Free Food Grows In Cleveland

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 08/08/2009 - 12:28.

While I was sitting behind Food On The Move, at St. Clair and East 140th, where a friend works, I noticed a pear tree in the lot next door, full of rippening pears. While the lot is well tended, and does not appear "vacant", the lone pear tree is the only occupant. And nobody seems to notice it is there, despite its bounty of free food. There are 100s of pears on the tree - in a market, they would be worth $100s. This lot could contain dozens of pear trees - perhaps 100s - producing $10,000s in income for the owners and those who tended them.

Apply that basic concept to growing 200+ different foods on 100,000+ different sites around the region and you understand how we will grow $ billions worth of local food, and address our concerns over food security and the health of our environment. The Real Coop Food and Info initiatives are the ways to do this the most effectively in the world.

Yes, food grows in Cleveland.

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free food

beautiful photo, Norm. Check out this link for the pears


I've been spreading the word in the streets, instead

At a meeting of some Real Coop Info Food planners, yesterday, the issue of the East Side Food Desert came up, and a friend who lives on E.150th near St. Clair complained the fresh fruit and vegetables in the local markets in this part of town are of poor quality - damaged and over-ripe. This is a well know and well documented problem. I told my friend about the pear tree 10 blocks from his apartment, and he told me a group of his friends have access to a peach tree on Ashbury, and are looking forward to harvesting that. I remembered a peach tree at a vacant house next to mine... there is an abandoned apple tree on Forest Hills, around the corner.

But my friend would never find any of this via the Internet, the way we are using information technology here today, in association with local foods.

Also, I definitely DO NOT recommend strangers wandering around vacant houses in any part of town I know, including my neighborhood, unless you are willing to risk your life and be confronted by neighbors and explain your actions - and have a good explanation. There are serious dangers in the blighted areas of this region, not to be taken lightly and not worth a few free apples.

Don't assume the free food in Cleveland is free for all - don't take food from the people of neighborhoods other than your own, unless you have a good right to do that.

However, do feel free to educate your neighborhoods, in all neighborhoods of Cleveland, and do expect your new friends to share their bounties.

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A ladder and a basket

 Did you pick them?  Can you explain Food on the Move?

View Larger Map

Food on the Move is home of Junk in a Box

Nice visual effect with the map/streetview, Laura. Isn't it fun experimenting with IT!?!?

Local, minority owned and operated - my friend Dereck is one of the cooks - the house specialty at Food on the Move is Junk in a Box, which is a Philly steak, chicken, veggie, shrimp, or combo on rice, and they seem to sell dozens a night. They are open nearly 24x7  and serve good, inexpensive take-out food to residents and workers in this Collinwood neighborhood and coming through on the major public transportation and roads intersecting there.

Not a place to go hang out, but a great place for food on the move.

So, the name seems to fit well.

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One of the things I've seen

One of the things I've seen lately that I think is great is the "International Gardens" sprouting up over and around Clark Avenue and West 48th Street.  There were a number of vacant lots in that area and I don't know how they got started but I think the idea is good.

There is nothing as tasty as fresh vegetables from the garden and gardens is something we don't have enough of or enough space for.  Gardens seem to be an ideal way of utilizing vacant lots.

Just my opinion.



Jerleen, on Clark, I think between 52 and 54, some one did something real creative with old tires by stacking them, painting them neon colors then planting in them and keeping the lot in beautiful shape. Any idea who?

And fruit trees in vacant lots? Safety? I'd say if you know the area, knock on a nearby door or two and inquire rather than let it go to waste. At least if you don't take any, you're pointing out that it is there.

The Fruitshare group seems pretty savvy and have been doing this for a while.


54th & Storer

One of the Stockyards block clubs did the tire thing.  Did you notice the new mural?  Again SRO.  I had to smile when I saw the two lawn chairs in tandem, facing mural just waiting for someone to sit and chat.  Surprisingly, no one has stolen them........yet.  Kate

Oh yes, I did see the tires

Oh yes, I did see the tires and it crossed my mind that if acceptable, it would be a good way to get rid of some abandoned tires that get thrown out around here.  I thought the snake looking one was great -  painted to look like a big coiled up snake.   Tires do make great flower pots, we have a couple on our tree lawn - but the brightly painted ones on Storer I just loved.

Fruit - wow - first thing I think of when somebody mentions fruit trees in homemade jellies and jam.  A few years ago there was a little pear tree growing outside my sister's window - we just reached out and picked enough off to make about 10 pints of pear jelly - jelly and biscuits in the winter time - nothing like it.

This morning my mom and I were just contemplating heading to Amish Country and loading up on vegetables and fruits (apples) to can.  I'm going for fresh cow butter and Honey with the comb in the jar.

My one regret about living in the city is that I can't be as countrified as I would like to be.  Down in the hill, we do a major portion of our canning outside - with a big washtub sitting on a couple of rocks and big fire going underneath.  Cold-packed green beans is one of my favorite not to mention pickled corn in a big churn.


 pickled corn, yum. I grew up on that stuff, only it was pickled corn and greens beans. I missed the opportunity to learn this stuff as I grew up, which I now regret. I am learning how to can now, and my jelly and jams are pathetic.  I plan to continue on, but I will buy those botulism stickers that go on home canned goods so that I don't cause food poisoning. I also gave in and just bought pectin stuff for my next batch of jelly and jam. My Mom says that if I do it right I do not need that stuff but it just isn't working no matter how much I try, I end up with syrup.


Perhaps you should use a canning line

One of the attractions of the Hough/Star Bakeries complex, for our local foods econonomy development initiatives, is we have a canning line - big vats for cooking down ingredients that pump the product directly into bottles, jars, etc, and caps and labels them. Now, you may not produce enough fruit to produce a vat of jam, but you and your friends do.

Why not make private label neighborhood foods? Apple butter time is right around the corner.

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I agree with your mom, I

I agree with your mom, I don't use pectin either - sometimes my jams come out a little syrupy but it still taste good - so you just pour it over your biscuit and use a fork. 

Well, corn and beans - you have to cut the corn off the cob - but if you make pickled corn in a big churn, you pickle the corn on the cob. 

Did you ever make "leather briches" or dried apples?  That's where you take a needle and thread and string up the beans and hang them behind the cookstove to dry.  I remember we used to have maybe 10 or 15 strings hanging behind the stove.  You can also hang them on the cloths line if the weather is nice and sunny.  After they've completely dried (a few weeks) you store them in a flour sack and then when you want to eat them, you just cook them like any other bean.  The dried apples we used to make dried apple pies - always at Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

One of my all time favorites is fried green tomatoes with meal gravy.


canning line

How do I get more info on this? Tomatoes should be available in a few weeks. 

Let me talk to the Williams about how to arrange this

In addition to a canning line, the Williams have a large commercial kitchen with a vat for cooking smaller quantities, so it should be possible to do small lots as well as large.

