Domestic Diva and State Fair Winner!
Never thought that I was going to adapt to Nebraska . . . but I realize now that my upbringing pre-adapted me to Midwestern living. My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was in kindergarten; I still embroider as means of keeping busy while watching TV [after all, idle hands are the Devil’s playthings]. My Mom and Grandmother can/canned, so I learned to appreciate the process of “putting up” food for the winter. My Mom has recounted her childhood memories of her grandmother drying squash to make calabazitas in the winter. I vividly remember my Grandmother’s chokecherry jelly. On a couple of occasions I helped my Grandma roast, skin, and bag Hatch green chilies. If you check out Onion Tear’s Blog, you’ll see that this tradition has been passed on to my daughter.
[I “stole” this photo from Onion Tears Blog . . . 3 generations of crafty and domestic diva women]
This culinary “herstory” is not the stuff of books, but rather of tradition. Generations of women, from many different cultures, regions, and walks of life have passed down food preservation techniques, recipes, arts and crafts, and other over-looked domestic tasks. However, how much do we acknowledge these oral traditions, folkways, and women’s experiences? For me, cooking, canning, embroidering, and other domestic tasks provide great personal satisfaction. Now that I live in Nebraska, I have found a means of showing off the skills I learned from my mother and grandmother — the State Fair.
This year I entered four projects: embroidered tea towel and pillowcase, canned Hatch chiles and escabeche (mexican pickled cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and onion). I won three ribbons — the escabeche didn’t win (the vegetable colors faded and I think the taste might have been too “exotic”). So, here’s how things turned out . . .
First Place Ribbon for Embroidered Pillowcase
This is the full view
Second Place Ribbon for embroidered tea towel
I thought I would take 1st place by capitalizing on the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign.
But I was blown out of the water by the first place winner
Very nice work!
My New Mexican Hatch chiles won a Second Place Ribbon.
Mister Man gave me a HUGE pressure canner last Christmas . . . I had to wait until this summer to use it.
Now I am able to can all kinds of things, including . . .
Here I am in front of my chiles.
Note the western shirt . . . when my sis and I were little, our mom ALWAYS got us new cowboy shirts, jeans, and moccasins for the Monte Vista, Colorado Stampede. I still love to wear western shirts . . . especially the grotesquely gaudy fringy types!
After checking out the exhibits it was time to get food. Mister Man and I opted for Polish sausages with onions and peppers. Following up we had dessert . . . .
Caught in the act!
While we were sitting eating our deep fried dough and probably laying down a coating of cholesterol inside our arteries . . . I noticed this food vendor . . .
Nebraska is a major beef producer . . . but what the heck is a Beef Sundae????? I didn’t have the nerve to ask.
Regardless, the notion is just gross!
So that was our State Fair experience. We didn’t stay for the evening’s entertainment: Brett Michaels. I didn’t care for Poison the first time around, I wasn’t going to be tortured by him cover bad hair band tunes out of tune.
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More Domestic Diva stuff. Yesterday I drove out to Martin’s Hillside Orchard to pick peaches and raspberries. I picked up a small bag of apples since it’s still a tad early for the really good apples. I spent about an hour gathering this beautiful fruit. The peaches are DIVINE! I’ve never eaten a fresh picked peach. The scent wafting from the fruit in the trees was intoxicating . . . I ended up picking 20 pounds! We’ll eat some, I’ll make a cobbler or two, and then I’ll can the rest for later in the winter.
Some raspberries will be individually frozen and packed. But my favorite is raspberry jam, so I’ll load the canner up for that.
Speaking of canning, I’ll be directing a boiling water canning workshop next Saturday for Community CROPS. We’ll be canning tomatoes.
So . . . that’s some of the recent news from Lincoln, Nebraska. Henny and Penny are doing well, laying progressively larger eggs. Balam and Amby (who’s nickname is now Bunny) are getting along very nicely now and chase each other around the house. All’s right and well in our little home.