Doing Things Grandma's Way: Old-Fashioned Ways of Living

Updated on November 7, 2016
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

Remember when Grandma used to have the whole house smelling good with her cooking? She spent hours in the kitchen seasoning meats, kneading dough, and making homemade cookies from scratch. I remember those days of helping to knead the dough for biscuits and pies, peeling the potatoes for potato salad, and boiling water so she can make iced tea. When is the last time you made fresh iced tea or lemonade? I don't remember her using Comet to clean the tub, or buying 409 to clean the countertops. Grandma, or Nana, had her own ways. We used to call our Grandma "Honey."

Here are 10 old-fashioned ways that remind me of Grandma's ways. Maybe some of these will jolt your memory about your ow Grandma's ways.

1. Snapping Snap Beans

In Grandma's house green beans, or should I say snap beans, did not come in a can. She bought them fresh and by the pound. Then we (the grandkids) had to wash and rinse them off, snap the ends off of them, then put the beans in a huge pot - all under Grandma's watchful eye. Grandma would then make us watch her as she seasoned them telling us how much water to put in the pot - memories anyone?


2. Real Pots and Pans

One of my lower kitchen drawers
One of my lower kitchen drawers

Grandma didn't have a Cuisinart; she had good old-fashioned cast iron pots and pans. Several had broken handles so you had to be careful handling them, but they worked just fine. I remember her frying chicken in an old large cast iron pot. They worked well in the wood burning fireplace too. On cold days when there was not enough room on the stove she'd stoke up the flames in the fireplace, put on a pot of homemade soup, and she was in business. That was the best food in the world to us.

3. Toast in Quantity

Source

To toast our bread we either put it in the oven or we used Grandma's two-sided toast holder - I bet this brings back memories for some. Because there were usually more than two people eating breakfast in the morning, the oven was our best bet for making toast. Why? Because we could put at least 10 slices of toast in the oven, although we had to watch the toast so it wouldn't burn. I don't remember Grandma having a toaster anyway.

4. Vaseline as Shoe Polish

When we went to church on Sunday our shoes were so shiny - from Vaseline. That's right, Grandma had us to shine our shoes with Vaseline; no shoe polish for us.

5. Barbecuing in a Pit

Source

I don't remember a grill at my Grandparents' house either. What I do remember is my Grandfather having dug a hole in the ground, lining the hole with old bricks, filling the hole with coal or wood, then putting an old grate over the hole and presto there was our grill or BBQ Pit. We'd sit around the open pit and smell that meat cook. Grandpa had a long homemade "spear" I called it, to turn the meat. Grandpa's and Grandma's wasn't as neat as the photo you see here, but you get the gist.

Source

6. Homemade Flower Petal Tea

Rose Petal Tea
Rose Petal Tea | Source

Grandma's tea was not Lipton, for sure, but it was delicious. I don't remember Grandma buying tea bags, but what I do remember is her going out into her garden and picking flowers and making tea. It sure was good during those Ohio winters and my favorites were Rose Petal Tea, Violet Petal Tea, and Lilac Petal Tea. During the winter months she had dried flower petals. This is how I remember Grandma making her tea (per Grandma, use the flower petals ONLY):

  • Pick flower petals
  • Shake the petals to remove the bugs and dirt
  • Rinse the flower petals
  • Separate the flower petals and place on a towel
  • Boil water in a pot
  • Place the flower petals in a tea cup (about 5 to 7 petals, don't quote me)
  • Pour the boiling water over the flower petals
  • Add honey to taste

HOORAY FOR Grandma!

Maxwell House Coffee Can
Maxwell House Coffee Can

7. Saving the Oil

I know some of you remember that old coffee can on the stove full of used cooking oil. I say bring that coffee can back in style. If Grandma re-used cooking oil, why can't we? We didn't know back then that it saved money. We didn't get sick from Grandma re-using cooking oil.


Collard Greens
Collard Greens

8. The Way to Wash Collard Greens

Collard Greens in a can - say it ain't so! My Grandma used to use a mesh fabric bag put her collard greens in, then fill the kitchen sink up with cold water, then put the bag filled collard greens in the kitchen sink to soak and wash her greens - somebody say, YEAH! I think it was bar soap actually that she made the soap suds to clean the greens. My family never questioned Grandma's methods, we just couldn't wait 'till the collards were ready to eat.