The canning area and line would need to be cleaned up so email me if there may be interest in doing 100s of gallons of something... for under 100 gallons we could use the kitchen and that is always clean and ready for use.

Let me know what anyone is interested to arrange and I'll see how the Williams would like to work things - I know they are interested to support growing the local foods economy and are prepared to support others... they used to process the salsa for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens

norm [at] realneo [dot] us

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canning line

Norm is this something that I can pass onto others as we have a lot of gardeners in the area? I don't know how much respone there will be at this point but maybe for the next season. I like the idea of people combining lots of produce to get the job done. Can I pass you as a contact? 

Absolutely - this is useful for small and large producers

We need to talk to Hooper and some of the other large quantity local farmers as I understand they can get an oversupply of produce and it drives their prices down - that should go to processing.

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Yes To Food Processing... help wanted

I spoke with Lemaud Williams today about starting up his food processing facility for this harvest season and he is very interested to get started - local food processing is already part of our proposal to Cuyahoga County for developing the local foods economy, and the Williams are prepared to jump start the process at the Star Complex (where they are beginning community composting, as well).

So, I am not only interested to hear from people who would like to process large quantities of their produce, I will be seeking them out for the Williams, to make their expanding investment in the local foods sector worthwhile.

BTW, if you want to work on really big quantities, part of our County proposal is for government to buy local fresh and processed foods, so we can provide you with big customers.

Think up some fun, exciting, and profitable food processing projects for our community and region this fall, and let's make them happen. I'll put together some details on the equipment and facilities available, and how we will operate this part of our cooperative initiative... anyone interested to help plan this out, please let me know.

Email me at norm [at] realneo [dot] us

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Well, I've heard about

Well, I've heard about canning lines, but it takes the fun out.  My first experience with applebutter was when I was 5 and went to visit my grandma near Princeton, Wva.  She had a big big kettle that she hung  over an open fire outside.   Occasionally, she would hold me up and let me stir with  these really big wooden laddles.   The smell of that applebutter still lingers. 

To "hole up" apples for the entire winter, they would dig a big  hole back into the side of a hill and line it with straw, then pack the apples inside and spread straw all over and through them.  re-fill the hole and then some time during the winter if you wanted fresh apples - say for a holiday pie, etc., grandpa would go out and dig in the hole and bring in a basket of apples - they would be as fresh as if they were just picked.  They would hole up potatoes the same way. 



hole up

Yep, heard about that one from Mom. Until recently,  she also dried apples for apple cakes in the winter.

I have got to say that it is one thing to make a few jars of produce and another to have to do it to feed an entire family for a winter. It makes me remember that life used to be about cycles of survival, and if a family had enough food and enough wood for the burner, winter was a great time for resting.  

People didn't go hungry and

People didn't go hungry and what produce you didn't use, you gave to somebody so that they could can up for winter.  Beautifully canned fruits and vegetables made great gifts and were always well received.   Shelves were always stocked and everybody saved enough of their own seeds to plant the next years crop - best place to dry seeds is on a brown paper polk on top of a car/truck spread out in the sun. 

Of course, you can prepare and freeze a lot of vegetable and fruits also. 

Worst canning experience I ever had was one year, way back, when we had an over abundance of tomatoes.  I decided to try my hand at making tomato juice - first batch came out beautifully and tasted great.  Second batch, well, I must have done something wrong because one day, I heard this big bang and went to my kitchen to see tomato juice dripping from the ceiling, all over the walls, and everywhere - it spoiled and they started blowing up. 

That makes me laugh


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Now it is laughable - but

Now it is laughable - but cleaning up that mess was not -  one jar maybe, but when you have five or six quart  jars and they all start blowin' at the same time -   I even had to re-paint the whole kitchen and weeks even months later, I would find dried tomato juice in cracks and crevices that I had missed. 

Amazing science

It is kind of cool that they all blew at the same time - sorry to laugh even harder at the details, but that belongs in a movie

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dried stuff

This is reminding me why I hated summers as a kid. I had to wash the jars, and string beans and apples, and was always busy. I think this is why I rebelled and did not learn as I should have. I now string cayenne peppers for my Mom.

I have to take you to visit my Mom. It would be a real treat for her.

Maybe I will learn more about using the stuff we grow in our yards to focus on extending the produce into winter by listening to you two talk.

Coop canning

Every time I visit the kitchen at the Star Complex I enjoy watching the staff preparing the food for the Hot Sauce Williams restaurants - they make large quantities of fresh, natural prepared foods daily, and it is hard work and labor intensive, but satisfying.

There are lots of people in the area who are happy to peel potatoes, core apples, string beans, and prepare them for processing, and who are professionals at processing the food to make it safe for storage. Done right, in the right facility, the end results should be as good or better than possible at home, and the process should be much more efficient. Imagine the cost savings of buying 10,000 jars wholesale versus a few dozen at Sam's Club.

This does not mean food must be blended in huge batches or the motherly touch and recipies lost. It means there are people ready and happy to help each of us produce local food, and there are efficient ways to produce local foods, and we may participate in the production of these foods as a cooperative, where we each may do the parts of the work that we like best, and even be compensated for that... pay others to do what we do not like to do... and have low cost, abundant healthy local foods for the community at all times.

While we as individuals may not have the knowledge or even the equipment to feed ourselves and our families from our own harvests, we may act collectively to accomplish this, with collective knowledge and resources.

I do not want to become a canner of my food in my kitchen, I want to help can the community's food in the community kitchen, and share in the collective bounty.

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I still hang peppers in my

I still hang peppers in my kitchen to dry. 

Did you ever have to chop cabbage to make krout.  Everybody would always save cream cans and heat the edges of the top of the can, knock it off and then you would have a chopper.  Use a big dishpan to cut cabbage up in and  then use the cream can to chop it up.  The cream cans would also double back to make biscuit cutters.  I guess I'm still too old school - I still use cream cans and keep a couple extra just in case. 

Do you remember hanging onions to dry.  Back in the day, in the hills, everybody's house sat on a hill side and we didn't have such things as basements, and the front of the house was higher off the ground that the back because of the incline  and we'd always play under the floor.  When it came time to pull the headed onions, we'd tie them in bunches and hang them on nails under the floor to dry. 

What about berry pickin' - I loved canned blackberries but I never liked picking them.  We had to wear big thick briches and boots, shirts with long sleeves and carry big long sticks - darn rattlers and copperheads would be laying under the berry vines waiting for birds - you always stuck the big stick in and snaked out the berry patch before you stuck your hand in to pick, otherwise, it could be deadly. 

 Not just that, but there were old wives' tales, and traditions, and everybody read the almanac and planted by the signs, harvested by the signs, canned by the signs and even counted the due dates for the birth of their babies by the light, dark and full of the moon.   It's hard to break tradition, I still read the darn almanac.   Back in the day, they used to put the signs on calendars too along with the moon phases.  Everybody had calanders hanging on the wall.


