Chester County Ramblings

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meandering through, writing about whatever strikes my fancy
Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

#metoo but what happens after media spotlight fades?

Mon, 2017-10-16 18:29

Hecate/ The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy, William Blake (1757-1827)

#metoo A/K/A The Harvey Movement. Started by actor Alyssa Milano.

USA Today reported today in addition the following: 

Gretchen Carlson has been credited with cracking the secretive world of workplace sexual harassment thanks to her landmark case against Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. 

But she’s convinced the scathing allegations of assault and harassment leveled against Harvey Weinstein published by The New York Times and The New Yorker, and the tidal wave of women coming forward with similar stories in the last week and a half, is the real turning point.

“What we’re seeing happening now with the Harvey Weinstein revelations, to me this is the watershed moment,” she told USA TODAY. “This is the tipping point I’ve been working so hard for over the last 15 months. People are finally saying ‘enough.'”

A reporter friend of mine today asked the following as she was researching her story:

Does the #metoo make you feel more empowered? Do you think this is a here today/ gone tomorrow story?

Sexual Harassment is not new – does the fact it’s a Hollywood producer and accusers are stars give the issue more clarity- more weight that now is the time for discussion? 

Sigh.  Sexual harassment and sexual assault are not new. Just #metoo is new. It is still so hard for victims of either sexual harassment or sexual assault to report either.  No matter what victims seem to get victimized again in the process. And that is total sad reality, isn’t it?

Also to consider are the women who cry wolf in these situations for whatever twisted motivation they might have.  Yes, seriously, and I know of more than one instance over my lifetime.  And for every person who cries wolf, that makes it all the harder for women who have been victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

So according to the media this #metoo has been a crazy trigger for women to talk about this. It’s truly all over social media, pick your platform.

Vanity Fair: These Are the Women Who Have Accused Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Harassment and Assault. October 12, 2017 by Yohana Desta and Hillary Busis

Washington Post #MeToo: Harvey Weinstein case moves thousands to tell their own stories of abuse, break silence by Samantha Schmidt

PBS News Hour: Thousands share stories of sexual abuse with #MeToo after Weinstein allegations

What did I post on my own timeline?

It’s the truth.  When I think of sexual assault and sexual harassment, I think of it in terms of which women do I know who hasn’t experienced some form of either. And we, the everyday women in this country, will still be here long after the bright lights of Hollywood have moved onto the next cause célèbre.

And let us not forget what President Trump and Betsy De Vos have cooked up for Title IX, shall we? Good little foot soldiers of the current “republic” I am sure are claiming “fake news” but is US New and World Report really “fake news”?

Here is what the US News and World Report said:

Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to prevent discrimination in schools based on sex, but has since expanded to cover issues relating to sexual assault. No longer for just equality, it requires educational institutions that receive federal funding to have a procedure in place for handling complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, and violence.

The law was reshaped during the Obama administration in an effort to improve how colleges handle sexual assaults, but DeVos told The Associated Press the system “is not working right and well for anyone.”

So when I posted  #MeToo did I mean me too?

Yes.

For me, it was literally decades ago.  No one at this point needs the gory details.  It accomplishes nothing.  It happened and that was bad enough.

For years I denied to myself what happened and alternately blamed myself for what happened.

As I grew up from this thing I experienced, I came in contact with other women who themselves had been victims of either sexual harassment or sexual assault and in many cases were then victimized by the system.   I also knew of women who cried wolf and almost tanked the lives of men who had not been sexual predators.

I did not talk about it, I did not tell anyone when it actually happened.

Eventually because a light bulb went off in my head, I did deal with it.  I finally accepted what happened was not my fault, and quite honestly I worked through it with a therapist.  I knew if I did not I would become as screwed up as many women I had encountered who never did anything about it even just for their sanity.

But sociologically speaking, it’s still kind of a dirty little secret isn’t it?  This is a topic that makes people uncomfortable, yet it happened every single day.  We are now as women told to speak up, but if you are just a regular person what happens? Do people magically descend from the ceiling with flaming swords to defend your honor?

Hardly.

It’s hard enough to go to anyone and talk about this, but still today, doesn’t it seem nearly impossible to get action taken? We’ve all read the horror stories of when rape victims take things to court. And with sexual harassment in the workplace as a woman you get to lose lots and lots of sleep over taking action, or sucking it up and moving on so you don’t taint your career with reporting something, don’t you?

