November 21, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday – Family Wit And Words

 

As I began making banana bread today using Mom’s recipe I retraced the steps I’ve always used to begin any baking project.  Mom taught me to look at the recipe, get out all the ingredients and utensils and get everything lined up before I began. Oh, and just for good measure, I read the recipe one more time.  In the “old days” we also used to turn on the oven to preheat and let it get warmed up. I have a gas stove and the oven takes very little time to heat now, and most likely saves money in the process.

As long as I had the oven going, I stirred up six of each,  blueberry and apple chunk muffins. As I combined all the ingredients for each baked item I put the canisters away, wiping them off as needed, or refilling them if they were low.  When everything was done baking and on the cooling racks I had to rest up a bit.  One batch of anything is usually enough for one day, but three different things…that did me in.  Mom always ran a sink full of hot soapy water so as we’d get done with a bowl or spoon, etc., we could just put it in to soak and it would be easier to clean later.

As I went along today I could ‘hear’ Mom reminding me to do all these things. I’m probably not a lot different than many other cooks in my age group. Some things have changed though. We didn’t have Pam in Mom’s day, so we’d have to butter the pans with Crisco or actual butter if we had it.  Mom always used margarine and I remember she would always keep the outer paper to butter pans or cookie sheets.  She grew up during the depression era and there wasn’t much that went to waste.

One of our family stories that Dad would tell on Mom was “remember the time you bought all that firewood…? It was all cedar and Mom was fairly new at buying things like wood.  She went to business college in Seattle, but they don’t teach you to buy a mixture of wood types like madrona, fir and some cedar for hot fires and kindling.  She was a whiz at shorthand and typing, but had a lot to learn about living in the boonies.  At least she never had to cook on a wood stove.  I know people swear by them, but she probably thought of herself as Donna Reed rather than Ma Kettle.

I didn’t learn everything about cooking from just my mom.  Almost everyone I have met along the way in my life has given me witty ideas and wisdom that was passed on down to them too.

My mother-in-law taught me that when you’re making homemade tomato soup that ‘red into white and you’ll always be right”.

My friend Debby showed me how to combine mustard, ketchup, pork and beans, brown sugar and onions and ham to make the most tasty baked beans ever.  Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe, adding little smokies or putting in BBQ sauce with the ketchup.

Grandma Josie said that if you start a fire in the woodstove to bake bread to begin with cedar for a hot fire when you put the loaves in, then as the fire dies down, add a piece of madrona because it burns for a long time with an even heat. Adding just a little fir will round it out nicely.  When Grandma would back yeast rolls for dinner I remember she would always have a little shortening melted in the bottom of the pan and as she put each roll in she would flip it over so it would have some oil on the top to brown the rolls.

One last memory I remember I learned from my father-in-law.  He said, whenever you’re in a bar make sure you never have an empty beer bottle.  If you get into a bar fight you don’t want to grab an empty one because when you go to hit it on the edge of the bar to break off the end to use as a weapon it’ll just shatter.  Partially full ones break leaving some nasty jagged points on the end and are much more effective.  See what you can learn by just listening to your elders?  Luckily, I’ve not had to use that bit of wit so far in my life.

I’m participating in Wisdom Wednesday, daily blogging theme used by writers to add content to their sites.  Geneabloggers is one of those sites. Pay Thomas a visit and see what his offering is for today.

“To participate in Wisdom Wednesday simply create a post in which you share words of wisdom about any number of things including weddings, marriage, children, work, and so on.  A post  could include such things as favorite sayings of grannies, superstitions, that sort of thing.  Words of wisdom should have their origins in the past and have been passed on from generation to generation.

A special thanks to Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman of On a Flesh and Bone Foundation: An Irish History for suggesting Wisdom Wednesday as a daily blogging theme!”

Wishing you all a very safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

My Heritage.com Names Top 100 Genealogy Sites

 

It’s always wonderful when you see someone’s hard work and dedication rewarded with recognition.  I’m not on this list (yet), but if I work harder I might be someday.  In the mean time, I hope you will visit the MyHeritage site and visit some of the honored genealogy sites. Good for you guys!

MyHeritage.com’s Top 100 Genealogy Sites

Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #1

cerilda-myra-jim-yates

cerilda-myra-jim-yates

L-R: Cerilda, Myra and Jim Yates

This is the only photo I have of my Great Grandmother Cerilda Yates and to me, it’s priceless. After having seven children Cerilda died an unneccesary death from “child bed fever”. What that amounts to is unclean conditions when she was giving birth. We do have a group picture of her surviving siblings taken some decades later, and most of the women look very much alike. Don’t you just love the dress Cerilda is wearing?

The photo is special to me too because it’s the only photo we have of Jim Yates’ younger sister Myra. Myra died from tuberculosis in 1888 when she was twenty-two years old.  Jim and Myra had both migrated from Roane County, Tennessee to Howell County, Missouri with their step-uncle Gideon Morrison.  Another sister, Lydia, was left behind in Tennessee because she was “too young”. I am not sure what that means, but, in any case she stayed in Roane County and married Clement Clark.

myra-yates

Another mystery is that if you look at the enlarged version of this photo and compare it to the tintype above it looks like both women are wearing the same pin at their neckline.  Since Myra Yates was born in 1866, and it is possible this tintype was taken sometime in that era, the woman in the tintype is certainly not Myra. It is possible that the picture is Mary M. Kelsey Yates, her mother.

As a side note, when I was looking through the Missouri digital archives for death records for our Yates family I found two for a Deborah E. Yates who died 22 September 1888.  That’s the same date Myra died, so I think that her real name was given. My family is ‘famous’ for going by nicknames and middle names, darn it all. The name Deborah is significant because that was also the name of Myra’s grandmother. Deborah Holmes b. sometime around 1825 was married (1) to Miles Yates, and (2) to William Deatherage Morrison. William D. Morrison was the father of Gideon P. Morrison with whom Jim and Myra had migrated with to Howell County, MO.

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I am participating in Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt at Genea-bloggers on Facebook. Won’t you join us?!

Week #1: Upload your favorite picture and talk about it on your blog. Answer the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter and explain why it is your favorite.

From “Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog. 52 ideas. 52 weeks” by Amy Coffin at We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com)

Postcards: Kids in a Goat Cart Challenge

Three boys and a goat cart

This subject came up a few years ago: Do we all have pictures of kids in goat carts?  I was surprised to see how many of my friends and family had similar pictures. Do you have one? Here is my submission to the challenge. Let’s see how many different ones we can share!

Three boys and a goat cart

I believe this might be boys in the Wilkerson or Baldwin family, but I don’t know for sure.  That’s one sturdy looking goat, don’t you think?

Looking for some additional postcards? Try visiting A Festival of Postcards.  Evelyn has some dandy ones!

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