Saturday, December 21, 2013

Farm Story 7 Aunt Kate - Every Family Should Have One

The home for the new parlor sofa
Oh, Aunt Kate, wouldn't you have been fun to know?

     Aunt Kate was father George's sister.  She lived in the nearby town of Summit. Apparently, being a woman of the town, she  could very helpful if not wise when it came to picking out furniture.  The Burnett farm home's front room needed a new piece of furniture.  

     Mary's vision was a nice comfy couch. Wouldn't it be nice to have one that would cradle those who sat and warmed themselves by the parlor stove after a hard day's work? Or, one that held you as the spring breezes blew through the open window?Well, it would have been.

     Aunt Kate must have been visiting when the decision to choose new furniture was made. Somehow the selection of the couch was left up to Aunt Kate. Furniture choice reflects  a combination of personality and need.  Whose personality would be reflected if Aunt Kate was the one to make the choice? 

     Now, at this point knowing more about Aunt Kate brings a greater understanding of the story. Aunt Kate had a fondness for cigars.  Not just to look at of course, or inhale the first sweet whiff of smoke from a newly lit cigar. She could be found sitting next to the wood stove in the Burnett kitchen puffing away on her cigar.  And, when the end turned to ash she would reach on over and tap that cigar ash right into the stove. She was given the task of  picking  the perfect comfy couch.  Well, comfy? Maybe not.  Evidently cigar-smoking Aunt Kate was made of tougher stuff.   Tough lady, tough sturdy couch.

     Her couch choice was a leather-like green material, more sturdy than comfy.  Even though not at all what Mary had envisioned, the sofa was placed in the parlor. And tough like Kate, the sofa was right there until the house was emptied many years later.

For potato chip lovers a great recipe by Ellie Krieger adapted from Comfort Food Fix     
           Smoked Paprika Potato Chips 
Nonstick cooking spray
2 large russet potatoes (about 1-1/4 lb. total), unpeeled
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp sweet Spanish smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt

1. Oven 400°F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Slice the potatoes using a mandoline into very thin (1/16-inch) rounds. Rinse the potatoes well under cold water, then spread them on paper towels. Dry completely using more paper towels.

3. Whisk together the oil, paprika, and salt. Add the potatoes and toss to  coat evenly.

4. Spread the potatoes in a single layer onto the baking sheets.
Bake until the potatoes are crisp and browned and release easily from the baking tray, 12 to 30 minutes. Small variations in slice thickness can make a big difference in cooking time, check the trays after 8 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter to remove any chips that are already done, then return the rest to the oven if necessary. The chips will crisp further as they cool. Once cool, store in a paper bag for up to 3 days.