Cooking with Zucchini- Stove top casserole

Good morning. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a free morning, I’m at the computer, and looking out the window at the sunshine, sipping some green tea.

While talking with mom on the cordless phone,  our conversation went like this.  I was reading a blog recipe aloud where they mentioned Sea Salt as the ingredient for the salad dressing .  (lemon, white vinegar, and sea salt).  Mom asked,” which one is better Sea salt  or Table Salt? ” If there’s a question, Google has the answer. She was amazed , how fast the computer works.

Sea salts retain the trace elements while table salt has been processed to remove trace elements and include additives.

Table salt is processed to remove trace elements while sea salts, in general, leave these in.  These minerals are indeed important in our diets, but in sea salt they exist in what the Mayo Clinic describes as “insignificant amounts.” Chances are you are getting the same minerals in greater quantities in the fruits and vegetables that you eat.

Mom then posed the question about Salt mines. Where are they located?

Google again.

“The oldest salt mine known to date located in Azerbaijan, Duzdagi mine”


“In order to understand these interactions, CNRS researcher Catherine
Marro and her team have been exploring the Araxes basin (Turkey, Iran,
Azerbaijan) for the last ten years or so. The archeologists have been
focusing particularly on the Duzdagi (4) salt mine situated in
Azerbaijan, more specifically beside the old medieval Silk Road linking
Tabriz (in the north west of Iran) with Constantinople.”

“To the researchers’ surprise, intensive salt production was carried out in this mine at least as early as 3500 BC.”

The economic and symbolic importance of salt in ancient and medieval
times is well-known. Recent discoveries have shown that salt most
probably played a predominant role in protohistoric societies, in other
words those that preceded the appearance of writing.  How is salt
obtained? The two most widely used techniques are based on the
extraction of rock salt, in other words a sedimentary deposit containing
a high concentration of edible salt (2), and the collection of sun-dried
salt in salt marshes, for example.”

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=90605&CultureCode=en

Mom then said, “Well those mines are older than the Coal mines of Pennsylvania. ”

Stove Top Casserole

zucchini 4 cups sliced

Vegetable oil 3 Tablespoons

Garlic cloves, 2 crushed

salt and freshly ground pepper

spaghetti sauce, 1  16 ounce can, heated

mozzarella cheese, 3/4 pound thinly sliced

oregano, 1 teaspoon, crushed

basil 1/4 tsp

In a large Teflon skillet, saute zucchini slices, 1 cup at a time in 1 tablespoon oil with garlic.

Cook until almost tender and a little brown; drain on paper towels.  pour off any excess oil; then layer hot zucchini in skillet, season lightly with salt and pepper , and spreading each layer with some of the hot spaghetti sauce and sliced mozzarella cheese.  Cover top layer with cheese and sprinkle with herbs.   Cover and cook very slowly until mixture is just bubbly and cheese is melted.

 Serves 6.

Reference: The Zucchini Cookbook by Paula Simmons.

Watery Wednesday

Watery Wednesday #163

This week, I’ll continue showing photographs of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

At the towns ‘  Christkindlmart, there was an outdoor display on Ice Carving.  We had a chance to watch the man carving with electric tools and a hand chisel.

“Ice Carving” in progress!

Oh, look , “it’s a Ice Christmas Tree complete with star!

A captive audience , the ice is melting as it’s carved.

“Chair, Anyone!!!”

Do you want your picture taken in the thrown? Ohh , that’s a cold seat!!! I saw a piece of cardboard to sit on, though.

Ice Carving in progress

Simply, an Ice angel!

Here’s Snoopy!

For more watery photos  , please visit the weekly “Watery Wednesday meme.

I’m linked to:   http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/

The Delaware River and Pennsbury Manor

A beatiful old tree along the Delaware River

A beatiful old tree along the Delaware River


The View of the Delaware from Hannah Penn's sitting room

The View of the Delaware from Hannah Penn's sitting room


Close-up of the tree along the Delaware River

Close-up of the tree along the Delaware River

This photo of the view of the Delaware river from the upstairs sitting room is from the same location as my photo in a previous post. The previous post is located in “Back in Time, Pennsbury Manor in Morrisville, Pa.” In the photo, I am standing beside two rows of trees behing the Manor.