Why are the victims victimized twice?

There are women I know who will never, ever get over what happened to them.  And that is even with people supporting them and encouraging them to at least get therapy. And it has screwed with their lives incredibly.

Yes, we need to stand up and say #MeToo but we need to persist so the every day non-Hollywood girls and women are helped. We need to remember the ordinary women who stand in the shadows waiting for help.  The women who get so lost inside their own heads on this that it affects their lives, their children’s lives, truly the lives of everyone who cares about them.

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are as old as time.  We all need to do better.

Thanks for stopping by.


Categories: Pennsylvania

fall field 2017. west chester, pa

Sun, 2017-10-15 18:57


Categories: Pennsylvania

scenes from the dilworthtown wine festival

Sun, 2017-10-15 15:14


Categories: Pennsylvania

letters home (continued)

Sun, 2017-10-15 12:33

My post yesterday letters home has sparked interest in Chester County genealogy buffs and thanks to Tina S. of West Chester, we have some pieces to the puzzle of my soldier letter writer, William Rapp of New Tripoli, Lehigh Couny PA.

But before then a note: I got them from a friend who purchased them at auction.

Tina first messaged me when she found more on William’s mother, Florence. This is what she said:

Hi. I have found that Florence divorced her husband and raised her son herself before 1940. …lHer parents were John A Kuntz 1854-1938 and Mary Alice Rex 1858-1945.

Florence must have been one plucky lady. Divorce for women at that time was extraordinarily difficult.

Here is her obituary:

She was a teacher, and obviously a very independent lady for her time. She lived with her son until her passing at 92. She was a teacher for 43 years!

Tina is looking for relatives we can contact. Much like Finding Your Roots on PBS. What Tina has learned via Ancestry.com is no one seems to be looking for William. Perhaps his descendants and relatives did not know he existed? Only more research will tell.

Tina discovered an article written about William in 2006 in the Morning Call.

Man’s lifetime home dates to a 1770s log cabin

HOUSE DETECTIVE

April 30, 2006|By Frank Whelan Of The Morning Call

There is a house on the edge of New Tripoli out on Decatur Road about a stone’s throw from the 19th century brick Ebenezer UCC church. A simple white shingled little place, it began its life as a log cabin. There is history here and that is my beat. They call me the house detective.

On a certain bright April morning I found myself bouncing west with the home’s owner, Jayson Boushell, 28 year old real estate guy who works with his wife, Jessica, at Countrywide Home Loans.

As the country opens up before us Boushell is telling me about the house and the unique fellow who lives there.

His name is William Rapp, and it is his story about the house I had come to hear. Although he has purchased the house, Boushell says that it was part of the agreement that Rapp would live there as long as he wanted to.

History is made rich by the people who occupy the buildings, so I was pleased for the opportunity to learn about Rapp’s life while he was an occupant of the house.

We pull up to the house and Rapp is there to greet us. He is 83 and does not get around as much as he use to. But his mind is sharp.

Rapp has lived here almost all of his life, at least since the early 1930s, in this old building. Most of that time was spent living with his mother, a school teacher who once taught him in a one room schoolhouse….Rapp had been in the service in World War II in both Europe and Asia, crossing the Rhine and waiting for that invasion of Japan that never to happened. He went to Muhlenberg College, later got a degree in industrial engineering and worked at Bethlehem Steel…..

William’s father’s name was Louis Rapp. He is a bit of a mystery.

Tina through her genealogy research discovered Louis Rapp (William’s father) was born in 1888 but was living with an Aunt & Uncle in 1900 at age 15 in Brooklyn, NY and in 1910 he is with a different family member of his mother’s. He is 22 and still in Brooklyn.

Tina is looking for 1920 to see what turns up.

Tina also through her genealogy research has NOT found the divorce of William’s parents Florence and Louis Rapp yet but they were together in 1923.

Florence then reportedly gets ill in January 1928 through April 1929. It says an attack of jaundice. We don’t see him with her after that time in 1923.

In 1930 Louis Rapp is living in Philadelphia- or Chester Pa (not sure). The WWII registration says he’s staying in Washington DC in 1942.

Louis , like the son he seems to have abandoned, also apparently signs up for WWII. Were they in Washington DC and surrounding area at the same time we wonder?

