Peas and Fat Chewing

Posted by Bar on May 16, 2000

In Reply to: Peas and Fat Chewing posted by Bruce Kahl on May 16, 2000

: Here is a paste of part of the "How it Used to Be"stuff floating around. I am sure most of us have seen it but for those who have not, here goes:

: Meals were cooked in a big cast iron pot, the infamous "Dutch Oven" that always hung over the fire. Every day folks lit the fire and added more food to the pot. Because many were poor, they ate mostly vegetables and didn't get much meat. Folks would eat this vegetable stew for days, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight before starting up the fire for the next meal. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for days. Hence the rhyme: "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old".

: For most people, meat was a luxury. Sometimes folks would get some pork, and they would feel really special. So when company came over, the generous host would bring out the bacon and hang it out to show it off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could "bring home the bacon". Thus, when company came, folks would cut off a little piece of pork to share with guests, and everyone would sit around and "chew the fat".

If you replace "Porridge" with "Pudding" the phrase takes on a familiar ring but this doesn't mean I know it's proper meaning or origin.