Well HOWDY-DO! Sugar Pie Darlin’! On my last post I talked about hoedowns and handpies…such a wonderful and delightful combination! Don’t you think we need a come-back of those old-timey, wholesome ways for families to have fun?! The boys in their farmer overalls and the gals in flower-printed country dresses a-whirlin’-and-a-twirlin’ on the old barn floor! Yee Haw! Yup, back in the day, Hoedown’s and Hand-pies were a weekly tradition, during the warm months of the year, on my hubby’s grandparents farm, in Bennington, Oklahoma. I just love thinking about it!
I love it when my mama-in-law Ruth tells me her back-in-the-day stories about her life on the farm in southern Oklahoma. This photo shows part of her family (there were a total of nine kids) from left to right is; Hazel-Marie, little Frances-Virdeen, Papa Maynard Cox, Little Neoma-Ruth (my mama-in-law), Mama Jennie Mae Archer Cox and big brother Roy-Ray. Frances and Ruth are wearing homemade dresses made from flour sacks. Ruth remembers mama taking her and her sisters to Jake Brown’s Mercantile to look at the variety of patterned cotton sacks of flour to pick out the color that they liked best. Then after emptying the flour into a bin, Mama would wash, starch and sew the flour sack fabric into sweet and simple farmgirl dresses.
As I said in my last post Mama Jennie Mae was very resourceful. Mama Ruth told me that whenever anyone became ill or had sprained a muscle, she would go into the woods to gather herbs and certain plants to make her own home remedies. How in the world did she know if the plant would help the person or make them sicker?? Perhaps the fact that her papa was 1/2 Cherokee Indian that she learned early on, living off the land, which ones had healing properties and which ones to stay away from.
She would bring the gathered leaves or twigs into her kitchen and add them to simmering water on the wood stove to make a broth, tea or ointment depending on the ailment. Back then folks had to rely on home remedies to get well or wait a week or two until the doctor came to town. Today we have the blessing of medical care ’round the clock! Even though the world has certainly advanced immensely in the field of medicine since the 1930’s I would rather take something natural, if possible, to help heal or prevent an ailment. That’s why I was so happy to have made a recent discovery for what some are calling “the miracle food”!
Have you ever discovered something or found a product that you are so thrilled with that you get a little giddy over it ...then you tell your friends about it only to hear their reply “Oh yeah, I’ve been using that for a few years now”. What?? A few years? Where have I been? And how come nobody told me about it?? Well, just in case you haven’t heard (but you probably have!), my new favorite natural product is EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL! Have you heard about it? Just say “no” to appease me! Hee-Hee! Well, I really do love this stuff so much….yeah, I kinda wanna marry it.
There are so many benefits to Extra Virgin Coconut Oil! According to Dr. Oz and other medical doctors it has been shown that:
~It increases good HDL Cholesterol
~Strengthens immune system
~Helps stabilize blood sugar
~ It’s Anti-bacterial & Anti-fungal–can use like Neosporin
~Aids in healing diaper rash
~Increases metabolism to loose weight
~Can help with Dementia and Alzheimer’s
~Can increase mental alertness and brain function
~Helps fade wrinkles
~It can heal blemishes
~Makes your hair silky soft
~It gives you energy
~Improves heart health
AND SO MUCH MORE!
The experts say that Coconut Oil is the healthiest oil to cook with, even more so than Olive Oil.
Look for this yummy veggie recipe using Coconut Oil here on Pinterest.
You can stir a tablespoon into oatmeal, coffee or tea…
Spread it on toast with jam…
Bake it into your muffins…(the same amount that you would use for the shortening or oil in the recipe)
Or you can eat it from a spoon! Okay so here’s the thing…I gag very easily…I’m a big, fat gag-baby if you wanna know… but I can actually eat it with something sweet on top…my husband and daughter, not so much…they cringe at this idea! (Now who’s the baby!) There is a slight coconut taste, and it is oil in a solid form but turns to liquid immediately in your mouth or on your hands. Just a spoonful of sugar (or Fruit Loops) makes the medicine (Coconut Oil) go down! Heehee!
