Sunday, March 11, 2012

Drying Apples and the "Three Sisters"

Cutting the last of the apples last Fall to....
...preserve and dry
After reading a book about the Pioneers of Ridge Road in Western NY
(post Revolutionary pre War 1812)
we thought it would be interesting to try some methods of food
preservation that they used as they struggled to carve out a new life in
 the rugged thick forests between Lewiston and Rochester.

We also dried Pumpkin slices by the wood stove

The fresh raw Pumpkin pieces were bigger and heavier than the
raw apple slices when first strung, but they eventually shrunk
 much smaller then the apple slices did when dried.
Most likely because of the sugar content in the apples is greater.
Both were slightly leathery.

Dried Pumpkin seeds are nutritious.
..~..~..~..~..~..~..~.. (Five Kernels of Corn Story)


Sagamtity was a Native American
(First nations people)
Main stay introduced to the first Settlers
saving their lives in most cases!
 It was easy to take on the run being light
and nutritious. It consisted of grownd corn
and most often dried pumpkin. It was easy
 to add to a pot with grease and cook along with fresh
caught or dried fish or meat and even berries.

The Grits that we have today
 are a result of Sagamity!

These grits tasted delectable with some dried apple and other
dried fruit (cranberries and chopped apricots)

We are hoping to be successful at planting a
"Three Sisters" garden this year.

The greatest service which can be rendered 
any country is to add a useful plant to it's culture
                                                                Thomas Jefferson 

The Story of the Three Sisters
Sister Corn is the strong Sister,
she helps her Sister Bean by allowing her
to grow up her stalk. In return Sister Bean 
gives her nutrients (nitrogen) so
she can grow strong and healthy.
The third Sister is Squash. She has large leaves
that keep weeds away and she keeps the soil moist.
Together the three sisters help each other become strong
and fruitful

 Two are better than one; because they
 have a good reward for their labour.
 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
 but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat
: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall
withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
                                   Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

visit to learn more:
"Native Americans passed down the knowledge of
growing, using and preserving the Three Sisters through generations"........

Read about Drying at home:
 (a very interesting site)

Learn more about Food Preservation here:

And learn with Carolina M Capehart
  VISIT Historic Cookery Blog:
                                                           Adventures in late 18th & early 19th Century foodways
And learn with Carolina M Capehart

And you can also visit
a very delightful and informitive site:
The Old Foodie.
and learn with
Janet Clarkson

"Dried Apples. Put them in a cool oven six or seven times, and flatten them by degrees, and gently, when soft enough to bear it. If the oven be too hot, they will waste; and at first it should be very cool.
The biffin, the minshul crab, or any tart apples, are the sorts for drying.
And now to prepare them for pie:
Dried Apple Pies.
Wash the apples in two or three waters, and put them to soak in rather more water than will cover them, as they absorb a great deal. After soaking an hour or two, put them into a preserving kettle with the same water, and with the thin peel of one or two lemons, chopped fine. Boil tender; when they rise, press them down, but do not stir them. When tender, add sugar, and boil fifteen or twenty minutes longer. Dried apples, soaked over night, are made tasteless, and are mashed up by being stirred. When cooked, stir in a little melted butter, some cinnamon, and powdered cloves. It is important that the apples should be of a tart kind......." "Jennie June's American Cookery Book. 1870." (from:

Mildred Mousiekin loves to bake pies with her dried apples!!



Squanto was responsible for teaching the
 Early Pilgrims of Massachusetts many skills
 which helped them survive.
The "Three Sisters" method was a very effective
technique using Corn, Beans and Squash planted together.

three sisters


who was Squanto:
Celtic Cross




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Beloved, I wish above all things
that thou mayest prosper
and be in health,
even as thy soul prospereth.
                                     3 John 1:2
Do You Know JESUS?
Read more here: 
Need Church?
Listen to Sunday CHURCH
of the Living Truth Ministries
click here:

Read a great Post on corn:

"Amazing Maize"

Very useful books:
History from the Hearth: A Colonial Michilimackinac Cookbook
How To Dry Foods - Enjoy Wholesome Dried Fruits, Vegetables, Meats & Fish With Over 100 Delicious Tested Recipes
Mama Mousiekin says:
"Always FIND and USE your RESOURCES"!!

Grahm Kids, can you find 8 things that came from your house?
Thanks for stopping!


  1. As always a treat visiting you and learning so much. We do share a love of the old and gentle arts.

    Have a blessed day!

  2. Oh! Such a trip back in time to delicious simplicity and such a slower pace - just the thing for a contemplative heart. Always such a wealth of history His Story you share here. Thank you for enriching this time traveler wannabe . . .

    And, always love to see with the Mousekins are up to - love their whimsey!!

