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DECEMBER 2016 • JANUARY 2017

Hills H llows C E L E B R A T I N G H E R I T A G E , F A R M A N D H E A LT H Y L I V I N G I N T H E H E A R T O F A M E R I C A

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Gardening Year-Round Extending the Season

47

A Christmas Morning Tradition Delicious Donuts

62

An Olde Tyme Winter A Victorian Home Tour

DECEMBER 2016 • JANUARY 2017

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December 2016 • January 2017 | 1


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Inside: DECEMBER 2016 • JANUARY 2017 FEATURES: 15

What are YOU Bringing to the Party Recipes for Fun

21

Still Gigging The Tradition Continues

26

When You Need an Extra Hand Reach For a Paw

44

The Rat Rod Trend Ugly Trucks

47

A Christmas Morning Tradition Delicious Donuts

62

An Olde Tyme Winter A Victorian Home Tour

72

Stand Watie And the Oldest Wind

PLUS: 24

Gear & Gadgets What to Get the Great Outdoors Lover

32

A Hound to Remember Cindy the Coon Dog

36

Repurposing Revolution Christmas Tree Crafting

38

Farm Fresh Quack This Egg

40

Gardening Year-Round Extending the Season

52

Hello Cocoa Local Chocolate Maker

54

Keep It Local Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

58

Hickory Smoked Trail Across the Ozarks

68

Berry Delicious All Year Long

COVER: Homemade donuts for Christmas Morning. See our article and try out some new recipes – and maybe start a new tradition! Photo by Rob Lotufo and Sherry Leverich

IN EVERY ISSUE: 8

A Horsewoman's Journey He Brings Us Together

10

Backroads and Byways Christmas is More Than a Season

20

5 Flies For Winter Ozark Trout

30

Good For You Healthy Food Healthy Pets

66

From the Hollow Christmas Tradition

70

Back Home in the Hills He Was a Poet, and Didn't Know It December 2016 • January 2017 | 3


Ozark

Hills Hollows CELEBRATING HERITAGE, FARM AND HEALTHY LIVING IN THE HEART OF AMERICA

Our hope is to provide a window into the lifestyle, passions and beauty of the people and activities that are going on all around the Ozark communities we live in. Our publication is widely available throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Please enjoy this issue -- and if you want to support us, please do so by advertising! NORTHWEST ARKANSAS / SOUTHWEST MISSOURI Rob Lotufo ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com 417-652-3083

Our readers are your customers! Ozark

Hills Hollows Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America PUBLISHER Rob Lotufo ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sherry Leverich ozarkhheditor@gmail.com DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Veronica Zucca ozarkhhart@gmail.com

WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTORS Katrina Hine Jerry Dean Kim Mobley Nahshon Bishop Amanda Reese Stan Fine Kayla Branstetter Beckie Block Layne Sleeth Steve Parker PROOF EDITOR Barbara Warren

FACEBOOK Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine TWITTER @ozarkhillhollow INSTAGRAM ozarkhillsandhollowsmagazine ONLINE www.issuu.com/ozarkhillsandhollows

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Ozark Hills and Hollows is published bi-monthly by Exeter Press. In the pages of Ozark Hills and Hollows magazine, we hope to capture the spirit of country living in our beautiful region. Please feel free to contact any of our staff with comments and questions, and pass along any story subjects or ideas to our editor at ozarkhheditor@gmail.com. 417-652-3083 Exeter Press, P.O. Box 214, Exeter, MO 65647 4 |

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About Our Contributors: Nahshon Bishop grew up in southwest Missouri around small family farms. Shon graduated from College of the Ozarks with a degree in Horticultural. He has been working for Lincoln University Cooperative Extension in the Southwest Region of Missouri since 2011. Shon also owns and operates Bishop Gardens L.L.C with his wife Heather, which sells early season tomatoes and strawberries, as well as cut flowers to the public. Kayla Branstetter is a born and raised Ozarkian is an avid traveler and local educator who loves spending time with her family, reading literature, and running trails. She lives on a beef and chicken farm with her husband Chris and daughter, Berlin. Many reasons she enjoys living in the Ozarks centers on the culture, the friendly people and the beauty of each season. Veronica Zucca has been an Ozarks resident for over 10 years, moving from Virginia Beach, Va. She and her husband raise their two children in a quiet hollow in Southwest Missouri. When she’s not working as a freelance graphic designer, she enjoys time with her family and all the beauty the Ozarks has to offer. Kim McCully-Mobley is a local educator, writer, self-described gypsy and storyteller with a home-based project dubbed The Ozarkian Spirit. The essence of this project is anchored in keeping the stories, legends, lore and history of the Ozarks region alive for the generations to come. She makes her home in Barry County on the Mobley Chicken Ranch with her husband, Al. She is always looking for that next adventure on the backroads and byways. Mary Lowry, originally from California, has made her home in the Ozarks for nearly 30 years. She lives on a small farm, which she loves, with her husband, and two teenagers – and is still learning to garden. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in dietetics from MSU, is a R.D., L.D. and a massage therapist. She has a passion for nutrition, and encouraging others and herself to heal and be whole – body, mind and spirit.

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Steve Parker is a relatively new transplant to NWA. Growing up in the farming country, he received his teaching degree in Nebraska before venturing to Arizona where he continued his education and teaching career. He and his wife Angie love to travel and have been to many countries around the world – but always look forward to coming back to the Ozarks Living in Fayetteville, he has become a rabid Razorback fan, a blues fan and enjoys the great food in the area. He loves to cook, ride his bike on the beautiful trails and... just enjoy life. Christina Leach is originally from North Carolina, but has lived all over the country. She is a 2001 graduate of the University of Arkansas. Christina and her family moved to Cassville, Missouri, seven years ago from Montana where her husband worked on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. She is a stay-at-home mom to her three children and an aspiring photographer. She also enjoys barrel racing. Sherry Leverich is a native Ozarkian. Born in northwest Arkansas and raised in southwest Missouri, Sherry grew up on a dairy farm where she developed a love for agriculture and all things outdoors. She writes, farms and gardens on a small homestead with her husband and three sons, and raises produce for a local farmers market with her mom. Katrina Hine is originally a flat-lander from Kansas who has come to love the charm of the Ozarks. After high school she worked on two different ranches in Colorado, and then came back to Kansas to work on a commercial dairy. She married a Kansas farmboy who was in the Air Force and moved to New Mexico. Now in Missouri, she and her husband, Randall, have two daughters and one son – who currently serves in the USAF. They have five grandchildren and expect number six in June. Barbara Warren is a freelance editor with several years experience. She is currently working on her fifth book to be published this winter. She has had short stories and articles published in magazines such as Mature Living and Home Life, as well as being a devotional writer for Open Windows. Barbara is one of the founders of the Mid-South Writers Group, and has been speaker at writers conferences and other area writers groups. She and her husband live on a farm in the beautiful Ozarks, where they raise beef cattle.

Layne Sleeth is a born and raised Ozarks dweller with a penchant for the natural world. She mostly resists her hermit tendencies for the belief that life is fuller when shared. Layne currently abides on a Southwest Missouri hilltop with her dearest dogs, cats, and creative husband, Brian. When not reading or jotting down words and thoughts, you can find Layne tending plants, retreating to their cabin in the Arkansas woods, ogling wildlife, or working on her first fantasy fiction saga. Amanda Reese has spent most of her life training and teaching with horses. She has also studied journalism and is currently working on two books centered around her love of horses and God. When she is not riding or writing, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters on their farm. Stan Fine is a resident of McDonald County in Missouri. Born in Long Beach California, he spent his childhood in the west, but went to high school in St. Louis. He then married his high school sweetheart, Robin. There they raised their two sons, David (who passed away with cancer in 2006) and Rob. Stan was a Detective Lieutenant in a St. Louis suburb and attained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, and a Master of Science in Administration. He retired in 2006 and he and Robin moved to Noel. Robin passed away, due to cancer, in 2013 after 46 years of marriage. Stan now plays golf, substitute teaches, and writes, especially in the wee morning hours. Wes Franklin is a born native of the Missouri Ozarks, where he has lived all of his life. He enjoys reading and writing about local history, especially Ozark folklore and culture, as well as classic literature. He also enjoys shooting blackpowder weapons. He is closest to heaven when roaming the hills and hollows of his beloved Ozarks. Beckie Block was born and raised in the Wheaton area, and is admittedly a small town girl. She enjoys her job in customer service, along with writing freelance and blogging. She admits to always carrying a pen and paper in case she needs to jot down thoughts and ideas to write later. She has three children, two at home and one in Nebraska, where she enjoys going to visit her two granddaughters. Beckie spends her free time in church activities, gardening and baking.


Woods In Winter Henry Wadsworth Longfellow When winter winds are piercing chill, And through the hawthorn blows the gale,

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER

I

t's nearly December in the Ozarks. Jack frost has made a late entrance this year, and he's got me a little worried. We had a very mild winter last year, with hardly any snow, and I'm afraid we are overdue for some heavy winter weather. We had peppers, tomatoes and okra in the hoop house until just a few days ago. The pasture grass is getting short, and about to go dormant. It's hay feeding time at Hills and Hollows Farm. I'm needing to get the bale spike mounted on the tractor, and make sure the oil, anti-freeze and diesel are topped off. Getting out the insulated muck boots and gloves for chopping ice on the ponds. Making sure we've got plenty of cracked corn and sweet feed on hand for hungry critters. Dusting the cobwebs off my winter coat and hat. This year I've even got some insulated work pants, for those really cold days. I think if there's one thing we all agree on in this country, it's that we are glad the election hoopla is over. Like it or not, we've got a new president, and all the changes that come with it. I don't know about y'all, but my prayers are for peace, and maybe just a little more prosperity in the years to come. We know that the world around us keeps changing. Let’s hope that it's for the better. This issue, we've got stories about farm dogs, coon dogs, fish gigging, ugly trucks, a duck egg farm and a berry farm. We are all about diversity in the Ozarks! We have Christmas specials about decorated old houses, Christmas food, Christmas gifts for the outdoors-person and traditional Christmas trees. We're gearing up for the holiday season, filled with family, food and celebration. Always being thankful for our many blessings, and remembering the real reason for the season. We've got wood split out back, taters, garlic and onions in the larder, pork and venison in the freezer. Bring on the winter! Best wishes to you and yours for a glorious holiday season – From Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine.

With solemn feet I tread the hill, That overbrows the lonely vale. O'er the bare upland, and away Through the long reach of desert woods, The embracing sunbeams chastely play, And gladden these deep solitudes. Where, twisted round the barren oak, The summer vine in beauty clung, And summer winds the stillness broke, The crystal icicle is hung. Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs Pour out the river's gradual tide, Shrilly the skater's iron rings, And voices fill the woodland side. Alas! how changed from the fair scene, When birds sang out their mellow lay, And winds were soft, and woods were green, And the song ceased not with the day! But still wild music is abroad, Pale, desert woods! within your crowd; And gathering winds, in hoarse accord, Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud. Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear Has grown familiar with your song;

Robert Lotufo Publisher, Exeter Press

I hear it in the opening year, I listen, and it cheers me long.

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A Horsewoman’s Journey BY AMANDA REESE

He Brings Us Together I absolutely love watching a herd of horses dwell together. Whether they are grazing, playing or napping in the sun, I enjoy seeing harmony within the herd. Occasionally, a tiff breaks out to establish or reestablish dominance in the pecking-order, but once resolved, the beauty of the herd is again evident. By God’s design, horses prefer community. In the wild, a horse is safer

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within a herd. To survive, wild horses come together to find food, water, warmth, protection, and to multiply. Members of a herd warn one another when danger is present. A predator is more likely to attack a lone horse versus an entire herd of horses. Even domesticated horses feel safer and secure when they are together. Horses enjoy companionship. They choose to spend time together grazing, playing and grooming one another. Strong connections are built when horses dwell together. Horses have the ability to communicate with each other. God composed equine communication to include nickers, whinnies, body language, stomping of the feet, swishes of the tail, lowering and raising of the head and more. Horses clearly have a dialogue of their own. While in Casper Wyoming, I watched a herd of horses running together. I was in awe of the beauty. A band of horses ran across the rugged Wyoming terrain in perfect beat. Without a stumble, they remained connected and traveled in unity, moving and turning together. Truly they were designed for this.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” Psalm 133:1-3

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Through prayer and reading the Bible, God continues to grow my understanding. More and more, I comprehend the beauty of God’s children dwelling together in unity. We were created for relationships with God and each other. Family, biblical fellowship and godly friendships are a gift created by God. From the very beginning, God orchestrated relationships. When God created Adam, He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him,” Genesis 2:18. God made Eve, and Adam was given a companion. Throughout history, marriages, family and Christian community have continued to exist. Amidst all we see destroyed, God’s design remains. However, the enemy of our


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GRIEF SUPPORT souls’ delights in attacking anything reflecting the beauty of God. He attempts to tear down and destroy marriages, families, churches, friendships and more. One of the tools of the enemy is isolation. Much like a wild horse being separated from a herd and becoming vulnerable to attacks from a predator, when we separate ourselves from God and fellowship with His children, we too become more vulnerable when the enemy attacks. Proverbs 18:1 says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire, he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Another snare of the enemy, is devaluing another person. God tells us in His Word the value of His children. Each member of His body is significant and a part of God’s plan. In 1 Corinthians 12:20-21, people are compared to body parts working together to make a whole body function. Paul says, “But now there are many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” In God’s body of believers, we all have great worth! In Ephesians 4:15, we are instructed to, “speak the truth to one another in love.” Sin is deceptive and can sneak in subtly. When we lovingly speak truth to one another, it exposes the lies of the enemy. Another great blessing in relationships is the awesome opportunity to serve. God calls us to serve one another in love. The Bible says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:4-8 As I reflect on the beauty seen when looking at a herd of horses, I am confident the beauty of a herd of horses is small in comparison to the beauty of God’s children dwelling together in unity. May we experience joyful fellowship, appreciate one another, lovingly share God’s truth and humbly serve one another during this Holiday season and into the New Year! May God bless each of you forevermore!

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www.fohnfuneralhome.com December 2016 • January 2017 | 9


Backroads

& Byways

Christmas Isn’t A Season, It’s A Feeling BY KIM MCCULLY-MOBLEY

E

“Christmas isn’t a season, it’s a feeling.” Edna Ferber, 1885-1968

dna Ferber, an American novelist and playwright, was born Jewish (religiously and genetically) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She celebrated America, its working class people and its strengths by exposing its weaknesses and finding creativity and strength in the sorrows and setbacks of life. In those moments, she always exposed great triumph and substantial growth. The Pulitzer Prize winning writer started out as a reporter out of the need to help her family. When her desire to become an actress did not quite work out, she found new passions involving words, stories, people and insight into what made folks tick. She wrote such works as “Giant” and “Showboat”—both of which made new fame on the big screen. A tireless worker, she even worked herself into an exhaustive breakdown. But during her convalescence, she continued to write from the heart and expose true American themes about victory, loss, joy and determination. She loved American traditions and that resilient spirit that shone through the cloudy times of war, political setbacks and even the Great Depression. Perhaps it was those things she was contemplating when she spoke of Christmas being a “state of mind.” Drawing from her own Midwestern history and her family traditions and roots, she wrote things that resonated with others because she sounded just like the audiences for whom she wrote. Perhaps that is why I like her so much.