Stay tuned! I will also post more when I get through more of the letters! Initial research indicates that family members may have the surname Rex, and some quite possibly either live or used to live in Chester County.


Categories: Pennsylvania

letters home

Sat, 2017-10-14 17:52

Sometimes I am inexplicably drawn to things. That happened today when I bought a pack of letters a son wrote to his mother throughout World War II.

His name was William Rapp. The letters are from him to his mother. Her name was Florence Rapp and she lived in New Tripoli Lehigh County.

The letters start in November of 1942 when he is at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.

The first letter I read he is telling his mother about a Veronica Lake movie he saw called “I Married a Witch”. That made me smile because I remember watching it as a little girl on the black-and-white television in my parents’ breakfast room – I loved that movie!

I have not read all the letters yet, although I have sat here obsessively reading them since I got home a little while ago.

The letters progress from being hand written on stationary to War Department V-Mail Service letters.

The V-Mail letters are like photo copies of the original letters and shrunk and mailed in tiny envelopes.

From Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum:

V-Mail or Victory mail, was a valuable tool for the military during World War II. The process, which originated in England, was the microfilming of specially designed letter sheets. Instead of using valuable cargo space to ship whole letters overseas, microfilmed copies were sent in their stead and then “blown up” at an overseas destination before being delivered to military personnel

I never knew about this mail process until I bought these letters. It’s fascinating.

William, or Billy as he sometimes signs his letters, is a prolific writer. And the letters stretch well into 1945. They go from London to France to I’m not sure where – I will learn that as I finish reading the letters.

But in these letters the soldier writes home to his mom, we learn about life in wartime Europe although I daresay it seems he sanitized the conditions somewhat to spare her feelings and keep her from worrying.

He speaks about seeing a play in London with, and a vacation pass of sorts where he went on a trip to Scotland.

We have a glimpse into a soldier’s life in France during World War II when he speaks about learning to sleep in a sleeping bag on the ground covered with pine needles.

One letter that really got to me so far was writing to his mother after he learned his grandmother had died.

Another letter, I learned he had been at Muhlenberg before war broke out.

I found his obituary. He passed away in 2007:

The Morning Call: William R. Rapp Obituary

William R. Rapp, 85, of New Tripoli, passed away on Tuesday, September 11 in his home, where he enjoyed gardening and chess. Born in Allentown, he was a son of the late Louis and Florence M. (Kuntz) Rapp. He was a 1938 graduate of Slatington High School with honors, fourth in his class and a member of the National Honor Society. Graduating with senior honors from Muhlenberg College in 1942, he was admitted to the A.S.T.P. at Ft. Bragg, N.C., and subsequently attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for one year studying mathematics and engineering. Bill served active military duty overseas in both the European and Pacific theaters of War during World War II in the Army attaining the rank of T/4 with the 3186 Signal Service Battalion. He attained a military specialty in that capacity although he saw no combat in the Pacific because the war ended before he reached Manila, Philippines.

Once he returned to the Lehigh Valley, Bill was employed by PP&L for four years being given a special training program. He was a commercial representative in Lancaster County and wrote ad copy. He was employed by Bethlehem Steel Corp. for 26 years dividing his time between industrial engineering and computer science. He was a member of Chapter 77 of the Industrial Engineering Society while employed as an industrial engineer. In computer science, he wrote FORTRAN programs for mainframes, principally I.B.M. Bill also wrote several in-house papers for Bethlehem Steel for maintenance, and also for providing for the combination mill at Saucon Mills as well as multiple machine interference factors.

He owns a copyright in a development of Ellipse Odyssey written in basic language of an Apple Computer. He was a member of New Life Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Tripoli. Survivors: There are no immediate survivors.

Services: Graveside services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 14, Ebenezer Cemetery, New Tripoli. No calling hours. Arrangements by Keller Funeral Homes, New Tripoli. Contributions: To be made to the church, c/o the funeral home, P.O. Box 75, New Tripoli, PA 18066.

Published in Morning Call on Sept. 12, 2007

And now I, a perfect stranger, have some of his letters home. I don’t know their journey on their way to reach me since the obituary states he died without survivors. I’m not sure that he ever married.

There are so few of the greatest generation left. And when we speak about honoring veterans, these are the small stories we should remember. The stories of good men who throughout our history, have fought for our freedoms.

Thanks for stopping by.