Back in Time, to Charter Day in Morrisville, PA

entrance to Pennsbury Manor House

entrance to Pennsbury Manor House

Yesterday, Charter Day was celebrated at Pennsbury Manor along the Delaware River, created by William Penn, the founder of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

For me,  I found it to be a beautiful day to see all of the volunteers dressed in period costume and performing the trades that were needed to operate this settlement on its own.

There was a woodworker, a small building for smoking meats,  two separate buildings immediately next to Pennsbury Manor for cooking and baking all of the food on a fireplace hearth.  This was demonstrated by two women yesterday.  A chicken was roasted, small cookies on a small iron skillet on a separate area with hot coals put underneath on the hearth.  The two women in period dress  were standing at a table displaying the food they had cooked and every few minutes turned around to stoke the fire and turn the food that they were cooking from recipes from that time period.

There was a kitchen garden, with raised beds, and brick walkways.  There was a round brick cistern, that held 500 gallons of water and a 2 gallon pale inside.  The people of this time made many trips fetching water from the river to fill it.  This water was not relied upon the drink, and that children and men drank wine, beer or ale.

There were several barns and the animals that I saw were two black oxen, a horse, and a blue peacock; there were other animals in the barn, but I did not go inside.

I will post photos on another date.

The date that King Charles  of England signed the original charter was March 4, 1681.  William Penn drafted a charter of liberties for the settlement; free and fair trial by jury, freedom of religion, freedom from unjust imprisonment and free elections.

Penn first called the area “New Wales” and then “Sylvania” ,(Latin for forest or woods). which Charles changed to” Pennsylvania”, in honor of the elder Penn.

The Founding of Pennsylvania:

There had been a mass emigration of English Quakers to North America.

In 1677, a group of prominent Quakers that included Penn purchased the colonial province of West New Jersey (half the curent state of New Jersey). George Fox, the founder of the Quakers made a journey to North America to verify the potential of expansion of early Quaker settlements.  In 1682,  East New Jersey was also purchased by the Quakers.  With New Jersey strongly in place, Penn pressed his case to extend the Quaker settlement.  The King granted an extraordinary charter which made Penn the world’s largest private landowner, 45,000 square miles ( 120,000 km2).  Penn became proprietor of a huge tract of land south of New Jersey and New York, and north of Maryland (which belonged to Lord Baltimore) and gained sovereign rule of the territory with all rights and privileges( except the right to declare war).

The land of Pennsylvania had belonged to the Duke of York, who acquiesced, but he retained New York and the area around New Castle and the eastern portion of the Delaware peninsula.  In exchange, one fithe of all the gold and silver mined (there was none) was to be returned to the King and the Crown was freed of a debt to the Admiral of   16,000.

Below are some photos of the volunteers at Pennsbury Manor demonstrating the skills and way of life during that time period .  Pennsbury Manor is located in picturesque Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Address:

400 Pennsbury Memorial Road

Morrissville, Pa 10967

www.pennsburymanor.org

volunteer demonstrates woodworking

volunteer demonstrates woodworking

reconstructed 1680's buildings.

reconstructed 1680's buildings.

Soap Making demonstration

Soap Making demonstration

Penn's cooks prepared food in the fireplace

Penn's cooks prepared food in the fireplace

cookies "baked" on separate iron griddle.

cookies "baked" on separate iron griddle.

Volunteer shows one of the bedrooms

Volunteer shows one of the bedrooms

Two women leaving Pennsbury Manor

Two women leaving Pennsbury Manor

curtains around the bed keep out drafts

curtains around the bed keep out drafts

Pennsbury Manor, view from the Delaware river

Pennsbury Manor, view from the Delaware river

The Great Depression-Tales of Wildcat, PA

The sisters

My mother Jeannette in yard of home in Weston Place, PA.
My mother Jeannette in yard of home in Weston Place, PA.
My, my grandfather looks handsome in his suit with his brother -in -law
My, my grandfather looks handsome in his suit with his brother -in -law

During today’s celebration of my mother’s birthday, she talked about growing up during the Great Depression of the late 1920’s and 1930’s.   Wildcat  was the name of a village in Girardsville, Pa.  They lived in coal-mining towns.  The first place they lived was Lost Creek # 2, a coal mining village.  That makes me a coal-miners granddaughter. You may recall the  movie with Sissy Spacek ,  Coal Miners  Daughter.