My story. My family. My friends. My heart. My roots. I always end up putting them on the page…no matter how much I try to write about other things. Those same traits bring my thoughts full circle to this seasonal journey I have learned to embrace. Most of my people, my collective tribe, have overcome so much, but always find creative and traditional 10 |

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ways to bring joy to others – especially at the holiday season. The Christmas season is a big part of my family’s faith, traditions, and legacy. My mom, Faye (McMorris) Estes died at Christmas time nine years ago. While our hearts were broken, we found the time to celebrate the love, the traditions and the

simple things our matriarch loved. We knew she would want it that way. Those traditions kept her close. We sang “Silent Night” at her celebration of life. Grounded in faith, Mama had beaten the odds so much in her 83 years. She was a fighter, a winner, a giver, a reader, a hard worker and a wonderful example of how we should all be. She would want us to celebrate Christmas. She would want us to spend time with one another, bask in the laughter of shared stories and tales and relish in the afterglow of making it another year together. She found a wonderful blend in celebrating the birth of her Lord and Savior, yet also created treat-filled stockings from Santa Claus for her evergrowing clan. Regardless of how old you were, you received a special stocking on Christmas. You looked forward to it. Growing up during the Depression in northwest Arkansas, she often talked about getting a few nuts, maybe an orange and sometimes a book for Christmas. Sometimes she had to share her gifts with her younger sister, Helen. She said she never felt slighted. She always felt safe, happy and loved. She spoke of those childhood days with fond reflection and a hint of emotion in her voice. The people


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around her made the holidays and birthdays special. Those feelings are the same ones Edna Ferber was writing about. I keep thinking back on my favorite Christmases from the past. 1968…It was a cold Christmas morning in Carroll County, Arkansas. The bedroom I slept in had no heat and plastic covered the windows to keep the cold air out. I could smell breakfast cooking as the first rays of sunlight crept under the crack in the door. Something good was sizzling in a skillet and something else was scooting around in a box on the front porch. We were at Grandpa Herman’s and Grandma Marie’s this Christmas. They had probably been up for hours already. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, tapped the cold irons near my feet with my big toe. The irons had been warm and delightful the night before, as I had trailed off to sleep wondering if Santa would be able to find me these 60 miles from my home. As I cautiously peeked out the door, I could see my parents and grandpa anxiously awaiting my arrival in the living room. My brother was still sleeping. I could

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still hear the sounds from the front porch. As I went to look out the door, I saw a cardboard box. I had to know what was inside it. Could it be? I opened the frosty door and felt the cold concrete through my socks as I stepped outside. As I slowly lifted the lid, a little black nose poked out…then a little pink tongue… the thump-thump-thumping of a Beagle puppy’s tail pounded a rhythm of its own inside the box. Soon, that little puppy was in my arms; we were both squirming and squealing with delight. The runt of the litter at Grandpa Frank’s farm nearby, Peter Sam was a lively, fun gift that my brother and I shared for a while. We received him because he was the underdog. Perhaps that is why we both loved him so much. I wanted to name the pup Pete. Randy wanted to name him Sam. We finally compromised and named him both names: “Peter Sam” or “Pete or Sam.” We thought we were being extremely brilliant with this decision. We kept him outside in town until he began to outgrow us. At some point, Dad gave him to a friend with a farm so Peter Sam could run and play. But I will always remember the feelings of playing with that little puppy and sharing him with my brother on that cold, crisp Arkansas morning when all was right with the world. 1975…I can remember downtown Aurora all lit up on a Saturday night. Stores stayed open late to accommodate the local shoppers. Santa Claus was walking the streets and passing out 12 |

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candy canes. I was 14 and awkward, with legs growing faster than my poor mama could cover them in corduroy pants. Dad was working at MWM Color Press as a pressman’s helper. He had spent over 25 years working outside in all kinds of weather at the MFA Mill. He kissed my cheek, as I smelled that familiar fragrance of Old Spice Cologne…warm, deep, spicy and comforting. He stepped inside the local dime store and asked me to wait outside. I waved at Santa, sang a couple of Christmas tunes and blew circles into the air as the temperature was surely dropping. Daddy came out with a package and an even bigger grin. “Something for my little girl,” he said. On Christmas morning—when I opened it – it was a doll with a haircut and bangs much like my own, a pink dress, lacy socks and Mary Jane shoes. As a teenager in Aurora High School, I sheepishly looked at Dad and wondered – whatever was he thinking? “I wanted your last doll to come from me,” he said, “I wanted you to know you’ll always be my little girl.” 1990…My son’s first Christmas found me trying to put together a rocking horse without reading the instructions. That little pony looked good, but I had to hide all of the extra parts that went unused, promising myself to read the directions with future toys and gifts that would surely get more complicated as he grew. He didn’t seem to mind that there was a handful of spare horse parts in my kitchen drawer that morning. He climbed atop

that little horse, grabbed the sticks poking out of both ears and rocked back and forth and simply giggled. 2011…Cara Hackmann would arrive at my sister’s home on West Pleasant on my son’s arm, looking a tiny bit shy and overwhelmed as our loud, crazy family swarmed around her with questions and comments. I had brought gifts for my son’s girlfriend – and he had screened them all to make sure they were appropriate. Apparently, I am not always trustworthy. There was one bag of gifts I did not let him see. I had purchased some glass coasters and had slipped baby photos of him inside each one – which captured his childlike expressions in a series of candid shots. As she opened them later and squealed with delight, he turned and glared at me with this “what have you done” look on his face. Three years later she would officially become one of us, but she became part of my heart that Christmas night with the joy she expressed with my simple gift. She loved it and I already knew how much I loved her. Christmas, you see, is truly a state of mind. It is the feeling of magic and wonder that comes out during the Christmas season that brings us all together. Whether it’s puppies, dolls, rocking horses or photographs, Christmas brings us all full circle to give, share, love, laugh and create new memories for each generation – while remembering those simple moments from our past. My Mama had it right. Christmas is about faith, goodies in stockings, bittersweet endings, glorious beginnings and love…love for those who share our belief in that sweet baby born in Bethlehem and love for those who don’t. That feeling that Edna Farber wrote about is that magical state of mind we have at the holiday season. It is also about that feeling we have in our hearts where we know we should embrace Christmas, the spirit of giving and the Spirit of Love, just like my Mama always did… All. Year. Long. You see—Christmas is my favorite state of mind.


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Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America

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What are YO U Bringing to the Party? It's the season for gatherings and get-togethers. We all know that here in the Ozarks, food is a big part of any event. The contributors and staff of Ozark Hills and Hollows are sharing some of their favorite dishes that they bring along when they attend their holiday potlucks and parties.

Mary Lowry Years ago a friend made a carrot cake for my birthday. I loved it! She gave me the recipe, and this is it – plus or minus a few tweeks. I don’t know who Edythe is, but her carrot cake recipe has been requested at about every birthday and holiday for the last 15 or so years! Back when our children were small, I didn’t want them to drink soda, but didn’t want them to feel left out at family get togethers at the holidays. I would usually make a healthier soda by putting fruit juice concentrate (grape, apple-cranberry etc. in a glass and then adding club soda or sparkling water for bubbles. I would adjust the water or juice concentrate according to taste. They loved it.

EDYTHE’S CARROT CAKE Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix the following: 2 cups unbleached flour 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. salt In a large mixing bowl: Beat 3 eggs Add the following: ¾ cup oil (I like coconut oil or olive oil) ¾ cup buttermilk (If none is available I use ¾ cup milk and add 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar) 2 cups turbinado sugar 2 tsp. vanilla extract Mix all these ingredients together with the eggs till blended well. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the following and mix well: 8 oz. can of drained crushed pineapple (you can use a 12 oz. size and just use about 8 oz drained from it. Save the remaining for the frosting.)

2 cups grated carrots 1 cup chopped walnuts Pour the batter into two prepared round cake pans, that have been greased and floured on the bottom. Divide equally between the two pans and bake 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes, and then remove from pans. I loosen the sides first by running a knife along the edge and then inverting the cake pan. Let cool on a wire rack. Frost when cool. Cream Cheese frosting: Cream 2 cups powdered sugar, ¼ lb. butter softened, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, or I prefer a little crushed pineapple instead. Mix till smooth. This makes a two layer cake, so frost between the two layers, and the entire cake. December 2016 • January 2017 | 15


Layne Sleeth I received this recipe from a previous co-worker, Mary Ann from Ponca, Ark. It’s a thermal, comforting cup of love during the chilly season. I’ve already made it a few times this season to share! WASSAIL 4 cups apple juice 2 cups cranberry juice 1 cup orange juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar 2 tsp. whole cloves 2 tsp. whole allspice 3 cinnamon sticks

Rose Hansen This sounds awful, but it’s a nice counterbalance to all the heavy foods of the holiday season. KALE AND BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp. minced shallot 1 small garlic clove, finely grated 1/4 tsp. kosher salt plus more for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 Tbsp. oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

Rob Lotufo I’m bringing Chocolate dipped backyard bacon (pigs in mud). Because who doesn’t love bacon, or dark chocolate. It’s a win-win situation. PIGS IN MUD Pour all juices into crockpot set on high, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Put cloves and allspice into a teaball and add to juice along with cinnamon sticks. Add a few cranberries or orange slices if desired. Heat thoroughly, but not boiling, just simmer. Remove teaball when at a desired flavor. Spiced rum can be a nice addition to your cup! Tips: Most any juices can be used, be sure to balance sweet and tart. Full bodied, fresh juices make a more flavorful drink. If adding citrus slices, remove all peel or it will turn bitter. 16 16 ||

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24 short strips of bacon (half length) – well cooked 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels pretzel or sea salt coarse ground black pepper Melt the morsels in microwave for 20-30 seconds. Add the coconut oil and blend. Dip the bacon strips about halfway in the chocolate, lay on parchment paper to cool and set. Before set sprinkle chocolate lightly with salt and pepper. Serve bacon standing up in a mason jar or drinking glass.


Shon Bishop MOM’S CHEESECAKE

Steve Parker It is simple and delicious.

1 pack of graham crackers, crushed 3 Tbsp. sugar 3 Tbsp. butter, melted (don’t use a substitute for butter, it’s the holidays and you’re an American) 5 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 3 Tbsp. flour 1 Tbsp. vanilla 1 cup sour cream 4 eggs 1 can (21 oz.) Cherry Pie Filling Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mixture and crust should be poured into 10-inch springform (with bottom) and placed in water bath to achieve maximum amazingness.

APRICOT AND GOAT CHEESE APPETIZERS 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature About 2 tsp. milk 2 Tbsp. finely chopped basil leaves 40 dried apricots 40 almonds, 2 tsp. honey Mix together the cheese and milk with a fork until spreadable. Thin with more milk if necessary. Add the basil and mix until evenly distributed. Spread a heaping 1/4 teaspoon cheese on each apricot and top each with an almond. Drizzle with honey.

In the spring form, mix graham crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter. Press on bottom of pan. Bake crust for 10 Minutes. While waiting for crust, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low after each until blended. Pour over crust. Let bake 1 hour or until center is almost set. Cool completely then refrigerate for 4 hours. Top slices with cherry pie filling when serving.

Veronica Zucca I love this no-fail recipe. It's a great warm-drink alternative to coffee or hot cocoa. And the crock pot makes for easy transport.

Barbara Warren TEXAS CAVIAR 1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 – 15 oz. can whole corn, rinsed and drained 3/4 cup salsa (more if you like) 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro 1 1/2 tsp. vinegar 1 tsp. cumin Salt and Pepper to taste Hot sauce to taste Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours.

Christina Leach This a recipe that I grew up eating every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I still make it for my own family and it is always a favorite. It was given to my mom, Lisa Spears, by her friend, but we don't know where it originated. SWEET POTATO SOUFFLE 1/2 c. canned milk 3 c. mashed, drained sweet potatoes 2 eggs small amount of cinnamon (this is how my mom measures everything! lol!) 1 c, sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1/3 c. melted butter Mix all and pour into greased casserole dish. Topping: 1 c. brown sugar 1/3 c. flour 1 c. chopped pecans 1 c. coconut 1/3 c. melted butter Mix and pour over potato mixture . Bake at 325F 35-45 minutes.

CROCK POT APPLE CIDER 1 gallon apple cider 1 cup brown sugar 2 tsp. whole cloves 1 tsp. ground allspice 1 tsp. ground nutmeg 4 cinnamon sticks 1 orange, sliced

Pour cider into crock pot. Stir in the brown sugar until desolved. Bundle cloves, allspice and nutmeg in a coffee fitler and tie with butcher twine. Drop the spice bundle, cinnamon sticks and orange slices into the cider. Set on low. Serve when warm. December December 2016 2016 •• January January 2017 2017 || 17 17


Sherry Leverich I love the fruity, fluffiness of Jell-o Divinity! I mentioned it in our December/ January issue last year and had a few readers ask for the recipe...so here it is! This kind of candy is best made when the air is chilly and dry. Really reminds me of cold Christmas Eve family get-togethers when I was little. FRUITY JELL-O DIVINITY 3 cups granulated sugar 3/4 cup light corn syrup 3/4 cup water 1/2 tsp. salt 2 egg whites, room temperature 1 small pkg. Jell-O (any flavor) 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup chopped nuts, optional Mix sugar, syrup, and water in a pan and cook to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook to hard ball stage (252 degrees), stirring occasionally. In the meantime, beat egg whites until fluffy, then add dry Jell-O and continue beating until they hold stiff peaks. Slowly pour syrup into egg whites, beating constantly. Continue beating until candy loses its gloss and holds its shape. Quickly add nuts. Dollop onto foil or parchment paper. Let set till dry to the touch, store in air-tight container.

Kim Mobley Here is a holiday favorite. We always had fresh apples in our house growing up – because of the close proximity to the Marionville orchards. This smells great and is super easy to make for a gathering at home. You can also pop it into loaf pans and give as gifts. Fresh Apple Cake 1 cup flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 cup shortening 1 tsp. soda 3/4 tsp. cinnamon 1 cup sugar 1 egg – well-beaten 2 cups chopped apples 1 cup chopped nuts

Cream shortening, sugar and egg together. Stir in apples. Add in the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour in greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for at least 45 minutes. Dab a little bit of butter on the top when you pull it out of the oven. You will have an empty pan in a matter of minutes.

Beckie Block There are lots of cheeseballs around, but this is a savory one, and covered in bacon. So yummy. It’s my party go-to recipe. BACON CHEESE BALL 2 blocks cream cheese softened 1 package hidden Valley ranch dressing mix 1/2 cup green onion diced small, just the green tops 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 pound bacon, fried, cooled and broken into very small pieces 18 |

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Soften cream cheese and put in bowl. Mix in green onions, can add ranch seasoning if wanted, mix in shredded cheese, and half of bacon pieces. form into a ball. roll in remaining bacon pieces until outside is covered. Chill at least an hour, Best served with Flipsides pretzel crackers, or Ritz crackers.

Katrina Hine My mother remarried into an Italian family when I was young and this brought a unique twist to our usual holiday meals. Nana, or Dorothy Torchia, the matriarch of our family, always made Italian dishes for every holiday along with her usual canned corn and peas. She grew up in Southeast Kansas, in the now ghost town area called Camp 42 where Italian immigrants relocated to work in the mines. There were several children in her family and all were good cooks. Growing up we all looked forward to that particular smell that only true Italian cuisine could deliver. The warm air mixed with the smell of rolls, garlic, parsley and oregano. This is a traditional Italian pastry recipe. Nana always wore her best dresses covered by a crazy sixty’s looking neon orange, yellow, pink and green apron with weird little sheep prancing over it as she prepared her special holiday meals. I now have that wild looking apron and lots of memories of a feisty little Italian woman who spent hours preparing the perfect holiday meal. TUDELI from Dorothy Torchia 1 ¼ c. wine (muscatel) 1 tsp. salt 2 c. oil 9 c. flour ¾ c. water honey Boil wine, oil, water and salt. Stir in 3 cups of flour. Remove from heat, then add remaining flour, one cup at a time, until the dough is stiff. Use about 1 Tbsp. of dough, rolling into an oblong shape. Using a fork, press slightly into dough. Fry in hot oil. Bring honey to a boil and when Tudeli’s are done, dip in honey. These were made at Christmas time as a Italian tradition.


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December 2016 • January 2017 | 19


5 FLIES for Winter Ozark Trout

TUNGSTEN HEAD RAINBOW WARRIOR I like the Rainbow Warrior because the tungsten head gets the fly down quickly, and the flash grabs the fish’s attention. If water is low and clear or fish are spooky, I may opt for a less flashy fly, but there’s always a handful of Rainbow Warriors in my box during these months. size 18-20

BY JESSE WOODROW

T

he air is cold, and the water is cold.Winter fishing is not for the faint of heart, but it can be very rewarding. These flies are all pretty small, and only represent a few select species, but aquatic insects are slim pickins on the stream right now, and this is a very similar menu to what your trout are eating this time of the year.

ZEBRA MIDGE When the water turns cold, the mayflies and caddis flies quit hatching, which leaves the midge as the trout’s main meal. The zebra midge is basic in construction by design. It has a thread body of varying colors, and a tungsten bead head. The bead is the secret weapon. Tungsten sinks three times quicker than brass, and that added density is great in slow moving waters. allowing you to use less added weight. I fish it as a dropper, behind an egg, or nymph most any time of day. You can try it in olive, black, rust or red, depending on your location. size 20-24

PARACHUTE ADAMS If I could only fish one dry-fly pattern for the rest of my life, I’d take a Parachute Adams. This simple tried-and-true bug has fooled fish worldwide and is a great fly for taking some very nice fish during the cold weather months when trout are surface-feeding on midges. Don’t leave the house, summer or winter, without a few of these. size 20-24

BROOKS’ SPROUT MIDGE EMERGER When conditions are right, you can usually see fish rising to the surface in the warmest parts of the day, as sparse hatches of midges come off. One of my favorite dry flies when fishing tailwaters in the winter is the Brooks’ Sprout Midge. Since the fly is small and more difficult to see, I usually fish these in the long, slow, flat tailouts below riffles – where you are most likely to see fish rising in winter. If you are still having a tough time, drop this 12 to 18 inches behind a more visible dry fly, like the Parachute Adams, to help track the flies and drift. size 20-24

WD-40 The WD-40 was created back in the 80's and has since become one of the favorite emergers of all time. I've fished this fly on tailwaters with great success in the dead of winter. The natural midge emerger is slender and sparse, and so is the WD-40. I like it without any flash, especially when it comes to wary trout. The curved hook gives the profile a more natural look, as well. Best of all, the beauty of the WD40 is that it could be a midge or a blue-winged olive which is great, since those two insects overlap during winter hatches. I'd carry some in gray, black, and olive. size 20-24 Don't let the cold keep you home. The fish are alive, well and hungry! Give a couple of these a try, and be patient. Stay warm and dry. Happy Holidays, and good fishing.

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Donnie & Tammy O’Brien, agent/owners 26 Peacock Lane, Jane, MO


ST LL G GGING The Tradition Continues

This story is a collaboration between Chief of Interpretation Dena Matteson, District Interpreter Josh Chilton, and Interpreter Sherry O’Dell of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE Taken during a gigging workshop at Round Spring on October 22, that included staff from the MDC and NPS.

