Preppers: The Two M’s – Meal and Meat
Kevin Felts 05.16.17
While reading “Nameless Towns, Texas Sawmill Communities 1880 – 1942,” I noticed the author talked about what families in the sawmill towns ate. Besides having a community garden, backyard garden, chickens, cattle, your usual stuff, there was mention of the three M’s: meal, meat, and molasses. For the sake of discussion, let’s remove molasses and just call this the two M’s: meal and meat.
Employees would go to the company commissary to buy what they needed. Once a week or so, a local butcher would drive a wagon to the company town to sell fresh meat.
Women would wake up early in the morning, fire the wood stove and cook the family breakfast. The first meal of the day was usually along the lines of homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon, or something like oatmeal.
While reading what the sawmill families ate, I was reminded of another book I read, “Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies.” People in the middle ages would take whatever dried grains they had, grind it up and make a type of flatbread out of it. People in the middle ages had their milk cows, pigs, chickens, and fruit trees much like the people in the sawmill communities.
In the grand scheme of things, basic food items did not change that much from the middle ages to the early twentieth century.
What does this mean?
Meal and Meat
Drawing from historical references, it appears that two food items have remained constant, that is meal and meat.
Meal – Dried food items that are ground up. In the middle ages, people would grind maize, peas, and beans and use them to make a flatbread.
Meat – Fish, pork, goat, chicken, or geese. In the middle ages people valued pigs more than cattle. A grown cow was too large to butcher, unless there was some kind of big event.
Learning from the past can help us prepare for the future.
By knowing what difficulties our ancestors faced, we can prepare to face those same issues.