September 27, 2011

Women’s Friendship Month/Day: Part 1



     Women’s Friendship Month—September—and Women’s Friendship Day, September 28, provides an opportunity to review the long-term women friendships in my life.  This is Part 1 of a two-part post on this subject.


Let’s become little old ladies together- we’ll stay up late looking at old pictures, telling “remember when” stories, and laughing till our sides ache.*


     We’re all growing old as long as we haven’t grasped the alternative. That’s why I so love the Red Hat Ladies, who embrace being at least a half-century old—although the old fifty must be the new sixty-five. Society is changing.

     My women friends have accumulated through a disproportionate number of moves I’ve made during my life. I recall the first of them, ones I had as a young child in Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Kathy Boyle and Rebecca Rice, who lived on Lincoln Avenue, and black-haired alabaster-skinned Penny, who lived on Broad Street.

     I always considered that we lost touch when my mother suddenly moved us from Portsmouth to Buffalo, New York, where her new husband’s family lived. However, thinking back, the ties to these friends were severely frazzled when (more…)

September 22, 2011

Fresh Apple Cider and a Drunk Moose



     Cider making extends back into the history of the United States, as this early 1800s excerpt from a diary written by LA MARQUISE DE LA TOUR DU PIN tells us:

     But to return to our apples. The cider mill was very primitive. It consisted of two pieces of channelled wood which fitted into each other, and was turned by our horse attached to a pole. The apples were fed into a hopper, and when the juice had filled a large tub, it was taken to the cellar and poured into the casks.

     The whole operation was very simple and, as we had very fine weather, this harvest was a charming recreation. My son who rode the horse during the day was convinced that without him nothing could have been done.

     When the work was finished, we found ourselves provided with eight or ten barrels to sell, in addition to what we had reserved for ourselves.

     Our reputation for honesty was so great that people had confidence that we would not put any water into our cider. This enabled us to sell it at double the ordinary price, and all was sold at once. As for that which we had reserved for ourselves, we treated it exactly as we would have done with our white wine at Le Bouilh.*


     Although my husband and I no longer amass up gallons of apple cider, there was a time we canned seventy gallons of the stuff.

     We gathered the gallons of golden liquid in two ways.

  •      Most of the time, we would collect apples from any place we could. The park in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, where we lived, was a gold mine. It had the remains of what (more…)

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