Fair comes to Waterford

Fair week in the booming village of Waterford! Folks called it the World’s Fair for so long that the sign at the entrance actually says that now. One important part of this fair is the Hog Sale for FFA and 4-H members. Those young folks have been working with their projects since spring to bring those little pigs up to sale size to sell at this fair. The kids who did the best job will have the honors of having the Champions and Reserve Champions at this judging, and usually, the best prices for their animals.

That sale price is a large chunk of cash needed for buying that first car or truck or for books for a college education. They learn about the care of animals and marketing by “learning by doing.” Many grandparents and other family members transfer cash to the well deserving young people by helping them learn to work for the money they receive instead of just giving it to them. We don’t do our young folks any favors by just handing out money without the lesson of earning it. We, as a country, have created a welfare state by not teaching the hard lesson of the value of work and, thus, we have not taught respect in so many ways. We all have heard the expression of “money is the root of all evil,” and it surely can be when we just hand out more and more money with no expectation of having to earn it. These young folks who have worked with their animals have learned these life lessons and deserve the money they will receive for them.

We may be a small community in this end of the county, but we are proud of the folks who live here and that includes Beverly, that is right across the river (and does happen to be a bit larger). This community is all one united community except for the football and basketball games. Both schools take the sports scene VERY seriously when they play each other. However, when either team plays an “outsider” team, these schools support each other.

All four sports teams from Waterford High School, my alma mater, had a fantastic year last year on the state level. The Beverly teams can be proud of their work, too. Even the adults, the American Legion baseball team, made the community proud. This community and the other communities in our area are good examples of American small towns and the citizens who live in them. We all need to support our local youth by attending the events where they perform. It is nice to travel and see other parts of the world, but it is always good to get back home.

“Thank you” to all of you who wished me a happy birthday. I feel like so many of you are “family” and I like to hear from you. Every letter, phone call, and chance meeting is appreciated. It helps me to forget how fast the years go by. The old expression of “too soon old, too late smart” is a true statement. Some folks tend to grow old gracefully. Then there are those, like me, who fight it all the way. I just can’t seem to learn that when the bones say they are tired, I should listen. I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.

Some well-organized folks are doing some of their Christmas shopping now. Me? Well I used to! I do have the box of Christmas cards sitting on my desk (because they fell out when I tried to get something out of that closet), but time will tell if I get them mailed or if they go back to wait another year. They really are on my schedule, but that often gets ignored. I would make one of those “Plan ahead” signs if I could find my poster board. I guess I used up all my organization skills long ago. No one will know a hundred years from now.

Anyway, I hope you get done what you want to get done on a timely basis. If you don’t, don’t worry about it. Just make a glass of iced tea, sit in the swing under the shade tree and look at the most recent magazine. If anyone complains, just pretend you don’t hear them, and relax. Thank a veteran, take a piece of pie to your neighbor, and hug your kids. Say a prayer, and keep a smile on your face.

God Bless.

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GRANDMA SEMON’S GERMAN CUCUMBER SALAD

2 large cucumbers

1 sweet onion

Kosher salt

1 cup dairy sour cream

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch white pepper

Peel and very thinly slice cucumbers and onion. Place in a glass bowl and sprinkle quite heavily with salt. Let set at least one hour. Squeeze cucumbers and onions and place in a colander. If still too salty, lightly rinse and squeeze well again. Put in clean glass bowl and add other ingredients. Check for seasoning and add pinch of salt if needed. Let set for at least one hour before serving and serve cold.

NOTE: When I was small, this was served on top of mashed or boiled potatoes.

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MOM’S CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup butter

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening, butter, and sugar until fluffy — 5 to 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients together. Add alternately with milk. Add vanilla. Bake in greased and floured 10-inch tube pan in preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden toothpick. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto cake plate. Drizzle with Creamy Chocolate Glaze.

CREAMY CHOCOLATE GLAZE

2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 cup softened butter or margarine

3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Pecans, chopped

Mix well the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk and dribble over cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

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MOM’S SPICEY

CHUTNEY

6 lbs. ripe tomatoes (about 20 large ones)

8 pears, peeled and cored

8 peaches, peeled and pitted

6 large onions

1 large red bell pepper (or any sweet pepper)

1 large green bell pepper (or any sweet pepper)

3 cups cider vinegar

4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons canning salt

3/4 of a 4oz. jar whole pickling spices

Peel tomatoes. Coarsely chop pears, peaches, onions, and peppers in a food processor and add to tomatoes. Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to kettle, along with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cook slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and rounds up on a spoon. This takes about two hours. Ladle into clean, hot jars. Allow 1/4- to 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rim and seal. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes after water comes to a boil. Turn off heat and wait 5 minutes before removing jars from canner. This will make 7 pints, the amount of jars that fit into a canner.

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GREEN TOMATO MINCEMEAT

1 peck green tomatoes, ground

2 tablespoons pickling salt

1/2 peck apples, ground

5 lbs. brown sugar

1/2 lb. ground suet

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup cider vinegar

2 lbs. raisins

Drain ground tomatoes, measuring amount of liquid drained off them. Discard this liquid. Add as much water to the tomatoes as there was liquid. Bring this to a boil in a stainless steel or enamel kettle and boil a few minutes. Drain, measuring liquid as before, adding fresh water. Do this step three times. The last time, do not add water, just add all other ingredients and cook for one hour. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal immediately.

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INDIAN RELISH

3 qts. chopped green tomatoes

1 qt. chopped onions

1 qt. chopped bell peppers (red and green mixed)

1 tablespoon celery seed

3 tablespoons mustard seed

1/2 cup pickling salt

3 lbs. sugar

1 qt. vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel or enamel kettle and bring to a boil. Boil for fifteen minutes, no more. Start timing from the minute the mixture starts to boil up in the center. Stir fairly often. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headroom, and seal.

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BUTTERMILK PIE

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell

Combine sugar and flour, mixing well. Add eggs, butter, and buttermilk, beating well. Stir in flavorings. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325-degrees and bake for 30 to 35 minutes more.

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Patty Christopher is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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