One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 7


Okay, so this one was OUT OF THE BALLPARK good.  I know I say that often when I talk about One Local Summer meals, but seriously.  I’m not sure there is too much that will top this.  We finally found a local source for butter and husband immediately remembered that the only thing holding us back from making these pretzel rolls was the butter.  BINGO!  Thus, dinner was Pretzel roll burgers with watermelon, grilled peaches with blue cheese, and a wonderfully delicious salad.  Even though there are some non-local ingredients in the rolls (baking soda, yeast, oil), they’re still really minimal in comparison to the whole of the meal, and we were even able to substitute the required sugar with honey.  Our rolls came out a little flatter than the recipe’s photos, and I had a feeling we should’ve used more flour (the dough seemed a little too squishy), but for a first time, they’re still 100% edible and delicious.  I was really glad we had leftovers of this meal so I could enjoy it a few more days, and we even have four more rolls tucked away in the freezer.  Definitely expect to see more pretzel rolls in our One Local Future!

Flour – Mill at Anselma
Watermelon – Hoagland Farm
Peaches – Hoagland Farm
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Egg – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Veal & Pork Patty – Countrytime Farm
Lettuce – North Star Orchard
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Tomatoes - Brogue Hydroponics
Cheese – Lambsquarters from Valley Milkhouse
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Honey – Baues Busy Bees
Non Local – Baking soda, yeast, oil, salt, pepper, dressing.

Sepia Saturday 242: Fans, Faces, National Costumes, Hidden Meanings

I really love it when a Sepia Saturday prompt really makes me think or leads me to a new discovery.  In this case, it’s definitely a new discovery and the prompt helped me link up a few pieces of an old puzzle.  In the trunk of photos from Grandpa’s house, there was a large-ish photo (about 8×10) of a native tribe’s band.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my great-great grandmother would’ve had such a large photo of a band like this, and left the mystery behind since there were SO many more to work on.  Here enters this week’s prompt where I nail two categories, National Costumes and Hidden Meanings.  Below is a photo of the Ogonomowok (or Oconomowok, spelling is different from the drum to the banner) tribe band.  It’s the only photo in my collection that really fit, so I figured I’d go with it, even if it was a mystery.  I started zooming in on the faces, and poked around the newspaper archive to see what came up for the band.  There’s an article from June 14, 1917 in the Altoona Tribune in Pennsylvania stating that the tribe band participated in a parade ending the Great Council of the “Improved Order of Red Men.”  Great grand uncle Alfred Herbert Powis (b. 28 Oct 1892 in Blain City, Clearfield, PA; d. 6 Jul 1926, Clearfield, PA), affectionately referred to as “Herb,” was in a number of bands throughout his life, and the trunk had a bunch of photos of him posing with his trumpet.  Looking closer at the photos, it looks like the man standing up, 5th in from the left, is Herb!  I’ve added another photo in for comparison’s sake to see if you agree or not.  In the other photo, he’s very clearly identified with an “X” over his head.  The second image is dated as, “Herbert, 1918, overseas,” so it seems that these two were taken within a year or so of eachother.

As far as Hidden Meanings, Herb was 100% British, the first son born in America of two parents from England, so I was stumped as to why he was in a Native American costume.  The band members do have different colored costumes, so I wondered if perhaps people with Native American heritage were in the darker uniforms, and ordinary band members were in the lighter uniforms, or if the band was just for fun and had little to do with the tribe other than the namesake.  The Wikipedia article linked above though, clued me in that the organization was a fraternal society established to promote Liberty and defy the tyrrany of the English Crown, using rituals and regalia modeled after Native American tribes.  In fact, Wikipedia goes on to point out, the organization was Whites Only until 1974!  So, the “National Costume” is a “Hidden Meaning” in and of itself.  Turns out the photo was absolutely nothing that I assumed it to be at first glance.  I won’t get into how I feel about an organization of white men using Native American dress and terms to form a fraternal order – that’s something for another post.

In closing, I want to thank Sepia Saturday for challenging me to explore these old family photos and bringing about new discoveries!



Click either image to view the news clipping full size


Sepia Saturday 241: Writing and Letters


Nellie Gasparri

I went back and forth on this week’s theme since I have plenty of letters, but very few pictures to go along with them.  The letter is written to Nellie Gasparri in the photo on the left (b. 9 May 1924, Dysart, Cambria County, PA, USA, d. 9 Oct 2007, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, PA, USA), my first cousin, once removed, or my mom’s first cousin (her mother’s sister’s daughter).  It was written by Angelina Guerrini who is Nellie’s Aunt (her father’s sister).  From what I know from living family members, Nellie never learned to read or write in Italian, but had a friend who read/wrote back letters for her.  This particular letter was one in a series of letters written to Nellie that she saved for many, many years.  After her death, relatives found them and didn’t know what to do with them, so they ended up with my mother somehow who fairly recently found them in a drawer while cleaning and passed them on to me.  I had studied Italian at University as well as taking a semester abroad, so about 12 years ago, I was just about fluent.  It’s faded a lot since then, so in order to translate these, it’s quite a process.  First, I try to figure out what was written and type that up – it can be a struggle between the handwriting and spelling/grammar issues, but fortunately it’s just about the same region where I took my semester abroad, so that helps!  Then, I run the translation through Google Translate to see what it comes up with, correcting the Italian side to fix spelling issues.  Finally, I go through and do my own translation on top to fix odd phrasing that Google doesn’t really translate well and make it sound more like it was written in English.  Some of the phrases don’t translate well from Italian to English, and I tend to go for a more literal than flowery approach in terms of translation.  I’m always open to correction, so if you happen to be Italian and want to help me out, please leave a comment!

