Thursday, June 11, 2009

friday's frontier fact

Would you like some
bear meat, wild turkey, deer or buffalo? Maybe some fresh green corn, hominy soaked in lye water, or Johnnycake? Sometimes settlers ate panther which is said to taste like veal or rattlesnake. I suppose if you drank enough of the beverage of the day, whiskey-and-water, you'd be able to stomach some of the above. According to one source, everyone on the 18th-century frontier "drank whiskey-and-water as an ordinary beverage. It was also drunk without water and was a constant source of trouble when it relaxed the inhibitions of people who had all too few of them to start with." (Tunis, Frontier Living).

If this wasn't enough, perhaps you'd like a little pewter poisoning with your plate? This malady wasn't uncommon and led to a host of physical complaints, even madness. Life in the 18th-century was never dull - dangerous and deadly, but not dull!

May you have a safe, palatable, lead-free weekend:) Happy Friday!


  1. You know I wouldn't be able to stomach any of the cuisine that was the norm for that era......but Mark would! He loves deer meat as well as Zach but never Sydney nor I, ha. I couldn't drink whiskey either and there was nothing like my iced vanilla coffee I have daily.........but it is very interesting thinking about how people lived then. We are way too spoiled! :)

  2. Didn't Laura Ingals Wilder say bear meat was her favorite? I kind of remember that from one of the Little House books. I do still eat bison occasionally. My sister and her husband raise them. As for the rest and the pewter poisoning - I'll pass! Thanks for the interesting info.

  3. Actually, everything sounds pretty good to me. Except the hominy in lye water and I could do without the poisoning!
    I would imagine that panther would be a very lean meat. Alot of muscle!

  4. Tiffany, You mentioned a series very dear to my heart - the Little House books! My 12 year old son loves "Farmer Boy" so maybe your son would like that one, too. He said it's because of all the food therein:) It's the only book he's read more than once!
    Bison is supposed to be so lean and good for you - I'd like to try it. I thought of you when I posted this - what those early settlers would have given for a taste of some of your recipes on your wonderful site!

  5. Actually, Lisa, I must confess I love hominy with bacon. Without the lye, like you said! The Lord placed me in the right century. I would have been a very skinny settler!

  6. Rhonda, I had to chuckle at the thought of Mark and Randy eating deer and morel mushrooms. Everytime I get an iced coffee I think of you:)

  7. Hey, Laura. Hope the writing is going well. I'm still racing to meet my deadline. It's looming nearer and nearer.

    There's a Proverb and I'm not taking the time to look up the Scripture reference, but it says (in modern language) a nagging wife is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky roof. We got a kick out of that at Bible study. Now anytime somebody seems to be leaning toward being a nag, we just go "drip, drip, drip."

    You must have some faithful blog readers. You always get such great comments.

  8. Ann,
    I'm racing right along with you on that WIP! Will be happy when those books of ours come out and go in, so to speak:)
    I'm still chuckling about your drip, drip Proverb as I know just the one - and try to heed it.
    Thinking of you and counting down till August 1!