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Daddy’s Birthday

Denison, Texas
July 6, 85

Dear Sam,

Happy birthday!
Frank was 30 the 6th so you see ever one is havng one. We went to Richards and had supper & Ice Cream and Cake and wished you all were thair! Marg called this morning they are giving him another treatment today They will be back Monday. He will be very sick for a few days.

George & Family are in Glorieta all week. Will return Sun.

I wish I could see you more often but it seems every one has thair own problems and not much time to visit. I enjoyed seeing Boyd Sun Thur nght. He is such a fine Boy You all will soon be all alone It’s not a bad thing. It is ment for them to leave out If you have the write atitude
I love you “My First Born” and hope to see you soon.

Tell all hello.

Love ya,
Mama
Prov. 3:6

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Holy Smokers

Some really great bar-b-que was available on the parking lot of Second Baptist Katy last Saturday. The community was invited to sample brisket, sides, and deserts prepared by individual Sunday School classes, and vote for their favorites. I don’t know which class ended up with the most votes but a couple of Aggies in my class, Under Construction, have obviously honed their meat smoking skills into an art. I voted my class’s potato salad not only the side winner, but the best potato salad ever.

Serious Aggies cook up seriously good bar-b-que

Dedicated to feeding hungry people during emergencies

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A Gift of Sunshine

Hannah received these lemons, along with the lovely basket, as a Christmas gift from her oboe teacher. Her teacher grew them in her backyard. They are as big as small oranges! I made hot lemonade last night, and the juice of just two lemons yielded a full cup of juice. Tina started me several lemon trees earlier this year. This is the first time that I have lived in a place where lemon trees thrive, and I can hardly wait until I’m harvesting my own lemons and giving my own gifts of lemony sunshine.

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All the talk of eating squirrels, squab, possums, rabbits, and soft-shell turtles in a previous post reminded me that I’m thankful that those animals are not part of my diet. Here are some other food and food-related items for which I am thankful.

1. standard measurements in recipes—Although I get a kick out of reading old recipes, I’m thankful that I don’t have to estimate the amounts for ingredients, e.g., “butter size of walnut,” or “one tea cup of flour”

2. seedless raisins—Older cookie recipes called for “stoned raisins,” which are raisins with seeds removed. Seeing as how a raisin was a grape in it’s former life, I’m thankful that the tedious work of picking out two to four seeds from each raisin is not one of my prep chores.

3. cream of tartar—An acidic powder (a by product of winemaking) combined with baking soda, makes Snickerdoodles rise just right.

4. pastry blenders—When I first started making pie dough, I would “cut shortening into flour using two table knives until the particles were the size of small peas.” As soon as I discovered the efficient pastry blender, I ditched the knives.

5.cast iron skillets—They make the best cornbread with a crispy crust.

6.farmer’s markets—Locally grown vegetables taste better.

7.tabouli and hummus—My tastebuds would be happy if I ate these every day.

8.refrigeration—I’ve been thankful for electric refrigerators ever since Grandmother told me how Dad would go to town to get a block of ice for their “ice box.”

9.electric stoves—Although I sometimes like to do things the old-fashioned way, I’m thankful that I don’t have to deal with the fluctuating temperature of a wood stove.

10. frozen peas—Hannah refused to eat cooked peas as a toddler, but she loved them straight from the freezer. I’m thankful that I wasn’t coaxing her to eat peas prepared with the following recipe for Christmas dinner.

To Keep Green Peas Till Christmas

Take young peas, shell them, put them in a colander to drain. Then lay a cloth four or five times double on a table, then spread them on. Dry them very well, and have your bottles ready. Fill them, cover them with mutton suet fat when it is a little soft. Fill the necks almost to the top, cork them, tie a bladder and a leather over them and set them in a dry cool place.

From The First American Cookbook: American Cookery, 1796″ by Amelia Simmons.

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