|Outside tent at the Greek Festival|
While watching the kids we ran into Martha (a co-worker) and her husband Gary, and then stopped to say hello to my Hair Dude, John, and his grandson standing in line waiting for their turn at the food. Hundreds of volunteers from the Church work hard to put this together every year and the food is always good and the peole friendly even if the waits are long.
SATURDAY IS ALL ABOUT HOT DOGS AND FAMILY PLOTS
|View from Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont. |
Easy to see why this is a popular
burial spot for our family.
Even in my own family, although I know where each of the Mealey clan (Mother's side) is buried a state away, I really have no idea where my Father's family are buried. I think I prefer the Mealey rituals because it gives me a sense of connection and "place" that I don't have with the other side.
We talked about this on the 3 hour trip to West Virginia and came to the conclusion that visiting the plots where our grand and great-grandparents, aunts and uncles are buried is a way to connect to our family history, a bonding time to share a few stories (and laughs) about those that have passed on before us, and to put our own lives into a little perspective. Taking a day out of our busy schedules to travel back to the family hometown to visit Woodlawn and Pisgah Cemeteries is small hommage to pay to our parents, grandparents and relatives that worked hard to raise their children to be the people we are today.
ANYTHING ELSE TO SEE IN FAIRMONT? Well, not really, BUT...
I've blogged about Woody's in the past and in doing some research have discovered that there are two things people from West Virginia take very seriously - football and hot dogs. Even though no one in our family has been birthed in WV for over 70 years, I guess it is still in our genes that we love hot dogs with coney sauce.
|Me & Joyce enjoying our hot dogs|
|Bonnie & Donna|
|These kids didn't know what they|
were missing by not eating these
hot dogs - but then they do need
to keep these pretty uniforms clean!
Now to show that in some instances the current generation just doesn't really have it all going on, we asked these two if they liked Woody's hot dogs and to our horror replied that they'd never eaten there. Kids today! Wacky!
COOLER WEATHER SUNDAY AND SOUP ON THE STOVETOP
So, now that the trees are beginnig to turn for autumn and the 90 degree days have tamed to the moderate in the 60's, it's time to get the soup pots simmering and the crock pots stewing and the oven heating for some good old-fashioned comfort foods. In my kitchen that means lots of soups with hearty meats and broths, breads and muffins and scones baking in the oven and Sundays spent making food to go into my recently reorganized freezers for use this winter.
I think I get a lot of my cooking ability from my Grandmother Dessie, whose grave I visited on Saturday. She and her husband Ralph were farmers in Mt. Harmony, just outside of Fairmont. She raised a kitchen garden from which she fed her 3 children and the copious other relatives that lived with them from time to time while my Mother was growing up just after the depression. While my Grandma wouldn't have ever even seen the likes of Bok Choy growing in her garden, nor a few other ingredients I've used here, I think she would have loved this for it's tummy-warming appeal and gentle fragrance.
ASIAN INSPIRED BEEF AND BOK CHOY SOUP
Inspired by a recipe I found on-line, I've cut the amounts to make just a couple of bowls for lunch servings (or one really hungry person once). I added carrots and peas for some extra sweetness and because I had them hanging around the fridge. Feel free to add some extra heat to this with a bit of hot chili oil if you want.
|Hearty Beef & Bok Choy Soup|
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 pound beef sirloin tips
salt and pper to taste
1 carrot, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh gingerroot
1/4-1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (more if you like the heat)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2-3 heads baby bok choy, chopped (about 1 1/4 cup shredded)
1/2 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes.
Cut the beef cubes into small, bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Stir the beef into the onion mixture and continue cooking until the beef is evenly browned. Add the broth, water, carrot, ginger, lime juice, jalapeno, and soy sauce. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook about 15 minutes to cook the beef and carrots till tender.
Stir in the bok choy and peas and simmer until the bok choy is tender, about 15 minutes.