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Archive for July, 2014

It’s been eight years, now, but still
I frequently think of a beloved pet
that passed away on this very day
in 2006. He was a dear furry friend
and “cat-companion.” Yes, I have
another, and she’s a sweetie who
keeps me company, but it’s just
not the same. You could say it
was a type of “first love” with
that previous buddy: he’s the one I’ll never forget.

In any event, as today is the anniversary of his passing, once
again I offer the following remembrance. It’s the same each
year, albeit with minor updates.

___________________________________

IN MEMORIAM

Twenty-some years ago, when I was living in Indianapolis, Indiana,
I discovered a stray cat sleeping now and then in an unused dog
house in my back yard. As time went on, I saw him more frequently,
and I began to set out some food. Occasionally, I’d come home
from work, and there he’d be out on the patio. At first, I’d let him
in, he’d casually walk around the room, and then head back out.

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Slowly but surely, he became
a regular visitor. Eventually,
he’d come inside, eat, take
a nap on my couch, and then
go back out. Soon we became
a team. He seemed to always
know when I had just gotten
home, for he’d show up
within minutes. Other times,
if I didn’t see him right away,
I would soon hear him. There’d
be meowing coming from one
direction or another, and all
I had to do was meow back,
and he’d come running. There
were many times when I came
home, and he’d be at the patio
door, waiting patiently to come in. And if I’d just had a long hard day,
I’d lie on the floor, he’d sit sphinx-like on my chest, and we’d have
ourselves a little cat nap. Before long, I’d come home, let him in,
and he’d stay until the next morning, when I’d be awakened by his
meowing to be let out. As cats go, it was a match made in heaven.

When I moved to New York, he came with me. On the plane, in the cabin.
In fact, during the next several years, whenever I’d go back and forth
to Indianapolis, he went with me. He didn’t mind flying. I’m sure being
in that cramped carrier, “placed under the seat in front” of me per airline
regulations wasn’t the greatest, but he knew that I was right there.

Several times I took him out (unbeknownst to the flight attendants,
of course), and he’d quietly and calmly sat in my lap. He’d even look
out the window. Like I said, we were a team.

In any event, to make this long story short…the point of all this is that,
eight years ago today (July 28) my beloved pal, this dearly-loved cat,
who had essentially adopted me, passed away. He’d never been sick
a day in his life, yet suddenly he became ill and was gone in
no time. It was devastating. Heartbreaking.

Kitty-Pooh, 1992-2006

Kitty-Pooh, 1992-2006

Since those early days in Indianapolis,
he had been my constant companion. He
went from being a mostly outdoor cat to
being a completely indoor one. He went
with me from one state to another, and
from one apartment to another and then
another. There was even that short time
spent in Jersey (what I refer to as my
homeless period). He was there as I
navigated the trials and tribulations of
life in the Big Bad City. Not to mention
all the ups and downs of pursuing an
acting career. He was there, too, when
my parents passed, first one, then the
other. And the loss of my beloved dog,
Casey. In short, for nearly 14 years he
was the one constant in my life.

And so, this is in honor of my beloved pal.
You were the bestest cat I could ever hope for. My handsome fella.
My gift from God. You are dearly loved and dearly missed.

_________________________

scan0006

nap time!

nap time!

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Okay. Time to stop dawdling. Which isn’t easy, seeing
as we’re in the midst of the lazy-hazy-days of summer!
In any event, here’s a follow-up to my recent “phantom”
Pepper Pot post
. Let’s get to it!

____________________

As several friends, colleagues, and blog commenters stated,
indeed, not only were there two subsequent editions of Sarah
Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife* (one in 1851 and another

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in 1855), but a Pepper Pot receipt was in each one, as well.
And yes, Karen Hess, author of The Carolina Rice Kitchen,
The African Connection
(1992) was aware of this. In fact,
she acknowledges that Mrs. Samuel G. Stoney, the compiler
of The Carolina Rice Cook Book (1901), “seems to have used
the third edition of 1855.” I was able to verify all this by first
re-reading the bulk of Hess’ ten-chapter narrative preceding
the facsimile of Carolina Rice, and then searching for, and
finding, those two other Housewife editions online. Although
I wasn’t able to read the Pepper Pot receipt in both, it IS
there (the 1855 could be read in its entirety for FREE, but
in order to go beyond the Table of Contents, where Pepper
Pot is listed, of the 1851 edition, I would’ve had to pay a fee!).
Nevertheless, save for a few minor changes in punctuation
and the like, Stoney’s version is nigh identical to Rutledge’s.
Of course, as with other second or tenth or 20th editions
of these historic cookbooks, I always wonder how much
input, if any, the original author actually had. In this case,
did Rutledge make these additions herself? Or did someone
else, perhaps the publisher, do it? After all, Rutledge died
in 1855, and that year’s edition had a different publisher
than the first two. I suppose we’ll never know. But such
uncertainty about provenance is why I prefer to use, if
possible, the first editions of any cookbook.

At the same time, I must say that I was puzzled as to why
Pepper Pot is in a rice cookbook, seeing as there’s NO rice
in it! At least not in any of the various receipts I’ve found,
whether in Rutledge’s work or another’s. Even Hess mentions

IMG_2594

at one point that there’s no apparent rhyme or reason as to why
some of the receipts are included. In any event, while pondering
this, I looked carefully again at the Carolina Rice Cook Book’s
Pepper Pot. And then it hit me. It’s been altered! Stoney (or
someone) modified the receipt so it’d fit in perfectly with the
whole rice theme by adding one little sentence at the very end:

“Serve with rice.”

tsk tsk, Mrs. Stoney! Revised history, did we?! **sigh**

I suppose, since the book was created as a tool for the Carolina
Rice Company and other Southern rice growers to promote their
products,** it makes perfect sense. Throw together a bunch
of receipts, add side dishes of rice, and call it a day. I guess
that’s one way to pad a book AND sell rice!

Ahh, well, so it goes…

______________________________

* The first edition of the Carolina Housewife was published in 1847.
**BTW Mrs. Stoney was the wife of the Chairman of the Carolina
Rice Kitchen Association. The cookbook was offered in pamphlet
form to visitors for 25 cents during the apparently-not-successful
South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition, which was
held in Charleston, SC from December 1, 1901 to June 20, 1902.

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I have a follow-up to my recent “phantom receipt” entry, but before I post it,
and seeing as it’s now July 4, I thought I’d once again share this fun video.
Rock on, Mr. Jefferson!

Happy Independence Day, everyone! HUZZAH!

______________________________

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