"Bean porridge hot, bean porridge cold; bean porridge in the pot; nine days old."
In old colonial times loaves of bread were made of mixed Indian meal and rye, not unlike the brown bread of our time. Baked pumpkin with milk was a favorite dish. Bean porridge was always a common article of food, which was made by boiling beans with the liquor in which corned beef had been cooked. It was very convenient for wood-choppers in winter to carry a frozen piece of porridge in their pockets and thaw it out for dinner in the woods. The longer it was kept, the better it tasted. Hence the common rhyme, "Bean porridge hot, bean porridge cold; bean porridge in the pot; nine days old." The cupboard or dresser had pewter plates, platters, and porringers. Square wooden plates were often used; but with some poorer families there was one common dish used, from which the whole family helped themselves with their fingers. The use of forks was unknown. Instead, thick and pewter spoons were used as eating utensils. These were easily broken, and they often had to be melted and formed again into moulds by men who traveled from house to house for this purpose. In fact shoemakers, tailors, dressmakers, butchers, and other highly useful artisans traveled about from one family to another in pursuit of work. Brunswick Co. VA Wills & Estates; Histories
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