Categories: Pennsylvania

perversion

Wed, 2017-10-11 20:45

From Radnor Democrats Public Facebook Page. It had as a caption “Radnor Democrats
June 11, 2016 at 4:41pm · We always say that the Radnor Democrats have a big, diverse tent and to “join the Party.” Well, today, at the Wayne Music Festival, the Radnor Democrats LITERALLY have a big tent!”

Where to begin? Let’s start at the bitter end of September when news broke that there had been a not-local (as in NOT Radnor PD) law enforcement raid had occurred in Radnor Township.  The target? Phil Ahr, newly minted as of this summer President of the Radnor Board of Commissioners. 

News has swirled when he missed the regular meeting shortly after the raid and  then and this past Monday, some commissioners had wanted Ahr to resign. But the Democrat commissioners (Nagle, Higgins, Schaeffer) blocked the efforts.  I will admit that while they were speaking the truth about guilty until proven innocent, BUT this is the second scandal to rock Radnor Democrats with a Board of Commissioners president given the fact that in June former Commissioner and Board of Commissioners President Bill Spingler was found guilty by a Delaware County jury  of “indecent assault on a person with a mental disability.” (His 100+ year old former mother-in-law.) Ironically, Mr. Spingler is to be sentenced or something tomorrow a lot of newscasters in Philadelphia were stating today after Phil Ahr turned himself in to police.

See NBC10 Philadelphia’s reporter Deanna Durante’s 6PM report on Mr. Ahr goes to court. Also see a pretty comprehensive article by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Main Line Media News.

It’s child porn and lots of it.  It’s horrible. Truly horrible. Almost inconceivable.

Earlier this evening, Radnor Township itself held a press conference.  I contacted the township and they provided me with what they had handed out except for the PDF of the court docket – I found that myself. Today was the preliminary arraignment. 

Anyway, here it is and I will warn you it is truly disturbing:

 

View this document on Scribd

 

So back to the three commissioners in Radnor who blocked a motion to have Ahr resign. Earlier this evening, they fell back behind the cloak of the Home Rule Charter of Radnor Township.  So while they perhaps could not have made Ahr resign as of Monday, given the scandal their township and political party has endured in recent months, shouldn’t they have convinced him to resign?  Or how about perhaps they should have NOT played politics at all and lived up to their oaths of office and convinced him to resign because they are supposed to look out for the best interests of the residents?

Once again, deeply troubling times for a township where I have many close friends….including those with children.

I am going to say, however, that no matter what your opinion is here, please allow law enforcement and those in the legal system do their jobs here.  Please respect the terribly difficult jobs they have, especially with this case.  Also respect the residents of Radnor Township who have to deal with this, especially the residents of Ward 7, Garrett Hill. Garrett Hill is a tight knit community that is suffering greatly.  And pray for Phil Ahr’s family.  He has now given them a terrible burden they will carry always.

Here’s a question for all of you: should local elected officials have to submit to comprehensive background checks including criminal in order to hold elected office?

Thanks for stopping by.


Categories: Pennsylvania

path and price of freedom

Sun, 2017-10-08 16:12

I sit and reminisce once in a while.  What a long, strange trip it has been. This life we live has highs and lows, ups and downs, triumphs and sorrows.

We all lead ordinary lives and eventually something hits us and just doesn’t sit right. Then you become active where you live.  It is somewhat of a NIMBY prospect (Not in My Backyard) because you often do not realize how wrong something is until it is happening in your own backyard.

Trust me; it is far easier to just be a sheeple in your community accepting at face value verbatim whatever local politicians and power brokers tell us must be so. (You know the theory of they say it is so , so it must be so?)

Some assert that it is far easier to just vote the way you are “told” — and yes, volunteering in local elections many moons ago I literally heard someone say that as they walked an elderly person into a polling place say “Now you just vote the way we told you to.”  That very memory is one of the things that always makes me tell people to vote in all elections, including local .

You don’t realize that our vote is such a powerful voice.  Check out the candidates…and also whenever able check out who supports them financially as that always tells an interesting tale.

If you are in a group trying to enact change, never, ever back a candidate for political office when they come calling.  Ask them to take YOUR position, i.e. what are they willing to do for you? Don’t be used by politicians. They are public servants, they work for us.  That also means that anyone at any time should be able to speak to an elected official.  If they as politicians, do not have time for everyone, replace them with those who do have time. Keep replacing until you get the ones you want representing you.

