It Occurred in Horry: Smokehouses mattered within the winter months | opinion

Wintertime in Horry County was for canning and smoking meat on the farm. Finding ways to keep warm was also important.

Beef and pork were typically cured and aged in smokehouses across the county, using salt and a low-level fire to smoke the meat, according to the story retold in a 1994 issue of the Independent Republic Quarterly.

Smokehouses sometimes stocked other goods, such as soap made from fat, lye and water, the article said.

“Barn elevations” to build new smokehouses were common before refrigeration. Most barns were made of logs, which required a lot of labour. The cracks in the barns were filled with clay and the roofs were covered with cypress shingles.

In addition to sitting close to the fire, thick quilts were also important during the winter months. Women had “quilts” to make quilts and prepared food while the men built the barns.

The winter season in the region also brings crops such as turnips, collards, mustard, radishes and turnips.

Collards weren’t just used for consumption. IRQ historians wrote in a 2013 issue that home remedies — also known as “homemade poultices” — for a cold consisted of mashed onions, mashed tender peach tree leaves, or a head of cabbage, salt, and water. The remedy was applied to the soles of the feet to reduce fever and relieve cramps.

Today some of these practices are more or less history due to cooling and modern medicine.

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