This evening I watched a program on our local public TV station that featured Lassen. The scenery - "The Peak", the boiling mud pots, the cold mountain streams, snow, lakes and forests - made me anxious to go back. I've been contacted by the folks at Lassen about coming back to work this summer, and I think I probably will.
I really don't relish the idea of camp hosting for 3 months by myself, but the alternative is working at the Museum which is just off the main park road. The crowds and the fact that this particular museum is dedicated almost solely to things of interest to children, make me think twice about it. I love children and always have, but I'm too old to deal with hordes of them for 5 days a week. I'm probably too old to deal with the weekend warriors that show up at the campgrounds as well, but at least there are periods of beautiful quiet, especially at Butte Lake.
I went to check out a store that opened where my favorite Raley's used to be, called Warehouse Markets. Bought a bag of frozen tamales - the picture on the bag had my mouth watering. I used to make them from scratch back in the 1990's and I got pretty good at it. The ones I made weren't huge, but a good size for eating several. I came home one day to find that the big pot I used for steaming the tamales, and which contained about 75 of them, was down to under 10 tamales left. My son, Joe, and his friend had found them and darn near ate every single one. So I've told Joe the next time he comes over with the girls he can try these tamales. They won't be as good as the ones I used to make, but they will be a heck of a lot easier to heat and serve!
I figured with the large sections of Hispanic foods in the store I could easily find manteca, or lard. I've been wanting to make pie crust with lard, and I have heard from several sources that as long as you don't overdo it, can be quite good for you - better than Crisco at least. That took me down memory lane to my grandparents' farm in the 1940's, my grandma using lard as well as raw unpasteurized milk, and I don't think I've ever tasted better than her cooking.
A while back one of my brothers and I got conversations going with my mom's remaining siblings about hog butchering in the old days. It was so interesting, especially because I caught a glimpse one time of a hog hanging from a beam in the front of the tobacco barn. I wasn't supposed to see that - females were not to be around when the butchering was going on, and from my aunts' descriptions, the women and girls were tucked away in the kitchen preparing the seasonings for sausage, and rendering the fat of the animal into lard.
This morning I also thought of some of the sayings and practices prevalent on a rural southern farm. I'd love to get comments from readers who might have stories to tell about their memories.
COLD AND GETTING COLDER
13 hours ago