Fed stimulus package for Cle: farmland!

I read in the Plain Dealer that 1,700 abandoned homes in Cleveland are to removed with the help of Federal economic stimulus dollars. While it will take a while for orchards and groves to come to fruition, tomato plants can produce within a year. The question: will the stimulus dollars remediate for lead and other threatful substances in the soil? It may take a few years of harvesting plants that suck the pollutants out of the soil before we can have eatable tomatos, etc. At least the remediation plants will help with CO2 overload in the atmosphere.

putting food by

I am enjoying this discussion and recalling the pickles my aunt made with the cucumbers from her garden. When I moved to Cleveland and began my own family each year she would send two jars of pickles to us at Christmas time.

I, too, recall the diamondback rattler my brother and I found while picking blackberries among the rushes near the bayou where we lived in North Florida and the blackberries that grew along the path between my aunt and Grandma's houses in Georgia. Those were the days. My cousins and I collected fireflies - we called 'em lightninbugs - after dinner in ball jars with holes poked in the tops with an ice pick. We made little lanterns and watched them until our eyes could not stay open.

I have blackberries growing in my front yard here in Cleveland Heights - no rattlers, but not as much fruit as I would like. Each year I threaten to cut down the "hedge" that shades their west side from the sun so they can produce more. Now that the house has been vacant for a long time, I may actually get to it.

I loved reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and learning about their winter saving.

Here's a local tale of good food:

Eating regionally: A winter's tale of good food
Originally published in 1996 in the EcoCity Cleveland Journal

By Mary Kelsey (Mary also did the illustrations for Warren Grossman's book To be Healed by the Earth)

Jerleen - I get a tinge of sadness when I read your writing. All but one of my mother's family have passed - my Mom, too. Oh, I never thought I'd read "britches" on realneo, but there it is. Sidenote: I had always heard that my mother's family at one time had large land holdings in Georgia. We sold the last of our land there to support my brother before he died - land that had only been timbered once in the last two centuries. My momma's family was Bailey. Her Dad was one of those who were told to "not grow his cotton crop" during the depression. He pretty much drank himself to death out of boredom after that. But last night I found this interesting bit of family history. My grandpa (I never met him) was named Seaton Grantland Bailey. I can still recall the smell of my uncle Jack's (another David Jackson Bailey) smokehouse and the taste of his breakfasts with grits he had been cooking since the break of dawn. Thank you for keepin' it real.

Oh and while I laud the idea of a canning line for local producers, I also would love to learn some of the in home methods you describe, Deb and Jerleen. We're gonna have to relearn these methods in a world made by hand.

putting food buy

I think Jerleen is a fountain of wisdom and we need to all meet up in that Hough/Star kitchen with some of our stuff and have Jerleen teach us. I just spoke with someone who wants to use the kitchen for concord grape jelly. I want to can red and green tomatoes (love fried green tomatoes in the dead of winter). My mother is canning hot peppers this week and I do not have a clue how she does it (being blind). I have to work so I will miss that lesson.

Maybe we should record the lessons. 

Everybody has different

Everybody has different methods - so, I agree why don't you get your mother to use a tape recorder and record the directions she cans by.  I learned mostly from my grandmother and so I don't measure anything.  I put a little dab of this and a little dab of that until it taste right.  Can it up and if it don't blow up, I'm in business.  Basically, canning is pretty simple - but I can tell you how I do it.  Gotta brag a little, my green beans are the bomb.

Just so you know, catching

Just so you know, catching "lightnin bugs" is still a favorite past time for some.  Last weekend my 6 yr old grandaughter stayed over and she and her little friend had a jar with some holes poked in the lid by a nail and they spent hours in the evening catching ligthnin' bugs.  She insisted she could keep one in the house and name it for a pet.  We were up half the night keeping watch over the little bug in a jar. 

We cannot forget the smoke house.  Everybody had a smokehouse - for hog killin' time and for storing lots of good stuff from the garden.  We used to hang ears of corn in there to dry for seed, and store pumpkins, kuchshaw and squash.  The onions would also be moved from under the floor to hang in the smokehouse.  Do you remember making hominey.  My mom and grandma used to make big kettles of hominey on top of the frontroom heating stove. 

One of our pasttimes was to build a fire outside and put potatoes in the hot ashes to bake and in the wintertime, we slice potatioes and lay them on top of the hot cooking stove to cook, salt 'em and you had a real treat. 

How about jarflies, june bugs and whipowils.  Did you ever catch jarflies and june bugs?  That kind of life made people survivors.  Today, modernization has made people cripples.  If you can't pay these big utility bills, etc., nobody knows what to do. 



rolling blackouts

Back in the winter when the post office was talking about cutting service - fewer delivery days, one of my roommates said, This is just the beginning. Before you know it we'll only have electricity on Monday, Wednesday and Friday!"

I thought maybe one day a week, I'd just flip off the main breaker and let the Illuminating Company wonder what's up.

No June bugs for me, but I was my momma's Cinderella - a citified (sort of) girl raised to be what she had not had the opportunity to become.

I was thinking as I was walking with my dog, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.

june bug

 are so fun to play with. gardeners don't like them but they are pretty and buzz. It is such a delight to see children play at dusk catching and releasing lightening bugs.

Good luck with the Illuminating Company. I had problems with the water department when I first bought my house, and used water only for showering, toliet, cooking. Letter after letter, meter reader after reader, changing the meter, not believing that I did not use much water.

They are happier now that I have a washer and water the garden. They no longer bother me as I am "consuming" the resouces.

A meal you couldn't buy. 

A meal you couldn't buy.  Get up on a sowy morning to fresh ham frying on the stove with some "red eye gravy" over it, a couple of fresh eggs, a big pan of homemade biscuits and open up a jar of homecanned blackberry perserves next to a bowl of fresh churned cowbutter. 

When the hollidays came, you didn't have to spend a dime for dinner.  A big smoked ham from the smokehouse, baked yams from the hole, greenbeans from a jar that tasted as fresh as they day they were picked, jar after jar of pickles, peppers, suckotash, tomatoes, corn on the cob and apples, pears and berries for cakes, pies and cobblers, jellies and jams, not to mention canned peaches and flitters along with jars of honey with pieces of the comb inside - and homemade gingerbread was a staple - and then somebody would send you a homemade applebutter cake and.........I got to get up and do something before I go off the deep end.

Oh, did you ever notice, that under the nicest big plump berries is where you'd always find the snake.




This does sound like the way it was and making me hungry even though I no longer eat meat. We had a baby pig. Mom said she is not a pet, don't get attached. I named her Suzie and we played together everyday. She became huge.  Suzie became ham, bacon, sausuage and other stuff. I was not happy. Every week between Christmas and New Year's, my Mom still sends me out for the "hog's head" for New Year's Day and I get to remember Suzie as I stand in the check out line.