    Thank yo so much for your sweet comments as I celebrate one year in Blogland. So glad I found you, too!!

    P.S. What school is it that your grand-daughter goes to where you participated in COlonial Day. It reminded me of the special days we used to have at StoneBridge in Chesapeake Virginia - a Principle Approach school via the Foundation for American Christian Education. So excited to be returning to my roots in Christian Ed. with my new homeschool resources network:

  3. Thank you for this post, it was such a joy. I really like the vignettes you set up and photo. You site is always so comfortable to come to and I love the Bible verses as well as the good old fashion down home fellowship you bring with each post, thank you.
    Mrs. J.

  4. Oh Linnie...what a delicious post!

    I also dry my apples, since they are a natural sweet treat without any preservatives... what a blessing that we can do this still, even in modern times.




    Oh Linnie, I love your spirit of play!!!! LOVE IT ALL! Now I have to run......BYE! Anita

  6. Love the post! Sarah wants to know where the mousekins sleep. She loves seeing the stories you write with them. :-)

    Your grandbaby and Beth

  7. Such an interesting posting.. Enjoyed it very much..

  8. yum! I remember my mom having dried apple garland, but I think it was more for looks instead of eating :) But nothing beats edible decor, huh? :D

  9. Very interesting post. Food history is a very fascinating subject to me. I would love to try some of that corn grit in your photo. It looks so yummy!

  10. Dear Linnie,

    How delightful! I love drying apples and pumpkins; have you ever made "leather britches" with green beans? I was hesitant to try to cook with them, but they really taste fresh once reconstituted!

    You have given us lots of resources to look up; it will give us at least a week's worth of research! :)

    The Mousiekins are so resourceful, too, just like their human friends.



  11. I did some fruit drying in the past, but I cheated... I used the dehydrator. It used to really irritate me that it would take so long for the fruit to dry and then, it seemed to shrink down to nothingness. But mighty tasty! I am glad we no longer need to prepare out food the way our ancestors did. What a life it must have been... WORK WORK WORK, And no time left for blogging!

  12. Yummy my dear sweet Linnie! And once again you have made me smile, remember my past and look forward to the future when I can see you again. Yes you are right we are so very much alike! I miss you and your smile! You must come see Miss Lilly and how Big she is!

  13. I'm sorry I'm "late" to the "party."

    I LOVE coming to your blog, for I am always learning something new and exciting. Those grits sure did look yummy, and I bet your house smelled good with the scents of drying apples. :)

    As always, it's good to see The Mouskin Family as well.


  14. Dear Linnie and the Mousiekins,

    Your apples look so nice drying in your butt'ry and your grits look tasty! What a pretty copper kitchen you have! Mildred looks so cute making her apple pie!

    Happy Birthday to you and your Mommy tomorrow!!!

    Your friends,
    Diane and daughter Sarah, and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at the Corgyncombe Courant

  15. Linnie, I enjoy your blog so much and I learn so much too. It is a true step back in time. I enjoy your pictures and thank you for sharing so many resources.
    I always enjoy the comings and goings of Mousekins.

  16. This is not only a beautiful posting, but absolutely crammed with great information. Wish every school child in the country could do these simple, time-honored projects.

    Thank you so much!

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  17. Wow Linnie,
    you always have such interesting things to share with us!
    I love reading your blog and learning about older ways of living and doing things.
    Your dried apples look beautiful!
    Being an aussie I've never had 'grits' - but it looks yummy :-)
    Thanks for the links to those other interesting sites.
    And thanks for linking up to Simply Sweet, my friend.
    Have a very blessed week!
    hugs and love in Jesus...Trish

  18. Found your blog through Trish's Simply Sweet Meme and so happy I did! Your blog is so interesting! I think I might want to try drying apples. The grits look so yummy! Browsing through your blog I discovered your posts on spinning flax. I do have a flax wheel passed down to me from my aunt and just use it for display. Sure would love to have it functioning. I am sure it is missing parts. Your blog is so informative!

  19. Hi Linnie,
    LOVE this post.... It took me ages to go through have so much facinating info to share. The three sisters planting is such a lovely story...if I had the room i'd have a go at planting these.
    Hope Mrs. Mousekin's pie turned out nicely.
    Thanks for sharing Kyton's birthday.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  20. Such a wonderful post and thank you for becoming a follower on my blog.
    I can see I can learn a great deal from visiting here and visiting all the links. Thank you very much for sharing !!
    Have a wonderful day.

  21. I know I am using a rather dramatic reference when I say that seeing Mildred Mousiekin in her kitchen this morning gave me an attack of the "cuteness factor" but I can't think of any other way to describe it.
    Karen A.