Toni and the Pickle Jar

Today, we took a break from creating Halloween costumes. Instead, Toni traveled back in time to the 1890s.

Her mother handed her a basket and sent her to the root cellar and the spring house to bring back things she needed for supper. The day was warm, and Toni was wearing her pink dress with the roses on it. Over it, she had her pinafore to keep her dress tidy.

Toni’s basket.

“Bring back some potatoes and a jar of pickles from the root cellar,” her mother said, “and some onions too. From the spring house, we need some cream and some butter.”

Toni put on her straw hat, took the basket from her mother, and headed out on her short errand. She was tempted to dally along the path to look for butterflies, but didn’t want a scolding for being slow returning.

Toni and the pickle jar.

She realized that she had forgotten to ask which kinds of pickles her mother wanted. Bread and Butter Pickles or Sweet Gherkin Pickles? Surely, not Dill Pickles. Dinner was to be ham and mashed potatoes and freshly cooked green beans. She put one jar of each into the basket, selected the potatoes, and the onions.

The spring house was just a short distance further and she felt the cool air surround her as she stepped inside. The thick stone walls and the bubbling spring kept the interior cool. The chill water from deep underground flowed around the base of the stoneware crock of milk. Carefully, she used the dipper to get the cream that had risen to the top and poured it into the empty jar that she’d brought with her.

She added the butter and the cream to the other items in the basket. Earlier in the day, her mother had her pick strawberries, so Toni thought surely tonight’s dessert would be strawberries and cream.

Toni in apron.

Her mother barely glanced up as Toni returned to the kitchen with the filled basket. “Go set the table and put the pickles in a dish,” she instructed, “while I peel the potatoes.” Toni could smell the juicy ham in the oven. Supper was going to be tasty.

Background Information

The kind of crocks that milk was stored in or also used when making pickles.