Yea, I know a lot of suzies

Yea, I know a lot of suzies that became bacon, ham and other stuff.  Have you ever helped to "dress" a hog.  There would be everything from pork rinds, hams, neck bones, ribs, ham hocks, smoked and salt bacon, even down to pig feet.  Hog killing time was always a big todo where I came from.  Big tubs of boiling water, sharp knives, big tables would be constructed out of lumber and covered with all kinds of paper - mostly brown paper polks, several neighbors would come to help out - it would always be a day up in the fall - usually late October.  Each helper would be given a "mess" of fresh meat.  The women would work inside dressing out the meat, wrapping it up for the deep freeze, or laying it out on a board to be salted down.  Big slabs of pork would be hung up in the smokehouse over  smoldering wood (usually hickory) and left to become a hickory smoked ham, etc

I think I still have an old  sausage grinder somewhere - my brother might have taken it as a collector's item.   


Jerleen, you'd be proud of me: I am making turnips and their greens today and I grew them in my Mom garden! She told me to just throw the seed down between rows and boy, did they ever grow,  and have crowded out my beets. 

I have walked the neighborhood 3 times over the summer collecting poke weed which I cook briefly, chill, and freeze for my Mom to have over the winter. She knows how to take this toxic plant and turn it into a delicious dish.

I took up all of the space in my small chest freeze last winter with peppers and tomatoes. This year, the tomatoes are going in jars and can be stored out of the way and will not use energy to preserve them.

You should be proud of

You should be proud of you!  I don't car for turnips - but I like turnip greens.  My sister pickled some turnips a couple of days ago.  There is a lot of greens that grow wild which makes great dishes.  We used to throw mustard seeds out between the rows - that way we could have mustard greens - they even pretty when they bloom too.  We used to go out into the hills and pick  "weeds" known as "chicken's toe"  and "crow's foot"  They make great salads when you wash and cut them up with some chopped green onions - pour hot bacon grease over it, salt a little and you have a perfect salad for any meal. 

My grandam used to make polk salad all the time - and planting - which is good also to cook and douse a little vinegar over, good eating - and it's free.

Just hearing about your mom, I know she knows about chicken pluckin' time - when you fatten up all the chickens to cho off the heads, pluck, singe and cut up for freezing.  My grandma had a certain way you had to cut up a chicken.  When I was a kid, and they put the chicken in the pot to cook, the lid would start bopping up and down when it started to cook and they would tell me that the chicken was trying to get back out of the pot. 

We would always save a big ole fat dommer (spelling) for chicken and dumplings.  You ever notice that when you chop  the head off, that dang chicken will still flop all over the ground for a long time. 

i don't have any place to put a garden any more - several years ago I had one over on West 25th behind the Brooklyn Center - so we have to go out to the farm areas and buy our produce.  We're getting ready to can apples - and make apple jelly as soon as they start selling them. 


Yep, my brother sends live chickens to my Mom to kill and cook. I remember the "death dance" of chickens and turtles. The turtle tasted just like chicken, and the head would snap at people long after it was cut off the body.

You are going to have to tell me how to make the apple jelly.

My neighbors are telling me that there are a lot of farms toward Canton selling their produce at good prices. I will try to get more details. 

If people were involved in food production, meat production, even those raised in humane conditions, I am betting there would be a lot less met consumption.

One of my brothers lives out

One of my brothers lives out in Mesopotamia,(spelling) Ohio, which is near a lot of Amish farms and we're going to be going that way in a bit.

Apple Jelly is one of the easiest things to make.  My way of doing it is to save the peelings from the apples we're canning and when you get a kettle full, you put in just a little water, depending on the amt of peelings you have, and  let them cook a bit to get the flavor out of the peelings, remove the peelings and then you add the sugar and let the liquid boil down until it starts to thicken.  (strain)  Cinnamon - optional.   Pour into nice clean jars and as it cools it will set and you have apple jelly.  You can add pear peelings and get Apple-Pear jelly.  (Now for a sure thickening, you can add pectin) 

A quick way to have fresh butter - without the cow.  I buy a pack of stick butter (4) and lay it out to soften really soft - the I add buttermilk until I like the taste and whip it really good - until it becomes really fluffy - pour into small containers and put back into the refrigerator - it taste just like fresh cow butter.



 Hog killing time came and I would run to my room with a book and try not to think about it. My grandpa was good at it, and I grew up looking at those racks and hooks where those hogs would be hung to bleed out. You know, I am a real wuss at this particuliar kind of thing and I am lucky that others did not share my views. My Mom and a brother who lives in southern ohio were talking about hog killing time down there the other day and how he could by the sausage ground up unspiced and she could add her own spices. So she has me picking and drying sage now and no doubt in a few months, I will be helping to season sausage. Have you ever canned sausage? We did, and I think that it was cooked before hand, packed in a jar, some liquids, and it kept all winter.

apple peels

You make apple jelly like my Mom and this is what I tried last year. I had neighbors save their peels. I had a lot of syrup in the end so I will use some pectin this fall so that I can give it away as gifts. 

Love the recipe for whipped butter. I have both buttermilk and butter so I am going to whip some up this week. Thanks!


 try a little more sugar.

i think it is the sugar boiled hard that causes it to "gel"



I have to laugh because I boiled, added sugar, boiled, sugar got tearful.

But now I have a tear free "sure jell"

hard boiled


maybe you had too much in a pot and not a high enough flame? or - try a candy thermometer..

or just use sure jell - my mom always used sure jell...

sugar secret

My mom just told me a "secret": I must use Domino brand sugar, the others will not do. I will try that later this week, minus the sure jell. Of course, it will be a christmas gift to my mom no matter how it turns out. hope she likes peach syrup :) :)

Your mom is right about the

Your mom is right about the Domino sugar - it is the best.  You get better consistency, better taste and it does produce a better product.

Syrup - if it comes out like syrup - use it as such.  When my strawberry jam comes out syrupy, it is never wasted.  It makes great topping for pancakes, icecream, cake spreads, especially cheesecake and as I said before is great to  pour over biscuits or toast and even waffles.

The only time I've ever used sure-jel or pectin is sometimes when I've made jellies - (not very often) But never in Jams or preserves.


This evening as I talked with a neighbor in his yard I noticed peaches on the ground fallen from his tree, some of the best peaches that I have ever had, I usually freeze some every year. As I looked at them, I remembered: a box of sure jell. I scooped them up, and it turned out to be exactly the amount cut up that I needed. I followed the instructions, and I think that it may have worked. My Mom is disappointed that I used sure jell. Another lecture about "doing it the old way". It is either added pectin or the grocery store for me. I will know in 24 hours. Looks really pretty. 

My sister does the same

My sister does the same thing, she wants a sure thing so she used sure-jel.  I guess it is just a matter of preference.  Canning for me is just like everything else - it's the old fashioned way of doing things.  Just like making pickles - you can buy the already mixed pickling spices or add your own - I add my own - otherwise I don't feel like I did it myself. 