Wildcat,Girardsville, Weston Place and Lost Creek #2

They walked to school  It was far! She said,  they walked across a field and up a hill, possibly two miles or more.   No such thing as buses.   It snowed a lot.  The front door was level with the ground.  Once when my maternal grandfather opened the door,  he saw that the snow that had fallen overnight was  so high, that it was over my mother’s head, a child of 7 yrs old or so.

Growing up in the Great Depression, they didn’t have much.  They didn’t have boots to walk in the snow to school.  She said , they used tin cans.   The tin cans used for boots were the size to fit their feet;  they would stomp on th mash down to fit the foot shape.  I cannot imagine this.  Sounds like a snowshow of sorts. And by the way, sounds like school was not canceled for snow.

So by now, my dear readers , you must realize how much easier that we have it today.  If you need boots, you have an multitude of places in which to shop for boots.  My mother was not concerned with style such as the now Australian boots Uggs that many young women parade in during the winter months.

Her parents picked wild mushrooms in the forest and strung them on a string and  hung straight across in the kitchen to dry.  They also picked Huckleberries , blueberries and canned them.

When her parents were first married and she being the oldest recalls some of these details of the house.  In Lost Creek # 2, they lived in a “double” house with her maternal grandmother and grandfather from Lithuania.   My mom said that her grandmother  worked hard all of the time at home.   She made sauerkraut in large wooden barrel, it was kept in the basement. My mom said, ”  My mouth waters for a taste of that sauerkraut! ” She  baked bread, in the coal stove as well as” Koshi”, A potato mixture that was baked in a large oblong pan.  She remembers the nice crust on top of the “Coshi” (pronounce- co-she-). A dish called Kapoosta was cooked, made of pork and cabbage. ( recipe is in this blog: the link https://luvsclassics.wordpress.com/tag/lithuanian/   ).

My mother’s father, my grandfather emigrated from Italy as a child of six years old by ship with his mother  to Ellis Island in New York.   Being that he had a taste for Italian foods, “an Italian stomach”, my grandmother learned to cook that traditional Italian dish of Polenta.  It was served with tomato sauce.      She also cooked pasta for lunch on Sundays.  Once living in Weston Place in their own house, they would visit the gradmother each  Sunday  and have pasta again for supper.  Her Uncle Tommy also lived in the house before he was married.  His preference for the pasta was fresh made, so when  she recalls looking out the window and upon seeing his car, the pasta was put on to boil.

My great grandmother, called grammy also raised chickens, and one rooster.   Mom  can remember hearing the rooster make his call “cock -a-doodle-do” in the early morning hours.  Great grammy  had a back yard shed where her she   made her own whiskey.  She remembers  peeking in there and her grandmother saying to her to shoo away from there.   She served it to people.  This may have been during Prohibition or just lack of shops to buy liquor.

There were no grocery stores.  There was a train tracks that ran in the front of the house;  they would hop on ( it moved slow, she recalls ) and head to the town of Shenandoah.  There was limited groceries there.

At the  front of the house , her grandmother planted flowers. Her mother in later years did not like the hobby of planting  flowers. In contrast, my  mother did carry on that knack for growing plants. I recall that my maternal  grandfather loved the year she planted zinnia flowers outside our back door, the multi-colored hues of lavender, pink and yellow.  And in succeeding  years ,the Zinnias flowers were planted there for grandpa. Continuing on with my mother’s biography of her Pennslvania life during the Great Depression.