You could get creative and top it with chocolate chips and an almond for a healthy version of Almond Joy!
But my favorite way to use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is to use it as a moisturizer on my face at night before I go to bed.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!
I cannot even believe how smooth my skin feels in the morning!!
You just need a tiny bit…about the size of a Cheerio, pretty much…then rub it in your hands, it will liquefy immediately… smooth it on your face, lips, arms, hands & feet. I purchased little travel containers at Walmart to keep some with me in my purse in place of lotion on my hands or as a lip balm.
And! You can use it to condition all your wooden spoons and cutting board! Love that!!
Well darlin’ don’t just take my word for it, do a little search on Google or Youtube and find out the facts for yourself (type “Health Benefits of Coconut Oil”. Watch this Youtube video! I just shared the tip-o-the-iceberg regarding all that it’s good for. If you want to try it make sure you get Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and not the refined version. I went to my local Walmart to get some but they only had the refined version. So I ordered mine on Amazon click here. You can also try finding it at a health food store. Coconuts are not something that Mama Jennie Mae could have grown on her Oklahoma farm, but I think she would have loved it just the same.
So tell me what is your favorite use for Coconut Oil? And/or what other natural products do you benefit from? Do tell!! (I need to find out if there’s something else I’m missing out on! Heehee!)
God bless your darlin’ heart!
Howdy Sugar Pies! Hooray for Lindsey @ Farmhouse Porch for winning the giveaway! Thank you so very much to all of y’all for joining in! I so enjoyed reading every one of your comments! Thank you for sharing about the things that you do at home that reflect a vintage way of living to bless your family. I’m so proud of all of you for doing those sweet things to preserve the warmth and goodness of home, sweet, home! You are making a positive impact on your family, our society and our nation! Keep up the good work! I was also excited to discover a few new blogs to check out that you shared for even more vintage inspiration! If you haven’t had a chance to read the comments on my last post ,please do, you’ll glean a happy harvest of wonderful old fashioned ideas!
Well, this week I got a hankerin’ to make Berry Sweet Hoedown hand-pies! You see, on Sundays we always take my spunky 80 year old Mama-in-law, Ruth, to church with us and then we usually head on over to Cracker Barrel for lunch(unless I’m making dinner at home). Well, this past week Mama Ruth shared a few stories with us, over a plate of steaming chicken n’ dumplings, about her happy childhood days growing up in the small farming town of Bennington, Oklahoma (close to the Texas border). She told how her mama, Jennie Mae, was quite a cook and of course made everything from scratch. She had chickens, hogs, a milk cow and a huge garden. She grew everything her family of TEN ate! The only food items that she purchased in town at Jake Brown’s Mercantile store were only the things she couldn’t grow herself (sugar, flour, salt, and clean, white lard for her pies). She made do with what she had, was very resourceful and would often say, “I use up everything but the squeal of a pig”. Jennie Mae’s specialty were her delicious cakes and pies that she baked every Friday. In her bustling household, the weekends always meant “company was comin’”. So the flour would fly and the rolling pin kept busy as she whipped up 6 pies…two fruit, two chocolate, two cream, along with 2 three-layer cakes and a couple dozen or so sweet berry hand-pies.
Here is my hubby’s sweet grandma, Jennie Mae Archer Cox standing with her hubby, grandpa Maynard Cox.
Ruth said her mama, Jennie Mae, had a huge berry patch that stretched 30 yards in the back of the house. They had such an abundance of berries, that Ruth couldn’t remember a time there wasn’t a bowl of fresh, juicy berries on the table at supper time.
She said her mama canned jars and jars of berries and stored them in the cool underground cellar…the place they ran to for safety whenever the dark, looming storm clouds gave an eerie hint of a possible tornado. The berry preserves, canned soups and vegetables provided the family nourishment through the winter and were always accompanied at the table with fresh n’ hot homemade biscuits and cornbread from the wood cook-stove. She made berry jams, berry syrup, and berry pie filling. With all this talk about berries my mouth was watering!