I do the same thing in sewing.  A lot of people sew up beautiful quilt tops and then get somebody else to quilt them - it you do that then you didn't make the quilt yourself.  I have quilt tops that are nearly 30 years old - that I haven't had the time to quilt - but that's ok, I'll wait until I get the time - and eventually I will.


I just canned 3 more pints of peach jam and 3 of strawberry jam. There was a little lit of the strawberry left in the pot so I let it cool then I ate it. It is so good that I have to hide the jars from myself. So burnt fingers aside (I can see why people use canners with racks), it was well worth it. I just don't see how people did it as a way of life in addition to farming, hauling wood, and other stuff. 


No computers - no cars - church on Sundays, perhaps - shopping once a month - bible, if any books - no newspaper - no Disneyland - plenty of quality time.

We spend our lives doing what?

Disrupt IT

We spend our lives doing what?

 Good question, Norm. Answer flits though my mind: work, errands, house and yard work, stuff for other people. I guess for me, I need to re-define quality time. Friends just returned from a five week stay in Italy. The shops close for the afternoon at noon, and reopen sometimes after 5. Dinner is from 9 to 11 PM. Seven courses of food are served with lots of time for sharing and laughing of the family. It is just the way it is. I can't imagine this as a way of doing things here in the U.S. Productivity, efficiency, proving our worth to are employers, giving it the 110%, and then busy work the rest of the time.

They didnt work

 outside the home?

Try those canning tongs - I used to use them (after several seasons of burned fingers, ms. frugal broke down and bought some). They work really well - speeds the process up too!

I bet you can find them at Castro's Hardware on Clark (thank god for local business).

canning tongs

Castro's doesn't having the tongs. Olga referred me to a place downtown but I have not been there yet. 

Jerleen, it is time

 Jerleen, it is time for you and me to start getting back to the serious business of talking food. The holidays are coming, I have a sack of dried apples, and a desire to return to the kitchen, I am still waiting for you to give the word on when your book is to be published, the book about the way it was. In the meantime, have you made an apple stack cake? The 7 layer cake with the dried apples cooked in a little water and spices, several days ahead of when it is to be served?

Speaking of apples, where

Speaking of apples, where can I find some information about pruning and spraying apple trees?  I have two trees in my yard that are producing fruit, but the fruit is wormy.  I want to make sure I prune or trim (whatever it is called) my trees and spray them with something non toxic so I can use the fruit or give it away next year instead of allowing it to fertilize my yard.  Keep in mind when replying that I know nothing about taking care of fruit trees. 

It's been awhile but oh yes,

It's been awhile but oh yes, always a Thanksgiving staple along with stacks of dried apple pies.  Just the mention of them and I can smell them already.  Of course,  there's got to be a sweet potato pie as well. 

My ex mother-in-law made the best dried apple pies.  She would start about  week before Thanksgiving.  First she would put the dired apples in water to soak for a bit and then she would cook them on an old coal stove - a couple of days before baking the cake or pies.  We would spend a couple of days baking cakes and rolling out pie crust. Sometimes we'd bake 8 - 10 pies depending on how many apples we had - the last day would always be spent using up the remainder of the apples in fried apple pies.  Those would be the pre holiday treats, samplers so to speak.  Dried apples were only used for two occasions. Thanksgiving  and Christmas. 

She was really old fashioned, everything had to be done a certain way - when we were finished and the dishes were done, everything put away, she would put on a pot of coffee on that old cook stove and I'm telling you, the aroma was so different that an electric pot, when that coffee started perking,  then we'd take a cup of coffee and - always in a cup and deep saucer - everybody poured their coffee in a saucer and slurped  - then we'd retire to the "front room" with a plate of fried pies - fresh coffee and sit by the grate (fire) - with no lights on - and just chat - talk about who was coming to dinner and such. 


fried apple pies

 I love these but only made them twice. One was with a sweet dough, the other with pie crust. The ones with pie crust were the best.

Yes, pie crust dough is the

Yes, pie crust dough is the best and if you have an extra sweet tooth, you can mix up a little confectionary sugar with a little water and let it drizzle over the pies while they are hot and they are Sooooo good. 

fried apple pies it is

Then I will make up some fried apple pies. When I made them before, I sauteed the apples in butter with cinnamon until very soft, cooled them so they would not be too hot on the pie crust, then did the circle then half moon crescent. Glazing them is easy enough. How do you make yours, Jerleen, specifically the apples?  

There are a few different

There are a few different ways - all are good

My favorite is:  Grany Smity's of course - now here is the problem. i can't tell you how much of anything - Very seldom do I measure when cooking from scratch so it's one of those guess deals.

But I cook the apples in a little water until tender  - drain

then in a little water mix a little sugar, cornstarch, a little brown sugar, a little bit of plain flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, a few drops of vanilla, and a dab or two of butter - bring to a boil until it thickens and then pour it over the apples - let it cool well.  Roll out the pie crust in circles fill one side with the mixture fold in half moons, use a fork to press edges together and prick air holes in top with fork tines - fry until golden  and then...... eat.

 Now, my mom like the apples cooked and sweetend sort of like stewed apples with cinnamon.  Those are good too.

Clear filling

I forget to say sugar, along with the spice. We never did it the way that you do. Isn't it funny how different the same things can be? It sounds as if you are actually making an apple pie in a small crust, whereas we used the crust to contain fried apples. Never ever used water or a clear filling over the apples.

One of our  current favorite breakfasts on winter Sunday mornings is fried apples with biscuits. Or fried green tomatoes. 

Fried apples and biscuits is

Fried apples and biscuits is a favorite around here all the time as well as fried green tomatoes. 


Fried apples and tomatoes

You know that this stuff isn't good for us, but it sure taste good, especially green tomatoes that are picked after s cold spell before there is a frost. There is something about the cold that brings out the flavor of the tomatoes. I try to pass the health consequences off by dipping the tomatoes in skin milk buttermilk then the flour, not using egg at all.  Then there is the better oil and not lard, that counts, right? 

I just bread my tomatoes in

I just bread my tomatoes in some cornmeal with a little dab of flour and I've sworn off of using lard even though it makes better biscuits - but I've trained myself to like the ones I make with the healthier stuff. 

Jerleen, I love your

Jerleen, I love your stories. 

Jerleen's old school cooking and quilting school


You've got the stuff - now you just need a business plan. So many people need the skills you have. Not unlike Loretta Paganini's Cooking School, but your school would have an "old school" bent. It could teach young and old folks the older methods for all these things remembered from a world made by hand.

I recently saw this film clip about a Homegrown Revolution. Many of the methods the family practices are "by hand"; by hand washing, butter churning, blending, milling. It could be a mix of old and new "off grid" homemaking skills. We need those. When my son was in high school in recent years, I don't recall any of the girls that hung around talking about having to take "home economics" as my generation did. Heck, my older sister turned her home economics courses into a job running welfare in Atlanta at one point. She began working with poor families teaching them how to stretch a dollar, save and find educational things to do with the kids on the cheap, and ended up as an administrator in Five Points. These skills are needed and they're becoming sexy, too as midlifers who always planned to "get back to the land" are finally faced with being put out out into the field.