In the back yard was great grammy’s vegetable garden and the chicken coopwith chickens and rooster, a shed for  whiskey making, and a coal hole.   There was a hole to dig for coal right in the backyard.  She remembered watching a man from Philadelphia come with a truck to buy the coal.  The kids would sit and watch.      Since there was no indoor plumbing at this house,  they went outside to the  out house, one for kids and one for adults.  There was also a  “Bathhouse”  for the adults.  The kids had their baths in the kitchen in a wooden tub.

My mother has an old kerosene lamp.  I asked her what it was used for.  She said it was to light the way in the coal mines.  My great grandfather and grandfather both mined the coal and also wore miner’s caps with a light on.

Here is a link to the Lithuanian recipes:

These are recipes that both my mom and grandmother and even my great-grandmother from Lithuainia prepared in a coal -stove while growing up.   Mom said that the potatoes-Koshie tasted best from the coal stove!

https://luvsclassics.wordpress.com/category/recipes/lithuanian-recipes/

https://luvsclassics.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/lithuanian-heritage-recipe/

Addendum:

Many of these tidbits of family life were told to me while speaking to  my mom on the telephone and I jotted down the notes.

February 21, 2012

Mom remembered a section in Pennsylvania where they raised goats, ” The Italians”, she said, the folk called it ” Nanny Goat Hill”.

Grace asked ,  ” Was it a farm?’

Mom, ” As a baby I was allergic to milk, and had goat milk in my bottle”.

February 28, 2012

Mom said that growing up , they always had a ” radio” shaped like a clock”.  ” Grandma Pusavage had a Beautiful clock, wooden. 

In Lost creek #2 , the Rooster would wake them up.

Then she talked about the family. Uncle Tommy and Uncle Kayo were “young”, I ask  ” In their teens?”when mom lived there in the house.

Grandma Prosper was the oldest and married living in her mother’s house with Jeannette (my mom)as a baby.

Mom than tells me that “they ran way to Detroit to get married with an old car. There was work there (in Detroit).

Grace, I asked , ” When did she come back ?”

Mom, ” then they lived with Grandma Prosper ( Our great Grandma Prosper ?).

” When we were  little kids, they got married by a priest.  Mom said that She and her younger sibling stayed home while their parents went to the church for the ceremony. Mom mentions Rita Sebastian (Her Godmother ) and Tony Tirone ( her godfather) accompanied our Grandma and Grandpa Prosper to get married. ( perhaps the witnesses).

She says Rita had 6 children, Nancy and five boys.( I will have to look up their names in her address book).

Family History: The Lithuanian side

Great grandma Pusavage emigrated to the United States with her brothers. Mom tells the story that , “The brothers came to the United States to avoid being sent to the Russian army”.  The brothers were older than “great Granny”, and they settled in Staten Island.  One of the brothers name was John.  mom stated , ” they were so tall.”

Great grammy’s father died in Lithuania and her mother remarried.

Mom remembers that great grammy’s brothers came to visit (in Pennsylvania). ” they visited Eva Simenivoch ‘s house first.  Eva was a step sister that came to America.  There are then references to who lived in Frackville, and who lived in Shenandoah, “the Valley”.  Eva had a daughter , Josephine, who was the same age as Our Grandma (Anna )Prosper. Josephine was a beautician at a beauty parlor. She had a granddaughter, her age would be about 70 yrs old now.  Note: I don’t know where she is living and if any of my mom’s sisters have ever had contact with her.

Great grandma Pusavage also had a sister who was a teacher.   She was sent to Russia ( Siberia) and they never heard from her again. At that time Russia domineered Lithuania, and Poland, the early 1920’s. ( a guess).

Mom said she was born at home. The Dr’s name was Dr. Cook.  When Dr. Cook came to visit, ( Dr’s made House calls ),” he could bring anything in the house, they had dogs, but when Dr. Cook was leaving with his Dr’s bag, the dog bit the Dr. !!!!”.

Grandma Proper like Buckwheat. ” She cooked everything from memory, no cookbooks” !  Grandpa A. Prosper made pancakes with apples in them on the weekends grandpa was off.  Note: in another blog post, I posted a buckwheat pancake recipe with a remembrance of my grandmother P.

