Saturday, August 4, 2007

Saturday evening, August 4 -- Herschel and the "Mater-serves"

Today was work around the house day. The gutter on the front wasn't draining, at least not as it was supposed to drain, so I worked on that, got it cleaned out and now it works just fine. Of course, it's minus the end-cap now, but...

Then it was the turn of the front lawn. Now we have 3.5 acres of "lawn" here, and it took me about an hour to do 0.25 acres before it simply got too hot. Tomorrow I'll try to get more done earlier in the day -- it was 90 by 10 AM -- too hot to mow, with the humidity!

I stopped mid-day to sit on the porch and read. The "New History of Kentucky" I had started back in March is about half-read, and I WILL finish it before the end of summer. I also spent much of the day working on my eBay business, while Barry continued to unpack boxes and do laundry. Tomorrow I have to work in the den to get that a bit more organized.

We went to dinner at the local hot-spot -- Cutter's Whistle Stop, in Moreland. It's the restaurant owned by the gal from whom we're buying the place (no, we haven't closed yet). Meal was great, prices reasonable, nothing fancy, just good food at a good price with friendly service.

When we got home, we were getting out of the car when a neighbor, Hurschel M., drove up on his 4-wheeler. We had met him before, like the day we moved in, when he came to introduce himself. Herschel is 78, has a Kentucky accent so thick it's difficult to understand what he says. But he's full of those stories one can only get from the "old-timers." He was born in 1929 on the other side of the knob on which we live, and has always lived on either that side or this. He was telling us stories of working for $.25 a day plus meals during the depression, how an 80-acre farm was traded for one horse, and how hickory trees could be burned to make ashes for leavening for bread when one couldn't afford yeast or other leavening! He's a wealth of information! All his kids live within 10 miles -- and several grand-kids, too. They populate most of Butchertown, apparently!

He asked us if we had ever had "mater-serves" which translates into standard English as "tomato preserves". We of course had not, so he trotted down the driveway on his 4-wheeler, and up the road, home to get a jar. He brought back the "mater-serves" and some home-made apple butter -- he makes those, plus blackberry preserves, strawberry jam, pear preserves and -- get this -- watermelon preserves, made with the rind! Barry opened each jar, and spread some of each on a slice of bread -- using my truck hood as a serving table -- SO cool!

Eventually I hope to be able to understand more of what Hurschel says -- as my ears get used to the thick, "holler" accent of people out here in "the Knobs." He's such a delight with whom to talk!

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