And the stories - they warrant a book. I hope you're collecting them. I enjoy them, too. They are reminiscent of Bailey White.

dried apple pies

 Jerleen, I have made one dried apple cake ever. I found dried apples recently and bought them all. Mom says that is so special that I have to wait until Christmas to use them. So special when they used to be common. 

There is an empty store front that was renovated, (probably with storefront facade money) and has been empty for a number of years, right next door to Gather 'Round Farm. Meagan and all have looked at that place and we have day dreamed about connecting  that place with food and education, and now I think that a Jerleen School of Learnin'  would be the perfect fit. It had big windows that face north and could hold displays of quilts in the different stages of being made. You could have a fire available at Gather 'Round. Meaghan wants to build a cobb stove.  Just remember that the chickens have names and can't be cooked.

Most people laugh at me

Most people laugh at me about the "good ole days stuff."  I like to remember a lot of it because can you actually see many of today's young ladies spending their time stringing apples to dry for a Christmas pie - because along with drying the apples, you'd have to chop the wood to build the fire to bake the pies -  and it takes awhile because you have to give the oven time to heat up - not like turning on an electric or gas oven.  Ever hear about somebody testing the oven to see if it was hot enough - you open the door and stick your hand in to feel the heat - that actually works. (glamour nails just wouldn't have worked back then). 

To churn the butter, first you have to milk the cow -  skim the cream off the top - and let it curdle  - fresh butter goes so fine with homemade jams and jellies and a pan of homemade biscuits fresh from the oven.  A lot of the work was actually fun and I am so glad that I learned as much as I did - but the stuff I know is really backwoods - raw edge - hill stuff.   People learned and did these things without questions out of necessity and survival.  They were just a part of everyday living  - I actually feel like I come from two different worlds. 

Here's a funny story, when I first moved to Cleveland - the hardest thing I had to get used to was that nobody here got up at 4:00am and cooked a full laid out breakfast.  My ex-husband went to work at 6:00am, he worked at a sawmill for awhile and then a strip mine - but there had to be biscuits, gravy, eggs, some kind of fresh meat, butter jelly and fresh perked coffee on the table for an actual sit down meal before he went to work - then I packed his lunch which included a thermos of hot coffee and a jug of water and sent him on his way - (by the way the sawmill always blew a whistle at noon everyday)  When quit time came, he came home there was a sit down supper on the table WHEN HE CAME HOME - it was just part of the program. 


the teaching and the learning

Yes, Jerleen, the old way was the hard way. How to teach food preservation and reuse of items without sending people with nice manicures out to chop the wood and haul the water? 

hartzlers and the churn

Last week a new milk showed up in my grocer's dairy section - Hartzler's. I had heard about it, but hadn't found it in the store yet. Ah, a big chunk of cream on the top of the glass bottle. My roommate immediately suggested we purchase a churn. Yes, we can - Lehman's Low Voltage Hardware. We'll get one.

I think Debbie is on to something - Gather 'Round to listen and learn with Jerleen. Gather 'Round to Stitch and Bitch. A series of recipies and how tos and regular classes. It needs a home - a house with a big kitche would be preferable (with afterschool intergenerational storytime and activity programs, too), but a storefront can be made homelike, too.

And just think of Gather 'Round able to expand if Bodnar leaves and the neighborhood blocks a McDonalds.

OK, I need to get up and stop dreaming here and get a tool in my hands!

churn, learn, and kitchen

There is a nice house (empty, and foreclosed on) where the back yard in partly adjacent to Gather 'Round and has a huge back yard and another lot that is empty and fenced in as part of the property. The gardens that could go in that sunny spot.......The chickens could have more space, a kitchen for Jerleen to teach in...and it is old enough that there is probably a fireplace to be uncovered. It is a corner property, right by a bus stop.

I know it's easy to get

I know it's easy to get caught up in the dreams.  The old time wooden churns are best.  You do know that you when churning you got to "get a rhythm."  My dream has alway been to have a country store with calico yard goods, eggs in a basket, homemade jams and jellies for sale, old time looking quilts, rocking chairs, sewing bskets, aprons and the like.

I just finished making two bibbed aprons for a lady and now I'm on to boxer shorts for my son.  They have been a Christmas special for many years,  He always gets 13 pair.  I for each month and I pair of satin ones for a special occasion.  this tradition started a long time ago one Christmas when we didn't have a lot of money.  I found a piece of red satin in my fabric stash and I made him a pair of boxers.  I needed to make them special so I searched for a motif to put on the leg.  He could draw really well and I found one of his drawings of a little mouse in a pair of shorts.  I colored the picture and then iron transferred it onto the leg of the boxers - on Christmas morning, he loved the shorts but couldn't figure out how in the world did his drawing get on the leg of his shorts.  He kept and wore those dang shorts for about five or six years - they were nothing but strings when he finally parted wtih them.

see what we mean, Jerleen

You are more than doing to get by, you have the creative touch.

I will say this, it sure

I will say this, it sure sounds better that all this fussing over community politics that seem to be going nowhere.  I would much rather be knee high and elbow deep  in a pile of fabric scraps and a bowl of pie dough that all this crap that is so stressful.  

As I'm sure you can tell, I am in dire need of some mind distractions today so this is where I go when things get overwhelming but I can easily see a room filled with shelves of old time {tin} measuring cups, the aromatic smells of nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.  Shelves of old time pie pans, iron skillets, bread pans, cookie sheets.  Pretty glass jars filled with pre measured dry ingredients for the best soft batch chocolate chip cookies in town and a recipie all tied up with a bow.  Baskets of fresh eggs, with pictures of the ladies who laid 'em hanging on the wall, homemade aprons, quilts, laying around the room.  Pretty strings of dried peppers, garlic, etc., hanging on the wall.  Rocking chairs with soft cushions welcoming visitors to drop in and sit awhile over a cup of hot tea and sharing some fresh baked gingerbread - laughing and telling tales of the "good ole days,"  before they venture back out into the world of chores, work and daily duties.

The community politics just

The community politics just might get you the money to get something like this started in the area around Gather 'Round Farm.  People pay to visit Amish farms and drive out of town to get there too.  Why not have something similar right here in Cleveland?  It really goes along with the 'sustainability' theme that is so popular these days.  Turning the area around Gather 'Round Farm into everything mentioned above is a wonderful idea.  I don't know why a grant wouldn't be available to get it started.  I don't know anything about getting grants but it sure sounds like the perfect idea for the times.  Don't throw this wonderful idea away, go for it. 

Who is your councilman?

Time to put him to a test.

This sounds like a great idea - contact your councilman and say "Gilbert me!"

