Rain came down in blinding sheets yesterday, quickly filling up the little branches and pouring muddy water into the creek. It wasn’t long until the placid little creek was a roaring stream and over spilling onto the road. Our front yard looked like a river, as the culverts weren’t able to take care of the overflow.
The rain slacked up eventually, and the streams quickly ran down and were back to normal. It’s not over yet. There is rain in the forecast, and there are wispy tendrils of fog on Pilot Knob.
Our hills are usually protected from violent weather, but occasionally we get the aftermath from hurricanes that come inland. I’ll never forget when a strong weather system came through several years ago that felled trees and tore the roof off the high school gymnasium. Our granddaughter Jessica was young, about 10 or 12, and they lived in a mobile home.
Of course when the wind hit their trailer, it swayed and rocked back and forth. Jessica ran through the house screaming, “You said the hills would protect us!”
I have always felt safer in the hills. The hills seem to encircle us and rebuff the dangerous storms that hit elsewhere. The Lord has kept us safe through many strong storms, emotional and physical, and I am persuaded that He will continue to do just that. When He is finished with me here, He can take me on home.
I was visiting Mom this week, and she began talking about Daddy. (Sometimes she can’t remember him.) She said, “He was a good looking man, wasn’t he?” I replied, “Yes, he was handsome.” She continued, “I’d love to see him.” I told her, “Well, you will some day.” Eagerly she asked, “When?” “Oh,” I said, “When you go to heaven.” Her face fell, and she said sadly, “I’m afraid I’ll have to die to get there!”
Country housewives are wrapping up the last of the gardens, and putting away all the remnants. We received an excellent recipe for sauerkraut, which is made in the quart jar. It comes from Randy Thorne of Point Pleasant, who notes that it has won a blue ribbon at the Mason County Fair for two years running.
In quart jar put 1 tsp. pickling salt in bottom. Pack tightly with shredded cabbage. On the top put another tsp. of canning salt, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1 tsp. white sugar. Fill with boiling water and cap tightly. Ready to eat in 21 days, but better if kept longer. You can cold pack it, but not necessary. It will pressure seal itself and keep for at least three years. (Sounds good—thank you Randy.)
Maxine Jarrell of Barrett asks how to preserve pickled corn after it is as sour as you want it. We don’t have that problem, as the kids and grandkids gobble it up as soon as it is ready. My sister Mary Ellen cuts it off the cob, packs it in pint jars, and cold packs it.
June Cox of Winifrede sends a different pickling recipe. She uses this for pickling corn, beans, kraut and salty pickles. Mix one cup of coarse salt and one cup of vinegar in one gallon of water. Bring to a boil, and let set until cold. Pour over corn, beans, kraut, or pickles. (Cook corn and beans until tender.)
She says to try this: Cook a pot of great northern beans until tender, but still crunchy—no seasoning. Rinse, and add to churn of sauerkraut. When winter comes, make a pan of corn bread and eat good!
We had an interesting letter from Carolyn Knight that included a recipe for dried corn. Grandma O’Dell used to parch sweet corn (after it got hard) in an iron skillet and I loved it. This is different, and I’ve never heard of this.
DRIED CORN RECIPE
Mix eight quarts of sweet corn with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of salt. Add one cup of milk and cook 20 minutes in a shallow pan. Stir well. Place on a cookie sheet and dry in warm oven overnight. Stir well. (She adds that they stored it in jars in the pantry.) When ready to use it, add a little water and cook without soaking. Makes great creamed corn, she says.
Ida Williams of Cross Lanes is looking for an old-time recipe for tomato preserves. R. L. Taylor needs an old-time bread recipe made with Fleischmann’s yeast. It made three loaves, and was very heavy, dense and coarse—not light and airy like today’s bread.
We have a request for the words of a poem, “The Skeptic’s Daughter.” It is bound to be an old poem, as Stella Wilson of Charleston is 80 years old and remembers her mother reciting it. She can recall a few lines of it, “On the banks of Rosedale Waters/ Where the blooming flowers smiled/ Lived a pure and lovely daughter/ A rich skeptic’s only child/ Crowned with knowledge, health and beauty . . .”
We hope that some of our readers can answer these requests. Thank you in advance.
Alyce Faye Bragg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25150.
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