Gram and my 2 goofy sisters at her apartmentMy Grandma Ashe lived simply. She took meticulous care of her apartment and her few household items. She did not know the word clutter. She never owned anything valuable except her tiny engagement ring. She used and re-used simple items such as bits of string, or rubber bands from the daily newspaper. She never returned items to the store—she once said, “First of all, if I didn’t want it I wouldn’t buy it. And if I bought it and didn’t like it, I’d live with it.” To my knowledge she never drove a car in her life. In her late 70s she was hired to collect the rents for her apartment building, a task that fit perfectly with her innate accounting skills.
I am the proud owner of Gram’s 1931 Ball Blue Book (for canning). It's not in bad condition for an 80-year old glorified pamphlet. Considering that this book would have been spread out on her counter in reach of splashing water and sticky sugar syrup, it’s a miracle it survived, but Gram took careful care of everything, even a cheap paper canning guide.
On the fun side, did you know you could can frog legs? Mmm-mmm! The directions are right here on page 28. Or fish roe, clams, and oysters? How about rabbit? Or pigeons? Both of those are processed same as chicken. Brains, heart, and kidneys all take 3 hours in a water bath or 90 minutes in a pressure cooker. And for the thriftiest among us, there are recipes for canning turkey bone soup, carrot ketchup, and "emergency pickles" (no cucumbers involved).