| September/October 1977

Dear Anna Mae:

I met Nancy L. Hopper, R. D. #1, Hesston, Pennsylvania 16647 last year at the Rough & Tumble Show at Kinzers, Pennsylvania. She was busy taking orders for the redwood signs that her brother-in-law was making. They were quite nice and 1 ended up with a sizeable order. They would put names on them as 'The Hoppers' and then whatever type picture you desired as a gas engine, steam engine, deer, fish, etc. But, in between taking orders, she was also handling a cotton candy machine, minding some children, talking to me, etc. you get the picture a dynamic gal going strong with a full head of steam and everything was going quite smoothly. After our interesting chat I asked her to please send us a story of her doings for after all, how many folks have a nice new home and can with a steam boiler and make bread and goodies in a stone bake oven? Read on I'm sure you'll enjoy her letter

I haven't forgotten my promise to write about canning with the steam boiler and baking bread in the stone bake oven.

We have a 1925 50 HP Frick portable sawmill engine, which we use to run a cut-off saw. We heat our new home with slab wood. The slab from the local sawmill is free for hauling it away. I may never have a linen closet because if we build it in, the heat from the two stoves in our basement would not have a very easy time heating the bedrooms. The cellar door is always open, letting heat to the kitchen and the dining room. We also have a fireplace in the living room. Hence the Arabs can boycott fuel oil all they want we just won't go away next winter. We have a big oil furnace, but it is used only when we are away over night.

We use the boiler to can vegetables and fruits; also to make apple butter and to steam corn for corn on the cob. A long copper tube is attached to a live steam valve and coiled several times around in the bottom of the barrel or tub.

For canning purposes, my father cut the top third from a 55 gallon drum and turned the edge over so we wouldn't cut ourselves on it when we reached in. A faucet was installed in the bottom. Wooden slats were placed over the copper coil so the extreme heat wouldn't break the glass jars. We can put 25 to 30 jars in the bottom. My husband built a sturdy wooden rack which hangs from the lead pipes laid across the barrel. We can put 25 to 30 jars on the top also.