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Saturday, February 9, 2013
Saturday in Julie's Kitchen
The photo above is my kitchen, but I don't want to tell you about my kitchen today. I want to reminisce about Saturday in my Mom's house when I was growing up.
Saturdays were rigidly set as to Mom's order of things and 'Saturday work' followed the same routine week after week, year after year!
Most Mennonite homes would have been much the same.
Saturday was always a preparation day with Sunday in mind.
The house needed to be cleaned.. top to bottom.
Everything that could be, was dusted including the baseboards. I remember the baseboards being one of my first chores as a child and I remember crawling around on my hands and knees making sure they were all free of dust and every other week washed.
Floors were scrubbed , and every other Saturday were also waxed and polished.
Everything was tidied and put away.
Beds were stripped and changed, every other week, ready for Monday wash day.
Mom always baked white buns as well as pies, cakes, cookies or squares. As I got older I was allowed to bake cakes or cookies but I never made or participated in baking the bread or buns.
The noon meal for Sunday was prepared on Saturday so that when we came home from church, lunch would be ready. It was either soup or a cold meal such as potato salad and cold meat.
Living on a small farm ensured there was always lots of meat -- our own beef, pork and chicken -- and vegetables either fresh from Mom's large garden or canned. The shelves in my Mom's well stocked basement pantry were filled with jars of jam, fruit, vegetables, a variety of pickles and sauerkraut.
The baking was a must because you never knew who would be coming over on Sunday afternoon and would of course stay for Faspa -- a light meal of buns, meat, jam, pickles and baked desserts.
It was accepted that Sunday afternoon everyone was free to just hop in the family car and arrive at family or friends' homes uninvited, yet assured of their welcome. Somehow, it wasn't too often that you arrived at someone's house and found that they had gone visiting somewhere else!
Faspa was always served between 4 and 4:30 to make sure everyone could get to the evening church service on time.
One of my Saturday jobs was to polish the shoes. I gathered up everyone's Sunday shoes and lined them up - six pairs. I so remember the white liquid shoe polish that was used on summer shoes. It had a particular smell and came in a bottle with a wand attached to the lid that was used to 'paint' the shoes. Paste was wiped onto the dark leather shoes with a rag and then polished to a shine.
Saturday was weekly bath night and girls/women's hair put up in rollers or pin curls.
Saturday night was late night shopping in town and you could always tell which women were going to church the next morning because they would have their hair in rollers under a scarf.
I no longer hold to this rigid schedule of 'Saturday work' , but I do remember the feeling of security it gave me. It was something that remained predictable and constant throughout my growing up years and gave me a feeling of 'all's right with my world'.