D

ave Tobey portrayed “Alex Deatherage”, one of the ghosts who visited the campfire during the Gigs and Ghosts Gigging Workshop. Alex Deatherage was the treasurer of Shannon County during the Civil War and he told the legend of the Shannon County funds that were hidden during the war. The ghost of Luther Rowlett, a local resident who was well-known for his ability to find lost belongings in the rivers year ago, also visited the campfire. Luther was portrayed by local author Rick Mansfield. A casual passerby on a bridge crossing the Current or Jacks Fork rivers on a clear, dark fall night might be curious about strange lights moving up and down the river. Those not familiar with the area have probably speculated about the phenomenon as they visit. You can imagine the typical conversation that would be held in a car as it passes; “an invasion?”, “a search and rescue operation?”, “unexplained alien objects?” This phenomenon can be explained by the opening of the time-honored tradition of gigging season along Ozark National Scenic Riverways. December 2016 • January 2017 | 21


September 15 is just a normal fall day to most, but not to an Ozark native. This is the beginning of gigging season. Boats are readied with gigging rails and lights, gig poles are gathered, and supplies for a campfire cookout on the riverbank are loaded with great anticipation. As darkness falls, families set out on their quest to conquer the rivers; to scan the river bottoms for the hint of a shadow that signals a bottom-feeding “sucker” is near; to proclaim, “I gigged the most!” with a jubilant victory dance. This is the day when families throughout the Ozarks join together and combine their efforts to harvest the bottom feeders, which are usually fried and consumed by the end of the evening. Let us first define gigging (not to be confused with the closely named jigging -- another time honored Ozark tradition). Gigging was born from necessity of pioneer families to put food on the table, and has transformed suckers from what some would consider less than ideal eating, into an Ozark delicacy. Gigging involves using a fish gig, traditionally four prongs or three for smaller fish, attached to a long pole in order to stab a harvestable fish. This process takes place at night in the darkness so artificial lights must be used to illuminate the water. It works best in clear streams so the light can penetrate the surface and the fish can be seen by the gigger. The Jacks Fork and Current rivers of Ozark National Scenic Riverways are home to some of the states clearest streams, making them the ideal gigging venue. Although nearly every fish can be seen by a gigger, not every fish can be gigged. The harvestable fish during this season, which runs from September 15 –January 31, are non-game fish such as the northern hogsucker and yellow sucker, commonly referred to by locals collectively as “suckers”. These bottomfeeding fish, considered trash fish by many anglers, are what the Wildlife Code of Missouri describes as “other fish”. However, to an Ozark gigger they are worth the yearlong anticipation and are near the top of the local cuisine list. Ozarkers learned that if they scored and deep fried the fillet, most of the tiny bones dissolved in the fryer and bigger bones could then be picked around. Thus transforming a fish otherwise considered “inedible” into prime eating. 22 |

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of a century. Today, aluminum jet-powered These bottom-feeding fish blend boats equipped with generators and LED into their surroundings quite well which lights carry the sportsmen to their prize. make them an elusive prey. Yellow suckers The tool of the trade was traditionally a and northern hogsuckers are speckled in forged steel gig, handmade by a blacksmith appearance and become camouflaged with and prized for its accuracy and durability. the gravel on the river bottom. Add darkness Now many enthusiasts can find a gig at into the mixture and it seems virtually any store selling outdoor equipment, impossible to stab a fish, but this art has been paying as little as a few handed down from generation to dollars or, for the more generation along with the prized dedicated fisherman, up to gigs and stories of years past. one-hundred-dollars or more Although some form for a custom built gig. Many of gigging has taken place master gig makers were born throughout the world for and polished their skills along centuries, gigging in the Ozarks the riverways. These gig is genuinely unique. The makers learned the specific clear streams and gravel river metallurgy that would result bottoms make for a challenging in a perfect gig, designed experience. On one hand, it is specifically for use on rocky easier to see the fish in the clear An example of a hand stream bottoms. A master streams, but on the other hand forged gig by Eminence Ozark gig maker like the late the fish can see the gigger, too. blacksmith, Ray Scott. Raymond Smith or Irving Originally the art of “Irv” Ellerman could forge gigging was carried out by river a gig that would bend rather than break men floating in handmade jonboats with when it hit the rocky bottom. If the gig bent a burning pine knot inside a basket that it could be returned and straightened free hung from a hook extended over the bow of charge. These gigs are highly coveted, of the boat to light the water. This lighting and those who are fortunate enough to own process has evolved from pine knots, to one treasure it as much as the sport itself. gas lights, to LED lights in less than half


The thrill of the first fish is exhilarating and makes the taste of the salty cornmeal-covered sucker that much better. This meal would be served with river chips, a slice of onion and a fried biscuit, and washed down with a cup of hot coffee prepared over the fire. The fish taste best when plucked from the cold waters, so many wait until winter before going gigging. Families gather around a fire at the boat launch, dressed in their warmest gear, in preparation for the feast. As soon as the giggers return, the fish are filleted, scored and breaded, then dropped into the vat of hot oil. Within an hour of returning from the expedition, families leave the river with full bellies and a story or two to tell. The Current and Jacks Fork rivers in southeast Missouri provide abundant fall gigging opportunities, with their clear, spring-fed waters. These two rivers form Ozark National Scenic Riverways, a National Park Service site that was established by an act of Congress on August 24, 1964, to protect and interpret these free-flowing rivers and the unique culture that is associated with them. In 2016, the National Park Service celebrates 100 years of preserving,

Wyatt Layman (left, of Twin Pines Conservation Education Center) and Dave Tobey (right, of Ozark National Scenic Riverways) provided gigging information to over 50 participants at the “Gigs and Ghosts” Gigging Workshop.

protecting and interpreting the nation’s most treasured landscapes, historic places, cultural sites, and natural wonders. During this centennial anniversary, 413 national park sites across the nation are celebrating the legacy of the first national park system in the world and embarking on a second century of continued stewardship of our national heritage. At Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the celebration of the National Park Service centennial has taken many forms in order to engage visitors in a wide variety of activities that encompass the significance of the first federally-protected river system. Events and activities range from recreational activities to stewardship opportunities to cultural and historical programs. One of the special centennial events at Ozark National Scenic Riverways was a gigging workshop held at Round Spring on the Current River in partnership with

the Missouri Department of Conservation. The “Gigs and Ghosts” gigging workshop provided visitors the opportunity to try their hand at the Ozark tradition of gigging, enjoy storytelling around the campfire, and learn about the history of the sport during an evening program. Check out the Missouri Department of Conservation website at www.mdc.mo.gov and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways website at www.nps.gov/ozar for future gigging opportunities. Gigging has grown from a necessity to put food on the table to a recreational sporting activity. What was once a means of survival in the Ozarks, today has become more of a means for socializing and getting back to primitive outdoor skills. Whatever the motivation behind the art of gigging, it brings friends and families together to enjoy each other, good food and the beautiful Ozark rivers. December 2016 • January 2017 | 23


GEAR&GADGETS

t s i L r u o Y f f O Mark Them

Great Ideas For Your Great Outdoors Lover BY JESSE WOODROW

I

t's that time of year again – trying to find just the right gift for everyone, even the hard-to-buy-for on your list. Grandpa, dad or uncle who seems to have everything, and grimaces at cologne, ties and slippers. Maybe you have a sister, aunt or wife who is not interested in perfume and jewelry. Outdoors-people who'd rather cast a line or traipse through the woods as watch football anytime, rain or shine. I'm one of those, so I thought I'd share a couple of items from my wish list.

PALEO ADVENT CALENDAR You know those thingees, where you open the little paper doors and there is a Chiclet, or a Hershey's kiss behind them, and you learn something about the Nativity story? This is like that, but with smokey man-sized meat snacks. Who wouldn't enjoy counting down the days to Christmas while munching on elk, gator, buffalo, venison and wild boar carnivore candy? With flavors like Honey Bourbon and Root Beer Habanero, count this guy in.

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE CARD Have a Ninja Outdoorsman on your list? With a can opener, cutting edge, flat screwdriver, ruler, bottleopener, wrench, butterfly screw wrench, saw blade, and a direction ancillary indication (water compass) nestled stealthily in your wallet between your Mastercard and Visa, you'll be well prepared for many an emergency. Just don't try to get it through TSA at the airport.

KICK CHRISTMAS FLAVOR UP A NOTCH Put some spice in their stocking. This Christmas, try tempting their tastebuds with exotic blends of herbs and spices made specifically for fish, wild game and waterfowl. There's even a wilderness blend, for those recipes that defy definition. Paleo friendly, gluten, GMO and MSG free, so you'll have good Karma and no allergic reactions from your guests. Let the fire based cooking begin! 24 |

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COOL CAMPFIRE COOKING HACK Turns turn an ordinary stick into a gourmet's rotisserie fork. Grab a pair of Vice Grips and a coat hanger, and see if you can fashion one of these hot dog/marshmallow roasting tips out of it. It will pack up nicely, fit in the dishwasher, and hopefully keep your weenie riding high and out of the coals. Chances are, when your family sees this nifty gadget, they'll be clamoring for s'more.

POCKET BLANKET Here's a stocking stuffer for the campsite, beach, or just about anywhere. A blanky big enough for two in a pocket-sized pouch. It's water resistant and has counter weights on the corners. It weighs less than five ounces. Snuggle up to this pocket full of cozy.

STEEL BLADE FEVER It's hard to resist a razor-sharp handcrafted, bladed object, even if we already have twenty of them in our dresser drawer. I can almost assure you he doesn't have one like this, but he will want one. Great craftsmanship on the knifes, and the leather sheath. This is like man-jewelry, but we don't have to wear it. It will make him feel like the world is just a little safer from zombie, pirate or viking ghost attacks with this in his arsenal.

MAN-PURSE You know how (some) women see a purse or a pair of shoes, and just have to have them? This leather trimmed canvas duffel is like a Kate Spade handbag, for lumberjacks and hunters alike. We need something with a classic flair to tote our man stuff in sometimes too. Trust me, he'll like it.

WOODSMAN'S PAL Zippo four-in-one woodsman's tool. No stranger to the campsite, Zippo has introduced this multiple use woods wonder worker that has a fifteen-inch bow saw,mallet, stake puller and hatchet built in. Ideal for throwing in the trunk or a bug-out bag, it's like a trad-camper's Swiss army knife on steroids.

FOOLPROOF FRUGAL FIRE-STARTER HACK A windproof, waterproof kindling maker on a rope. Just shave off a couple of strips from this firestick, and light it up. For this you will need: a piece of cord, 6 inches long, a piece of kiln dried lumber, 1 ½ x 1 ½ x 8 inches (a split 2 x 4 works great), and a small pot or tin can with about 8 ounces of wax for melting (can be old candles, canning wax, etc.). Put the pot or can of wax on a hotplate or stove to melt. Drill a ¼-inch diameter hole, ½ inch from the top of the stick (all the way through). sand or shave off any burrs with a pocketknife or countersink bit if you have one. Thread the cord through the hole and tie a simple knot to form a lanyard loop. Holding it by the loop, with a fork or a pair of pliers, dip the stick in the molten wax, and let it set for a little while to soak up the wax. Hang it on a nail to cool, and in a few minutes, you'll have the neatest home made camper's gift on the block. Better yet, make several, for all the firebugs on your list. Works great for fireplaces too! December 2016 • January 2017 | 25


When You Need an Extra Hand,

Reach for a Paw BEST DOG BREEDS FOR YOUR NEEDS ON THE FARM STORY AND PHOTOS BY LAYNE SLEETH

S

teadfast and keen – canine companionship is hard to beat. A dog will never fail to be happy to see you, provided that you feed him, house him, and give him a little love. With the wag of a tail, an unwavering gaze and a capacious grin, a dog owner has no doubt they’re adored. Whether you deserve that sort of welcoming enthusiasm, or not, a dog can be your number one fanatic. But a farm dog is invaluable and hard working. A farm dog is not only a friend, but an integral member of the operation. Dogs are useful for guarding and protecting farm animals, for movement of livestock, or even for general purpose and vermin control. Selective breeding over the centuries has produced different breeds with distinctive inborn instincts. As Danny and Velda Shilling of Bois D’Arc laughingly put it, “One good Border Collie is better than two wives, as far as help on the farm goes.” 26 |

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Danny Shilling has been training and working with registered Border Collies for over 30 years, and you could say he’s pretty partial to the breed. Danny grew up on a dairy farm, and recalls that there was always a dog around. When he got his own livestock he had Border Collie mixes to help out, but Danny really got hooked on Border Collies with his first registered Border Collie, Job (who had the patience of Job). “He was probably the smartest dog I’ve ever owned,” remembers Danny. Since then he’s become a

renowned trainer far and wide. Danny does demonstrations for University of Missouri, and for local FFA groups. Each October, he does demonstrations with his dogs working cattle and ducks, and judges at the stock dog trials at Farm Fest at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. In 2011, the Mid States Stock Dog Association inducted Danny into their Hall of Fame. These days, Danny does more judging than competing. Though he never thought he would leave Greene County, Danny spent 3 weeks abroad in Europe, and attended the English National Trials. There he met and stayed with numerous sheepdog trialers and trainers. The competitive sport of sheepdog trialing involves a handler and his herding dog, moving sheep through various obstacles or gates in a field.


Commands and whistles direct the movement of the herding dogs. Danny uses the traditional commands used by old Scotsmen, “Come bye” (clockwise) and “Away to me” (counter clockwise). “Look back” means go round up other sheep that were looked over. He blows a whistle with different pitches and lengths, a language understood by Danny and his trusty 11-year-old Border Collie, Tess.

HERDING DOGS

Dog Trainer, Danny Shilling with his border collie, Tess.

Border Collies are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, with unlimited energy. Named for the region in the border country of Scotland and England, these dogs were bred to herd sheep across the hillsides. There are incredible variations in coloring and appearance of Border Collies, generally with either black and white or red and white. They aren’t typically bred for physical characteristics, rather they’re bred for certain behaviors. According to Danny, Border Collies only “bark due to a lack of confidence.” In order to train them, you play to their obedient and predatory nature. “Tap the ground with your staff or stick and that puts pressure on the pup, and keep pushing him out away from the livestock.” says Danny. You want to teach your dog to work the flight zone of the herd, using mainly predatory eye contact and stalking to gather sheep. Danny’s theory about working dogs is that “You only get what you expect.” And his dogs are efficient, to say the least.

Danny currently keeps a Kelpie that is his first non-Border Collie in quite some time. The Australian Kelpie, or just Kelpie, originated out of Australia, as a result of crossing collies and dingoes. Kelpies are extremely clever and need a job to do. They are generally black and tan with a muscular frame. Kelpies are easy to train, and intensely focused. Australian Shepherds are the longer haired, docked tailed, love bugs of the working dog world. Aussies are quite a

bit more vocal than Border Collies, but on par with intelligence and energy. Notably, Aussies are known to have a striking merle coloring, but colors and marking can range widely. This breed was developed on ranches in the western U.S., contrary to their namesake. Aussies are multi-talented, but require more attention and effort in training. As with any of the working dogs, selective breeding for traits such as coat color can result in a loss of the working instinct that is so valuable on a farm.

Tess working with the sheep as Danny gives her commands. December 2016 • January 2017 | 27


GENERAL PURPOSE Other jobs on the homestead? For one, vermin cause problems. Here, terriers would come in handy. Jack Russell terriers are energetic, somewhat challenging dogs that come in handy for rat control, which can be a legitimate problem if rats are chewing at buildings, eating feed, and killing poultry. Any creature that burrows is interesting to the terriers. Jack Russells are generally white and tan, under 20 pounds, with a stubborn temperament. Selective breeding makes these dogs natural rippers and shredders.

Some other dog breeds that can be put to work on the farm:

GUARDIAN DOGS Guardian dogs enable livestock to be less time and labor intensive. No need to corral your herd at night if you have a large guardian dog that lives amongst the flock and considers them to be his family. Guardian dogs bark to alert of intruders. Danny has an Anatolian Shepherd dog for a guardian. They are a large, strong dog breed that originated from the Anatolia region of Turkey. These calm, independent dogs are intelligent, but have a tendency to be slightly antisocial. This has everything to do with the history of the breed, which was developed to be alone responsible for guarding flocks and running down and attacking predators. Yet they are quick to listen and learn. Great Pyrenees, or Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, originally came from the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe and were bred specifically for patrolling night shift to ward off nocturnal predators from livestock. Like other guardian dog breeds, Pyrs are wary of strangers, and active patrollers. They’re slightly smaller than Anatolians, weighing around 90-110 lbs. Pyranees are “shaggier” than Anatolians, with a longer coat that requires a little more care. All guardian breeds are known to wander the borders of their territory. With solid training, guardian dogs can help you have free range sheep, or even poultry. 28 |

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Pyrenees and Anatolian breeds are good protection and guard dogs for various flocks and herds.

AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOGS Referred to as either Blue Heelers or Red Heelers based on their coloring Herd cattle by biting heels Very protective of owners GERMAN SHEPHERD Protective nature Herding All-purpose worker LABRADOR RETRIEVER Will retrieve anything Notable hunting partners Preferred service dog

Because of selective breeding, guardian dogs are notoriously standoffish and independent, so it’s extremely important to establish your pack leader status very early on. With puppy guardian dogs, discourage them from playing with the livestock. Additionally, you should consider walking the perimeters of their territory on a regular basis with a new pup. Many authorities on the subject say that you should go through a 16 week socialization period with the herd, acquainting both parties to their new partnership.

The most important thing to remember with working dogs is that training is key. Their working virtues can become their downfall if not honed properly. Patience and consistency! Danny’s advice when training your dog on the farm is that you’ve “got to understand how their mind works.” Before the pup is about 4 or 5 months old, socialize them, take them places with you, and become their buddy. With herding dogs like Border Collies, Danny adds that some “don’t ‘turn on’ until they’re 7 or 8 months or even a year old.” Anything that you can teach your puppy – obedience commands like come, sit, stay, lie down, leave it – instills the habit of listening. If you need some assistance with obedience training, Haven of the Ozarks located in Cassville, Missouri, hosts obedience classes every Saturday afternoon, with professional dog trainer Tristan Jolivette. More details can be found at havenoftheozarks.org.


