Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Grandma Taylor--Nancy Ethel Baker Taylor

My Grandma has a birthday today! So, even though you are no longer with us, I will sing a chorus of 'Happy Birthday' for you and remember your stories, your smile, your cooking.

And, from our Taylor Cookbook, a few of Grandma's recipes:

Toffee and Coffee Cake:
1 egg
½ C. milk
½ C. sugar
2 C. flour
½ t. salt
3 t. baking powder
½ C. salad oil
Bake 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees

4 T. butter
4 T. flour
1 C. brown sugar
Mix until crumbly and spread on coffee cake before baking

Raisin Pudding:
All the kids loved this pudding.
Syrup--1/2 C. brown sugar
            2 C. water
            ½ C. raisins
            1 T. butter
Cook slowly for 5 minutes
Batter--1 T. butter
            ¼ C. white sugar
            1 T. baking powder
            1 C. flour
            ½ C. milk
Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a baking dish, pour hot raisin syrup over and bake until brown (30 minutes).

Brown Betty:
Layer of bread crumbs into buttered baking dish. Dot with small pieces of butter, then layer of sliced apples, covered with this mixture--
1 C. sugar
Repeat layers until full. Add ½ C. water.
Bake in 350 degree oven

Happy Birthday, Grandma Taylor!

Love you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Heat By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Well the temperatures this week have been amazingly HOT! I am VERY ready for this heat wave to break--perhaps by Sunday we will see lower temperatures here in Massachusetts.

But, for right now, it is 96 degrees in Acton and they tell me it feels like 103. Outside my window, my thermometer reads 105 degrees. Whichever is correct, I am very happy to have an air conditioner that seems to work for now.

Summer Heat reminds me of family reunions, so I thought I would look through old pictures. Here are a few to bring back memories, or just bring a smile to your face.

Here is a Baker Reunion at Sylva and Freddy's, in July of 1955. Remember, click on the picture and you should see a larger image.

This is a CLASSIC! Freddy in the barn.

This is also Sylva and Freddy's house, in August of 1960. What I like about this picture is all of the action--boys wrestling, balls being thrown, hats being tried on.

 This is July of 1957. Dan Kinsella, Christine Emhof and Sue Kinsella all head to the fishing hole.

July of 1953--Maneys, Lochners and one lone Kinsella all eat watemelon. To be followed by a watermelon seed spitting contest?

Fourteen years later, another crew of cousins--Taylors and Kinsellas and one lone Lochner, all enjoy watermelon.

Stay cool everyone! Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Visiting Cousin Evelyn Taylor, by Sue Kinsella

Mom (Aunt CB) and I packed up sandwiches and brownies and drove down to LeRoy, New York in June to visit Evelyn Taylor. Her husband, Bryant, was always one of Mom's favorite cousins and she has missed him greatly since he died 19 years ago. His parents were Floyd (son of BW and Emma Carson Taylor) and Goldie.

Evelyn happily greeted us and we settled down in her living room to catch up on news. Actually, I think I had only met Evelyn and Bryant once before, more than 40 years ago. They had just come back from a stint in Australia and attended the wedding of "that girl who didn't change her name when she got married."
            "That would be me," I told her.

Evelyn is in her 90s now and so inspiring with all that she is doing! As readers of this blog know, she writes wonderful stories about her earlier life with Bryant and their three kids, Lance, Pam and Mitch. On this visit, I learned that she is still part of a writing group that meets frequently.

She had set a beautiful table for lunch, with lush roses in the middle and matching dishes, beautiful linens, and lovely serving bowls. As we ate and chatted, I asked about the collection of graters that covered one whole wall of her kitchen. That's when we learned that she is in the midst of writing a book about kitchen graters, with a prospective publishing date for this fall. It will include pictures, recipes, and special chapters about graters for nutmeg, cheese, sauerkraut and soap. To be honest, I had never imagined graters for sauerkraut and soap!

We were admiring the silverware, so Evelyn disappeared down the hall and searched in a closet. When she came back, she placed before us four small spoons.

Three of them, she said, were "coin silver." I had to look that up, and learned from Ask.com that it is "silverware produced in colonial America up until just after the Civil War. European coins were melted down and cut into flatware and serveware." They felt much lighter than usual silverware, almost like aluminum.

One had the initials "BW" on it. We assumed this was for Bryant's grandfather, BW (Bryant Waller Taylor). We wondered whether that might have been his baby spoon. Another had the initials "LT," which we thought was probably for Leon Taylor, BW's son and Bryant's and Mom's uncle. We couldn't make out the initials on the third spoon. These second and third spoons were tiny, possibly intended as salt spoons.

The fourth spoon was "newer" and more ornate, with the dates "1852-1902" engraved on the handle. This, Evelyn said, was a spoon commemorating the 50th wedding anniversary of Daniel Taylor and Cordelia Waller Taylor, parents of BW. So, altogether, between the spoons and those of us at the table, we represented five generations of the Taylor family!

After lunch, when we re-settled in the living room, we talked some more about Mom's cousin, Bryant. We laughed and laughed when Evelyn told us that, for a second job, Bryant drove a schoolbus in the mornings to take children to kindergarten. He was a wonderfully outgoing person who charmed the kids with songs and funny sayings. Adults still come up to her and burst into one of his songs in particular, Evelyn told us, the words of which are:

I had a little chicken
And he wouldn't lay an egg
So I poured hot water up and down his leg.
The little chicken hollered
And the little chicken begged.
And then the gosh-darn chicken laid a hard-boiled egg!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Fourth Of July! By Pat Herdeg and Julie Lochner Riber

Julie Lochner Riber sent along this picture of her dad standing in front of a camouflaged howitzer in 1945. Look at the size of that tire!

She also sent along a picture of her Mom and Dad taken about the same time and suggested it might be a Valentine Picture (and it would be a terrific one!), but who can wait until next February?!

I also dug up this picture of Uncle Dick taken about 1943. He enlisted in the Army on September 10th, 1942 in Rochester, NY.

On this Fourth of July Week, we are SO PROUD of our veterans! They are why we are free and why we can celebrate this grand holiday.

Thank you to all of our cousins who have and do serve our nation. We owe you more than we can express.

Uncle Dick and Aunt Esther, we miss you both so much. I remember so fondly our spring and fall birthday get-togethers and know that you are looking down on us as we celebrate our Fourth of Julys in all parts of Cousin Country.