Thursday, 21 January 2016

Food in Ohio

Burnet is a fictional town in Ohio in the "Katy" books by Susan Coolidge. Here is an evocative description of a table prepared in the family home for visitors in What Katy did at school.

"The tea- table was set with the best linen and the pink-and-white china. Debby's muffins were very light. The crab-apple jelly came out of its mould clear and whole, and the cold chicken looked appetizing, with its green wreath of parsley. There was stewed potato, too, and, of course, oysters. Everybody in Burnet had oysters for tea when company was expected. They were counted a special treat; because they were rather dear, and could not always be procured. Burnet was a thousand miles from the sea, so the oysters were of the tin- can variety. The cans gave the oysters a curious taste,—tinny, or was it more like solder? At all events, Burnet people liked it, and always insisted that it was a striking improvement on the flavor which oysters have on their native shores."

By contrast, a rather less elaborate tea at boarding school is described: "The meal was very simple,—tea, bread and butter, and dried beef:—it was eaten in silence".

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