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Good For You BY MARY LOWRY

Healthy Food for Healthy Pets If you are the loving “parent” of a dog or cat, then you already know they can be a wonderful companion and faithful friend. But did you realize they provide us with many health benefits as well? Those who walk their dog regularly, improve both their own and their pet’s weight and fitness level. For people who have suffered a heart attack, a pet owner tends to have a faster recovery and live longer than non pet owners. Pets tend to increase the appetite and reduce aggressive outbreaks in Alzheimer’s sufferers. They help lower stress related blood pressure, and help relieve depression in many people. Children raised with pets from an early age have less incidence of allergies and asthma than other children not exposed to pets. It’s believed that pets help strengthen their immune system due to the exposure of dust and other allergens on pet fur. I think the most wonderful blessing of pets is they continually return us to the joy of the present (as Eckhart Tolle puts it “the joy of just Being”). Regrets are living in the past, worrying is living in the future. Feeding, petting, and enjoying a pet brings us to the present. Watching my cat “Princess Butters” literally bounce off the walls – after being overcome by catnip, or just in her usual nightly weird moment – brings me to the humor and joy of the moment (except when woken from a deep sleep). 30 |

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Considering all the ways our pets are a blessing, providing them with food and treats that will keep them at their healthiest and happiest seems like a small but significant expression of gratitude. I didn’t realize how the quality of their food could make such a difference in their well-being until seeing “Winston”. French Bulldogs are adorable anyway, but seeing this exceptionally happy beautiful dog just really touched me. I asked his owner, Soni Copeland, owner of Herb Depot, “what do you feed this guy?” Soni, as I found out, produces a large part of Winston’s diet. Like a growing number of people concerned about the quality, freshness, digestibility and additives found in commercial dog food, she started making her own. In addition to preservatives, chemicals and artificial coloring, commercial dog food typically uses rendered protein rather than human-grade ingredients. Rendered meat can be any piece and part of animals, and is usually a low quality protein. Human-grade protein can be at least three times more expensive in dogfood. A good reason for making your own pet food.

Dogs and cats are natural carnivores. They were designed with short digestive tracts and strong stomach acids designed to digest meat, bones and fats. They weren’t designed to eat grains, the common filler in commercial dog and cat food. It’s believed that when a dog is fed too many grains or other carbohydrates, it goes undigested, and they develop gas, bad breath, body odor and tartar on their teeth. Similar to many people, grains may contribute to inflammation, allergies, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Excessive carbohydrates has also been connected with feline diabetes. In dogs who show no problem with small amounts of grain, adding them can cut down the cost of a homemade diet, while providing some additional fiber. Oats and barley, and gluten-free grains like brown rice and quinoa are better choices. Some authorities recommend avoiding the use of grains completely, especially in the diet of cats. After several years of making Winston’s food, Soni has found the following recipe to work well for him.


Winston’s Pan-Licking-Good Food 6 lbs. of cooked protein (free-range beef, chicken, turkey or venison) I use lean meats so don’t drain off the fat since dogs need some animal fat

8 organic apples (cored and minced in food processor) washed but not peeled I have also used dried organic blueberries and cranberries (or fresh berries) in place of apples

8-10 large organic carrots ( minced in food processor) washed but not peeled 10 cups of organic brown rice, cooked

When in season, I also use other veggies like raw broccoli tops, finely chopped. Or try raw zucchini, shredded or minced in processor.

6-8 medium sweet potatoes Peel and par boiled to partial tenderness so won’t be mushy when chopped

6 cups organic split peas (approx. 2 lbs raw)

free jerky snacks they will love. First, wash and drain the organ meat, and freeze in ziploc bags for what you won't be immediately processing. Slice the liver 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Sometimes, it is easier to slice while frozen then let thaw before drying. Lay the sliced meat not touching, on a lightly oiled dehydrator shelves or pans, in the oven set to a low temperature (120 degrees). Bake for 2 hours, and then turn, and bake another 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let cool in the oven. Store these pieces in ziplock bags. For many more healthy cat and dog treat recipes, visit www.doggydessertchef.com and www.thebark.com.

This will expand 2-3 times the size when cooked

Sea salt to add the sodium needed (only about 1 ½ tsp. to the whole batch) 1 cup of ground flaxseeds ¼ - ½ cup Bone Meal powder (if supplemental calcium and phosphorus are needed) ¼ - ½ cup liver powder for added nutrients I use NOW brand with no hormones, they use Argentine beef

After all the ingredients are cooked, cooled and then mixed together, place 4 cups in each quart-size ziploc freezer bag. Flatten out the mix in the bags so they stack well in the freezer. Squeeze out the excess air before sealing. Date and freeze. This batch usually yields 72 servings (for one, medium-sized dog). Total 18 bags with 4 servings in each bag.

In the book Dr. Becker's Real Food For Healthy Dogs And Cats, it stressed that dogs and cats get their calcium naturally from bones. Bones provide calcium and phosphorous together. Cooked or raw meats can be used for dog and cat food, however, if cooked, Dr. Becker stresses to never feed bony meats like chicken necks, backs etc, unless you have a way of grinding the bones first. The bones become brittle when cooking and can harm your pet. Unless you can finely grind these bones after cooking, it's best to cook boneless meats, or debone

a chicken or other fowl ,and then add a supplement that will provide the calcium in a form the animals can use. Bone meal free of heavy metals, designed for human consumption (not garden use) is recommended. If you want to start off small, making dog and cat treats, rather than their staple meals, can be an excellent start. Are you a hunter, or have access to free-range beef or chicken livers and other organ meats at a rural butcher near by? Save the organ meats for dried dog and cat snacks. This makes inexpensive, hormone and chemical

Interested in making your own dog or cat food and would like more information on making it balanced and complete or species specific? There are many excellent books on the subject that can help. As mentioned earlier, Dr. Becker's Real Food For Healthy Dogs and Cats by Karen Becker, DVM and Beth Taylor is an excellent reference book. Lucy Postins is also the author of a new book titled, Made out of Love: Healthy Homemade Pet Food Recipes for Dogs and Cats. Feed Your Best Friend Better - Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs by Rick Woodford is an additional wonderful reference. The website www.thebark.com also has a helpful article titled "Taking the Anxiety Out of Cooking For Our Dog: Helpful tips and starter recipe for making homemade dog food," by Greg Martinez, DVM.

December 2016 • January 2017 | 31


A Hound to Reme CINDY THE COON DOG

BY JASON WORLEY

“W

ade” I said, “If I get half a chance, I swear I’m gunna send your flippin’ dog off the next bluff we climb. That hound of yours has kept me out till the early thirtys too many nights and I’ve had my fill.” Wade just grinned, saying, “Ah, you know you love Cindy.” The clock had just rolled over the 2:30 mark, and in less than 5 hours I had to sit down to my last college final. My good friend, Wade, had picked Cindy up from some fella out of state for next to nothing. Cindy was a decent hound, she very seldom trashed on anything, she could cold trail like no other and she would absolutely never leave a tree. So, what could possibly be wrong with a dog like this? See, Cindy had the strangest bark I’ve ever heard, it was as if someone had turned down the volume every time she opened up. When she let loose on trail or when she was treed, it was more of a whisper then a bark. If there was a slight breeze, the drone of an airplane or distant traffic it was hopeless at keeping tabs on her. Heck, if you were just breathing hard, which was nearly always, due to climbing the hills around the Niangua river you didn’t stand a chance at hearing her. The sound of this hounds bawl was more than my pen can describe, or should I say less. I remember a hunt not long after Wade had gotten the young walker hound. We had turned out at what we referred to as the Flanders place. It was a long, backbone ridge that stood above the river and was covered with massive oaks and hickories. Earlier that night the old man that owned it said, “Boys, she ain’t been logged for nigh 70 years and is runnin’ fulla coon. Theys eaten all my corn and I want ‘em gone.” We were happy to put the new hound to the test. The weather was cold, not bitter to the bone cold, but a perfect night for hunting. We turned Cindy loose and she struck a 32 |

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trail in less than a hundred yards of the truck. It was at that moment, I first heard that strange sound that faintly resembled a bark. It had that coonhound bawl but it was as if she had her head in a barrel. It was muffled in a way I had never heard before. I looked at Wade and asked if that was Cindy. He gave me the most serious look he could muster and said, “You know, the old man said she was awful tight mouthed.” “Ok,” I said, “I thought that just

meant she didn’t bark a lot on trail.” With a strange quiver in his voice Wade tried his best to ease my worries, “It’ll be fine, she’s probably just got her head down working the trail, just give her some time.” We gave her time alright; if I recall correctly it was around 1:00 a.m. when we finally caught back up to her. So began Cindy and I’s sketchy relationship. As the seasons wore on we learned to adapt to Cindy’s odd voice. It really just


ember amounted to staying as close as we could so that we never lost track of her. If she struck a trail we cut and run to stay with her. That strange bawl of hers was hard to detect, especially up and down the hills and hollows or river country. With time, though, we were bringing home a lot of hides and getting a lot of exercise. Cindy was a determined hound and had no consideration for our sufferings. Rest assured, I let her know about it at the end of each hunt. There’s not a doubt in my mind she began to understand how much I disliked her style of hunting, the more I cussed her the later our hunts seemed to last. That night in late December, when I was hoping for a chance to boot her off a bluff, was our sixth season of playing catch up with Cindy and I had threatened the ole bitty several times that night. Just after Wade turned her loose and threw forth the customary, “Hunt em up girl, hunt em up,” I swear that hound turned and looked right at me and smiled. I should have took the hint. It was about 2:45 a.m. when we came out in the river bottom. Wade had three hides tucked into his belt and he promised this would be the last chase of the night. I had heard that before and with thoughts of that morning final, I decided I had better get to high ground to see if I could hear her. I told Wade to hang tight for a minute, I was going to the top of the ridge to see if I could locate his #$@#$!! hound. The east side of the ridge was basically just a bluff that stood 40 feet above the Flanders eddy. I knew if I got out on the bluff I’d have a decent chance at hearing her. Wade told me to watch my step, if I lost my footing there was a good chance I would take a December swim in that deep river eddy, that, of course, would follow the 40-foot free fall. I grunted a few expletives and took off.

I made the climb in record time and was standing at the edge of the bluff straining to pick up any sound of a hound. The silence I heard was crazy, it was a stillness you could almost feel. That darn hound had disappeared and I was madder than a hornet. I yelled down to Wade that I was done and I was going to the truck. I turned and was about five steps above the bluff when my boot caught an old cedar stump and the next thing I knew I was sliding down the hillside headed towards a bad ending. Just as I was about to take flight my insulated bibs caught on a jagged rock. It ripped a hole half the length of my leg, and slowed me just enough that I was able to get my hands around an oak sapling. When I realized how close I had come to spilling off that bluff, I stopped and shined my light up by the cedar stump, and there that ole’ hussy sat.

I swear that hound turned and looked right at me and smiled. I should have took the hint. I leaped, clawed, kicked and grabbed but before I could get my hands on her and send her airborne off that bluff she took off through the timber laughing… I swear she was laughing. I threw forth another round of profanity and as I took off to the truck, I could faintly hear Wade saying something about finding Cindy. That turned out to be Cindys final season. She died in her sleep one night, no doubt dreaming about chasing a ridgerunner coon and smiling back over her shoulder at my fits. Cindy was replaced by another walker that had the loudest bawl of any hound I have ever heard. It seemed every time that hound opened up, I couldn’t help but think back to Cindy. Those late nights turned into some of the greatest adventures of my life, and with time they became some of the greatest memories I possess. If I could do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing...wait... I might change the outcome of that finale.

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Repurposing Revolution

CHRISTMAS TREE TINSEL, TRINKETS AND TREASURES

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f course it’s easy to go to the store and gather decorations to add Christmas to every corner of the house – but it’s a lot funner to get creative and repurpose and reuse some items already at home, or easily obtained. Just like candy and cookie making during the holidays, it’s also a fun way to get the kids involved – or invite some neighbors over for a decoration repurposing party!

Glistening Garland

Just a different take on the tied material strip garland. Use recycled food plastic bags and foil lined chip bags. Cut into various lengths and widths and tie randomly across a ribbon or twine the length that you want to make your garland. Anything else can be added to this for variety – ribbon, twine, material strips. Add bells on strings or ornaments as well. When done, twist around a string of lights and drape around your tree or doorway.

Bottlecaps in a Snap

Crafty Cards

Do you keep every Christmas card? Why not make them into a colorful banner instead of keeping them tucked away in a box? Triangle flag banners are fun and festive and Christmas cards add the BONUS: perfect seasonal colors. Banners look great across Use leftover the fireplace, draped over windows or entryways, edges and corners or even among greenery used on a stair rail. of used cards to make gift tags. Cut each card into a triangular shape, and fold down 1/2-inch of the top, flat edge of the triangle. Using ribbon or twine, staple folded flat edge of each triangle, side by side, to create as long of a banner as desired.

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BONUS: Use a cleaned and cut open chip bag for wrapping small gifts (silver side out).

Who doesn't have a pile of bottlecaps waiting for a craft project? A little glue is all you need to fashion these cuter than Rudolf ornaments or package decorations. Simply glue small twigs (or grape stem) and a ribbon loop on the back of the bottle cap, and use googly eyes and red puffs for the face features.


Roll With It

Paper towel and toilet paper rolls are about the most versatile of recycled cardboard products! Toilet paper rolls make fun and easy gifting containers. Simply fill with candies or small gifts, wrap and tie ends with ribbon. They can also be flattened to house gift cards or money, cut to size and placed in cards, or wrapped and labeled.

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Paper rolls can also be used decoratively in many ways. Flattening and slicing into ½-inch cross-sections will give you rolls that can be easily glued and fashioned into sweet snowflakes that can be hung and adorned with glitter.

BONUS: Bonus: Keep the kids busy with a DIY marshmallow shooter. Cut the bottom out of a balloon, tie the top in a knot, and completely tape the cut end around one end of a toilet paper roll. Now, fill with a mini-marshmallow, pull on the tied end of the balloon and let it go!

Real Fake Icicles

These reused plastic icicles sure look like the real deal! Adding these to any tree or décor help reflect and create movement that enhances any lighting used. Cut pop bottles (either small or 2-liter size) into ¼-inch strips, making them a little wider at the top (where you will punch a hole for string to hang with). With a candle, holding the strip above the flame to catch some heat without melting, twist the plastic as you work your way down the whole length of the plastic strip. When it is twisted to your preference, set aside to cool completely. Use a hole punch at the wide end and use string or ribbon to make a loop for hanging.

Don’t throw away the rest of the bottle! Cut off the dimpled bottom of the bottle and use it to decorate into delicate snowflakes or shapely ornaments.

Country Petal’s Floral & Vintage Shop 212 Main Street, Crane, Missouri 417-229-0925

F

Marcy Gripka and Shelley Blankenship Email: countrypetals_2@yahoo.com

Come on down and see us!

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W e have little bit of everything! furniture B home décor lots of Antiques B and so much more!

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www.rags2richesfleamarket.com December 2016 • January 2017 | 37


Quack this Egg STORY AND PHOTOS BY SHERRY LEVERICH

Northeast of Springfield in the rolling beauty of rural Marshfield lies the setting of Blue Heron Farm. The farm, owned by James and Jennie Boosey, along with two farm-hands (their energetic and helpful – and growing – sons, Dylan and Jake), is a productive and innovative set-up, as it retains an old-fashioned, farm-life tranquility. James and Jennie bought the property just over three years ago and have worked to create a market for their primary product, duck eggs. James, who hails from southern Great Britain, grew up on a dairy in

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the Cotswolds of Gloucestershire. Though they were looking for something in the Midwest, they chose the Ozarks for a variety of reasons, “We stumbled onto the Ozarks kinda by accident,” explained James, “but when we visited, we liked it. The landscape is familiar, there are good water resources, and we really like the people, they are very friendly.” Besides farming, James has a culinary background – so both producing and eating good food is a priority to him and his family.


Though they are just getting started, they currently have over 400 ducks of several breeds. They also have a large flock of chickens and geese as well. Among breeds of ducks that they have are Indian Runners, and Khaki Campbells – which is an English cross of Indian Runners, they are known to be prolific egg layers. The Booseys enjoy the ducks, “They are full of character, great hunters, and lively...,” shared James.

In the spring, the duck yolks are almost red, they eat anything they can get their bills on – tadpoles, small snakes, lizards... insects – in the summer the yolks turn to a rich yellow, slightly orange color.

On Blue Heron farm, all the animals are what you could call extremely free-range. Their home is nestled between the confined, yet open, chicken yard, which James explained is set up in a typical English system, and a beautiful acre-sized pond. Along with their beautiful flock of mixed poultry, they also host a growing herd of Highland cattle, Berkshire hogs (who are in charge of clearing the brush growth in the valley), a small flock of Katahdin sheep, and a dependable Jersey milk cow. They have two adolescent farm dogs, a Pyranees and an Anatolian, that are charged with watching and keeping guard of all the animals (as well as finding a stray egg nest now and then).

Bringing the farm-to-table experience to life The Booseys have also developed and marketed a line of microgreens that they produce throughout the year. As the popularity of microgreens has grown, so has the demand for their tasty, tiny plants that are just a step above sprouts, and pack a nutritional punch to any entree. Their focus on consistency and quality has also helped their business grow, as they provide products on a regular basis for area chefs and grocers that carry fresh, local foods. If that weren’t enough, they have made being sustainable and organic a priority on their farm. Not only do they see that the health and livelihood of their animals are kept to a high standard, but they seek out local sources E Sthat T. provide2feed 0 0 9 and seeds that are organic and non-GMO. Never eaten a duck egg? Give it a try! Because they have a much more varied diet than chickens, duck eggs typically have more nutrition and are higher in protein. They are also richer and creamier – and many bakers prefer using duck eggs for pastries and cakes. Blue Heron eggs, as well as their microgreens, are available for purchase at MaMa Jean’s in Springfield, on the menu at Farmer’s Gastropub on Glenstone in Springfield, Missouri, as well as other local grocers and restaurants.