If you’re interested in the other letters, they can be found here:
A Letter to Great Grandma
Searching for a Son
Angelina’s First Letter

San Valentino, 6 April 1947
After several days of delays, I have come to respond to your dear letter that I received with much pleasure, to hear that you remember me with much affection and that you are in good health as are your brothers.

As for me, always little is well, but nothing is so serious, just a little bit of organic deterioration.  My husband and my daughters are doing well.  My husband is 60 years old, and I’m 50.  Grandmother is also well, she is 84 years old.  I haven’t had the courage to tell her the news of the death of her son, and I think that’s because my brother has found a wife so cruel that the old woman could not ever see her and stay in good health.  They have a 4 year old daughter and live quietly, but I ought to say very little to you about the awful things they did to this poor old woman.

If you send something to grandma, send it to me or write it to me because she doesn’t know how to read or write and she’s deaf such that to have her understand, it takes time, and even when you repeat it, she substitutes whatever she wants.

Dear Niece, I am happy to hear you explain in your letter so many things that I wanted to hear about you and your brothers.  Now all that remains is the desire to have a little written also from him and I’d even like to have a photograph, but first we must send you ours.  I would like to know about the brother that isn’t in the army.  Your aunt told me he works – what does he do?
I received the letter from your aunt with the photo of your father.  It made me happy and at the same time a little sad that he isn’t around anymore.  I don’t know how to find peace.  You tell me that you work in an office. I’m happy to hear that, and I hope you enjoy it.

I’m sad that I can’t give you any help being so far away.  You sent us the package and you said you can send another but what can I send you?  Do you want anything that I could send to you?  Tell me please!  Let me know if you read my letters yourself or if you have someone read them to you the way I do the with your greetings to me, your friend Gina Canali.

Thousands and thousands of dear greetings and kisses from us that you will pass on also to your brothers, your aunt, and even these coming days I’ll write more to you.
Many dear kisses from me, your aunt, Angelina Guerrini.

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One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 6


Another meal cooked by the husband.  How can you tell he’s cooking?  There’s beef on the plate.  It’s just not my thing, but it is husband’s thing, and he’s learned to cook beef just the way I like it (VERY VERY well done) so I’ll eat it when he’s around to cook.  This week, he found a neat coffee chocolate spice rub at the market which really changed the flavor.  I do find a HUGE difference between grass-fed from the market and non-specific beef from the grocery store, so that makes it a little more palatable.  I’d still prefer chicken or turkey or pork over beef any day!  Anyway, getting on with things, we have corn fritters again, made with the same pickled peppers that I had canned summers prior.  They’re really becoming a house favorite, and we’ve even been putting them on the grill for an extra crisp crust on the outside.  In the back, there’s canteloupe, then a slice of Soltane bread topped with Tomme Mole.  The bread isn’t locally sourced, but it is locally made, so we’ll allow a little leeway here since it’s SO good.  The bowl in the back has cucumbers and tomatoes with some onions, oil, and vinegar.  I could easily eat the whole container we made of that, they were so good.  To drink, there’s a beer from Armstrong Ales, a  local brewery.  So, everything (even the not-completely-local items) was sourced very locally and made for a great meal in some great weather outside!

Porterhouse Steak – Bendy Brook Farm
Corn – Hoagland Farm
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Onion – Brogue Hydroponics
Tomatoes – Brogue Hydroponics
Cucumber - Brogue Hydroponics
Canteloupe - Brogue Hydroponics
Bread – Soltane
Cheese (Tomme Mole) – Birchrun Hills
Peppers – Our Garden
Non Local – Salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, java rub, beer

Sepia Saturday 240: Criminals, ID Photos, Named Photos, False Pretences

I had a bit of an internal struggle with this week’s theme.  I do have recorded evidence of minor law-breakers (busted for “illegal barbering” and running a still) on one branch of my tree, but decided against posting those photos since they weren’t mugshots and might be considered a little bit insensitive to living family members.  I personally think history is history and it’s no big deal, but best not to make waves, right?  Instead, I turn back to my husband’s Dutch family for a great ID photo.  Please pardon the quality – I shot these with my cellphone camera and didn’t get the chance to scan the actual document!

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Here we have the passport for Doede “Douglas” Jaarsma and Hilje “Hilda” Dijkema for when they came to the USA in 1951 with their three children, Douwe “Dave,” Elizabeth, and Hendrik “Henry.”  The blurred out section on the right contains the children’s birth dates, blurred intentionally to protect their privacy.  While not quite sepia photos, they do fit nicely into the theme as ID photos!  What’s so neat about the passport is that even though it’s Dutch, it includes French and English in the official, pre-printed sections, but the written-in data is only in Dutch.  Just a couple things to help translate on the left photo, in the “Special Marks” section for Hilda is “litteken aan de hals,” which translates to “scar on the neck,” per google translate.  Hilda’s hair color is listed as “gray blonde” even though the family says she was pretty much all grey even as early as her mid 20′s.  Overall, I think the passport is really neat, and I’m so glad the family saved it for so long.  It’s a great piece of history to have, documenting the move from the Netherlands to the USA, and is a fantastic primary source document for birth dates and places.