My mama-in-law Ruth told how every Saturday her family would hitch the horse to the wagon and head into town to catch up on neighborly news with friends and buy supplies at Jake Brown’s Mercantile. She remembers sometimes getting 10 cents to spend on some goodies and an ice-cream cone. They had to make it back home before nightfall to feed the chickens, milk the cow and get ready for the hoedown held weekly on Saturday nights at their homestead.
(Jennie Mae’s home looked very similar to this old farmhouse on the Oklahoma Prairie. This one has seen better days, but oh the stories it could tell!)
Company was comin’ so the whole family would pitch in to carry their table, chairs and even the beds outside in front of their farmhouse for the folks to sit on when they arrived. Jennie Mae would set out her delicious pies and cakes on the long harvest table. Almost every family brought an instrument to play…fiddles…banjos and guitars.
Every Saturday evening on the Cox’s homestead was filled with music, laughter and dancing under the Oklahoma stars in that little town of Bennington. Farm-folks knew how to have fun! Don’t you just know that Jennie Mae’s homemade pies, cakes and berry hand-pies were the talk of the town!
In honor of Grandma Jennie Mae, I whipped up a batch of berry hand-pies to brighten the grey of winter with a little summer sweetness! If only there was a happy hoedown to bring them to!
Berry Sweet Hoedown Hand-Pies
14 oz. package (or 4 cups) of mixed berries (or blackberries) Fresh or frozen
1 cup of sugar,
1/4 cup corn starch (sifted into pot)
1/4 cup water.
Stir well. Bring mixture to a boil until it thickens, stirring constantly. Let cool. Then add;
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 Tablespoon butter
While the berry mixture is cooling, make your pie crust. Trim and cut pie dough into quarters then fill each piece with 2 Tablespoons of berry filling. Seal, crimp and cut vents, chill hand-pies for 1/2 hour in fridge. Then baste with egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake at 425 for 15-17 minutes, until light golden brown.
Here’s how I made my berry hand-pies:
Bring the berry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until it thickens.
Turn off heat to cool.
Stir in 1 Tablespoon of salted butter. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest…I learned this yummy hint from the Queen of Pies, Linda Hundt, owner of Sweetie-licious bakery cafe in DeWitt, Michigan. The orange zest adds a bright, happy ray of sunshine to the flavor of the berries!
You’ll need a double crust (two single pie crusts) click here for my recipe or use your own favorite recipe. Roll out crust into two 12 inch circles, trim off the jagged edge with a knife.
Cut the pie crust circle into quarters and add two Tablespoons of the cooled berry filling in the center.
Seal the edge with water and fold over, pressing the edges together.
Make a pretty ruffled edge with the end of a wooden spoon by pressing firmly all around the hand pie, or you can use a fork.
With a sharp knife, make three cuts to let the steam vent. At this point it’s best to chill the hand-pies for a half hour in the fridge.
You can also freeze them at this point until the day you want to bake them, then follow the next few steps:
Whisk one egg and a tablespoon of water.
Baste the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash.
Generously sprinkle sugar on top. I used raw Turbinado sugar because its chunky and crunchy, but you can use what you have. Bake at 425 for 15 to 17 minutes. That’s it!
You might have a couple tablespoons of the filling left…if so, you can keep it in the refrigerator to spread on an English muffin or toast on another day… or just grab a spoon, sit yourself down and go to town sis-tah!
This recipe makes 8 hand pies. They are perfect for road trips, picnics and…hoedowns!
I found these sweet Glassine Wax Paper bags here and added a cute heart sticker. These bags are so old fashioned and would also be cute to package cookies too! I stacked them in this cute vintage red and white enamelware pan for a fun, farmy presentation.
Here’s to sweet Jennie Mae for blessing the hearts of Oklahoma farm-folks so long ago!
Thanks for stopping by for some
Berry Sweet Hoedown Hand-Pies!
Sending Sugar and hugs!