I have never had the desire to run for elected office.  I don’t have the long-term stomach for the games and the inevitable deal making.  Politics however will always fascinate me and repulse me. It makes for interesting people watching, that is for sure.

I have, however, had the privilege to know some amazing elected officials in my life from the most local of levels to Harrisburg to Washington D.C.  Like me, like you, they are just people.   I have no hero worship, just appreciation for some of them because they do care and they do work darn hard to make a difference.

We live in a dangerous and somewhat crazy political climate right now.  As Americans, we have watched in horror as people have shot up schools, Congressmen on ball fields, random people in malls and movie theaters.  A week ago today we all awoke to the news that Las Vegas was the scene of a massacre engineered by a mad man.  All those poor people were doing was listening to music at a concert.

Yeah, we need to have a conversation about gun control, but NO ONE can do that CALMLY in this country.  All people and officials on both sides of the issue do is SCREAM at each other.

We live in a crazy political climate and most of what we hear out of a sitting United States President appears on Twitter.  In my opinion , as an American citizen,  I not only find the behavior embarrassing that we even have a Tweeter in Chief, but somewhat removed from everyday reality.

Along with friends I have fought eminent domain for private gain.  It was a whirlwind and we fought all the way down to Washington, D.C. alongside folks like ordinary people from Long Branch, NJ , Cramer Hill Camden NJ, Coatesville Pa (Saha Farm), and Suzette Kelo of New London, CT (as in the U.S. Supreme Court Case.)

Another time, other friends and I found ourselves the recipients of a congressional commendation for a specific volunteerism campaign we had initiated and completed.

I have done what I have done because I believe in community and a sense of greater good; because it was the right thing to do.

Along the way I have grown less idealistic and naïve.  Sadly, I can be jaded now.  But as you age and watch how bloody cruel and duplicitous human beings can be to one and other, you change.  But you have to remember the good in people, as hard as that is at times.

I am just a person.  I was not born with other than an immigrant pedigree.  Italian, Irish, and Pennsylvania German.   To me that makes me a quintessential Pennsylvanian.

I believe in our Constitution and the freedoms our founding fathers fought and bled and died for.  Yes, the same values and freedoms that subsequent generations of Americans have fought and marched and bled and died for. It seems as Americans that we have been perpetually fighting for our rights and freedoms.  But is that not the very nature of preserving and enhancing freedom?

As an American born in the birthplace of American rights and freedoms, I believe in the First Amendment.

Be independent-minded in life.   You will be glad of it.


Categories: Pennsylvania

things I ❤️ about west chester pa

Sat, 2017-10-07 15:34


Categories: Pennsylvania

what ever happened to plans for farmers and mechanics building?

Sat, 2017-10-07 15:32

So whatever happened to the hotel plans for this building?

You can tell work is being done on it, or has been done on it, but boutique hotel it’s not is it?

Anyway I love this building in downtown West Chester so if anyone knows any updates, please post in the comments.


Categories: Pennsylvania

the master’s baker

Sat, 2017-10-07 15:21

I have not been happy with a lot of the bakery made birthday cakes we have gotten over the past few years so we decided to go to The Master’s Baker in West Chester. I wanted a special 18th birthday cake for my stepson.

People forget that they aren’t just solely for weddings – they are a specialty bakery that can handle any of your needs. Being a specialty bakery means that you order and you pick up and there is no street traffic – it’s not retail in other words.

We ordered the most amazing birthday cake from them. Their flavors are clean and their cake texture is perfect – not dry just moist enough and flavorful. And that has been the problem with a lot of the bakery cakes we have bought over the past few years — the cake textures left much to be desired and in most cases the frostings were just dense and sweet they didn’t really have a stand out flavor of their own.

The Master’s Baker is next to St. Agnes in the Borough of West Chester.

Next time you need a specialty cake or other delightful baked goods for a special event (hint: also check out things like their canoli and French Macarons!)

The cake we chose was red velvet with a chocolate buttercream filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting in case you were wondering

Categories: Pennsylvania

cool car!!!

Fri, 2017-10-06 13:14


Categories: Pennsylvania

main line airport marker dedication

Fri, 2017-10-06 10:59

I was unable to attend the Main Line Airport marker dedication ceremony yesterday, but my dear friends at the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society were kind enough to provide this photo.

Support your local and county historical societies wherever you live.  They do the good deeds, and trust me, to get even a non-Commonwealth of Pennsylvania historical marker approved, takes some doing!

