Early Pioneer Food
The early pioneers didn't have big stores when they settled on
the land out west. They had to hunt for food or fish for food.
They would pick berries and other fruits. Then they had to learn
how to farm and grow things like corn and squash. Sometimes the
Indians helped them learn how to farm. They raised animals on their farm so
that they could have food to eat, too.
When the villages got bigger, general stores were built. The general
stores would get supplies that the pioneers could buy. Gristmills were built.
These mills made the flour for the pioneers so they didn't have to do it
themselves. If a pioneer made their own flour, it took a long time.
The pioneers didn't have the same kind of boxed food we
have now. They didn't have as much food as we have now. The
pioneers did have flour, tea, salt, sugar, coffee, bacon, dried
fruit, dried beans, cornmeal, split peas, oatmeal, vinegar, pickles,
dried beef, salt pork, assorted spices, water, vegetables, wheat,
and lots of other stuff. This food was brought to the general stores from
the east for the pioneers to buy.
The pioneers learned how to keep foods from spoiling by using a root
cellar or smoke house or an ice house. They learned how to can things. This
means they made things like jelly and put them in jars to use later.
The pioneers made food from scratch. Each family had their favorite
recipes for meals like pancakes, stews, soups, breads, and treats.