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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Lots of Pots: 1940

Lots of Pots: 1940

December 1940. "One of the daughters of Mr. Ilullo, Italian FSA client and truck gardener. She is preparing spaghetti and meatballs. Portsmouth, Rhode Island." Photo by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Let her do it.

Having grown up in the midst of a LOT of Italian families in Rhode Island, I am going to say she knows what she's doing. My high school cafeteria's food was so-so, but not the meatball subs: they were dynamite because a lot of my friends' Italian grandmothers worked in the kitchen. St. Mary's feast, anyone?

Pots still around after all these years

My family has handed down through the generations the pots and pans that our (Italian) ancestors used back in those days. They look just like these--with decades of discoloration, grime, dents and all. Perhaps that's a way of curing them to make better meatballs and such. They're still used, oh yes, nothing's wasted.

On the Origin of Species

FWIW, spaghetti and meatballs originated not in Italy but in the good old USA, albeit by Italian immigrants. In case you want to further dazzle your friends, the first pasta machine was patented in Cleveland, Ohio. Again, by an Italian immigrant.

I'm not saying you're wrong

Oh yeah? Where's the spaghetti?

Not all is coal (or wood)

What a beautiful example of the wood burning stove shown here. However, there's more here than what meets the eye. Just behind the cook is what looks to be a gas burner stove top. And with what's sitting atop of the burners (coffee pots) I surmise that little gas stove gets used more than it's its big brother.

[This would be a coal stove. - Dave]

Raisins and pine nuts??

How about "eye of newt" while you're at it ...

No no

Brown those meatballs in a skillet first, then simmer them in the tomato sauce. MUCH better flavor. Pine nuts maybe, raisins - I'll try it.

If only I had been there ---

--to eat some of that spaghetti and meatballs!

Save a pot

She could save herself one pot/pan if she simply put the meatballs directly into the simmering tomato sauce as my mother and her family always did — and I do still.

[If only you had been there to guide her! - Dave]

And if I had been, I would have suggested including pine nuts and raisins in the meatballs.

Camel back

I spy a pack of Camels on the left up on the shelf at the top of the stove.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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