VIEW STOP 19 SCRIPT
This is Halsey again. Our corn crib used to stand right hee-aa. You can see it on the right in Bessie’s photo. This building is a replacement, but it is the same general idea – designed to let the air circulate but also to keep birds and vermin out.
You know, back then, we only ate what we grew on the farm. Corn and potatoes were our main food crops, so we mostly ate corn and potatoes. We had potatoes every meal of the day, breakfast, dinner and supper. Mother cooked a large pot of potatoes for the big noon-time meal, which we called dinner. Ma always cooked plenty so there were leftovers for supper that night, and for breakfast the next morning when we could fry them up with a little gravy.
The most common way corn appeared on the table – probably the most common meal back in the day – was samp. Bet that’s another word you never heard of? We made samp by pounding corn in a mortar, then we winnowed it to remove the hulls – something the early settlers learned from the Native Americans. Ma soaked it overnight and then cooked it several hours in a huge pot over the open fire with some field beans and a little salt pork to make samp. Some people called it corn mush or corn porridge. Around these parts we also called it Sam Porridge.
Like everything else, we used and reused that pot of samp. Never threw it away until it was gone. On Saturdays Mother would cook up a huge pot of samp – enough so that she could dip out of that pot for several days. We had it cold for Sunday dinner, after the afternoon service. And again and again till it was gone. It was an appetizing meal that grew better with age, even to nine days old, as the little ditty has it:
“Sam porridge hot, Sam porridge cold,
Sam porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old”
Now I’d like to tell you a story about the East Shed of the barn, just to your left.