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Old 01-22-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
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What did Mom do ...

... than nowadays would be considered downright poisonous? Mine used to do things like stuff a turkey the night before, then cook all day the next at a really low temperature. Now they'd probably jail her for mass poisoning, except that no one ever got sick.

Do you think anyone born before the 50s washed their hands the 50 plus times a day that they recommend now? Heck, even for me, it takes a gallon of water, in the summer, to get hot water from one end of the house (where the heater is) to the other end (where the kitchen and bathroom are)(OLD house). Not that big of a deal in the summer, I put the gallon in bottles then water the garden with it. And in the summer, my hands don't care. But if I were to wash my hands as often as recommended, I'd never cook at all, because I'd be throwing away about a dozen or more gallons of cold water, or the hands would be so stiff I wouldn't dare use a knife. I do use sanitizer to help.

Cutting boards. In much of the housing we lived in they were wooden drawer-type things that slid out. Mom wiped them in between foods that she cut on them, but she didn't have a separate one for red meat, one for poultry, and one for vegetables. Again, we never got sick.

I'm not recommending any of this, just wonder what your mom or grandma did that you wouldn't dream of doing now.

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Old 01-22-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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The cutting board is what comes to mind for my mom too ... The under counter, used for EVERYTHING style. She was also famous for taking meat out of the freezer and setting it in the sink to thaw over night or during the day. I will admit I do this from time to time.

My grandmother would make soup then leave it on the stove (it was off) over night to meld then reheat the next day. My other grandmother had a can at them top of her stove for collecting grease (and chunks). As it hardened, she used it to oil her pan. I still do this BUT, I strain it and I keep it in the fridge.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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I was born in 1971, but I made hoe cakes this morning in my well seasoned iron skillet with bacon/sausage grease I keep in a mason jar in the cabinet with my baking goods...we also have snacked off that plate of bacon and hoe cakes all day since it's been sitting on top of the stove.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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cutting boards for sure, lack of hand washing when handling raw meat too.
she still does it and it kills me everytime i'm at the house.
tis why I have taken over holiday cooking
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:03 AM   #5
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The biggest one I remember was that my Mom would put the turkey carcass (and all the leftover meat) into the dryer downstairs, covered with a clean towel after Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. It was always a huge bird and the dryer was a cool, dry, dark place. There wasn't room in the fridge and she didn't want to be up all night cleaning it. She would do that the next day and put the carcass in a stockpot to make soup.

No one ever got sick from my Mom's turkey!
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #6
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My inlaws would get up at an ungodly hour of the morning to start the turkey, and then be amazed that it was done by 10 am for a 2 o'clock dinner. The turkey would sit out, all day, in the kitchen, first for the dinner and then for snacking and sandwiches. THEN, they would put it out on the enclosed porch for the night. The enclosed porch was probably just fine and cold enough back in the day, before they insulated and put in double windows, and moved the freezer and water heater out there (both sources of heat!)

Nobody died, or even got sick, that I know of. But I didn't eat turkey sandwiches or day-after dressing there.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:36 PM   #7
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We were much tougher back then. Youngsters these days are all growing up to be pansies. Most can't stomach what we grew up eating. That also applies to other aspects in life, in general, a lot having to do with PC.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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I am right there with you roadfix. We ate food that was out all day, and we even jumped from the second story of the barn into a pile of loose hay that we threw out. We rode our bikes without any protection (although I do wear a helmet now). Its funny...I don't think my kids or grandkids have ever stepped on a rusty nail. :) That was just common back in the day! Now we have princes and princesses that might break if they go out to play.

Oh and Mom used to say to go play in traffic. I wouldn't say that to kids today, because they might actually do it, and not be fast enough!
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
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I am right there with you roadfix. We ate food that was out all day, and we even jumped from the second story of the barn into a pile of loose hay that we threw out. We rode our bikes without any protection (although I do wear a helmet now). Its funny...I don't think my kids or grandkids have ever stepped on a rusty nail. :) That was just common back in the day! Now we have princes and princesses that might break if they go out to play.

Oh and Mom used to say to go play in traffic. I wouldn't say that to kids today, because they might actually do it, and not be fast enough!
I never wore a helmet while riding a bicycle and by 8 years old was walking a quarter mile to a friend's house by myself. I also shot my first arrows at 8 and my first rifle at about 11. I took the boat out on the river by 12 (where lake freighters ran) and had my own motorcycle and snowmobile by 12. I fell out of at least two trees, and went through the ice, to have to walk a quarter mile home afterwards, knowing that I was gonna get it for playing out on the ice too soon. We stayed out in the wintertime until our jeans were literally frozen stiff and had to thaw out before we could get them off. I ate food that fell in the dirt, cut sticks to roast hot dogs on, ate liverwurst sandwiches that had sat in the car, with mayo on them, for half the day in the summer while I was fishing a stream with my dad. And we just rinsed our hands off in the stream before we ate. I ate lots of snow, was involved in crab apple fights, mud fights, wet sand fights (at the beach). I used top jump from a 25 to 30 foot cliff to the bottom of a sand pit because I liked the feeling of free-fall. I stepped off of a two story house twice in the same day while painting the chimney. I went over the handlebars of my bicycle, my motorcycle, and even ran into a tree, with both (at separate times and different trees). I went through a wire fence and broke the wire across my chest while driving my snowmobile. I've dumped a canoe in deep water and had to right it and climb back in. And we won't even go into the adventures had in Boy Scouts. I've been shot with bb guns, with a few arrows, and have been clobbered by a good sized rock (just behind the right ear), and survived an exploding aerosol can (got stitches for that one). And most importantly, I survived my own early experiments at cooking! And I was the good boy of the neighborhood!

I can say that my children had similar childhoods and all four are still alive. I did teach them some of the things not to do, and how to properly do some of the others. But believe me, they came up with ways to barely miss injury all by themselves. I encouraged them to be adventurous. And now, I have a fireman for one son (he climbs rocks too), and a daughter who rappels, one who mountain bikes and one who after going over the handlebars of my dirt bike, gave up crazy things.

The difference between my family and most, I live in an area where such activities are still possible to do, without fear of a crazy person hurting them. I do hope my kids teach their kids to be adventurous. I think they will as they are very active (kayaking, hunting, fishing, archery, mountain climbing, downhill skiing, water skiing, scuba, etc.) You name it, my kids have probably done it. Oh, no one has tried sky diving yet. That's a good thing I think. There food safety habits are probably better than mine used to be. But as for what they are willing to try in the world of food, well, you've met Sprout.

What did my mother do that was unsafe, try to cook decent steaks. Now don't get me wrong, she was a phenomenal cook, except with steaks. Let's just say that my jaw got a good workout whenever we had steak. It's a good thing that it was a rare meal. I would have had jaw muscles that looked like a body-builder's biceps.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:37 PM   #10
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let meat defrost all day.
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