Bakery recipes with home made, fresh baked, muffins, yeast breads, and
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Robin has written many stories for my site, but above all this is my favorite.  
This story will touch your life, pull at your heart and look deep into your
soul.  We are our memories.

A Story of Courage and Inspiration for Memorial Day
  Robin L. Wallace

Memorial Day is coming rapidly as I write this.  Too often anymore, it's looked
on by Americans as just another paid day off, or day out of school for those
who have to wait until the second week in June until they are formally released
for the summer vacation.  And even worse, it's been turned into a huge
excuse for retailers to have huge sales to try and cash in on profits by
exploiting another holiday (I've already started to see ads screaming, "Come
in for this, that, or the other store's Giant!  Humongous!  Blow Out!  Price
slashing!  Extravaganza!  Where we offer you big, big, big, huge savings on
everyday values!"), or a chance for Hollywood to make big bucks by releasing
the first of what they hope to be a slew of summer blockbusters.
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Copyright  11/26/07   
As it turned out, the family's home was leveled during the Allied bombing.  
Afterward, when the family was gathering to check for survivors, the
grandmother was nowhere to be found.  The family could only assume
that she had perished when the house was destroyed.  During the day
after the bombing, when some neighbors went back into the remains of
the house next door to see what, if anything could be salvaged, they
reported to the host's grieving family that apparently their home was
being haunted by some kind of ghosts.  The neighbors reported to the
family that while exploring the ruins of their own home, they could hear
cackling and other eerie noises coming from where the family's house had
once stood.  When the host's family returned later in the day to conduct
a search for the grandmother's body, and anything else that might be
recovered, they, and the party of neighbors would come to help, could
hear cackling coming from the general direction of the old cast-iron stove
which could be seen still standing amidst ruined timbers where the kitchen
once was.
Read, "The Story of the
Missing Cookie Jar" by
PenVampyre.  A delightful little
Christmas story with
mouthwatering  recipes for the
most wonderful time of the year!

Read "
Santa and the Magic
Key", plus recipes for your
holidays.  A story by Robin
Wallace.Read "Santa and the
Magic Key", plus recipes for your
holidays.  A story by Robin

Read "
Easter and Where NOT
to Hide Eggs"  Memories of
Easters past and a few vintage

Halloween Story -The
original story won first place in
sixth-eighth grade division of
Southeastern Middle School,
2005 by Logan Lyon

Food and Genealogy.  A story
By Robin L. Wallace.  Our lives,
our families, our very history's
are defined by the foods we eat.

Family Reunion Recipes.
"The Fourth of July and Other
(With Apologies to Jean
By Robin L. Wallace

A short story by Suellen Fry.  
Memories of my father and his
version of Kickapoojoyjuice.

Memorial Day Recipes - "For
me, Memorial Day was the day
when we went out where
relatives were buried in the tiny,
local cemeteries and thoroughly
cleaned up each gravesite,
carrying away branches that may
have fallen in the