We believe the fresher the food, the better it tastes. That’s why Farmers Gastropub is committed to naturally raised, local and sustainable foods, and the farmers who produce them. The farmers and producers who supply us with the finest and freshest local foods are what set Farmers Gastropub apart. They are our lifeblood and our family. We couldn’t bring you the Farmers Gastropub experience without them.

EST.

2009

2620 S. Glenstone Ave. Springfield, Missouri In the Brentwood Center

417-864-6994 farmersgastropub.com

December 2016 • January 2017 | 39


Gardening Year-round SEASON EXTENSION

LOOKING AT COST EFFECTIVE OPTIONS STORY AND PHOTOS BY NAHSHON BISHOP

S

eason Extension; over the recent years this term seems to have caught fire in the small/diversified farm world. Many commercial farmers, and even a few homeowners, are now planning to implement or already have some form of low cost, low input technology to extend the traditional growing season throughout the Midwest and upper Southern U.S. The benefits of extending the growing season are numerous. It is beneficial for both both commercial growers, as well as homeowners, if a more sustainable food system is to take hold in America. The purpose of this article is to discuss the practical mindset when approaching season extension, and to look at newer, lower cost options for season extension that now exist and are readily available.

A PRACTICAL MINDSET Starting any project with the end in mind is a sure-fire way toward a successful endeavor. When thinking about implementing season extension technology on your farm or in your garden, there are some general guidelines we all should take into consideration. As gardeners, our goal is to produce healthy and tasteful fruits and vegetables throughout the traditional growing season for family, friends, and/or loyal customers. There now exists low cost technology that will allow us to achieve the same results, “on the back side of the calendar”. Three key elements should be present when approaching four season gardening or at 40 |

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the very least, practicing season extension. These three elements are: selecting vegetable cultivars that are cold-hardy, succession planting and protected cultivation. Cold-hardy vegetables are simple vegetables that tolerate cold temperatures reasonable well. These vegetables typically have lower light requirements than traditional warm season crops. Because of this they make a wonderful choice for year round vegetable production. Examples of cold hardy vegetables include; lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, beet, bok choi, broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Succession planting refers to sowing the same type of vegetable more than

once during a season so that the cultivar can be continually harvested throughout the winter months. For the fall season, it helps to have the mindset that “this is a second spring”. Planting dates are particularly important in the fall. If you miss a planting date during the spring time, you miss an early window at market, but your crop will mature and be ready for harvest in due time. The same is not necessarily true with fall planting. Light requirement is an extremely critical part of plant production. As a general rule, most cultivars commercially available grow as expected with 10 hours of sun light. For our region of the Ozarks, December 1 marks that dip below this light requirement. As such, succession planting allows commercial producers to enter into the low light period of the calendar with vegetables that are at or close to maturity. When temperatures and photoperiod begin to drop, the soil profile acts as a natural refrigerator and simply “holds” the vegetable in place until harvest. This is possible because the transpiration and photosynthesis as well as other natural plant functions begin to slow down.


Protected cultivation simply refers to vegetables growing under cover. Traditionally, cold tolerant vegetables can survive outdoors with snow cover, however with changing climates and the advent of low cost season extension technology, investing in a high tunnel or other season or other low cost options can be an effective way to control the environment directly involved with growing vegetables. Traditionally, when using a season extension structure, two types of plantings are used during the “Second Spring” or fall planting. The first is winter harvest crops. Winter harvest crops are crops that are planted in late summer or early fall. The sowing time allows the plants to mature before the winter season arrives. During the winter months, because of the cold temperatures and lack of light, these crops essentially “sit still” waiting for harvest. The second type of planting is referred to as “Overwintered Crops”. Overwintered crops are planted in late fall or early winter to provide a very early spring harvest and help to fill the void left by harvesting older produce that was started in the late summer or early spring.

SEASON EXTENSION STRUCTURES AND THEIR RELATIVE COST High tunnels are a hot item for our small diversified farms. The down side to rise in popularity of high tunnels is that prices are beginning to creep up due to the demand. Currently, some low cost alternative does exist for those interested in extending the growing season, these structures are referred to generally as “Caterpillar Tunnels” and “Low Tunnels”. These tunnels are typically put together on farms using locally sourced materials.

are considered “four season” tunnels meaning that they can handle snow load. Exceptions include Hay Grove style high tunnels or multi-bay tunnels. The four season high tunnel is a joy to work in (excluding the hot summer months) and can be an extremely effective tool in producing fresh vegetables on a yearround basis.

High Tunnels Today, a 30-foot by 96-foot high tunnel from Zimmerman with “W” truss and metal end-walls costs more than $10,000. This is a substantial investment for most small farmers. This works out to be roughly $3.58 per square foot.. While the initial cost is steep for many, this is only a fraction of the cost of a traditional green house. When we refer to high tunnels, we are typically talking about a structure that does not have any supplemental heat and has a top purlin that rests10-12-foot off of the ground. Many manufactured tunnels December 2016 • January 2017 | 41


Caterpillar Tunnels A caterpillar tunnel, or walk-in tunnel, is a low cost alternative to a traditional high tunnel. Costing roughly $0.90 per square foot, these tunnels can be made out of PVC or EMT pipe available at most local hardware stores. These structures can be as short as 20 feet in length to as long as 200 feet, depending on available resources and land layout. These structures are designed for the average individual to stand up in. The bows for this type of tunnel are typically spaced 6 feet apart and are either slipped over a ground stake or driven into the ground 8-10 inches, depending on

wind at your site. Once the bows have been erected and the plastic slide over the bows, a rope is typically thrown from side to side in serpentine pattern down the length of the high tunnel and attached to a secure anchor point to hold both the plastic and bows down. This gives the tunnel a segmented appearance, hence the common name “caterpillar tunnel”. Caterpillar tunnels traditionally do not have end walls, to enter the structure you simply pick up the plastic and slide the plastic up the bow and ‘Walk-in’ the tunnel. When putting together a structure like this, it is important not to face the tunnel broad-side to the prevailing wind direction on your farm as they are not as robust in nature as a manufactured high tunnel. Low Tunnels Finally, the lowest cost option for season extension (in traditional commercial production) is the low-tunnel. Costing roughly $0.07-$0.10 per square foot, and perhaps offering the most flexibility, low tunnels are a wonderful 42 |

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way for someone new to season extension to get their feet wet. Low tunnels can be assembled with nothing more than a thick gauge metal wire and heavy floating row cover (generally 1 oz.). While low tunnels leave the farmer outside in the elements, they do offer benefits in terms of holding in radiant heat longer after the sun has set. Once your vegetable beds are planted, take

thick gauge wire and and cut them out making hoops that keep your cover (either traditional greenhouse plastic or spunbonded material) off of the crop. Secure the sides of the cover down by burying the windward side and putting rocks, sandbags or other heavy items on the other side of the hoop to keep the cover down and retain heat.


Chore Time in the Winter STAY WARM INSIDE, WHEN WORKING OUTSIDE

K

eeping your body, let alone your fingers and toes, warm and comfortable while working with cattle and other farm animals, and doing outside activities and jobs during the winter months can be a challenge. Here are several key factors: Keep protected, keep dry, keep moving.

PUT A LID ON IT Covering your head with any kind of hat will help your whole body retain heat. It will also protect the tips of your ears, which can freeze fast.

Family owned and operated since 1971.

For over 30 years, Race Brothers Farm and Home Supply has been owned and operated by the DeForest family, who is dedicated to providing the Ozarks with quality service and products including a complete line of farm and home supplies.

CLOSE THE GAP another trouble area, especially if it is windy, is your neck area. Button up your coat, and insulate your neck with a scarf that seals the area between your neck and coat collar. This will help protect your vulnerable core and keep you from getting the chills.

NO-FROST FINGERS When working outside, one of the most painful, difficult situations is trying to do chores with frozen fingers. Stiff and achy, they become useless pretty fast. Choose a pair of gloves that have a soft lining, yet are not too bulky to hinder work. Fingers with grippy material helps as well. Water resistance is nice, but keeping an extra pair of gloves in your pants pocket comes in handy if you need a quick warm-up. And, obviously, keep your hands in your pocket any moment you aren’t using them.

TOASTY TOES Layering socks and wearing insulated, waterproof boots is the most fool-proof way to keep toes and feet warm. Pulling on a pair of thinner cotton socks, then covering those with a bulkier wool blend sock will help insulate your feet. Waterproof is the most important factor when working in the winter weather. Especially if there is snow and ice, kick off the leather boots for a few days and stick to the all-weather boots that you can crack ice on the pond with, and trudge through snow without freezing your toes.

COVER IT ALL Coveralls are by far the best way to seamlessly cover your whole body and keep drafts down to a minimum. If you are going to be outdoors for awhile, try wearing a quilted, yet not too bulky coverall – you can wear a coat over it, and as the sun warms you up, you can strip the coat if necessary. Layering is always a good choice, especially to keep sweating down as your outdoor activity changes. Warming up underneath all the layers can lead to sweating that can cause chills later on.

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UNDER IT ALL Starting it all with a cotton t-shirt and, when it’s super cold, cotton insulated underwear, will help wick away body moisture and keep your natural warmth close to you. Top that with a long-sleeve shirt and heavy pants.

THE NOSE KNOWS A scarf is the most versatile winter weather helper. Wrap it around your neck, tuck ends tight into your chest (keep those ends out of the way when you are working outside!). Works great to pull up around your nose, especially when you are walking into a frigid wind.

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www.racebros.com December 2016 • January 2017 | 43


THE RAT ROD TREND IS SPREADING

STORY AND PHOTOS BY BECKIE BLOCK

RETRO RODS In a time when people are interested in the newest gadget, and many people want a truck with all the bells and whistles, there is a trend taking hold that is becoming more popular all the time: Rat Rods. Rat Rods are the opposite of the hot rods that most people are used to seeing at car shows. These trucks are custom built, or custom restores, but in some 44 |

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cases, rather than an exterior restoration, they are left to the time worn condition in which they were found. Sam Mattingly, a mechanic at Gautney’s Garage in Cassville, Missouri, has a passion for these types of projects. “It’s getting really popular bringing the old junk back,” Sam shared. He went on to add that there are two major differences

between hot rods and rat rods. With traditional hot rods, most are muscle cars, and the restoration is complete, both inside and outside. Most are then taken from car show to car show, and otherwise are mostly parked or stored. With rat rods, the main transformation takes place under the hood, and the body is generally left alone, creating an “ugly truck.”


“I have always been into old icky trucks, but with old engines,” Sam shared. “Then we started LS swaps.” An LS swap is taking a Chevrolet LS motor, and putting it in any vehicle you are restoring. The mechanic fabricates the parts needed to make the motor fit. He went on to add that with good maintenance these LS motors have seen 400,000 or more miles. Most of the motors he puts in Rat Rods come from salvage cars, which he gets from Meadow’s Salvage in Halltown, Missouri. “A lot of the older trucks get an average of 13 miles to the gallon, but with the fuel injected LS motors, they can get up to 25 mpg,” Sam said. Over the last two years Gautney’s Garage has completed about 28 restores. “I don’t make what I should on them, but it saves them dollars.” He went on to add that a lot of the projects are family affairs. The truck might have belonged to a man’s father, and he wants it restored for his son or grandson. “Word

is getting out, and we have people coming from Nebraska, Kansas, all over, to have us do their restores.” “These trucks aren’t pretty, just functional,” said Sam. Along with the fuel injected motor, some people add air conditioning, power steering and other modern technology. He added that he even added a backup camera to one Rat Rod. Most of the vehicles are found in fence rows, or parked out behind someone’s barn. Sam told of a project that was drug out of a fence row, and when he got it, there were still blackberry briars coming up out of the rust holes. Sometimes the bodies are treated for rust, but in most cases, they are left alone, as the rust adds character to the truck. “We take them to car shows sometimes,” Sam shared. “There is always someone who has an opinion about them. They may hate it, but they still come look at it.”

December 2016 • January 2017 | 45


THE FABRICATED ROD Kevin Phillips takes Rat Rods in an entirely different direction. When asked how long he has been restoring cars Kevin replied, “My whole life. Working on cars was a necessity when I was younger, but I have always been interested.” If you look around his yard, and the shop beside his son’s house, it is easy to see that he has a lot of projects to keep him busy. “Sometimes it seems like all I own is projects.” The main project he has worked on with his son Kyle, is a 1947 Chevy pickup. When he found the project truck, it had been sitting in the brush for 30 years. “You couldn’t even tell what color it was,” Kevin shared. He then chopped it down, narrowed the cab and hand built the frame. “I traded for parts, some I already had on hand. There is no labor bill if you do it yourself.” Kevin went on to add that the main perk about driving a Rat Rod is if it breaks down, you can usually fix it. “There is no computer, no scanner needed, and no special tools. And most of the time I already have a part on hand.” While the exterior of his truck is restored as well, Kevin is most interested with the durability of the engine. “We’re not concerned with making a show vehicle, because we drive our stuff,” Kevin said. Unlike other Rat Rods, where most of the parts are original, Kevin builds his trucks from pieces of other vehicles, creating a truly original ride. The 1947 Chevy truck boasts the following parts: The original 1947 cab, passenger door, left fender and radiator support, the frame is from a ‘90s model Chevy S10, the motor is from the 80’s, the transmission from a late ‘80s S10, the seat is from a late ‘70s van, the gas tank is from a John Deere combine, the sun visor is from a 1952 Ford car, the hood ornament from a 1942 Oldsmobile and the bed is from a 1951 ¾-ton truck that he shortened by 20 inches and narrowed by 10 inches. All of which makes it sound a lot like a Johnny Cash song. Upon completion of the restoration, 46 |

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Both the Phillips and Sam Mattingly, like most rebuilders, keep project trucks just waiting for their turn. Kyle and his dad, Kevin, with the finished truck that Kyle now drives.

they drove it in the 22nd Annual Hot Rod Power Tour, a multi-state cruise that lasts seven days. “We didn’t do the whole thing,” Kevin said, “but we did drive it 1420 miles that week.” They have changed the motor twice since then, but it is his son Kyle’s daily driver. Kevin shared that he takes pieces of metal and builds whatever he needs that he doesn’t have on hand, and that each of his projects is an original. And if he needs a tool that he doesn’t have, he is apt to build that as well. Looking behind his shop, there is a row of old vehicles, which he says are either projects or for parts. When asked where he finds these projects, he laughed and stated, “I don’t, they find me.” He has another shell in the shop that he is planning to start another full rebuild on. “I’d like one of the next projects to have fuel injection and air conditioning, but not the rat rod,” Kevin said.

So, if you are driving down the road and you pass a rusty old pickup truck, and wonder to yourself how that ugly old truck is even running, you might be surprised at what you would find under the hood, and it might just out last that shiny new truck that’s parked in your driveway.


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NUTS CRE O S DRICH PHOTOS BY SHERRY LE ATI

L E R S F RU I T Y L FR U TUFO IT CRROB LO E D

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A New Tradition FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING

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t’s early Christmas morning at Jenny and Randy Thomas’ home. Christmas lights twinkle and carols are playing softly in the background. Stockings are filled, and there is the warm inviting scent of fresh made donuts drifting through the air. The living room floor is wall-to-wall with pallets of pillows and blankets and slumbering grand-kids, cousins, nieces and nephews – and anyone else that has stayed through the night. Jenny and Randy have hosted Christmas Eve, and Christmas morning for their immediate family of 8...and as many as 30 or more extended family members, throughout the years. Being surrounded by family makes the season special for the Thomas'. December 2016 • January 2017 | 47


Donuts, cream puffs, and biscuits and gravy are on the breakfast menu every December 25. It’s become a family tradition, and even if Jenny wanted to discontinue the Christmas morning routine...her family wouldn’t let her! Especially her brother, Chris, who even request her home-made donuts for his May birthday every year. “I make close to 5 dozen donuts, with the donut holes. Randy is always good to help me with everything – of course he eats the donuts as fast as I fry them,” smiles Jenny. Jenny has been making donuts for their family Christmas for many years now. This dedicated big sister is known for her down-home cooking, and there is always something good to eat at Jenny’s house. For Jenny, making bread and rolls are second nature, and she uses the same dough to fry up into donut yumminess. She shared her recipe with me, and though she doesn’t use a thermometer, she says, “When you drop a donut in the hot oil, it should come right back up.” If not, the oil is not hot enough. If it browns too quick, it is too hot. Flip the donut, and drain on paper towels with newspaper layered underneath. She makes a simple glaze with powdered sugar and milk. Once they are dipped, they are ready to eat, and they fly off of cookie sheet just as fast as they are glazed. I think I’d like to be a cousin in Jenny’s family with this kind of Christmas breakfast...but since I ain’t, I guess I’ll just try to make some delicious donuts and start a new Christmas tradition at my house.

SIMPLE GLAZE 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup milk. Mix thoroughly, add more milk or sugar to achieve correct consistency.