Actually, I'd contact Dennis!

Disrupt IT

In what ward is the Gather

In what ward is the Gather 'Round farm located? 

Gather 'ROund is in 14

Gather 'Round is in Ward 14 where Santiago made supportive noises then supported Bodnar-Mahoney at BZA for their push for a crematory. Ward 13 is across the street and Joe Ciperman  took a stand against the crematory, so thanks Joe. Come January, Gather 'Round will be in Ward 15, councilperson Matt Zone.

Thanks dwebb.  That's a lot

Thanks dwebb.  That's a lot of keeping track of who's who in the area.  So it looks like Matt Zone is the one to ask about funds to start up a business in that area. 

foreign concept

 It is important to have support of a council person but they do not, and should not, provide funds for a start up of a business. The council person can be helpful in saying no way to McDonald's (and both Zone and Ciperman said  that to McDonald's). The council person can introduce and/or support farm legislation or change in zoning to allow chickens. Maybe if we could get that house we can get both Ciperman and Zone to pass legislation allowing 1 cow per so many feet of land. That would be a good use of vacant land that doesn't have a high lead count. Then Jerleen could teach us how to churn butter (we would have to milk the cow at 5 AM regardless of the weather, clean up the cow pies, feed the cow, and walk her).

Then where is all the block

Then where is all the block grant money going to be spent?  More studies?

I looked up CDBG and found this article.  It was interesting to read all the ways block grant money can be used. 

Well, the cow might like to

Well, the cow might like to have a say in all this.  As much as we'd love to do this.  This cow would need to be housed in  the winter as well as fed and cleaned after.  They cause a lot of flies in the warm weather - I would love a farm setting - but cows need pasture too and I  can teach you how to churn butter without boxing up a poor animal in a little space.  I have a real little small churn - I can show you how to make "cheat butter" in it. 

A cow in the city.  Now

A cow in the city.  Now that would be something to see. 

My brother-in-law lives in Oberlin on about 10 acres of land and he has a pet cow that he has had for about 10 years.  She is about 1000 lbs. now.  Her name is Angel.  She has a barn and a pasture and she doesn't give milk. 



A mini cow

Daisy is a sweet heifer.  A nice blonde tri-colored calf.  She does have some brindle on her also.  She was born in November 2008 and she is still under 30 inches tall.  She is going to be a colorful and tiny cow


Minature Cows for sale

Patio cows?

They seem to be breeding everything in minature these days.


Problem solved.  And to

Problem solved.  And to think we were ready to give up on this idea.  Who knew? 

I am wondering what kind of weeds cows can eat.  We could use the cow to clean up all the weeded areas around our community.  Just think, feed the cow and remove the weeds and get milk.  What would be a better investment in a poor area?

ring, ring (5am)



Uh, hi. Is Debbie there?

No, uh, Debbie is out walking the cow.

Really? Where do they walk?

Uh, down to the Carnegie West Library with a stop at Le Petit Triangle, I think, then back home.

OK, well could you ask her to call me when she returns from walking the cow?

Maybe goats in the city, but cows need a lotta lotta grass - lot's more than could ever grow under Bodnar.



cows on a leash

Just thought that I would slip a cow in. We had cows and I know that they take a lot of land and resources. They probably don't take well to a structured walk either. I love the big creatures. We had goats too. They ate grass, shoes, clothing, and anything else not secured. Maybe they are a more realistic option. Still need legislation though.

Norm, I love your newly

Norm, I love your newly minted phrase, "Gilbert me".  lol....that's a good one. 

balm to the mind & soul

 This stuff is a balm to the mind and soul, can be hard on the body, though. Today is the last day of my vacation, and tomorrow looms, with all the stress and noise of the modern workplace. I just took a loaf of bread out of the oven, and admired the beautiful shape and color. I would admire my rows of jelly and jams but Mom told me that they should not be in the kitchen with the heat so I moved them. I covet tin measuring cups, the plastic just measures but the tin speaks of artisan works. I do have cayenne peppers that need to be stringed, so pretty and red. I have the glass container of sage that I picked, and am looking forward to the smells of sage and thyme in my meatless stews and lintel loaf over the winter. 

My mom used to make rag dolls for Christmas gifts for the girls. She made one a few years ago for a great granddaughter who politely accepted it but was taken aback. Doing this came from her grandmother. The head is stuffed with small rags and tied, the whole is made from some pretty leftover cloth and a face is drawn on. I think I will have Mom over for the day after Thanksgiving, and we will make a bunch, one for each granddaughter. I will distribute those in the years to come when they will be cherished. We will make the Appalachian rags dolls on Black Friday and let the commercial world go on by, and be better off for that.

Now, Black Friday sounds

Now, Black Friday sounds like a day especially making rag dolls.  There is nothing that makes a kitchen smell so good as all the spices.  A fresh loaf of bread sounds wonderful.  I can't wait to get started baking for the holidays.  

We should have a day for sampling and sharing homemade baked goods - over coffee or tea.  Tell some stories and maybe even make some gifts? 

"what if" for Black Friday

What if Black Friday was not about buying, but instead was about making?

Several years ago, I made pomanders as Christmas gifts. They are still extant in bathrooms in my house and in my sister's house. Here's one version of a pomander. Me, I just stick cloves into a smallish apple covering the entire fruit. I tie a ribbon loop to the stem of the apple so it can hang usually in a bathroom or kitchen. Even years later when wet with warm water, they smell wonderful.

This one doesn't have the ribbon yet.

That Christmas - a particularly lean one - I wrapped all gifts in newsprint or kraft paper and tied them with twine and sprigs of pine, fir and spruce. I used pine branches instead of styro peanuts for packing the boxes. The parcels, sent out to family members in their faraway homes, were fragrant upon opening.

PS Two other realneo members are skilled at making candles. That could be another thing for Jerleen's Kitchen, Porch and Reading room.

Newsprint - especially the

Newsprint - especially the funny papers makes the best wrapping - because gifts are always sent in something fun to read as well.

So many wonderful ideas.  It could be a sort of consignment country store where one person could sell their homemade candles, and one could sell wonderful scented homemade soaps - everything homemade - old time recipes, etc.   Growing season, people could bring their garden vegetables to sell.   Love the Pomanders. 




the garbage bins

 in a year would be empty????

name the day and time

 We can make gifts and swap treats. I do have a question, Susan, about the apple that the cloves are stuck in. Does the apple go bad? 

apple of amber

No, it just dries out over time.

po·man·der Etymology: Middle English, modification of Anglo-French pomme de ambre, literally, apple or ball of amber
1 : a mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a perforated bag or box and used to scent clothes and linens or formerly carried as a guard against infection; also : a clove-studded orange or apple used for the same purposes

One of these days (this week hopefully), I plan to take a trip to Hirt's Gardens to buy garlic for planting and to get seeds for sweet grass. I want to grow it so I can make sweet grass braids for my house and for friends. Hirt's apparently has been in business for a long time and they have most of much of what folks buy from Johnny's and Fedco (heirlooms), but they are right here in NEO. Like Lehman's they are not in the city and require a short road trip to the countryside, but since my farm job had me venturing daily to the countryside, I am more willing this year to get in the car (with a friend) and go check these places out. Yes, both stores have online ordering and shipping, but I could use a ride in different country this week.

