Friday, October 7, 2016

Dolly's Green Tomato Relish

Dan's sister gave me this recipe that had been her Mother's recipe.

Dolly's Green Tomato Relish

6 pints green tomatoes
3 pints of ground cabbage
3 onions ground
3 red and 3 green peppers ground or (can substitute 3 red tomatoes for the 3 red peppers)
1/2 cup salt, stir into mixture soak overnight.  Drain well.

3 pints vinegar (white)
3 pints sugar
1/2 cup mustard seed (It was cheaper to buy bulk at the Health Store.)
1 tsp clove
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together pour over tomato mixture.  Cook for 1/2 hour.

Seal in water bath for 10 minutes.  Makes approximately 14 pints.

Memories:  Dan said he can remember his Mom making it when he was young.  Patsy gave me the recipe in October 2006.

Georgine's Tomato Relish

My Mom's friend Georgine gave this recipe to my Mom about 1967.  I can remember Mom making it.  Seeing it drain.  Hearing the jars pop.

Tomato Relish

Step 1

  • 14 lbs ripe tomatoes - Skald and skim
  • 6 green peppers chopped no seeds
  • 6 red peppers chopped no seeds
  • 3 hot peppers chopped no seeds
  • (Put all in food grinder)
  • 8 large onions chopped fine
  • 3/4 very scant cup of salt
Step 2:  Hang in bag over night.

Step 3:  In morning taste drippings if too salty add water in bag to drip.

Step 4:  Heat together
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 5 cups vinegar (prefer cider vinegar)
  • then add
  • 3 oz mustard seed
Mix well, then add to first mixture above.  Stir for awhile.  Seal hot.

*We got it to salty once and we added a cup of cold water and let it drain and it was alright.  Try tasting the juice.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Finding Community In Unlikely Places

Zortman is a small community in North Central Montana.  It is a historic mining community, and a living ghost town.  Many of the residents left when the mine shut down in 1997.  The remaining residents have grit and endurance.  

Zortman and the nearby community of Landusky were named after the original miners, who found gold on the Fort Belknap Reservation in the late 1800's.  In 1895 the tribes faced starvation and signed the Grinnell Agreement, selling the gold laden land to the US government.  The Zortman-Landusky Mine was the first cyanide heap-leach gold mine in the US.  The Pegasus mine closed in 1997.

Environmental issues such as cyanide spills, and other violations bring legal action.  Read more here at the High County News, The rise and fall of a gold mining company. (Dec 22, 1997). To read more about the Environmental issues and Native lands go here.

Zortman is listed as a ghost town.  I think of it as a functioning ghost town.  It sports the Buckhorn store; US Post Office; The Miners Club Bar and Cafe; Zortman Garage and Motel; and RV Park and has an active religious community.

The Zortman Garage and Motel is owned by John and Candy Kalal.  We met Candy Friday night when we checked in.  The motel is clean and cozy.  In front of the motel you will find many chairs and small tables.  It reminded me of the old verandas where folks gathered to visit.  Like many rural Montana communities cell coverage and internet service is temperamental.  I soon realized I could get signal outside my room.  So I took my computer and went and enjoyed the autumn sunshine.

Folks working and staying at the motel would stop and say hello.  I enjoyed catching the conversations taking place as people worked and visited.  I felt welcomed and included in their friendly banter.

My husband and another couple went riding their ATV's up the mountain.  That afternoon I headed for the Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge to watch the elk at Slippery Ann.

I was there about an hour went I decided to head back to the motel (about 25 miles).  I headed up the road and found a turn around and headed back to Zortman.  As I headed down the hill I met Mike and his wife in their Duely.

Mike said, "We left Danny at the Motel he had a Crash, but he's ok."

More conversation and I headed back quite concerned.

As I drove I replayed the morning conversations that I had overheard.  Somewhere I thought someone said something about being a nurse.  When I arrived back at the motel I saw Cindy and asked if she was the nurse.

"No, but there is an EMT."

I told her Dan had rolled his ATV.  My husband was a bit surprised as a roomful of people descended on him.  He was under the covers, "bare assed naked".  I quickly explained that there was an EMT and I wanted them to take a look at him.

Even though everyone firmly suggested getting checked out at the hospital in Malta I could not convince him to go.  Mike and his wife, Candy and her husband and many others stopped to check on Dan and see what he needed.  Candy brought him Tiger Balm and John brought him ice.  Many people stopped introduced themselves and then asked if there was anything we needed.  The next morning we met a few more folks.  It was amazing the sense of community that was at the little motel.

Dan said,  "the 4 wheeler "rared up" and went - end over end - as I went off the side. "

Dan told me he wend end over end a few times.  Felt his head hit the rocks as he rolled over, and remembered feeling the rocks dig into his side.

When the dust settled the 4 wheeler was at the bottom and he was on the side of the mountain.
He had jumped off his four wheeler as it somersaulted down the steep mountain.  He drove his ATV back to the motel.  It looked a little bent and beaten up.  Mostly it looked sad.

When I examined him he sported some scrapes and cuts and did not appear to have any broken bones. Thankfully he has a hard head.

I believe the angels were watching and protecting the three of them.   I also believe that when he goes riding they call in reinforcements.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cloudy Crystal Ball

Sometimes my coworkers make me shake my head.  My crystal ball has been a little cloudy lately.  I didn't see this coming.

Earlier this year our school counselor and I spoke.  I asked her if she had any books that she wanted in the library.

"Yes", she did.

"Send me your list."

"Yes, I will."

Fast forward to today.  I took the secretary a copy of my last book order.

"Here is what I spent.  It is the last one for the year."

The counselor was standing by the secretary's desk.

The counselor, "Remember when we talked about the books I wanted for the library?"


"Can you order them?"

Shaking my head, "I just finished spending this year's budget."

"Oh never mind then."

"If you send me your list I will put it on next year's order."

"Yes, I will."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wrong Number

I was reading Missives from Missouri's post about a wrong number.  My mind began to recall wrong number calls over the years.  One of those calls stands out in my mind even though it happened a quarter of a century ago.

I was home from college and it was about 9:30 at night.  The phone rang.  I answered it.  The lady on the other end said, "I need help, I've fallen and I can't get up."

I tried to ask her name and her voice began to fade.  I quickly refocused and asked her where she was.

Her response, "I'm at my house."

Worry and frustration made me firmly ask her for her address.  Was there a family member or neighbor I could call?

"No.  I'm all alone."

"Can't you come?"

"How will I get in?"

"Oh I never lock the back door."

Then I hear the phone fall.

We lived in a small town.   I quickly found the house and went in.  Calling to her as I entered the house.  I found her laying on the floor near the bed.  I realized that I couldn't lift her by myself.  So she told me to call the fire station.

While we waited, I asked her who she had been calling when she got me.

"I was calling my minister.  But I couldn't misdialed the number."

The EMTs at the local firehouse came.  They knew her.  She had called them before.  Gently they lifted her into bed.  Wished her a good-night as they left.

I have often thought of her and the night she called the wrong number.