A Varesano interviewing Anna Timko
289 be turnin' 'em and pourin' this salt water over them, you know. I don't know
how long they cured them, I don't know how long it was. And then they would
smoke it. And it was very good.
AV: Who did that process? The men?
AT: My husband did. My husband! My brother! And my mother-in-law used to do
the curing and the smoking herself. And our Joe, what is he, he's forty-eight
years old, he was born in 1924- he was forty-eight in February- and I don't
know how old he was, one time, and the mother-in-law comes up here, and she
says, Anna, were your boys down at my house? I says, I don't know, I says,
when I come home, I says, I'll ask them. I don't know. I said, Why? She
said, Somebody went and put wood on the fire, that she was smoking her bacon.
See, you're only supposed to have smoke, you know? So the smoke would be
going. And she says, Somebody put wood on it, and it was burning. She says,
lucky I went out, she says, the whole thing would have burned for her. Because,
see, they lay coals into the top of it, you know, and put a rope
through it, that they used to hang it in the smokehouses, you know, you it'd
get smoked in there. Well, then. the fire'd be too strong, that would burn
through, and it would fall down into the flames and would burn. And the
brother-in-law, the one that lives in Buck Mountain, that would take me shopping
and everything else, he came home from work, and he used to come down
the back way, you know. And she accused him of it, that he did it, he put
wood on there. He says, I didn't! He said, I didn't even look in there!
Well then, he got it. Well, why didn't you look in there? He would have
seen what was happening there! So, first he got it that he did, and then he
said he didn't look in it, so she didn't like it because he didn't look in i!
So then she come to ask me if the boys were in there. I says, I don't
know, I don't think they were, but when the come home I'll ask them. So when
they come home, I said - I don't know, I guess Mike and Joe, the two of them, must have
been home - but anyway, I remember, I said, Joe, were you down at Baba's?
(Because, the grandmother, you know, so often we used to call them Baba).
said, Were you down Baba's? Why? I said, Were you in Baba's smokehouse?
And he said, Yes. And I said, Did you put wood on it? Yes, because there
was no fire there. So he went and put kinling on it! And, I said, I'm
310 gonna ! Ha! Ha! Because Baba was hollering at Uncle John,
she thought Uncle John did it, you know! And I says, Do you know that thing
could have burned? It would have fell down into the fire, and all her stuff
would have burned that was there? Well, I don't know, but there was no fire
there, so he found some wood and he put some wood on there, and it was a
certain kind of wood you have to use for smoking - you can't just use any
kind of wood. There's a certain kind of a wood they would use for that
smoke the bacon. It's better with a cerain kind of wood that they use for
it, you know.
AV: Oh, my goodness! Well, explain how they used to smoke things?
AT: Well, I don't know, that's about all they used to do with them, cure them,
and then put them in that smokehouse and smoke them, then they would keep
320 already, all winter.
AV: How did they smoke them?
AT: Well, there was a shanty. They had a shed made, you know. I think it was
square. It wasn't too big. Maybe it was about three feet, maybe less than
three feet square. And you had a door you know, to get in there. Well, they
had this, you know, standing up, and then they had like a, now what should I
call it? It was like a ditch or something, only it was covered, you know?
The wood would be put in there, and then the smoke would be coming up into the
smokehouse - it wasn't directly underneath the stuff that they had been
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