August 21, 2012

Peach Cobbler, Brandy, & Political Preserves



Prunus persica: scientific name for the peach, a sweet, juicy summer treat. 1

Each year, throughout Western Pennsylvania, the peach is celebrated—an appropriate activity in August, which is National Peach Month.

A peach festival will be held 3-7 pm Saturday August 13, 2011, at Hilltop United Methodist Church in Madison (PA) 

A peach festival is planned for 4-7 p. m. (August 18, 2012) at Lebanon United Methodist Church, on Old Forbes Road in Ligonier Township. Supper will be available along with various peach desserts and other baked goods.

Even politicians recognize the value of peaches, as demonstrated by Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator and GOP presidential nominee wannabe who went “peachy’’ in Iowa in an attempt to appeal not just to Iowa Republicans’ hearts, but to their stomachs, too…Republican presidential candidates offer something special to draw supporters to the Ames straw poll in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses. This election cycle’s straw poll will be held Saturday (August 13, 2011).

So what special something is Santorum offering in Iowa?…He told a small Iowa gathering that he and his wife, Karen, have some fruit trees back home. He said the family harvested about 600 early peaches, which he and the kids peeled and made into peach jam at their house, along with about 40 jars of peach preserves that the Santorums are bringing to the straw poll.

Everyone is expected to get a sample of what Santorum referred to as “Pennsylvania Presidential Peach Preserves.”2


No wonder the peach is king. It is low in calories, have virtually no fat, and are high in vitamins C and A, dietary fiber, potassium and niacin.

Sweet, juicy summer treat originally thought to have originated in Persia, but now believed to be native to China, most likely brought to the Mediterranean by Chinese traders and to the Americas by Spanish explorers.

Peaches are grown in more than 60 countries; the U.s.—particluarly Georgia and South Carolina—is a major producer…1


Santorum wasn’t the first American politician who recognized the value of peaches. George Washington, best known as a general and president, could teach Santorum about (more…)


June 7, 2011

The Savagery Never Stops…



     The savagery perpetuated on humans by humans occurs in homes, communities, and countries on every continent and body of water on the earth. Will it ever stop?

     In doing research for my historic romance novel, I uncoverered story after story of Indian savagery on European settlers in the United States. This is not to say that the Europeans didn’t commit their share of savagery, but those tales weren’t told in the research I was doing.

     Below are three stories related from the western lands—when the western lands were those beyond the Allegheny Mountain range.


Thomas Gist, while exploring lands for the Ohio Company, was ill received at Loggstown on November 25, 1750, on the north bank of the Ohio River (immediately below the current day Town of Economy, eighteen miles below Pittsburgh in Beaver County, Pennsylvania). Upon arriving, he found “scarce any Body but a parcel of reprobate Indian Traders, the Chiefs of the Indians being out a hunting.” He was “ill received,” and told he would never (more…)

August 31, 2010

Youghiogheny River AKAs




Yuck waters









Yochi Geni



 Yoxhio Geni

     The common theme of the above names: the Youghiogheny River, pronounced yock-a-gay’-nee. The variety of names are AKAs for the river, gleaned from historic documents and journals, and the Internet.

     I was told that people along the river in Southwestern Pennsylvania refer to it as the Yough is because they cannot pronounce Youghiogheny. However, my granddaughter, when she was a mere eighteen months old, rolled the name off the tip of her tongue with ease.

     The Yohogany is the only river in western Maryland that doesn’t flow south into the Potomac River. Thus, its name, derived from an Algonquian word, means contrary stream.

     Captain Robert Orme, an aide to General Braddock in 1755, wrote that about crossing the Yoxhio Geni on June 30: we crossed the main body…which was about two hundred yards wide and about three feet deep….

     From the writings of Rufus Putnam, cofounder of the 1986 Ohio Company: until the 1st February, completing some plats of the late surveys, when they left for mouth of Yoh.

     A 1751 map labeled the river Yawyawganey.


     Yough and Yok rhyme with rock, descriptive of the nature of the rock-littered river. These rocks provide some of the best whitewater in the Eastern United States but inhibit the river’s commercial use, as seen in the May, 1754, George Washington writings where he wondered (more…)

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