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 is out. A blessing craved, they begin with the Indian pudding, and relish it with a little molasses. Next come a piece of broiled salt pork, or black broth, fried eggs, brown bread, cabbage, and cider. They denominated their dinner “boiled victuals;” and their plates, “wooden trenchers.” Potatoes did not come into use till 1733; tea and coffee, till 1700. Turnips, carrots, and parsnips were cultivated. Dinner despatched in fifteen minutes, the time till one o'clock was called “nooning,” when each laborer was free to sleep or play. Nooning over, they repair to the fields, and find that a fox or wolf has killed a sheep, and eaten his dinner. The father takes his gun and hastens in search, telling the boys “to keep at their work, and, if they see the fox, to whistle with all their might.” The fox, that took great pains to be there when the owner was away, now takes great pains to be away when the owner is there. A drink of good beer all round, at three o'clock, is the only relief in the afternoon's toil, which ends at five; at which hour the youngest son drives home the cows, and the milking is finished at six. The hogs and sheep are now called to their enclosures near the barn, where the faithful dog will guard them from their night-prowling enemies. All things being safe, supper is ready. The father takes a slice of cold broiled pork, the usual brown bread, and a mug of beer, while the boys are regaled with milk porridge or hasty-pudding. In their season, they had water-melons and musk-melons; and, for extra occasions, a little cherry wine. Sometimes they had boiled Indian corn, mixed with kidney-beans. Into bean and pea porridge they put a slice of salted venison. They had also succatash, which is corn and beans boiled together. The meat of the shag-bark was dried and pounded, and then put into their porridge to thicken it. The barley fire-cake was served at breakfast. They parched corn, and pounded it, and made it into a nokake. Baked pumpkins were common. The extra dish, for company, was a cake made of strawberries and parched corn. The same religious exercises as were offered at dinner are now repeated. At seven o'clock a neighbor calls, not to ask the news, for there is hone, but to propose a change of work for next Tuesday. This is agreed to; and, as our ancestors made up in hearty welcome what they wanted in luxuries, a mug of cider is drunk, by way of entertainment; and half-past 7 finds the neighbor gone, and the household ready for family prayers. The Scriptures are read in
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