At this time,  mom also  tells me  ” A lady had a small store that sold fudge.” Fudge was 2 cents a piece.

Once I found  out about Grandma and her Buckwheat pancakes,  I myself set out to look for Buckwheat pancakes in the grocery store.  I found a blend of Buck- Wheat and another flour in the Whole Foods supermarket. We made the pancake on our iron skillet several times.

On another telephone conversation,  Mom said, ” As kids, there was a lady in Pa had a little candy store. You could buy pieces of fudge for 2 cents.   ” When we got two pennies, we bought fudge.” mom ” I used to like the white one.” I ask, ” vamilla”. Mom said , ” yes”.  They lived in a town called Weston Place when she was age 10,11 12, and 13. When she was a Sophomore in High school they moved to Chester , Pa.

When my mom was in her Sophomore year of High School, 1942, they left the rural area of Lost Creek #2 and Weston Place, so that her father could work in the Chester shipyards during World War II.

Mom said that she like the rural area versus McCaffery Village section of Chester, Pa.  She was too shy to hang with the kids.  The teens were ” noisy kids” and Irish, There was an Irish church nearby to McCaffery Village.   While mom was waiting for the school bus, she would walk to a different block on a corner to catch the” town bus”for school.    In MacCaffery Village, Mom would ask uncle Al, ” where are you going?, He would say, I’m going to visit friends”.  They were girls.

Mom’s first job was working at Woolworth’s.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._W._Woolworth_Company

Mr. O’Toole was the manager.  Mom worked there after school everyday.  She walked up from Chester High school into the town of  Chester, Pa on Main street.

She worked behind the counter in cosmetics.  When she was promoted , she worked in the cellar , kept inventory ( on paper).   Mom stated that she took care of all the stock that came in.  Make-up, candy, lipstick, stationary.  I asked if it was like the “Dollar Stores ” of today. She said , “yes”.

After mom graduated High school in 1945 , she got a different job in a company and that is were she met her lifelong friend Dorothy Falkosky Sacharok.  She stayed working there until  mom’s  family moved out of Pennsylvania to Bound Brook , New Jersey in the late 1940’s.  Another relative was already living in Bound Brook, working in American Cyanamid. Grandpa Prosper went to John’s Manville to check out a job there, but he did not stay.  He saw in the air all the white particles floating around so much that it looked like snow and he decided it was not a healthy or safe place to work.

There is a short  story about a  cousin to my mom.    Elizabeth was a sister to Grandpa  ( Anthony) Prosper, and married to Benjamin Antonelli.   One of Elizabeth’s  children was crippled with Polio.  One day when Grandpa P. went to the house to visit, he said” Where’s Nicky?” . The mother stated that she put him in a ” Home”. Grandpa then went to the “Home” and took him out . He said, ” Nicky’s your son, you take care of him!!!”

Another son of Elizabeth’s ” Alfred” became a teacher, and Frances and Eugene.

Well, Stay tuned, to more little stories, or call me/ e-mail to add yours!!!

Comments

If there is anyone reading this that lives in Pennsylvania in these towns, I’d appreciate a comment.   I’d like to know if the coal mines are still operable.   When I did a map search of the streets,  I can  see the vast area occupied by the mines..  My mother recalls a kind of dust in the air living near the coal mines.

Again,  Comments are welcomed.   Many people stop by from other countries and if you’d like to share your story or your great grandparents story of those years,  please  drop me a line under comments.

Addendum:  May 18,2009

 This writer sees that many come to this blog with an  interest in the photo of 1920’s suit, 1930’s suit,  grandfather suit.         Your  Comments are welcomed.

Please sign my guestbook  at my other new blog .

www.pencilsandbooks.wordpress.com

My parents wedding

My parents wedding

Look at the coal transport system overhead!

Look at the coal transport system overhead!

My mom's school photo, age 6

My mom’s school photo, age 6

My mothere's brother , Undo, (Anthony)

My mothere’s brother , Undo, (Anthony)

Heritage recipe Lithuanian Koshie, ( potatoes casserole)

Lithuanian recipe, Kapusta( pork and cabbage)

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