When Grandmother Was Ready For Winter

When the last green tomato was pickled,
And the last blushing peach had been peeled;
When the last luscious pears had been quartered,
And the last can of plums had been sealed;
When the last yellow quince had been honeyed,
And the last drop of chili sauce jugged;
When the last stalk of cane had been sorghummed,
And the last barrel of vinegar plugged;
When the grape juice was all corked and bottled,
Corn made into salad or dried;
When the beets and the apples were buried,
And the side-meat and sausages fried;
When the catsup was made and the sauerkraut,
And the potatoes were stored in the bin;
When the peppers were stuffed full of cabbage,
And the pumpkins were all carried in;
When the flower seeds were gathered and packaged,
And the house plants were potted and in;
When the fruit cake was made for Thanksgiving,
And the mincemeat was canned up in tin;
The celery blanched and nuts gathered,
And the beans had been shelled out and hulled;
Sweet potatoes dry-kilned in the oven,
And the onions were pulled up and culled;
When the honey had all been extracted,
Comb melted and beeswax in molds;
When the jellies were all glassed and labeled,
And the horehound juice syrup-ed for colds;
When the tallow was made into candles,
And the ashes were leached into lye;
When the rushes were bundled for scouring,
And the walnut hulls gathered for dye;
When the cheeses were un-hooped and ripened,
Ham and shoulders well browned in the smoke-house;
When the popcorn was tied to the rafters,
When the feathers from goose and from gander
Were picked for the warm feather bed;
Women folks were most ready for winter,
To rest they knitted and sewed;
Spun flax, carded wool, and pieced quilt blocks;
Is it strange Grandmother's shoulders are bowed?

Eunice B. Trumbo

In preparing to share my Grandma Hattie Jane's recipe for Applesauce Cake over at Lolly Chops April 26th I came across this poem in the back of Grandma's cookbook. Living with the seasons, the ultimate in "going Local", boiling it all down into just what it was to be the woman of the house not so long ago...reminding me why I value the things I do.

Edit: Because the wind blew the wrong way and the clouds were falling from the sky sideways yesterday...the post at Lolly Chops will happen on April 26th instead.


  1. That poem is great--something to stick on the kitchen wall. I can't wait to read all about the applesauce cake...Yummy!

  2. I'm definitely putting this poem up in my kitchen - might shame me next time I go for the fast meal vs. a nice slow meal. :) Yay on Lolly Chops! Can't wait to see you on there!

  3. Someday I want to do a master's thesis on some things that this poem is about and I will refer back to this poem at that time. Thank you for sharing this lovely piece.



Post a Comment