Jeff B doesn't like spam or linked advertising so if you're interested, you can search those names and see what I mean.


I like to tie up bunches of

I like to tie up bunches of English Lavender to hang in the house.  It smells so good as it dries.  It is  also is great to put in your bath as well.

Why don't we plan something in the next week or so.  This week I'm sort of book up with meetings but next week we could find time for soem coffee and a batch of something good from the oven.

That's another country trip

But this one's for another time of year - Daybreak Lavender Farm in Streetsboro. They make the most effective insect repellent I have ever used - no harmful chemicals involved, but boy, oh boy does that stuff work - even in farm conditions where bugs eat you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It works so well that my sister swears by it for black fly season in New Hampshire and for her summer evenings on Florida's panhandle - the mosquito coast.

next week

Sounds good if it is a weekend, as my job saps my energy and I only bake of of necessity and not love during the week. 

oooooh! I forgot to

 plant garlic last fall and I was sO sad this year for no fresh garlic! - thank you for the reminder!


and I have a wooden box of lavender on my dining table right now - I had no idea it had such properties. I plant Munstead lavendar - it does really really well in this climate.


i have to say i love you girls!!!



where's the map?

I tried to find a map - you'd think there'd be a link to the new map or a find your "new" ward on city council's website, but, uh... no. Maybe I missed it. Can someone post a link to the old map and the new map?

Try the BOE

 Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have the maps that all the politicians used (and Cleveland City Council did have the old maps up a week ago).

Goats do eat everything, I


 Goats do eat everything, I love the fainting goats and the tree climbing goats, they would not be a good combination though.

They also have pigmy goats now as well, everybody is into minatures?

Then you could cross breed them and when they climbed the tree and could just catch them. 



Actually goats can be more

Actually goats can be more useful when it comes to cleaning up the weeds and unmowed grass and they would save the city a lot of money in paying out for cleaning up unkept areas.  Hill people sometimes just let them roam around eating at will - but they do get into a lot of trouble and can be rather mischievious.

My grandma had an ole billy goat that was a real stinker.  He would watch for people to be coming up the holler, run around and climb upon the back of the wood shed - as they passed in front, he would just let it fly and pee all over 'em.  Everybody who knew about the devilish deed would walk some distance out away from the shed but strangers who thought they could just happen in screamed bloody murder giving everybody notice that they were on the grounds.

He was also good for throwing tanturms.  he would stomp his feet and ram his head into the step railings, when he was feeling really riled up he would chase you and butt you in the rear - if you couldn't run really fast you could become airbourn.   He used to chase my uncles into the outhouse and stand butting his head against the door keeping them penned in until someone came to their rescue.   He was just a spirited fellow. 

Fainting goats

I could not handle a fainting goat. I had a fainting cat. Every hair-ball she upchucked, over she would go. I did not appreciate the humor that other people found in this. She lived 20 years, and I was a wreck as the heart actually stops beating for a few seconds. My veterinarian would fire me if I got a fainting goat.

so funny



Mean goat


LOL!  I would rather have

LOL!  I would rather have the cow.  A nice friendly one.  I like cow's milk better too. 

the cow

When I go to fairs, I can be found in the cow barn. These huge creatures are just so nice, gentle, maybe dumb, but that is ok. Even cow poop smells good. You can let the pies dry, scoop them up, and compost them for a great garden a year later.  I learned not to go  through fences to visit groups of cows cause that cow over there with the horns is really a bull and they protect the herd and they are not gentle and they use those horns.

don't forget you can play

don't forget you can play "cow pattie" with the cow pies.  that's always fun unless you get smacked with a wet one.

cow patties

Jerleen, that is a new game for me. All the more reason to have a cow. Maybe if we got a baby calf and leashed trained her from the get go, we'd have cow pattie heaven. It would be a new game for the city kids, they'd love it, and it would get them off the couch. Who'd pass up a chance to throw cow patties?

Jerleen you are going to

Jerleen you are going to tell us how to play "cow pattie", right?  Please do. Your stories are entertaining. 

I though everybody knew how

I though everybody knew how to play "cow pattie."  Ok, you ask for it.  You get out in a field or pasture where the cows hang out and there are lots of cow pies.  you can either play one on one or a whole group.  You simply throw cow pies at each other.  You use the cows as shields to duck behind  to keep from getting hit.  Just sort of a "shitty" snowball game - except they are a little less round and you usually try to find the dry ones - but on occasion you get one that is still wet in the middle and when it hits or you get hit it splatters.  You hear this smacking sound, you're covered with cow shit  and then you really stink. 

When you have a bunch playing it's more fun - we used to play in a big field and had the poor cows scared to death.  They'be be running and mooing,  grandma and grandpa would hear the cow bells ringing and think that some animal was after the heifers and come and find us throwing cow patties - They'd have to try and calm the herd down and threaten our lives and send us to the creek to wash the crap off before we went into the house. 



Thanks Jerleen.  First I am

Thanks Jerleen.  First I am hearing of this 'game'.  My brothers would have loved it but we didn't live on a farm so no cow plop to play with in the city.  My grandparents did live on a farm in Asthtabula County but they didn't have cows, only chickens, and they were well protected from us kids because they had to lay the eggs that were sold for extra income.  In some old family movies before my parents I noticed that they used to have a cow on their farm, but not when I was old enough to remember.  I think they were paid by the government not to farm their land. 

dried apple stack cake

 This thread was fun, and I wanted to go back to read it as it came to mind today as I made the parts for a dried apple stack cake. I say parts because I will put it together Wednesday night. Today was the only time I had to spend hours in the kitchen. I made 5 layers that look like huge molasses spice cookies. On one layer, I took care to smooth it and make it nice for the top layer. I then cooked a pound  and half of dried apples rings, what a chore. I did not count on the bottom layer absorbing the water quickly and bubbling the rest of the apples out and over the edge of the pot. A larger pot took care of that. I cooked this for awhile, and stirred and stirred and more water added as needed. Then I mashed them, but not all were ready. I added brown sugar and spices and cooked a little longer. I will reheat them in two days (and maybe the hard pieces will be softer) and layer the apples in the cake parts. What a chore, but important to do as my Mom talked about how her Grandmother did this for Christmas. The cookies type layers will absorb the apple filling. I will know that I succeeded if my cake reminds my mother of her grandmother's cake.

She also talked about her Grandfather's favorite cake for Christmas: white with lots of coconut. Tea berries were used as decoration (if any decoration were done) as sprinkles were not even a thought then. If you wanted decorations, you went outside and got them!