Jenny’s Christmas Morning Donuts Ingredients: 2 pkgs (or 3 Tbsp.) active dry yeast ½ cup lukewarm water 1 Tbsp. sugar For dough: ½ cup oil (Jenny prefers canola, but any vegetable oil can be used) ¾ tsp. salt ½ cup sugar 2 cup lukewarm water 5-6 cup all-purpose flour (more or less to make dough not sticky) Oil for frying

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Mix yeast, ½ cup lukewarm water and sugar in a bowl or jar. Let yeast dissolve and start to bubble (about 5 minutes). Mix this is a bowl with oil, salt, sugar and water and 2 cups flour. After thoroughly mixed, continue adding flour one cup at a time until it is not sticky. Pour dough onto floured counter and knead till smooth. Place in oiled bowl and let rise until double in size. Knead dough again, on a floured board and roll out and cut into donuts, or refrigerate. If making donuts in the morning, Jenny makes the dough the night before, then let’s it rise, knead, and cover and refrigerate. Then she rolls the dough out, and cuts the donuts first thing in the morning. Let donut cut-outs sit on counter to warm up and rise while you prepare and heat the oil. In skillet, pan or fry-daddy, heat at least 2-inches of oil to 375 degrees F. When a donut is placed in the oil, it should rise and float. When it is golden brown, flip and cook till golden brown on the other side. Remove from oil and place on layers of paper towels with newspaper layered beneath them. When you start frying donuts, open one of the first ones up just to make sure that they are getting cooked all the way through and aren’t doughy inside. Immediately dip one side in glaze, and set on cookie sheet.


SPIFFING THEM UP Fresh and warm, donuts can be simply dusted with powdered sugar, dunked in cinnamon sugar or glazed in vanilla or chocolate icing. Those are the traditional methods...but you don’t have to stop there! While the glaze is still fresh, sprinkle with your favorite cupcake toppings. Any adornments can bring your donuts up a notch... try topping with chopped nuts, crushed candy, or cookie crumbles. Make donuts without the hole, and fill with a scrumptious vanilla cream, or with your favorite jelly. Fill a cake decorating bag with your filling with a 1/4-inch round tip, squish it into the side of a fresh donut without a hole, and squeeze! Popular: Glaze with icing that has a little maple flavoring, and top with bits of crispy chopped bacon – what a breakfast combo! Also, top with toasted coconut, mini-chocolate chips or mm’s to get some wow’s out of the kids.

Fluffy Spud-nuts Ingredients: 1 pound raw potato (or enough to make 1 cup mashed potato) 2 pkgs active dry yeast ½ cup warm water 1 ½ cups warm milk (110° to 115°) ½ stick butter (¼ cup) ½ cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp. salt 7 ½ cups all-purpose flour Additional oil for deep-fat frying Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and smash well, leaving no potato chunks. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the mashed potatoes, milk, oil, sugar, eggs and salt. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; let rise again until doubled, about 20 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. In an deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown. Glaze as desired, or immediately toss in cinnamon sugar, and serve fresh.

December 2016 • January 2017 | 49


Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 3 Tbsp. milk 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly stir in milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until silky and smooth. If you need a touch more milk to make this a dippable glaze, add by spoonful at a time. Dip doughnuts in chocolate glaze and let rest to harden slightly.

Old-fashioned Crullers Ingredients: 2 eggs ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup milk 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt ¼ cup sugar 3½ to 4 cups flour

Beat the eggs, add cream and milk. Sift dry ingredients and combine with liquid. Use enough flour to produce a dough that can be rolled, while remaining soft. Mix well and allow to stand for 2 hours. Turn out on a floured board. Roll to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut into strips measuring 6 inch by 1 inch. Fry in oil that is 360 degrees F., until the cruller becomes brown on both sides. Drain crullers on absorbent paper. Crullers can be dusted in powdered sugar, or coated with a glaze.

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&Hollows Hollows &

OZARK Hills Hills OZARK

Apple Fritters 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh apple (or peach) with 1 tsp. lemon juice to prevent browning 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 1/2 cup butter 2 cups flour 3 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup milk 1/2 tsp. vanilla Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Directions: In a large bowl (or the bowl to a stand mixer), cream the sugar and eggs for 1 to 2 minutes with a mixer. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and milk. Mix well. Using a spoon, add the apples to the batter and stir well, to combine. Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees F.,(use a deep-fry thermometer or use an electric skillet with a temperature control). Using a large scoop, drop two tablespoons of the fritter batter gently into the hot oil. When they turn golden brown on one side, carefully turn the fritters over to the other side and continue cooking (approximately 2-3 minutes on each side). When the fritters become brown on both sides use a slotted spoon to remove the fritter to a paper-towel lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with vanilla glaze or dust with powdered sugar.


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Sour Cream Cake Donuts Ingredients: 2 1/4 cup cake flour 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

&ACCOUNTING LLC

615 Ozark Street, Stella, MO 64867

417-628-3406

1/2 cup sugar 2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature 2 large egg yolks 1/2 cup sour cream Canola oil, for frying

In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, add the egg yolks and mix until light and thick. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter to cut out as many donuts as possible, dipping the cutters into flour as necessary to prevent sticking. You should get about 12 doughnuts and holes. Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a deep-fry thermometer attached. Heat to 325 degrees, F. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease. Glaze as desired.

Donna Y England, RTRP englandtax@leru.net

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Questions? JR Smith

417-847 2131 • jsmith@barryelectric.com

Vanilla Cream Filling for Donuts Ingredients: 1/3 cup all purpose flour 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 2 cups milk, scalded 2 Tbsp. butter 3 egg yolks, beaten 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the scalded milk and stir constantly until thick, smooth and bubbly (about 15 minutes). Add butter and egg yolks, still constantly until smooth, about one minute. Cool and add vanilla.

www.gobec.net December 2016 • January 2017 | 51


Hello Cocoa THE RECIPE FOR SWEET SUCCESS STORY BY STEVE PARKER

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nyone who has started a business knows there is more to the process than simply opening the door and anticipating a long line of customers clamoring to purchase your product. Even more difficult is starting a business having to educate your customers on the uniqueness of your product. The average consumer is faced with a myriad of chocolate temptations; from the candy bars in the supermarket checkout counter, to the explosion of visual and audio advertisements on television and otherwise, all tempting one with this mouth-watering guilty pleasure. A behind-the-scene introduction to Hello Cocoa reveals the existence of a business plan far more complex than just grinding beans and making chocolate bars. Hello Cocoa is creating a product with a purpose. The idea of Hello Cocoa was 52 52 ||

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formed after extensive collaboration and planning from three motivated couples invested in the business: Charles and Abby Davidson, Preston and Abby Stewart and Mark and Lauren Blanco, each playing an integral part in the company’s success. All of the couples love to travel. Their travels have taken them to parts of the world where they can eventually source the cacao beans directly from the farmers of Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Uganda. The cacao beans from each area produce dramatically different flavors and textures. Connections and gaining trust with the growers was enhanced by Charles and Lauren’s work with a nonprofit organization founded by Charles in 2009. The organization named Forgotten Song, focused on starting sustainable businesses in war-torn countries. With degrees

in cultural anthropology, economics, merchandising, business administration and chemistry, the couples have utilized their knowledge and participation in the evolution of Hello Cocoa. Northwest Arkansas was chosen as the home of Hello Cocoa because of the energetic vitality, friendly reception to locally crafted foods and the willingness to embrace new concepts. Hello Cocoa is hoping the focus on highlighting the flavor of the cacao bean will give the consumer a small, yet enjoyable culinary window into the landscape and flavor of places a half a world away. A year ago, Hello Cocoa Chocolate Factory and Store became a reality. It is here where the bean to bar experience currently takes place. The chocolate shop is both a showroom and a working chocolate factory. A visit finds large bags of cacao beans imported from the three countries and the equipment needed to complete the laborious process necessary to create the bars. From beginning to end, the process takes approximately four days. As with many of today’s new businesses, electronic media plays an important role in advertising. Hello Cocoa has created a well-designed web page showcasing various styles of chocolate bars, seasonal specialty bars, barks, nibs, teas and truffles. They can be found on Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter, Google plus, with other social media outlets and also have a blog – plus an extensive customer list who receive frequent newsletters with the latest additions to the chocolate line. Hello Cocoa is constantly pursuing their passion in the product by introducing ways to create a more dynamic and creative chocolate experience. In addition to online sales, they currently distribute the bars in stores throughout Arkansas, Dallas, and Shreveport. A visit to the chocolate factory is a treat for those who know little about the process of making chocolate. Preston Stewart, with a chemistry degree from the University of Arkansas, holds the reins on the production of the product. Making chocolate at Hello Cocoa sounds simple – the process begins with three simple ingredients: cacao beans, cocoa butter and sugar. Even though the products are simple, the process is precise and must be painstakingly followed to keep the taste as pure, delicious and health conscious as possible.


Patience is necessary when working with the cacao bean. A newly planted cacao tree takes between three and five years to produce the beans. The tree produces large pods about the size of a football. The pods are removed from the tree and opened exposing the cacao bean still within the germinating fluid. The beans must then be spread and allowed to dry resulting in the cacao beans we see. After drying, the harvested beans arrive in large burlap bags directly from the fields in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Uganda. Because the beans come directly from the fields, hand sorting at the factory is necessary to eliminate stones, dirt and debris. The beans are then roasted to a temperature of 200 to 300 degrees for about 45 minutes which reduces the moisture content to less than 2% and thoroughly sanitizes the beans. After cooling, the next step is winnowing, a process where the beans are put into a machine crushing the beans into nibs and removing the outer husk. The nibs are then again hand inspected to check for quality. Some of the nibs are packaged for sale as a treat of 100 percent chocolate to be sprinkled on salads, ice cream or just eaten as a healthy snack.

The remaining nibs are then placed into a melanging machine which has two granite wheels to grind the nibs into a smooth chocolate. The beans have a certain amount of cocoa butter and additional cocoa butter is added. The melanging may take as much a three days to complete and process the chocolate to the desired consistency. Preston adds specific amounts of sugar to produce the desired percentage of cacao for the final bars. Once the product is ground to the perfect consistency and cacao percentage, the chocolate moves on to the next step…. tempering.

The tempering machine further refines the chocolate, making it ready for the final step. Once the chocolate is reduced to 28 degrees, Celsius, it is ready to be poured into the bar molds. When the melted chocolate is placed into the mold, it is tamped to eliminate any bubbles and the bars are stored in a cooler before being removed and wrapped. Hello Cocoa produces bars of varying cacao percentage ranging from a 57 percent from Uganda, delivering notes of honey and coffee, 70 percent from the Dominican Republic, revealing notes of plum and blackberry with hints of chicory and finally a rich 74 percent from Venezuela featuring notes of bright fruit and citrus, a bar for the chocolate connoisseur. The percentage of cacao is dependent on the amount of sugar added. Preston Stewart exhibits a very educated palette and is able to create the best bar from each specific region.

4170 W. MLK Blvd. Suite 2 Fayetteville, Ark. www.forgottensong.org www.hellococoachocolate.com

Lauren Blanco and Preston Stewart represent Hello Cocoa

Hello Cocoa also makes seasonal bars. Currently, the Harvest Bar contains pumpkin seeds and dried cherries which are carefully placed in the molds before being covered with chocolate…a very labor intensive process but one with definite tasty results. A crowd favorite is the Mocha bar from the Dominican Republic with a unique coffee flavor. For the holiday season, Hello Cocoa is featuring an array of new products. A chocolate tea made from the husks of the cacao beans, the packaged nibs, elegant truffles, S’mores bark, almond and sea salt bark, strawberry, pistachio and sea salt bark, and of course a full line of delicious bars. Hello Cocoa truly represents chocolate at its best and a company definitely headed for “sweet success”. December December 2016 2016 •• January January 2017 2017 || 53 53


Local

Holiday Gift Guide

T

he traditional gift-giving time is upon us. Are you searching for something special for that “hard-to-buy-for” relative or loved one? Why not fill their stocking or wrap up a one-of-a-kind piece of art, jewelry or book made by someone right in your own backyard? The Ozarks are brimming with wonderful artist, craftsmen and authors. Check out a few of our favorites on this list! Special Thanks to Tomblin’s Jewelry in Cassville, Missouri, for sponsoring our local gift guide and providing a venue for several of our favorite local artist and craftsmen. Available at Tomblin’s Jewelry and Gifts in Cassville, Missouri

Turnings by JusKim Fine art and vessels created by Kim Kenney of Cassville, Missouri. Kim searches for wood burls with character when sculpting her pieces.

Copperhead Designs Jewelry Custom and one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry using copper, brass, bronze and sterling silver. Brenda Beattie calls herself an “aspiring metalsmith,” but her pieces show a natural, keen sense in working with her materials.

Pottery by Rita Moore Unique designs offered by this Joplin, Missouri artist.

Knives by Knifesmith, Glen Moore Offering traditional as well as unique knife styles, including Damascus Steel.

Limited Prints by Pen Brady Art and Design Pen’s designs combine nature and art to create unique contemporary wildlife prints and paintings. 54 |

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Barbara Warren An established, published writer and editor, Barbara has several titles. Murder At The Painted Lady and Deception is available in print at Amazon and e-book on Kindle. The Gathering Storm and Dangerous Inheritance are sold out of print editions, but can be purchased on Kindle.

James Reed

Jon Horner Jon’s newest published book, The Flight of the Slacker, is available by going to www.jonhorner. net – it is also available locally at the Barry County Museum, Whitley’s Pharmacy, and the Barbecue Station, located in Cassville, Missouri.

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ders of this wild area. Jake

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m Koob’s first fictional work. He written three non-fiction works Ozarks: The History of Fishing k Lake, Buried By Table Rock Enon to Radium Springs.

AMBITION AND DEATH IN THE OZARKS

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Looking for a unique gift for the man in your life?

VBirgin luff Ambition and death in the ozarks

KOOB

Tom Koob

Tom Koob Buried By Table Rock Lake and Tom’s newest book, Virgin Bluff, are available at Barry County Museum in Cassville, The Red Barn in Shell Knob, Cape Fair Marina and Branson Centennial Museum. Two of Tom’s books are available on Kindle only – The History Of Fishing Table Rock Lake and Enon to Radium Spring. Can be purchased directly – email wolpublish@ gmail.com.

Gayle Foster & Karen Utter-Jennings Joint Authors of A Look at the Past – A Pictorial History of McDonald County Missouri. Sold at the McDonald County Museum and on Amazon.

Weekly News & Family Histories from McDonald County, Mo. This book series details life in the Ozarks drafted from local newspapers beginning in 1883. Author of numerous books and collector of local Native American artifacts. James is located at 139 Creekside Road, Powell, Mo. claibornecastle@hotmail. com 417-435-2241

Larry Dablemont For your favorite outdoors lover – Larry has just published another book: Little Home on the Piney is the true story of boyhood in the LE HOME 1930s and early ‘40s along one LITT ON THE PINEY of the Ozarks most historic and beautiful rivers. First 100 orders will be numbered, signed and inscribed. Order for $15.95 postpaid, from Lightnin’ Ridge Publishing, Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613. All of Larry’s other titles are available as well. By Farrell Dablemont

As Told To Larry Dablemont

Whether it’s a a Replogle® Globe, timeless piece of jewelry, a unique, hand-crafted knife... We have you covered.

Prix Gautney Destined to be the country’s next popular youth author, Prix is arming the next generation of readers with a great start to a wonderful series. Season of Crows series, the first novel, Evershade, is available in Barry County, Missouri, and on Amazon and Kindle.

O N T H E S QUA R E

Tomblin Jewelry & Gifts Cassville, Missouri 417-847-2195 December 2016 • January 2017 | 55


Moxie Media is the home of Local Wildlife™ The Dirt Road Preservation Society™ Clucking Classy™ Apparel, home goods, cards, gifts, humor, and whimsy. Available online at www. cluckingclassy.com, Rags to Riches Flea Market and The Rustic Gypsies, also in Anderson, Mo. Contact for custom work at moxie@ cluckingclassy.com

Doug Hall’s Log Cabin Gallery Specializes in Woodland Indians paintings. Hwy. 59 Neosho, Mo. sales@ doughallart.com 888-678-8803 www.doughallfineart.com

Chadan Tomlin Creations Aspiring teenager, Chadan Tomlin works with various mediums, including paintings and pottery. Has been featured at Spiva Art Center. Text only 417-356-0771 or chadantomlin@gmail.com

OK Custom Furniture Rustic, Country, Farmhouse furniture and wooden signs See their art on Facebook and Etsy – Found at Dirt Road Diva in Grove, Okla. and Rags to Riches Flea market in Anderson, Mo. 417-669-2914 okcustomfurniture@gmail.com 56 |

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Past Designs Loom Creations of various sizes: table mats to custom area rugs. Hand loomed to order. Ruth and Tim Field – 417-499-4824

Bob Weeks Handcrafted Brooms Grown and crafted by hand, 918-786-3262

Jim Sexton His signature gallery at Parkwood Art & Frame, 3 Parkwood Drive, Suite B, Holiday Island, Ark. Jim works in watercolor, oil and acrylic and offers custom framing of art and fabrics. 479-363-6104 jimbets@cox.net


K & B Honeybees

Katrina Williamson Purses Katrina Williamson, of Rock Creek Boutique, has been sewing handcraft purses for three years. As well as the purses she has on hand, she takes custom orders as well, and designs purses and bags of all shapes and sizes. She works with various materials, and specializes in inspirational Christian designs. Call her at 417-3422897 or find her on Facebook at Rock Creek Boutique.

Galleries

Produces Local Raw Honey and products. An exciting new product they have is fruit spun honey, made with real fruit and honey. This pure spread with just honey and fruit retains a smooth spreadable consistency. Available in Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cinnamon -- and more flavors all the time! Call 417-847-5464, or find them on facebook.