Learn about the Main Line Airport HERE

And HERE

And HERE


Categories: Pennsylvania

local elections DO matter

Thu, 2017-10-05 08:10

Soon it will be election day.  It’s an off-year nationally one might think, so why bother?

Easy.  Your vote is YOUR voice in YOUR community. This year is a more local focus….supervisors, commissioners, borough council members, mayors, city councils — just depends on where you live as to what and who you are voting for.

Local candidates are now more seriously making the rounds.  They will pop up spiffed and shined to check out community events, civic associations, and so on and so forth.  Yes, be warned, literal baby-kissing may ensue.

They may even come door-knocking. Where I live (in my opinion)  they are inconsistent at best on the door-knocking, or if they do show and you do vote for them, often you do not hear from them ever again, after that.

Be informed.  And don’t just vote for someone because they may share the political party you are told you should vote for.  Why?  Because on a local level, that is NOT what matters.  What matters is who they are, and what they stand for, and if you find them passably believable.  On the local level, you should vote the PERSON, not the PARTY. Because trust me, in spite of what they say, it has been my long standing belief that on a local level, political parties will often make deals with each other, and well, how do you feel about that?

I believe in balance.  Saying that, I do not think you have balance necessarily if one group of the same people (which is NOT the same as the same party) is in control for too long.

I believe in term limits.  We need to get some of those. It’s time to curb political monopolies.

Don’t be afraid of checking out the new kids on the block, but make sure you understand what they are truly about.  Also check out WHO endorses them, WHO backs them, WHO gives them campaign donations, and WHO they hang out with politically.  The more independent, the better in my humble opinion.

And in as far as incumbents you think may have been around long enough? Simple motto: when in doubt, vote ’em out.

The sanctity of the voting booth is for you alone, so vote your heart and conscience always.

And above all else, vote.  Your individual power of the vote is a powerful voice. Be the change you seek. Take back the power in your communities. Vote.

 


Categories: Pennsylvania

end of an era: r.i.p. tom petty

Mon, 2017-10-02 17:38

Sadly overnight, the original news was confirmed.  Tom Petty is dead. Phil Heron confirmed it this morning in The Heron’s Nest.

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No, I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down

Gonna stand my ground

And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground

 

BEFORE: CRAZY UPDATE — Straight from La La Land.  Tom Petty isn’t dead? Or isn’t dead yet? YIKES…

(Inconvenience??????)

EARLIER (ORIGINAL POST):

Almost simultaneously one friend I went to college with another friend I know as an adult messaged me within minutes of the news that Tom Petty has just died. (See Rolling Stone.)

Driving home just now “I won’t back down” played on the radio.

If you are of a certain age, there are Tom Petty song memories and lots of people who loved him.

The Los Angeles Times had recently written an in depth article about him and his amazing body of work and a recent Hollywood Bowl concert.

RIP Tom Petty. Thanks for the music.


Categories: Pennsylvania

chutney!

Sun, 2017-10-01 18:32

One of the best smells in a fall kitchen is when you are making chutney. Chutney is sweet, pickley, and savory and it just has wonderful aromas.

For me, chutney is one of those kitchen sink kind of prospects as far as recipes. In other words, what I have available in my kitchen dictates what kind of chutney I make.

Today I made Apple – Tomato – Plum chutney. I had a bunch of beautiful fresh tomatoes that someone had gifted us that we were not going to eat before they got too soft, so I blanched all six of them in hot water to make it easy to remove the skins and then I chopped them up and threw them in the pot with:

  • Five medium apples peeled, cored ,and chopped
  • Six plums, mostly peeled and chopped
  • Four green tomatoes, chopped
  • One large red onion, chopped
  • One large sweet onion chopped
  • One red bell pepper, chopped
  • One poblano pepper seeded, de-veined and minced
  • Four jalapeño/Serano peppers seeded, de-veined and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar and 1/2 cup white wine vinegar (I did not have any malt vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • Mustard seed, quatre epices, cinnamon, pickling salt (1 1/2 teaspoons), fresh cracked pepper, cumin, dill weed, curry powder.
  • 8 teaspoons honey

I cook everything in my Maslin pot. You bring everything up to almost a boil and then you reduce to simmer, and the chutney cooks down for an hour and a half to two hours – I just sort of eyeball it and I know when it’s the right consistency.

