour bags, I washed them, and got the letters off them, and dyed them. I made shirts for the boys and clothes for the girls. I made their o-. veralls, knit them mitts and socks, and did everything for them. And thank good? ness that I was able to do it. If I didn't, I don't know what would have happened. I know every woman wouldn't do it. I know that. Because I know of some young women that don't know how to sew a button on their children's clothes. Darn them. (10)
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