Column writing

column writingby Jerry Kasperek

My column comes out and the comments follow suit, so I share with you a couple of fact-checks from my last article about the old First Methodist Church: It was located on the corner of Oneida and North ThirdsStreets and not North Fourth as I had written, and the auditorium at the back of the church was called “The Century house.”

The Century House…Oh, yes…I remember it now. “Thanks!,” I said when a friend reminded me and I really meant it. It’s funny what we remember when our memory gets tweaked. That’s what makes writing this column so interesting – the feedback I get.

“I always read your column,” I was told just recently.. “My husband does too.He says you really can write.”

“Oh, thanks,” I said, “I’ve been at it for a long time.”

When I was about nine years old and after reading “The Adventures of the Bobbsy Twins” a hundred times over and about to do the same to “Little Women,” I decided I would someday write a book about Judy and me.

She was my favorite childhood playmate on West First Street.  The sad, sad ending (at least to Judy and me) came when I was nine and a half and I moved to the east side and met new friends and had new interests. Thus, my book writing plans got stuck in the shifting sand of time, circumstance and growing up.

My childhood dream never really died though. But as the years flew by and reality set in and lighted on what it actually takes to write an entire book — let alone to get it published — I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Thus, I shall be content to be a “creative writer” and author a column every other week and love doing so. My readers say they love reading it so I guess that makes us even!

My step-son Eddie has given me yet another artifact to add to our collection of old stuff we wish to preserve for posterity. It’s a small booklet that was published by the State of New York Department of Farms and Markets entitled: “Recipes for Good Things Our Grandmothers Used to Make.” It has no date on it but you can tell it’s old because the pages are crisp and yellowed and if my hunch is correct it goes back nearly a hundred years ago to the late 1920s.

In any case, “The Meat, Fish and Vegetable” chapter includes a recipe for Game Pie, for which you need six birds. A recipe for succotash requires a dozen ears of corn and something called “Crazy Jiggers” is made of flour, eggs, and milk and is fried and eaten with maple syrup.

In the Desserts category, a recipe for Indian pudding uses corn meal and molasses. The one for “Marlborough Pie” uses tart apples, butter, lemon juice and sugar and baked with one crust, while the ingredients for “Fruit Flummery” include more sugar than fruit. My favorite recipe, however, is for “Calf’s Foot Jelly.”

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