Grandma Irwin's
Story of
Courage and Swit Tater Biskits

Homemade Remedies Recipes
- Recipes our grandparents used
from a poultice, mustard
plasters, gargles and paste.
Hearing the noise for themselves, it took the family and other rescuers a little time to work up the
courage to go investigate the area, as one or two of them had been thoroughly frightened by the
unearthly sounds emanating from the ruins.  When they finally had cleared enough and reached the old
stove, one family member recognized the grandmother's voice and realized that rather than a ghost
making an unearthly fuss, it was, wonder of wonders, the grandmother, who had been trapped inside the
old stove by the debris covering it.  It seems that, clutching the candy dish, her most cherished
possession, the grandmother, laughing gleefully at the Germans' flight, had climbed inside the oven of the
old cast-iron stove as the bombs started destroying the house around her.  The stove had been just
sturdy enough to ensure that the grandmother and the candy dish both survived, unscathed by the
destruction.  Though unable to get out by herself when the bombs stopped falling, unsure of how long
would take before help arrived, or even if her own family were still alive after all that, the feisty old lady
was so amused by this forceful ejection of the hated Nazi tormentors from her beloved Normandy that
she couldn't help breaking out into peals of laughter every time she thought of the situation – the
Germans were gone, and she had managed to save her prized candy dish.  As it turned out, the piping
which connected the stove to the chimney, was still intact, providing enough fresh air to keep the old lady
going beneath the wreckage, and provided a perfect acoustical set up to echo the sounds of her laughter
weirdly throughout the debris all around her hiding place.
Original Mincemeat Recipe 1940's
That little candy dish, which now has a place of honor on the mantel here
in America, serves as a symbol of inspiration to any lucky enough to learn
its history.  It's a portent of what could be accomplished in the face of
adversity, and a reminder that there is always hope, no matter how dark
the circumstances seem which face us every day.
For me, Memorial Day was the day when we went out where relatives were buried in the tiny,
local cemeteries and thoroughly cleaned up each gravesite, carrying away branches that may
have fallen in the winter, pulling up weeds that had grown up around the headstones, placing
the planters that had been lovingly rotated from year to year and replanted with new, fresh
flowers that were usually watered on a bi-or tri-weekly basis throughout the summer and fall
from the watering cans carefully loaded in the trunk of Gram's old blue Dodge Monaco car
(sometimes they were even visited up to four times a week, depending on the weather
conditions).  And for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, little American flags were usually
placed on the graves of those who had served in the military throughout the conflicts that dated
from Revolutionary War times right up to the present.  On those trips, Gram Irwin would tell me
the story of each one's life, whether they were related or not and how, almost to ensure that
their names and deeds lived on in the telling, passed safely into the memory of the next
generation.  There were even one or two old friends of the family whose own descendents had
either long since passed away, or moved away, or who no longer cared whose graves Gram  
lovingly tended to for as long as she was able to while she lived.  From her loving and reverent
ministrations, I came to up see the day as she had -- one to stop and meditate upon those who
had gone before us.

I guess what got me thinking about it in the first place was that I was sadly wondering just who
would go out and tend the graves this year.  I just recently celebrated an important anniversary
in my own life -- the third year that I survived after having had a stroke, which left me incapable
of doing so.  I was a comparatively young age when one generally thinks of stroke sufferers and
survivors.  When I was placed in rehabilitation at a local nursing home following the stroke (one
of the few places where this kind of treatment and therapy could be handled here in my area
(private places are few and far between), I was the youngest one on my floor by at least some
40 years.  Despite the post-stroke limitations I have to deal with currently, I've managed to
remain independent, with the help of a few very special people.
Folks that I talk to nowadays tell me that I'm a hero, and that my story of how I've managed
to continue on despite all I've gone through in the last 16 years or so, makes me a strong,
brave person.    We all know of the selfless heroes in both the military and services like the
police and fire fighters, unselfish men and women who have laid everything on the line for
others, despite the risk to themselves, and it is fit and proper to spend Memorial Day
collectively remembering their sacrifices.  But there are plenty of other little, quiet heroes, who
often go unlauded for surviving and carrying on despite what to most people would be an
intolerable situation. Yes, I've persevered, and there has been a plenitude of hardships thrown
in my way, but they are nothing compared to the stories I'm going to relate to you.
The first story is about a little Limoges porcelain candy dish which was given as a gift to my
sister when she was an exchange student in France.  The family she stayed with originally
gave it to her because they thought she would appreciate the history of the dish --
something which the daughter in the family clearly would not do.  My sister's French mother
explained to her that they were afraid their daughter would smash the dish, a cherished
family heirloom, by hurling it across the room during one of her frequent temper tantrums,
as she'd done to other treasures in the past.
The dish's provenance, as told to me, is as follows:

My sister's host family, although now living in one of the French interior' famous wine growing
areas, originally came from a little town on the coast of Normandy.  During the days of World
War II after the Germans occupied France, it was not uncommon for the residents of the area
to have to board Nazi soldiers in their homes.  They had to make sure that the
accommodations for the soldiers were equivalent to anything that one might expect to find in
the finest hotels in Paris.  This meant that the best of everything the populace had to offer
was expected to be given to the soldiers first, be it beds to sleep in, best dishes to eat off of,
linen, etc.  In addition to having to do the laundry and housekeeping chores for the occupiers,
the poor villagers throughout the little towns and hamlets of Normandy were expected to
prepare fine meals, using only the best ingredients the region had to offer, often times better
than what the family could afford for themselves.  This frequently resulted in forcing the locals
to go without food, supplies, or whatever.  And just as often as not, the situation existed
where anything the soldiers wanted, they often took for themselves.  As an extension of this
logic, the women in the family were not immune nor safe from the advances of the soldiers
lodged in their homes. Resistance to any of these arrangements often met with fatal outcomes
Throughout these dark times there were often little, secret acts of defiance which the
soldiers never saw, but which helped the civilian population to endure.  For example, the
lady who hosted my sister was, herself, barely just a teenager, being around only 12
years old or so during the Occupation.   Many times she would quietly spit in the soup
tureen while standing out in the kitchen, out of sight of the Nazi troops who stayed in
the house, just prior to serving the soup to them.

