Salem to China: Life on Land and Sea  1784 - 1820

Jenny and Pauline’s Third Grade

Text Box:

We learned that people ate corn, corn, and more corn.  Boiled corn and roasted corn was very common.  They also ate squash and pumpkin and apples.  They also planted beans and made them into mush.  To get the fish the papa and the son went fishing.  We also learned that they ate lobsters, clams, and many other kinds of fish.  They hunted rabbits, squirrels, bears, and deer.  Families kept a few pigs so they could have bacon, pork, and sausage.  For winter, meat was smoked, salted, or pickled.  Apples, pumpkins, and peaches were peeled and sliced and hung up to dry.  They would later be cooked into stews or made into jams.  Everyone in the family drank beer, including children.  The children had no candy.  They made maple syrup to sweeten up food.

                          by Alexandra and Bennett

What did they eat?

The mystery item is SUGAR!  Highly refined white sugar was expensive so people usually purchased less refined and cheaper brown sugar for everyday use.  White loaf sugar came in hard cones wrapped in paper.  Because it was not granulated, people used sugar nippers, special scissors, to cut off pieces and pounded the sugar to the desired consistency.

Sugar Cone

Maple Candy


Ingredients:  2 cups pure maple syrup

1 Tablespoon butter


Equipment:  saucepan

candy thermometer

wooden mixing spoon

table knife

wax paper


1. Pour the maple syrup into the saucepan.

2. Have an adult heat the syrup on the stove at medium heat to 239 degrees F using the candy thermometer to check the temperature.

3. Turn off the heat and immediately begin beating the syrup with the wooden spoon.  Keep stirring hard until the syrup hardens into a smooth candylike fudge.

4. Use the table knife or your fingers to spread the butter on a sheet of wax paper.  Spoon the maple cream onto the wax paper. 

5. Cut the maple cream into 1 inch squares and serve.