Thursday, January 22, 2015

Harvesting Ice in the Wintertime

Harvesting Ice in the Wintertime:
Years back one of my aunts-the oldest of six sisters-blessed all of us with a hand-written recipe book featuring my grandmother's recipes-many enjoyed for generations. But that recipe book titled, "Mom's Farm Kitchen", is so much more as my talented aunt divided the book into the four seasons. At the beginning of each section she wrote her memories of growing up on the farm in relationship to that particular season. It's a true treasure-telling not only family stories but of life in general-a documentary of a simpler time.
Today I found myself thinking of one particular Winter entry my aunt wrote as I happened upon Amish harvesting ice not far from where I live. After taking a picture of them hard at work in sub-zero weather, I came home-pulled out the cookbook and read what she'd written about the times my grandfather "hired out with his team of horses and a flat-bedded sleigh to draw ice from the St. Lawrence to fill ice warehouses in town." My aunt wrote about his day that started before dawn. "We were awakened by delicious aromas from the kitchen below. Mom was cooking Dad's breakfast and fixing a lunch for him to take to the river." When she described how he had to bundle up I could imagine him getting ready in the farmhouse kitchen. "I can still see the huge fur coat and cap he wore," she wrote.
Looking out at the Amish hauling the huge chunks of ice I thought about my grandfather. Thanks to my aunt I read about him too.

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