The little porcelain candy dish, a rarity among Limoges porcelain (its main color was
white, rather than the vivid blue and gold of the pieces we are so familiar with today. It
also had four little feet rather than having a flat bottom, and the cover that fit it was
decorated with pink and yellow roses in a ring around the center handle) had originally
belonged to the maternal grandmother of my sister's host.  They weren't sure exactly
when their grandmother first acquired the dish, but they guessed it was sometime in the
1880s, since she was already in her 70s or 80s during the time of the Occupation, and
the dish more than likely had been a gift received at her own wedding.  I don't know for
sure how long the Occupation lasted, but it must've been intolerable for those forced to
endure it.
When the Allies finally arrived to liberate France and invaded Normandy, bombs fell like rain
from the sky.  This caused the German forces to fall back and quickly retreat, fleeing for
their lives while all the local residents were out madly shouting, dancing and singing in the
streets because they had at long last been saved.  This went on up and down the coast
of Normandy, despite the dangers of the bombs falling around them, while houses
containing friend and foe, alike were wiped out.  The Allies figured the only way to achieve
their objective was to ensure that the houses in Norman hamlets and towns were being
systematically flattened to rout the German enemy so firmly entrenched there.  The local
civilians being liberated held no animosity for the casualties being inflicted upon them.  
They had hated their German oppressors so much, they were willing to stand the
destruction in order to regain their freedom from the invaders (when visiting in the region
in 1990, a traveling companion and I essentially weren't allowed to pay for meals or
lodgings while we stayed there after it had been discovered by the locals that both of our
fathers had served in the US military -- his in the Navy, mine in the Air Force.  I can't tell
you the number of elderly people, complete strangers, who came up to me, crying, and
thanking me in broken English for America's role in liberating Normandy.).
Hi Starla here, boy, Robin's story really touched my heart. I didn't realise how much my parents lives
were shaped by their experiences during World War 2 and the Great Depression.  My parents spending
and saving habits were a direct result of living in those times.  Their habits with food, planting gardens
every year and mom canning food, which I never understood since the grocery store had the same
thing already finished and ready to go.  Their ability to weather any storm, no matter how tough the
situation, my parents could handle it or they would figure out a way.

My Mom, Helen Stone's Homemade Potato Salad

This was my mom's potato salad recipe, I suppose she was taught this recipe from her mother.  I was
born in 1953, this gives you some idea how old the recipe is.

There were no measurements made for this potato salad, my mother taught me how to make it by
eyeballing the ingredients.  I will try to give you what I think are about the right measurements, but I
can't guarantee they are correct.

Boil 6 to 8 potatoes - then peel

Boil about 3 eggs, peel, then chop. Use organic eggs, they do make a difference.  My uncle's chickens
laid eggs fresh daily.

A couple of Vidalia onions, if you can't find these - use a sweet onion, chop very fine.

A couple stalks of celery - chopped very fine.

Two big heaping spoonfuls of Miracle Whip - If this is not enough add more later.

Two big heaping spoonfuls of sweet pickle relish - use a relish made with sugar and not corn syrup.
Mom said corn syrup was the ruination of good food. We used my uncles relish back in the day, but I
have found Sechler's Diced Sweet Salad Pickles work just fine.

Add Celery Salt and White Pepper.  Can't say how much, but at least 1/4 teaspoon each.

About 1/2 cup French's Mustard.

Mix all the ingredients together and let the salad rest in the fridge overnight.  Mom said the ingredients
need to, "Get to know each other."
Men of WW2
World War 2 vintage recipes.
Memorial Day recipes