Mom and Dad were pretty much homebodies who devoted their time to family, their garden, fishing and other hobbies. Despite fairly quiet lives, they seemed to get featured in the local papers more than you would expect.
Looking back at these yellowing clippings, one can see their dedication to excellence in whatever they tried. That, I think, made them newsworthy. Each had a way with words so anyone interviewing them left with some good quotes to sprinkle through their article.
Here are some examples.
Gail shares her mother’s potato cake recipe with the newspaper.
For easier reading, here’s a transcription of the above clipping:
“Recipes from the heart: Martin serves ‘leftover’ love”
By Tina McCluer, Times Lifestyle Editor
(transcription of the El Dorado Times article of January 27, 2000)
This recipe was sent to us from Gail Martin of El Dorado. Martin contributes to an on-line recipe newsletter called “Kitchen Happenings and More” that carries a heritage recipe column and another column titled “Little Helping Hands.”
She is an avid cook, as is her husband, Clyde, and they both regularly sell products from their kitchen at the farmers’ market located at the El Dorado Meat Processing parking area.
Martin’s favorite recipe was handed down from her “frugal” mother, Ruth McGhee, who “never let a bit of food go to waste.” It is Potato Cakes.
“We use a cup or more of leftover mashed potatoes with two farm fresh eggs (when possible), 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and a dash each of salt and pepper,” recalls Martin.
According to Martin, to get the most out of an eggshell, bring it to room temperature before cracking it.
Mix and drop potato mixture by spoonful on a greased hot iron skillet. Make sure the skillet isn’t too hot to burn the mixture but not so cool that the potatoes soak up the grease.
Reduce heat, if necessary, and fry until brown, turn over and brown the other side.
“Mother used either plain lard or bacon drippings to fry the small cakes,” suggested Martin. “Of course, the bacon dripping added to the flavor.”
Another thing Martin uses to add to the flavor is she serves the potato cakes with catsup though some prefer to eat them plain.
If one were creative in the kitchen, it is supposed that chopped green onions, bacon bits or other items might be added.
“We’ve always just cooked them plain,” said Martin. “That’s how we like them and if it ain’t broke–don’t fix it!
“Mother’s eggs were from her own New Hampshire Red hens. This breed of chickens laid eggs with brown shells and the chickens ranged on the open prairies of Greenwood County.
“If you haven’t experienced the joy of eating fresh country eggs, you are in for the treat of your life.
“In the summer time the yolks will be a brilliant orange globe and the white will stay in a small area around the yolk. There is no comparison to the store-bought eggs that have been in cold storage for who knows how long.”
Martin’s daughter, Cindy, is said to peel an extra potato or two so she will have leftovers to make Grandma’s potato cakes for her family.
leftover mashed potatoes
2 farm fresh eggs
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash each of salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Drop by spoonfuls into hot greased skillet. Brown on both sides. Serve plain or with catsup.
This nationally distributed article featured Gail’s memories of 1930s recycling.
This article appeared in USA Today.