Southeastern Indian Diet

Southeastern Indians hoped for meat or fish, but they depended upon vegetables.  Many wild plants produce food for a few weeks each year, but only a few staples are available year around.  Survival is possible without agriculture, but finding enough food for everyone can be a difficult, full-time job.  The Indian population of Tennessee (42,146 sq. mi.) was about 20,000.  It thus took 2 sq. mi. of land to produce enough wild food for one Indian.  The Europeans could grow enough food for one person in a half acre garden.

Fireplace and Wood Stove Cooking

Fireplace cooking was hard work.  Frequent bending and stooping were necessary, and cast iron cookware was heavy.  It was also dangerous work.  Most long skirts had a burned place at the bottom, and hot coals popped onto wooden floors daily.

Metal stoves were adopted quicker than any invention before radio and television.  A stove was also more efficient than a fireplace; it saved a lot of wood cutting. Throw a small pinch of flour into the oven of a wood stove.  If it is just starting to brown after 30 sec, the temperature is right for baking bread and cakes.

Store-bought Bread

Bakeries supplied bread to city dwellers, but store-bought bread was not common in rural areas until 1930.  Southern housewives made biscuits and cornbread daily.

Agriculture Workforce

At the end of the first millenium, producing food, fiber, and other agricultural products required 90% of the population; at the end of the second millenium, it was less than 1% in the U.S., and prices were low because of overproduction.  These changes, including the end of slavery, resulted from the exploitation of fossil fuels.  If prices rise and people cannot afford gasoline and heating oil, 75% of the U.S. population will have to be resettled from cities to 5 ac farms.

Happy marriage

A key to a satisfactory life for many people is a long and happy marriage. Few people, single or married, are completely satisfied with their lives. If there is any spark of interest in someone of the opposite sex, a determined campaign by that other person can intensify the relationship. The usual strategy is to promise or freely offer something that the other person does not already have. The price can be high, however, and the rewards few. A happy marriage requires the full-time commitment of both partners.

It’s raining again

To stay dry in a sudden shower, stand against the downwind side of a large forest tree. A tree surrounded by many others is unlikely to be hit by lightning.