April 3 This morning went quite early to baking in the brick
oven made mince & dried apple pies two custards brown
bread three large pork pies & ginger snaps. Alson here
to dine. Henrietta & the two little girls dined at Mr Torreys
& were all here to tea This Evening we all went to the
dancing school. Mr Whitwell called a few minutes
this afternoon & Mrs S Ames Quite Pleasant
Small wonder that pork pies were on the menu, after Evelina and Jane McHanna spent all of yesterday processing a freshly-“kild” pig. Once again in the kitchen with her apron on, Evelina turned today to baking. As usual, she baked a large quantity of goods in the brick oven that she shared with her sister-in-law, Sarah Witherell. About every ten days or two weeks – or every fortnight, as they might describe it – one or both women would bake up a storm of pies, cakes, bread and cookies, enough to last until the next big baking.
Mince meat pies, brown bread and ginger snaps regularly featured in Evelina’s baking. These are the first pork pies to appear, however. New, too, are the dried apple pies. Gone by now are the apples in the barrel that was delivered in January from the Gilmore farm, the one that was kept locked in the cellar so that the sons of the house wouldn’t eat up the fruit. Any apples that remained were from a group that must have been dried the previous fall for just this purpose, to provide a little fruit in an otherwise barren season. By this time of year, housewives had to rely on preserves and dried fruit for variety in the family diet.
The Ames had company for tea: another sister-in-law, Henrietta Gilmore, and her two youngest children, little Henrietta and little Helen, made a rare visit from the Gilmore farm. These two youngest nieces of Evelina are about the same age as little Susie, yet they don’t get much mention in the diary. They probably lived too far away for regular play time. Mr. Whitwell, the highly-regarded Unitarian minister, paid a call today, too. Pleasant spring weather was bringing people out of the houses to visit.