Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Memories may be beautiful...but sad

Some memories can never be replaced… #quotes
Never ever forget

If my head were ever hooked up to some machine that could access my strongest memory, the head scientists would be shocked.  “Well, look there, Dr. Fred!  Do you see that?! Who woulda thought?”  I can hear them saying that.

Most people would call up shared memories such as the birth of their children or maybe running under enemy fire.  No, my memory would be more plebian and consequently more peculiar.

I would access the memory of an autumn day in my sophomore year at high school.  The bus dropped me off in front of our farm house, and I walked beneath towering maple trees shedding their leaves.  My hand reached for the door, and I stepped into the warm kitchen, where my mother was washing dishes.  

 On the table, cooling from the oven was the entire head of a full grown hog.

Eyes, ears, snout, bristled hair, and pink thick skin—all the distinctive features of a hog’s head that I had seen thousands of times, but those hogs had been alive.  Those hogs had been rooting in the mud or eating from the feeder. 

big pig
Bonding time
This hog was long dead and the head had just been roasted in the oven.  The rest of the hog was cut into various roasts and chops, wrapped in white butcher paper resting comfortably in the freezer.

In just a few words, Mom sensed my discomfort.  My mother was the ultimate pragmatist, which served her well throughout her life on the farm.  She pulled out two very large crocks and set them in front of the cooling head.  “Wanta get a snack before you start taking off the meat and skin?” 

I indicated that I wasn’t hungry.  “Well, change your clothes and wash up.  You’re gonna strip the head of meat and put it in this crock.  Put the skin and what-not in this other crock.  Don’t mix them up.” 

She went on to tell me that this meat was for mincemeat pies, the great nummy pies for which she was so famous.   

Mom would take this meat, chop it up, mix it with God-knows-what-else-meat-discards and candied fruit, can it in quart jars, and set them in the pantry.  Then we would feast on mincemeat pie at Christmas time. Recipe:

Find the recipe by clicking on this address.

Mincemeat filling for pies homemade recipe
Well done!
Mom even sent a jar to my 7th grade teacher, who waxed eloquently about this hog-filled pie filling.  

I never had known what we were eating and enjoying.

When I set to the task by tearing off the ears and then cutting off the nose, Mom said, “Oh, put those here in this jar.  I will pickle those; your father loves those.”  I just about up-chucked.

 It didn’t get much better as the process when on.  Poke out the eyes.  Tear off the jowl meat.  Strip the muscles from the back of the neck.  On and on.  I do not recall what she said to do with the brain; I was pretty numb by then.

The science part of my own brain appreciated how God put together muscles and ligaments, attaching them to bones.  The fifteen year old farm girl in me was on the verge of vomiting. 

All in all, it stands out as a strong, indelible memory.  What is yours?

This one is more complicated that Mom's recipe.

P.S.  I haven't eaten mincemeat pie for years.  But, the store-jar versions are meat free, fully vegan, so maybe now?

A re-post from a few years ago.  Can't remember when. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

To Honor and Remember

The first trailer and images for "Only the Brave,"
To protect and serve
Arizona fire in 2013.  19 firemen died, one survived.

Wildfires in California cannot be described in enough words. Only one actually nails it: deadly.
These fires have burned and are still burning throughout the state. On a NASA map from space fires are seen down the state from Santa Barbara to San Diego.  Some fires have devasted famous wine countries throughout many areas. Hundreds of homes went up in flames.

Aqua image of Thomas Fire
Taken four hours ago, 12/19

What are sad statistics?

As of October, forty three had died.  Now, here in December, the numbers are still being confirmed. And the acreage burned can be found at this site: information gathered summer through winter .

Firefighters. Medical personnel. Police and state support.  All are a family, united by their dedication and self-less service. When one dies, all grieve.

Recently, in the Thomas wildfire, one fireman died. Cory Iverson was a veteran firefighter and his death was felt by all those who knew and respected him.  In that loss and tragedy, his family of friends and co-workers honored him in this way.

Cory Iverson


Across overpasses from Ventura to San Diego were as outstanding and impressive as these are.  Not enough space can be alloted for such dedication.

Rejoice in Christmas!  Rejoice for love of family!  Rejoice for those who honor and remember!

Below is a clear demonstration of family.

P.S. The movie, "Only the Brave", also honors the memories of a "Hot Shot" team of firefighters who perished in the Yarnell fire on Granite Mountain located near Prescott, AZ in 2013.

Worth while movie

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Go to Bethla-ha-.ha-ham

"She was just doing laundry and then the angel just appeared and she was really scared,"
Now, during all these shows--Scrooged, White Christmas, Christmas Story (Red Rider BBgun with a compass in the stock), Rudolph, etc.--it is time for the real story of Christmas to be heard and seen.

And, who better to do this is are children at Southland Christian Church.

Rejoice! For unto us has been born a Saviour...

Now you know what really happened.

This is a re-post from last Christmas. From the mouths of children....

Gotta love it.