A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko
327 smoking, but it was comin', it was just a short thing, you know it was like
a, I'd say, a pipe or something, only this was all out of ground, you know.
And they must have had something more underneath that it didn't cave in or
something. I don't know. And then they used to put stuff in the smokehouse
to smoke, and at the other end there they'd be burning this wood. They
wouldn't have it burning, just smoking. Only smoking. You never had it that
it would be flames, because it would burn. Just the smoke. That's all they
wanted, the smoke, to come in. And then I don't know how long we used to
smoke it. I guess it depended how long they wanted it, how well done. You
had to understand just what you're doing, you know, otherwise, if you didn't
understand you didn't do the rifht job of it. You get either too black or
bitter, or maybe you had it too raw, or something, so you had to know how to
cure it, you had to know how to smoke it.
AV: How long did it usually take? One day?
AT: Oh, no. It used to take a lot of days. I don't know, maybe a week, maybe
two weeks. It used to take a while.
AV: And they used to smoke what, sausage....
AT: Keilbasa, yes, sausage, and hams, and bacon. Bacon was mostly the important
AV: Why? What did you use the bacon for?
AT: Eat it?
AV: Just plain?
AT: With bread, yes. It was delicious. If you didn't have an old pig, you know.
It was like butter. Oh, you cut it, and you could chew it, just like butter.
It was very good. My brother used to make the good one, oh, we used to have
wonderful- because he used to, he'd just keep the pig about six months, you
know, and the bacon woudn't be too thick, and they was very good. Because
often he'd bring a piece for me to try, and I said, oh gosh, it you could
345 buy stuff like that! But you couldn't.
AV: Well, how did you make the sausage?
AT: I didn't see that, that I don't know, how they made sausage. They still used
some kind of meats, I guess, I don't know if they mixed other kind of meat,
or just the pork. I'm sure they didn't use all pork, but I don't know.
AV: Who used to do all this work, make the sausage....
AT: My mother-in-law did. But yu had to buy the casings, you know, for them.
Well, it's like, when you killed the pig, you had some casings from the pig,
and if you did, well then you had to be washing out these casisngs and scrap-
ing them, you know, so they'd be clean. Because many times we'd be teasing
our kids, you know, when they didn't want something, or, you know. And I
said, What do you think that is? I said, that's from the intestines that
they had the, the stuff in, like, you know, the sausages are in it. I said
that's what it is, you wash them out, and you clean them, and you fill them.
Now they don't do that, because they use plastics or some darn thing But
at one time, it was just everything live, from live animals, you know.
Everything was live in them days. It's already later on, then, that they
invented different things But it wasn't- they even used to buy the casing to fill
them up and make their stuff.
AV: So you think it was mostly women that did all this work?
AT: No, it depended. If the woman was handy, she did it, and if the woman wasn't
handy, the men did it. My mother-in-law was good at it, because she came
from Europe, and she had seen all that stuff done in Europe, maybe she even helped
there, you know. Because she came her with the children, when she had four
children she came here. She didn't want to come her earlier. She had
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