A small bag of green tea leaves sat on the shelf over the work place in the pantry. It was especially for Mama. She loved her green tea.
When World War II erupted, she no longer could purchase green tea. She had some on hand and it lasted through the War. Sometimes I could see only two leaves in her cup of hot water.
The broad shelf held about anything you would want - crocks of lard rendered from the pigs that were butchered in the winter, crocks of sausage and headcheese, pitchers of milk Papa brought in each morning, containers of cream Mama had skimmed off the milk, and in the fall, crocks of sliced and whole cucumbers in various degrees of pickle making.
In the summer the shelf held pans of huckleberries, blackberries, strawberries and other fruits waiting to be made into deserts or be canned. On one of the east shelves sat egg scales. Mama wiped the eggs with a damp cloth when Papa brought them in, weighed them and packed them in egg crates.
When I was young she made her own butter, and she took butter and eggs to Wheaton’s grocery in Springwater to trade for groceries. It was in the pantry that Mama rolled out dough for bread and biscuits and made pie crusts and cookies. There were sacks of Daisy flour, a bag of split beans, jugs of molasses and vinegar, colanders, strainers, and a can of sardines for Papa.
The pantry was cool even in summer and the window was open in all seasons. Later on, the south wall was the place for our electric refrigerator.
What wonderful things were stored in our pantry! In it we had the makings of many fine meals, down on the farm!