Jett Hitt: Classical Composer Ozark born Classical Composer & Yellowstone Outfitter. Available at www.yellowstoneCD.com, and on Amazon. jett@yellowstone.ws 406-223-3300

Local Color Art Gallery & Studio in the Gryphon Building

Designs by Nadine: Art – One of a Kind

Featuring local artists and various mediums (pottery, painting, sculptures, woodworking) 1027 S. Main St. Joplin, Mo. 417-553-0835 www.localcolorartgalleryjoplin.com

Nadine Warner - Pineville Commissioned Acrylic Paintings – Ozark Nature Scenes lnwarner@yahoo.com 417-223-4320

Wishing Spring Gallery & Gifts Featuring artists and authors from NWA and SWMO 8862 W. McNelly Road, Bentonville, Ark. 479-273-1798 www.wishingspringgallery.org

The George A. Spiva Center for the Arts

Legg Studio & The Master’s Easel Art Academy Jeff Legg, specializing in Oil Paintings, located in Rogers, Ark. www.jefflegg.com

If you’re in Barry County, I’m for you.

Chad Yarnall (417) 847-3399

Featuring exhibits and art by local artists 222 W. 3rd Street Joplin, Mo. 417-623-0183 www.spivaarts.org

83 Spring Street Bronze Sculptors Mark and Eli Hopkins 83 Spring Street Eureka Springs, AR. www.83springstreet.com 479-253-8310 sales@83springstreet.com December 2016 • January 2017 | 57


Following the Hickory Smoke Trail

BY JESSE WOODROW

BUZZ’S BARBECUE Nevada, Missouri

There are folks that say our country is divided. That we can’t agree on things. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that people love a good barbecue sandwich. Smokey, sweet and tender – it’s something that’s awfully hard to resist. It can make me pull off the freeway and drive for miles to find the source of that barbecue aroma. Carefully smoked pig meat requires serious dedication. Honestly, I think the older I get, the more I want to just taste the plain smoked pork with a little sauce on the side. If it's done right, it’s delicious all by itself. Our standard, for taste testing, is a a pulled pork sandwich on the house bun, with dab of coleslaw right on top, sauce on the side and an iced tea. I'm here to talk about barbecue in the Ozarks. I'd like to keep this feature going each issue, highlighting new discoveries. Please feel free to send us suggestions, I'm always looking for an excuse to try out a new smoked pork destination! Some of the ground rules are: The meat be cooked and pulled or sliced on site (preferably at the time of ordering). It must be smoked with wood, of any kind. It must be served plain, not steeped in sauce. Points will be lost for microwaved, re-grilled or steam tray stored meat. I really like to patronize local, independent restaurants, but I'll try anyone's “Q”, if I've heard good things about it. Score is out of 100 possible points.

If you live around here, you know it’s pronounced nevAyda, not nevahda. This is Missouri barbecue, not Las Vegas. And don’t let the buzzard on the sign fool you, this is fresh, juicy smoked meat, no roadkill here. It’s a big place – reminds me of a refurbished Shoney's, or Denny’s restaurant. It was neat, clean and had good service. I ordered my pulled pork sammich with a grilled veggie skewer, of all things. It was piled high, with a big dollop of mayo-style slaw on top. The bun was a jumbo burger bun, brushed with butter, to my best estimation. There was so much meat on that bun, I couldn’t even finish it all. For me, that’s no mean feat. Musta’ been those grilled veggies got me filled up. The sauce was mild, but very good, the meat was smokey, juicy and flavorful. My tea was a little weak, and they served it in a waxed paper cup, so they lose a couple points for that. Anyone knows that tea should be served in one of those bumpy red plastic Coke tumblers, with the logo half wore off, then transferred into a white styrofoam cup for the “to go” part of the meal. No kidding, good meat, nice place, good service. I give it a 91.

Your Real Estate Source Residential • Commercial Farms • Land Developer

Get Outside the Box... Find the Home of Your Dreams! 58 |

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417-451-SWMO (7966)

1241 N Business 49 • Neosho, Missouri

Kevin VanStory, Broker


Send restaurant recommendations and comments to ozarkhheditor@gmail.com, or mail to Ozark Hills and Hollows, P.O. Box 214, Exeter, Mo 65647.

BIG BALDY’S Monett, Missouri Big Baldy's is located in an old shopping center off the Hwy. 60 service road next to the Justin Boot Outlet in Monett (you can insert your shoe leather joke here at any time). It’s got that chuck wagon kind of decor, with a mule collar on the wall, rustic furniture, and a big old recycled propane tank smoker in the front parking lot. The full name is Big Baldy’s Bac Woods Barbecue. Now I have known a lot of hillbillys in my day, but I’ve never seen anyone spell Bac Woods without the K. Without the C maybe. Just saying. And they have a big espresso machine behind the counter, with all of those fancy flavored syrup bottles too. So I was a kind of confused as to what I could expect from BB. My sandwich was a little soggy, and not very well crafted. I suspected it came from a steam tray, or even worse, a crock pot, which is a major foul. The bun was standard issue, and the slaw was nothing special. The sauce was ok, but it didn’t make up for the lackluster pulled pork. I know Big Baldy has some loyal fans, but I didn’t think it was worth writing home about. I think with a little revamping, they could up their game pretty easily. My grade on this ‘wich was a 78. When I come back, I’ll get the brisket. It tastes fresher, and it’s a cut above the pork. Room for improvement, but I’m not giving up on them.

BIG RUB Rogers, Arkansas I’ve had ordinary, and I’ve had extraordinary. This place puts the extra in extraordinary. Imagine a Walmart supercenter in northwest Arkansas. You turn the corner after entering those big glass doors, and smell – Barbecue! They removed the Subway, or McDonald's, and put in a relocated food truck eatery. There are red picnic benches, TVs and country music on the speakers. This place is an anomaly in a world of ordinary. To be honest, this is traditional barbecue with a hipster twist. There are lots of truckstop gourmet items on the menu, and some are pretty crazy. Crushed doritos, chorizo, white brisket sauce and cherry barbecue sauce are some of the funky ingredients they put on their tacos and sandwiches. But seriously, folks. From the grilled bun to the juicy, melt in your mouth meat, to the red onion relish, this sammy kicked some serious butt – pork butt that is. Long smoked, and slow cooked, just like it ought to be, this is some world class barbecue. I have to applaud Wally World for giving these guys a chance, and for reminding us that we can get food fast, that’s not fast food. Great service, fresh, innovative food, and a reverence to the classic pig meat creation that keeps us barbecue junkies in hog heaven. I give it a 98 out of 100. Run, don't walk, to Big Rub in the Pleasant Grove Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, before they change their minds. Wonders never cease. Best wishes for a satisfying and delicious holiday season. Happy smoked pork bingeing!

YOU GET THE MEAT

WE'LL BRING

THE HEAT

WEDDINGS | FAMILY REUNIONS CHURCH FUNCTIONS | PARTIES COMMUNITY EVENTS | AND MORE!

SMOKER FOR HIRE Turn your event into a party to remember while turning your meat into juicy, mouth-watering, smokey tenderness that will thrill your guest. We will bring our smoker on site, and provide you with the igniter, wood and everything else you need to prepare succulent, savory, hardwood smoked pork shoulder, hams or chops, tender, juicy, flavorful chicken, melt in your mouth smoked beef brisket, spiced rubbed and slow cooked to perfection.

SERVING SOUTHWEST MISSOURI

For pricing and availablility, call 417-652-3129 December 2016 • January 2017 | 59


OUR READERS ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS

Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America

Covering and Distributing all across Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, and the entire Ozarks Region. Always available online at www.issuu.com/ozarkhillsandhollows

Available on news-stands throughout the region and bordering states with A subscriber base that is growing with every issue published. We also provide free issues to all advertisers and in the local distribution area at the following locations: Chamber of Commerce Offices, Banks, Community Centers, Libraries, Restaurants, Hospitals and Medical Centers, Welcome Centers, Tourist Attractions, and others.

Our goal is to provide the finest quality content, building a loyal readership that anticipates reading every issue cover to cover. 417-652-3083 | P.O. Box 214 Exeter, MO 65647 | ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com

www.ozarkhillsandhollows.com

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Holler from the

Hills

Got something you want to share? Send letters and photos to Ozarkhhart@gmail.com, or mail them to: Ozark Hills and Hollows, P.O. Box 214, Exeter, Mo 65647

Jeff Sutherland turned a beautiful fall day in the Ozarks into a wonderful opportunity to propose to his girlfriend, Natalie Blake. He popped the question on Signal Mountain in the beautiful Ozark National Forest of Arkansas. Congratulations Jeff and Natalie, and thank you for the beautiful photos!

Eastern Screech Owl in Eagle Rock, Missouri. Taken by wildlife writer and photographer, Terry Jamieson of Ozark, Missouri. December 2016 • January 2017 | 61


Christmas in a

Victorian Home BY SHERRY LEVERICH PHOTOS BY ROB LOTUFO

Beautiful throughout the year, but made extra-special during the Christmas Season, join us as we take a tour.

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T

Though the Christmas tree tradition was around long before this era, it was always a part of a Victorian celebration. Home-made cones made from wallpaper scraps were filled with candy treats, ribbon candies themselves were hung as well as cookies and strung popcorn, fruits and nuts. Lace and ribbon embellishments, paper chains, and paper or lace angels would adorn the tree top.

he Parsons family welcomes you with an open door, and a step back in time. The Christmas decorated home is filled with meaningful and handcrafted items that take us back to a time when some of our most beloved holiday traditions began. Even though Victorian design and décor can sometimes seem overly ornate, each element tells of their commitment to family, tradition and making every guest, relative or visitor feel welcome and loved. The Parsons’ love of Victorian homes has spanned their lifetimes. Glenn said, “I grew up in a Victorian house in Wisconsin, it was built in 1866.” Ann’s grandparents owned a Victorian, and she grew up admiring that era as well, “I was raised and went to school in Arkansas City, Kansas – reading Gothic novels.” The Parsons’ met in Kansas, married in 1982 and started a family. Glenn pursued his career in mechanical engineering, and Ann as a journalism and English teacher. Since moving to the Ozarks, the Parsons have taken on Victorian home restoration projects in Eureka Springs, Crane as well as their current home in Monett. When the couple visited the home in Monett’s historic district seven years ago, they really weren’t looking for another restoration project, but that changed. “I walked in the front door, looked around, and we knew...,” admitted Glenn. Glenn and Ann took on the project, even though the house was nearly condemned. Ann, who explained that the house was a George Franklin Barber designed home, said, “The craftsmanship of a Victorian home is incredible. They were built to last, and built to serve.” Glenn also added, “There was no electricity when these houses were built. The way they are constructed utilizes natural light – they are efficient for heating and cooling, the high ceilings – the transoms in doorways.” The original owner, Dr. West, used the home as the town’s first doctor’s office. Two years ago, the couple also purchased the more Craftsman-styled home across the street from their Victorian and have restored it as well. Both homes are filled with historically relevant furnishings and elements that hearken of the by-gone era. Thank you Glenn and Ann, for hosting us in your beautiful home filled with treasures of the past. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. December 2016 • January 2017 | 63


Glenn explained, “Receiving oranges in your stocking used to be something special,� noting that at one time oranges were uncommon and considered a real treat to get in your stocking.

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Ann’s mother, Connie Shanks, of Arkansas City, Kansas, is a talented China painter. Connie has won many awards, and has taught China painting for years as well. China Painting was a common pastime for a Victorian era woman.

A Victorian set dinner table includes “crackers” for each guest. The dinner tradition started in England, and a cracker is usually filled with some candies, and small gifts as well, as a memento of the festivities.

Christmas cards and other paper novelties became popular during this time. Glenn explained that this paper nativity scene is an actual relic of the Victorian era. Over 100 years old, this paper centerpiece has aged very well. December December 2016 2016 •• January January 2017 2017 || 65 65


FH

ROM the

OLLOW

American Christmas traditions have altered in the course of time, though some have remained constant. I know a lot of people write about past holiday traditions, but I thought I would still throw my pen scratches onto the published pile. I was telling someone the other day how just a handful of decades ago it was common to wait until Christmas Eve to put up the Christmas Tree. Compare that with today’s “day after Thanksgiving” trend. In our house, we don’t put up the tree until mid-December, but I have always ignored trends. Of course, before the 1900s most people’s Christmas Tree was small enough to place on a table. Toys were often hung on the tree, as well as placed in the stockings, which gives one an idea of common gift size. Fruit was also a 66 |

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common item found drooping from the holiday branches. Today, many people still put fruit in stockings at least, though I don’t think the kids get as excited about it anymore. Sometimes lighted candles were strung with wire around the tree. Makes me thankful for LED electric lights. Gifts were often simple and homemade. Baked goods made with sugar were a special treat. An extra treat was sugar candy. Many presents were practical as well, such as hand-knitted mittens. We still give practical gifts today, like socks, but that usually isn’t all we receive. Gift-giving, by the way, didn’t become popular until the mid-1800s, and for some time it was mostly children who were the recipients.

Needless to say, the Christmas trees weren’t artificial. Cedar trees are “the” traditional Christmas tree of the Ozarks, according to everything I have read, and by my own experience. Growing up in the hills of McDonald County, Missouri, we always had a cedar tree for Christmas, cut from our own land, every year. No exception. For a long time I wasn’t aware there was any other kind of Christmas tree (except for the odd relative or two who put up a “fake” tree, as we called them). Today, my wife and I alternate years. On my years, it is Ozark Christmas, which means a live cedar Christmas tree, of course. On her year, we get a live fir or spruce. Homes were also decorated with live greenery from outdoors, adding to the Christmas experience. Our sense of smell can be just as important as sight and sound when it comes to awakening the holiday spirit. I don’t have to tell you that Christmas used to be considered much more of a religious day. Bringing food and gifts to the poor, in between reciting Bible readings of the Christmas story and attending church services, was very common, though many people still do all of those things today. Shooting off firearms on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in celebration was a popular activity, at least in many rural areas. By my experience and observation it still is in some cases, as extended family members hold friendly shooting competitions before or after Christmas dinner, depending on when dinner is served. One thing I have never done, however, is blow up an anvil on Christmas Day, which was another popular holiday activity. The instructions were simple: Turn anvil upside down. Fill hollow base with gunpowder. Carefully turn anvil right side up on ground. Light fuse to the gunpowder. Run. Watch anvil fly into air. I haven’t seen any carolers in years – and then only once on an organized occasion - but it wasn’t that long ago that people used to gather outdoors with friends and sing Christmas songs on street corners and in front of homes and businesses. Does anyone still do that anymore? Sixteen percent of Americans say yes, by the way, according to a national poll. We still hold on to a few longtime traditions, however. As I mentioned, we


still hang stockings (at least I hope most people do). As a society, we still help the poor and go to church services around the holidays (even if we don’t do either all the rest of the year). We still have big Christmas dinners, albeit what is on the table may vary. Turkey long ago replaced the goose as the traditional Christmas entrée in the United States, but some people today prefer ham or something else entirely on Christmas Day. We still give Christmas cards, which is a tradition that became really popular in the mid to late 1800s, though even that is falling by the wayside these days. School children still hold Christmas programs. Mistletoe still dangles over many doorways, though people may not follow the “rules” anymore when caught beneath it. We still drink eggnog (both spiked and virgin) around this time of year. We still set up nativity scenes to remember Christ’s birth. To wrap this up, I can't help but include just a few old Ozark Christmas superstitions that I hope you might remember as we get closer to the special season. On Christmas morning, try to be the first to say “Christmas gift!” to anyone you see. This tradition may have originated during hard times in the Ozarks when there wasn’t an actual gift to give. At exactly 3 a.m. on Christmas morning, listen for the roosters crowing. They only do that at this particular time on this particular day. Celebrate “Old Christmas” on Jan. 6 (“New Christmas” is Dec. 25). At midnight on Old Christmas, cows kneel and wild bees hum in a special manner to celebrate Christ. So goes the old belief. Pay attention to the weather on Christmas Day. It is supposed to reflect the weather of the following summer (New Year’s Day does too. I don’t know what happens if they conflict.) However, a mild Christmas supposedly isn’t good for human life. There is a very old Ozarks saying, which I have read but never heard, that goes “a green Christmas makes a fat graveyard.” Everyone have a very Merry Christmas!

We love the Ozarks and we know you do too! What defines Ozark living to you? Is it a Sunday drive through the rolling hills, or a 20-mile bike ride on the rural backroads? It is camping by the river, jet-skiing across the lake, or catching crawdads in the creek? Maybe your favorite thing is just enjoying porch-sitting at sunset with a glass of ice-tea. Send us photos that define our Ozark hills and hollows and we’ll share them with our readers.

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Berry Delicious, All Year Long P E R S I M M O N H I L L FA R M

berries and shiitake mushrooms. As an outsider looking in, I observe Earnie’s sincerity toward his guests as he engages in conversation. He treats every guest as family and his farm proves to be more than a business, but his passion. Across the bakery, we sat down at a table, and my view directed toward the floor-to-ceiling windows, across the lush and fruitful hills and hollows of the area. Earnie explained to me the history of the farm – him and his wife, Martha, lived in Seattle, Washington, and in Springfield, Missouri, when they discovered the property. They purchased it, and like the resolve of a persimmon tree, they reclaimed the land (which was going into development) for farming. Hence the name, Persimmon Hill Farm. Later, in 1982, they planted two acres of blueberries and one acre of blackberries. During the early 80’s, blueberries lacked the popularity of today, but the Bohners remained persistent and the brainstormed methods of using berries year round. They began transforming their berries into jams and syrups which allowed the Bohners to employ labor during the off-season.

