With harvest times short, farm families in the early 20th century pooled their resources to move from farm to farm to harvest, thresh, dry, and store grain as quickly as they could. While the men worked in the fields, the women were in the house preparing huge mid-day meals.
Often they served those meals on a thresher’s table — a special table transported by cart from farm to farm. Fitted with a special hinge so the tabletop could be tilted perpendicular to the ground and designed to accommodate a large number of hungry farm hands, the tables could be moved from cart to dining room and back at every house.
When I was young, our dining room table was an old thresher’s table my father had picked up cheap at a local action. We never added more than a leaf or two; the wood’s grain was obscured by the table’s cloudy ancient finish. To me it was just a dining room table. Nothing special.
Today we have that thresher’s table in our dining room – rebuilt and refinished by my father and his partner, Joyce. For special occasions we expand the table to its full length, seat 14 people around it, and sometimes add a second table to squeeze 20 people or more into our dining room.
And we feed them.
Here are some of the recipes we serve, the techniques we use, the resources we rely on. More to come. Enjoy!