By Neoma Foreman
Kay Sewell hit a common thread among all the members of the Cedar and Vernon County Genealogical Society at their meeting Feb. 19, at the Church of Christ in El Dorado Springs. Drawing from the information in the book, “Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread and Scuppernong Wine,” Kay shared old-time recipes such as mincemeat where hog heads were boiled, meat picked off the bone and was boiled with gooseberries, raisins, and dried apples to make the filling for tasty pies. This brought about audience participation as some remembered “Butchering Days,” of their youth. Murle Phipps told of the social gathering when neighbors got together and butchered the hogs. Afterwards, the meat was shared with the neighbors, who in turn would share when their hogs were butchered.
Kay displayed a toy-sized-cookstove such as the ones used in years past and many remembered their parents using. Kay said, “Before the Civil War almost everyone cooked over open fires. It was not always from culture that the early settlers cooked, but had to use what was on hand. They all ate wild game such as venison, possum and coon. Persimmon bread, wild greens, elderberries, chokeberries, or whatever they could find.”
Several of the genealogy members brought a family dish and shared at a luncheon after the history of the food was told. Murle Phipps brought cornbread he had made like his mother made and told how she made it. Maxine Morris shared a salmon salad which was a treat in their family as they didn’t have much seafood when she was growing up. Nancy Thompson brought coconut bars like her mother-in-law made. Dorothy Foster made bread using her mother’s recipe and wrapped it in paper like she used to. She shared that her mother made eight loaves of bread each Wednesday. Gayle Teague brought cinnamon applesauce in her mother’s bowl using her grandmother’s spoon. This is now a tradition in her family. Jeanne Board shared gelatin with cherry pie filling and pineapple in it which is a favorite of her family. Neoma Foreman brought chicken and home-made noodles using her mother’s recipe which had come from her mother before her. Jean Lovewell brought yeast rolls from her mother’s recipe. There were several other wonderful foods and their histories.
Since a person is a product of where they are raised, food and the way they prepare it can be a source of tracing the path their ancestors’ took.
In the business part, Nancy Thompson took four boxes of books not used in the genealogy libraries to Mid-Continent Library in Independence. A work day was held at the Nevada Library to finish preparing the Lathrop acquisitions for the library. It was reported that the 1962 death certificates for Missouri have been indexed on-line with a lot of the typing being done by Kathe Radar. Some websites members have been using were shared. They were: www.ChroniclingAmerica.loc.gov; a site for searching newspapers, and www.KSHS.org; which are Kansas newspapers where you can enter the surname of the family.
The group will meet at the Nevada Library March 19 at 10 a.m. The speaker will be Don Banwart, owner of the Sekan shop in Fort Scott, and president of Old Fort Genealogy Society. The public is welcome.
OLD STYLE COOKING – Kay Sewell shares food history found in an old cookbook and a replica of the old-time cookstoves with the Cedar and Vernon County Genalogical Society at their February meeting.