History To-Go: Historical Foodways

Today, we have grocery stores right down the road and quick, processed food options, but people in North Carolina used to eat much differently. Most North Carolinians grew their own food in garden plots close to their home and foraged things like wild strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries wherever they grew. Fruits and vegetables would be eaten fresh only while they were in growing season. To make sure that there was plenty to eat in winter and spring, food was preserved. One popular method was canning, where food is put into glass jars and sealed with heat. Another way to preserve food was dehydrating, or taking as much water as possible out of food so that it lasts longer. Jerky, still a popular snack today, is simply seasoned, dehydrated meat. Yet another way to preserve food was pickling, or putting vegetables in a brine - the most popular choice being cucumbers! Food wasn't always so readily available. Sometimes, North Carolinians experienced shortages and rationing, especially during times of war. During WWI (1917-1918), the U.S. government encouraged women to grow larger gardens and can more food than usual. By WWII (1941-1945), the government began formal rationing. Everyone was given something called a ration book, which held small 'stamps' for things like sugar, fats (butter), and meat. To buy a rationed item you had to not only pay with money but with the correct number of stamps for the amount you wanted. Ration books made sure that no one got more of a scarce item than someone else.

June's "History To-Go" box features Historical Foodways! You can come by the museum starting Tuesday, June 6, 2023 to pick up a box (limit 2 per family). Limited supplies, so come early!  You can select the links below to access the box contents if you cannot get to the museum to pick yours up!

Thanks to funding from the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation Inc, and the Arts Council of Fayetteville we are offering FREE "History To-Go", take home craft kits.