T

STORY BY KAYLA BRANSTETTER

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he window to my vehicle opened onto an expansive view over the Ozark Mountains and of Lampe, Missouri, as I followed the bear signs to the welcoming Persimmon Hill Berry Farm. The gray, inauspicious clouds foreshadowed more rain, but the threat failed to deter visitors from this charming berry farm complete with a bakery. One of the farms owners, Earnie Bohner, greeted me at the bakery, and as I walked toward him, I noticed a window allowing visitors and guests to observe bakers engaged in their craft, baking the farm’s famous Blueberry Thunder Muffins, complete with cinnamon sugar topping. Inside the dining area, the décor centered on syrups, juices, drinks and other products created from their

Besides the crops of blueberries and blackberries, the Bohners produce elderberries, which currently the University of Missouri is conducting research on the benefits. Elderberries and elderberry juice serves as an antiinflammatory, helps with viruses such as colds and influenzas, along with helping stroke victims and individuals with Alzheimers. Earnie allowed me to try an elderberry, fresh from the elderberry plant. The combination of sweetness and tartness exploded in my mouth. I have never tasted anything like a fresh elderberry.


Berries are not the only area of the Bohners’ expertise, but shiitake mushrooms as well. A gentleman by the name of Erwin Null mentioned the idea of growing and producing shiitake mushrooms, and the Bohners applied and received the Rural Economic Grant to start producing the shiitake mushrooms.

After describing the shiitake mushrooms, we walked to the site of where they grow them. The scene opened into an enchanting forest mirroring the ancient Orient practice. To better explain, Earnie cuts logs – primarily oak – in which to grow the mushrooms. He drills holes in the wood and fills the hole with sawdust spawn for the inoculation, or colonization, of the mushrooms. The Bohners use the “lean-to-staking” method, under the trees, to grow and fruit their mushrooms. At peak, they produce approximately 100 pounds of mushrooms per week. They use their mushrooms for their awarding-winning mushroom sauce. They serve the sauce and their specialty, shiitake mushroom quesadillas, all produced in their on-site bakery and kitchen. The inspiration behind the bakery began with Kanakuk Kamps, when one of the parents inquired about breakfast. So, they began making muffins and slowly established their bakery. Five years ago, the farm expanded and added a kitchen to serve breakfast and lunch. If visitors and guests cannot make the trip to their farm and bakery, the following businesses sell their products: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, Mama Jean’s Health Food Store in

Springfield, Price Cutters in Springfield, St. Louis International Airport, and Stonehill Winery in Branson. As my visit concluded, I tried the famous Blueberry Thunder Muffin, and I highly recommend these fresh, delicious, rich and soft muffins complete with the ripest blueberries as a gift for anyone. The flavor, fresh and pleasing, leaves me satisfied and eager for more. On my way out, I see the berry bushes planted in perfect lines, complete with berries sprinkled with water by the summer’s rain. Everyone arriving to the berry farm must feel compelled to rush into the berry fields and begin picking

and taste testing these little fresh and fulfilling fruits. And this image inspires the Bohners’ decision to allow guests to visit and pick their own berries. Earnie mentioned their desire to allow children to run through the fields, picking berries and creating a fun memory of visiting a farm. The leisure of this place, the ease of ordering farm fresh food with the freshest ingredients, and the casual atmosphere, inspires guests to engage in conversation and enjoy the relaxation and fun the farm offers. To the Bohners, their farm proves to be more than a farm, but a passion, and they truly enjoy sharing their passion with others.

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HILLS BY LARRY DABLEMONT

He Was a Poet, and Didn't Know It I have noticed that poetry was once very popular in the outdoor magazines that I have written for. Old outdoor magazines from decades ago carried quite a bit of it. You won’t see that much nowadays. I figure that if you can sell poetry to any magazine in this era, you have accomplished something comparable to selling a poodle to a market hunter.

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However, few of us poets are out for money or acclaim. Take Elizabeth Barrett Browning or Robert Louis Stevenson, who actually made very little money – or if they did it surprises me! Not trying to change the subject, but have you ever noticed how famous poets had really long names? If you’ll remember, when you were a kid in school, no teacher ever had you reading poetry by a Bob Smith or Bill Jones. Everyone who wrote poetry had long names with a middle name in there to make it sound more impressive. That’s one reason why I believe I could have made it big if folks hadn’t got sick of poetry just about the time I was born. My name is as long as anyone’s, especially if you use the original French spelling. Larry Arthur Dableaumonte’ contains almost as many letter as that Browning woman’s name. And half the time her poetry never rhymed, while I never once wrote a poem that didn’t. To tell the truth, lots of that poetry we had to read in junior high never made a lick of sense either, and we had to spend all our time trying to figure out some hidden meaning from something you couldn’t get any meaning out of in the first place. Well, no one can say my poetry doesn’t make just as much sense as anything else I write! You may well be asking yourself what all this has to do with the outdoors, if you have gotten this far – just bear with me. You know how much I like to hunt ducks this time of year, and how much I like to write poetry, so a few years ago I decided to write some poems while sitting in my duck blind wishing there were a few ducks around. Then I got the idea of publishing some poetry for the waterfowler – poems that really rhyme and are so simple that any duck hunter can understand them, even duck hunters from Arkansas and Louisiana. They’d be poems published in a little waterproof paperback so that a hunter can take it into the marsh with him and pull it out during slack periods to get a little inspiration or soothe his frayed nerves after tearing a hole in his best waders. You can probably think of a hundred different times you would have enjoyed sitting back and reading some duck-hunting poetry in a remote

duck blind, just you, your dog, and a cup of hot soup. Here then are some samples of what you might find in the pages of such a book, each and every poem so simple and easy to understand no literature teacher would ever strain to find any hidden meaning in it anywhere. And best of all, each and every poem rhymes. This first one was inspired by something that actually happened to me. At this point, I have entitled the first one, “Poem Number One,” which might give you some insight into the title of the next one. If you’re sitting back in your favorite easy chair with your pipe lit and your old Labrador sleeping by the fireside, here goes… In the darkness just before the dawn, we’re ready for the hunt. The boat is in the water, filled with everything we’d want. There’s a norther headed southward, and the ducks are down, they say. There’s little time to waste, because, the blind’s two miles away. The Labrador is in the boat, three dozen decoys sacked. The lunch box—overfilled again, with baloney, cheese, and crackers. A feller gets plumb hungry, when he’s out there huntin’ quackers. We’ve got pump-guns in their cases, Got the 10-horse on the boat. Heavy socks and gloves and waders, and a goose-down huntin’ coat. Shells, we’ve got aplenty, two’s and fours - steel shot. So crank that dad-blamed motor, or is there something we forgot? You can hear the ducks aflyin’, daylight’s comin’ fast. We brought some of dang near everything, But not one darn ounce of gas!

You’ll like this next one if you are old enough to remember the point system, back when drake mallards were worth 25 points, so you could shoot four. Then there were some 100-point ducks too, the redheads and canvasbacks. You could only have one of them. This next poem, known as “Poem Number Two,” is based on that old point system, and the kind of luck I’ve had since I was born.


Shootin’ hours are on us, two ducks across the spread. One flies off unblasted, the other falls stone dead. Ol’Blackie’s gone to get ‘im, best retriever there could be. By the time my buddies get a duck, I may have two or three. Them federal boys, they done all right. This point system, it’s okay. Shoot pintail, teal, and widgeon, and you can hunt all day. All in all, it suits me fine, but there’s one place where they blundered A greenhead’s only twenty-five points, but a canvasback’s a hundred. Yeah, shootin’ hours is just begun, there’s mallards streakin’ south. And here comes ol’ Blackie, proud as punch, with my limit in his mouth. So I’ll take my canvasback and go, but I’ve got an awful hunch, If it’d been a flock of mallards, I’d a missed the whole dang bunch.

This last poem may the best of all because it deals with a modernday phenomenon known as a Ducks Unlimited Banquet. Frankly, I have been to several, and nothing ever made me feel any poorer. I couldn’t even afford to bid on some of the door prizes! And I never have partaken of alcoholic beverages, partly because of that same reason. A glass of tea will only run about 40 cents, and I’ve seen some of my cousins spend enough on one drink to buy most of the coffee I’ll drink ‘til after turkey season. But they say the drinks loosen you up a little bit, to help you have a good time and not worry about spending a little money for the good cause of buying habitat for the ducks. One night, one of my cousins got so loosened up he bought a German Dratthaar pup, thinking it was a foreignmade shotgun. This poem isn’t so much about what happened at the banquet, it’s an account of a very traumatic encounter one of my cousins had as he returned home. I call this one, “The Banquet”.

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The D. U. Banquet was held last week, and my wife warned me in advance,

I dealt it a chop to the base of the skull. A hard knee and a cross-body press,

That if I bought any guns, or come home drunk, I’d be takin’ an awful chance.

But he met my attack with a defense superb, and I lay at its feet in the grass.

Rememberin’ my Spouse’s wise advice, I only drank a few.

With a will to live that was stronger than death, I rose to continue the fight

But due to a flat and bridge washed out, I got home some time after two.

The stone-age man was awakened in me, as we traded fierce blows in the night.

I parked the car in the neighbor’s lawn, just to keep from disturbing my wife,

And just as I seemed at the end of my strength, as I stood at the brink of defeat.

But awaiting me in the darkness, was a struggle for my very life.

One last crashing blow from my lightning right fist, brought the thing to its end at my feet.

For there on the lawn in the moonlight, sat a beast with a horrible face.

I staggered wearily into the house and collapsed in a heap on the bed.

And I knew in a minute that thing in the grass was a creature from outer space.

And when I awakened the following morn, I looked up at my wife and I said,

It sat low on the ground with four short legs. Its torso was solid and square,

Thank heavens you’re safe, dear, and how are the kids?” She replied that they too were all right.

With a little round head and along shiny tail, that stuck straight up in the air.

So then I poured forth the shocking details of my clash with the beast in the night.

My only thought was my wife and kids, as the blood flowed hot in my veins.

My wife looked at me with suspicion and said, “Your story’s the truth, I can tell.

With a snarl on my lips and fire in my heart, I became a murderous fiend.

For there are signs of a struggle outside on the lawn, and the mower is torn all to hell”

Well I guess that’s a good one to end on, sort of an Edgar Allen Poe type of poem. Most of the rest of them aren’t as grim as that one was. If you duck hunters out there would like to write some of your own poetry, don’t hesitate to do so. Don’t send any of it to us though, we probably have more than we need. Of course we could always use some good stuff on bird dogs. Did you ever notice there hasn’t been much poetry written about bird dogs? December 2016 • January 2017 | 71


Stand Watie, and the Oldest Wind MY VISIT THAT BROUGHT THIS OLD CEMETERY TO LIFE STORY BY STAN FINE

I

often find that traveling the Ozarks backroads can lead me to the most interesting places. Those places seem to be untouched by time and are occasionally discovered to be the resting places for closely held secrets. If you take the backroad traveling southwest from the small southwest Missouri town of Southwest City heading to Grove, Oklahoma you will find one such place; a place that holds so much significance for one person, Nancy Brown. I recently heard some talk about a man who was considered to be an iconic figure. The man, who had a connection to Southwest City, had a strange sounding name which I had never before heard, Stand Watie. Always interested in the discovery of ideas for a new story I perused the matter and learned that a woman by the name of Nancy Brown may be of some help. I contacted Nancy and told her I was interested in learning more about a famous and historical figure. Before I finished my sentence Nancy blurted out, “sure, I know all about Stand Watie, I am a descendent of his.” I began the start of a question about the man but once again Nancy interrupted me. “If you want to know about Stand Watie and hear his story I suggest we meet at a cemetery, Polson

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Cemetery, located between Southwest City and Grove. Once there, the story will come to life.” The story would come to life in a cemetery? Those words smacked of irony however you may think me somewhat ghoulish when I say that I relish the thought of walking the grounds of an old and isolated cemetery so I eagerly accepted the invitation. I asked for directions to the place where the story would be told and Nancy said in a rather matter of fact tone, “just turn onto Cherokee Street in Southwest City and drive about three miles. You can’t miss it.” Can’t miss it, I recalled some directions I had received in the past, “ go a ways down that old road and it’s just a piece past where the old Wilson’s barn once stood before the tornado of 1964 blew it away.” I took Nancy’s words, “You can’t miss it,” as gospel and arranged to meet her at the cemetery the following day. I got to the old cemetery a little early, and quite by design, so I could have some time alone to walk the rows of grave markers. A metal sign stood at the entrance of the grounds and near the top it read “Polson Cemetery.” The bottom of the metal structure had two words, “Ridge” on one side and “Watie” on the other.

A stone slab bit of rock with the look of a monument rose almost six feet above the ground, and stood at the entrance. The scribed words on the piece read “Stand Watie, Degataga OO-Watee.” As I stood there reading the words etched into the stone a car came to a stop and as I silently watched a woman exited and walked toward me. “Hi, are you Stan?” “Yes,” I replied, “and you must be Nancy.” “Yes, have you been waiting long?” “No, not long,” I replied. “This marker tells a brief story about my ancestor, Stand Watie,” I listened without interrupting as Nancy spoke. “He was a very prominent member of the Cherokee tribe and fought for the confederacy during the Civil War. His Cherokee name, Degataga OO-Watee, is inscribed on the stone. In English it means ‘He Stands.” As Nancy and I walked the grassy rows between the grave markers we talked and she gave to me the story of Stand Watie. Stand Watie was born in Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation land in Georgia on December 12, 1806. Watie’s father was Uwatie, The Ancient One, and his mother was Susanna Reese. Stand Watie spoke only the language of the Cherokees until the age of twelve when he learned to speak English at a Moravian mission school. In 1837 Watie and others of the Cherokee tribe left Georgia and established homes in eastern Oklahoma. This migration was to precede the infamous, “Trail of Tears,” in which the Cherokees who remained in Georgia were forced off their lands by the U.S. government. Over 4000 lost their lives during that tragic journey. Stand Watie was one of several Cherokee leaders who signed the Treaty of New Echota which relinquished ownership of the tribe’s Georgia land. Some however, considered that act to be of the most treacherous in nature. Revenge was planned and three of the treaty’s signatories were murdered including Stand Watie’s brother, Elias Boudinot, uncle, Major Ridge and cousin, John Ridge. Watie later shot and killed one the attackers and after a brief trial was acquitted of the act. As Nancy and I walked the cemetery grounds my guide directed my attention to the eight foot high obelisk which memorialized the life of the Cherokee and the lives of several family members. The slender block of stone stood but a few


feet from the place where Stand Watie was laid to rest. In addition to the name of Brig. Gen. Stand Watie the four-sided marker was also inscribed with the names of his wife, S. (Sarah) Watie, brother, C. E. (Charles) Watie, and daughter Jesse Watie. Nancy pointed to some stone markers a few feet away and said, “Major Ridge is buried there and John Ridge lies next to him.” Following a moment of silence and as if Nancy was trying to remember she pointed to some trees not far from the cemetery and said, “John Ridge was murdered in a clearing by that stand of trees.” With the outbreak of the hostilities between the north and south on April 12, 1861 Watie, and others of his tribe, found that their loyalties were with the confederacy. In 1861 Watie was commissioned as a colonel in the army of the Confederate States of America and organized a cavalry regiment that came to be known as the “Cherokee Mounted Rifles.” Stand Watie rose to the rank of brigadier general and heroically led his men in battle at such places as the Battle of Pea Ridge and the Battle at Cabin Creek. Watie and his predominately Cherokee staffed force fought in more battles west of the Mississippi River than any other unit serving in the confederate army. His men thought of him as invincible as he could often be seen defiantly riding his horse in range of enemy fire. He is recognized as the last southern general to surrender and signed a cease-fire agreement two weeks after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. As the nation struggled to heal in the years following the great and terrible conflict, Stand Watie served for a time as a Cherokee chief and traveled to Washington, D.C., where he spoke on behalf of his people. Watie remained a citizen of the Cherokee Nation until his death in 1871 when he died of natural causes. The more Nancy and I walked the more quickly she talked. It was if the words couldn’t be formed rapidly enough and she had so very much to say and there was very little time. She sometimes smiled and occasionally I thought I detected a bit of sadness as she talked about Major Ridge and others. It was as if she had once known these long ago departed ancestors. As Nancy and I said our goodbyes she said, “My grandfather began caring for the cemetery grounds in the early 1900’s. With his passing in 1966 my

father inherited those responsibilities and when he passed away in 1995 I became the hallowed ground’s caretaker.” As Nancy looked away from the cemetery grounds and out over the rolling fields and tree filled woods she said, “This land is sometimes called ‘Peter’s Prairie’ named for a man who was once, and long ago, a slave. This place has been important to my family for a long, long time.” Nancy’s words were spoken with honesty and sincerity and as she looked back at the cemetery grounds once more she said, “Good-bye.” I wasn’t sure if that last goodbye was meant for me or for the old Cherokees that quietly rested there in the ground. I appreciate the subtle nuances that the back roads offer; the narrow lanes, the curves, hills and valleys, the fields of grazing cows, the diverse and

sometimes peculiar style of homes and that yet undiscovered treasure that may lie just around the bend in the road. The treasure I recently found was called Polson Cemetery. With the passage of seven and sixty years I have come to a place in my life where I find that the road offering the quickest route to my destination is far less interesting and I choose not to take it. The less direct and less traveled path is so much more appealing to me and it offers the prospect of meeting the nicest and most interesting people, like Nancy. That longer road frequently affords me the opportunity to hear the most fascinating stories like the one of the Cherokee, Stand Watie. The story of the Cherokee Stand Watie is now carried on the breath of “Oonawieh Unggi, The Oldest Wind.” December 2016 • January 2017 | 73


May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow. Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness.

Merry Christmas!

From all of us at Ozark Hills & Hollows Magazine Special thanks to Ann Parsons, for letting us photograph her plate, painted in traditional China Painting methods, by her mother, Connie Shanks, of Arkansas City, Kansas.

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December 2016 • January 2017 | 75


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Ozark Hills & Hollows Dec 2016 • Jan 2017