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History-related question about Mutiny On The Bounty 1935


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Maybe one of you film buffs can help me out with this. Been curious about it for a long time. In the opening minutes of Mutiny on the Bounty from 1935 Christian (Clark Gable) is leading a press gang looking for volunteers when they come upon a likely tavern. After lining up the new recruits one of them asks Gable how long the voyage will be and he responds with *"Until there's enough white frost in hell to kill snapbeam"*. What the heck is that? Some quaint phrase from the english book of prayer or something? Snapbeam I suppose could mean devil but sounds more like a name for a dragon. Can anyone elaborate?

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I think snap beans and green beans might be two separate kinds of beans. Maybe.


I remember the green beans were bought fresh in bulk, a pound or so at a time. They were washed and then snapped or cut into short length, then boiled.


But I recall another kind of bean that ladies bought, something like black eyed peas. They weren't cut, but they were snapped at one end and then un-zipped, then the thumb was used to scrape the beans out of their long pods, and they were boiled just as beans, with no pod, while green beans were boiled with the pods on them.


I remember the old days, during family reunions, when a group of ladies would start making a noon meal around 7 or 8 am, or even earlier. My grandmother usually got up around 5:30 AM to get the fireplace and cookstove fire going. She would then go out to the pen where the chickens were, and she would select one or two nice fat live chickens. She "processed" chickens in about an hour, and then they were ready for either baking or frying.


While she was doing this, another lady was shucking corn. It was boiled whole, or a knife was used to cut the corn off the cob and it was cooked in a pot or skillet as creamed corn.


Our "bread" in the South was usually biscuits or cornbread. Some of us liked sweet cornbread with a little sugar mixed in with it. Another lady handled the biscuits or corn bread. For sweet biscuits, we would use home-made molasses and real cream on top. A neighbor made the molasses and another had a cow and sold us the cream. Real cow cream was much thicker than store cream, and it was spooned onto the biscuits rather than poured. Real cream was too thick to pour.


And then there was the squash lady, the fried green tomatoes lady, the ice tea lady, and others for whatever else we had to eat. We had to send a man down to the ice house to get a 50 pound block of ice for the tea.


All the other men would sit around on the front porch and talk about the latest local murder cases and wait for the ladies to tell us when dinner was ready. We kids would play out in the yard like the kids in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. My grandmother had a chinaberry tree in her yard, and we boy cousins would pick some chinaberries and throw them at our girl cousins, but only if our girl cousins tried to join in any of our boy games. If they didn't bother us, we wouldn't throw chinaberried at them. One of the older men would sometimes tell us not to throw chinaberries at the girls, and we would stop for a while.


An hour or two after dinner was finished, and after a little nap or rest, we would all go down to the local funeral home to visit our most recent departed relative, a day before the funeral. This was always the reason for all of our family reunions.

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