9. Baking Soda

When toothpaste was scare at Grandma's house there was her old staple, Baking Soda. Yes, it was a bit salty but it did the job. Baking Soda is an excellent deodorant as well. Grandma frowned on stinky kids. To make her laundry detergent go further she mixed her laundry detergent with Baking Soda.

10. Mercurochrome

Last, but certainly not least is the dreaded item Grandma used to use on cuts and scrapes; the all but forgotten - Mercurochrome. Remember the brown liquid in the small square bottle? Is it sold anymore? I think that stuff was made especially for children because I didn't see any of the adults using it.

Final Thoughts

If you think of something your Grandma did or does, please share it. Let us remember or give us a good laugh.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Lindy Caudill 

      9 months ago

      My Granny raised Me, She would be 105 now I am almost 34. I live by Her book. I hate that all this stuff is going to were you have to have a phone to do it and people think they have to have all this stuff. I am living the old way, I even make the Christmas gifts We give out every year. I say out with the new and in with the old

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      2 years ago

      Hahaha mercurochrome isn't sold anymore because it contains mercury :)

    • profile image

      j otoole 

      6 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your stories on how to do things the old-fashioned way...discovered your site because I was searching, and remembering how I would snap green beans with my grandmother (Nana). Thank you for sharing your memories...a joy to read. Best, Joan O'Toole

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      nina64, I almost started to cry while reading your comments - I think we had the same Grandmother (SMILE. I remember the washer that the clothes rolled through and Grandma getting up early to cook - we all loved waking up to the smell of her cooking. I do miss both of my Grandmothers. Thank you for the memories!

    • nina64 profile image

      Nina L James 

      6 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      What wonderful memories this hub brings to mind!!!!!! Reading your hub made me think of my grandmother. She used to get up at 4 or 5 am to do chores while everyone else was asleep. Her cooking would wake everyone up. My grandmother was an awesome cook. She would use the old washing machine with the rollers that you could push the clothes through while cranking that handle and hang the clothes on the back porch to dry on the clothesline in the summer sunshine and warm air. Sometimes, she would use a scrub board to wash her clothes. I truly miss those days!!!!!!! Great hub.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi cclitgirl, my Grandma was a cool lady.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Your Grandmother sounds incredible. :) I like her style. This is a great hub. Voted up!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks midnightbliss

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      these are what i miss about home.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Melovy, my Mom lives with me and we have cast iron pots and pans that have broken handles, but we use them. We still buy fresh green beans and snap them, and from time to time my Mom will bake fresh bread using a coffee can. You will most certainly enjoy making Rose Petal Tea.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      What a lovely hub. Next time I start feeling resentful of the time I spend cooking I’ll think of this and it’ll help me keep some perspective! Though our household is a little bit like your grandma’s - several of our pots have broken lids or handles that have been repaired, we eat fresh beans in the summer, one of my daughters likes to bake bread from scratch and the other to make cookies - and I’ve even used vaseline on shoes, though it was on patent leather ones.

      I can’t wait till it’s summer again and I can try out making tea made from rose petals! Grandmas rule!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thank you Shawn, I still use baking soda and peroxide, sometimes, to brush my teeth.

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 

      7 years ago from The Lone Star State

      I enjoyed reading your hub. My wife uses baking soda instead of toothpaste, which she learned from her grandmother. She also mixes baking soda with laundry detergent.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      moonlake, my Grandma used to be up before the Sun too just cooking away.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Susan,

      Yes, can't forget the bacon fat! I hated the cod liver oil too. You're welcome for the memories.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      7 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub so much. Your grandma reminded me of my grandma. She cooked everything freah and if you were staying the night at her house we would hear her in the kitchen at 5:00 am. She always had an apron on and she was always cooking. She lived to be 100.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your hub brought back many wonderful memories from my Grandmother. Especially her saving the bacon fat and re-using it. I can remember her giving me cod liver oil all the time...YUKKK :)

      Thanks for bringing back some good memories for me.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)