I have a vintage cookbook that I love that I use as a guide. Alison Burt’s Preserves and Pickles from 1974. I bought it at a church book sale years ago, but you can easily find copies on eBay and Amazon that are very inexpensive.

When the chutney reached its desired consistency for me, I jarred in sterilizesterilized jars and did the full immersion hot water bath for canning.

Right now my chutney is all beautiful and jewel toned and cooling on wooden cutting boards on my counter. When they are completely cool, I will tighten the lids on the jars and add the labels.

You can also make chutney that you do not put up that you just jar and refrigerate and it’s good for a few months that way.

Fall canning and preserving is so much easier than you think.

Try it!


Categories: Pennsylvania

a garden wall at great scott farm

Sun, 2017-09-24 19:21


Categories: Pennsylvania

farm cat

Sun, 2017-09-24 19:10


Categories: Pennsylvania

covered bridge ❤️

Sat, 2017-09-23 15:35


Categories: Pennsylvania

a gift of chester county history from south dakota: learning about hiram woodyard

Fri, 2017-09-22 20:08

Above is the grave of Hiram Woodyard. He was a freed slave and Black Civil War Soldier who resided in the village of Bacton, “Bacton Hisotric District”, AKA “Bacton African American Community”.

In 1991, Jane Davidson, the then Chester County Historic Preservation Officer certified that one of the houses attributed to him on Conestoga Road as a “County Historic Resource”. She said “The events and activities that have occurred in and around the site form a chronological record of past knowledge that portrays a history of the area.”

The historical information listed in some of the paperwork states:

This resource is part of the Bacton Historic District which is a post-Civil War, Afro-American community. This resource is also connected with Hiram Woodyard who was a prominent member of this community….Due to previous development there is an eminent potential to widen Rte. 401,this threat would negatively impact the integrity of this resource.

In other paperwork, the same author continues:

Hiram Woodyard, one of two leaders in the Bacton African-American community, has become a local folk hero in recent years. While part of the timber industry as a fence maker, he also commanded a great deal of respect for his leadership ability, not only in the community, but also in the Union army.

 

This fascinating information would have been something my friend the late (and missed) Al Terrell, would have loved.  He and I shared another soldier (it’s how we both became interested in the site),  Joshua Johnson  (Pvt., Co. K, 45th Reg., United States Colored Troops (USCT) (Civil War). I find this to be incredibly historically significant as the army began to organize African Americans into regimental units known as the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in 1863.

Al was so excited this time last year when grave after grave was uncovered, including Hiram Woodyard, whom we knew had started out life as a slave.  As a freed slave he did so much, including by all accounts being a revered community leader, and he fought for a country which had originally enslaved him.

This new information (and I will embed everything shortly within this post), did not come to me via Chester County.  It came to me all the way from Winner, South Dakota, thousands of miles away!

This information started to arrive on September 12, 2017 from Eleanor Miller, who along with her sister, Grace English, once lived in East Whiteland at 416 Conestoga Road.

In the first packet of information was a letter and here is an excerpt:

Enclosed please find the papers in regards to my grandparents’ home. (Charles and Stella Rost, 418 Conestoga Road.)

I married and moved away from my home, 416 Conestoga Road, in 1967…In 2012, Malvern Patch identified the house on 414 Conestoga Road as Hiram Woodyard’s.  I believe they were incorrect….My sister and I try to visit Bacton Hill once a year.

To follow (embedded) is what Eleanor sent to me.  It is part of Hiram’s history she gained through personal research.  This is such a treasure to receive!

Ebenezer is hanging in there and one of Al’s sons still comes back and cuts the grass and weeds when he has time, but Ebenezer needs ALL of our love.  I put out the plea once again if anyone can interest the AME church in their own important history, please do.  These old souls belong to us and all of our history in Chester County as well as being crucially important historically to the AME Church and black history in general.

Say a prayer in remembrance for the old souls buried at the ruins of Ebenezer on Bacton Hill road in Frazer, and remember Al Terrell too.

Pax

View this document on Scribd

 

 
View this document on Scribd
 

 
View this document on Scribd
 

 

 

Hiram Woodyard Chester County Paperwork

Hiram Woodyards House

The House That Hiram Built

 


Categories: Pennsylvania

got acorns ?

Tue, 2017-09-19 15:44


Categories: Pennsylvania