This is a vintage image of Leenane, County Galway, Ireland. The little town is located where the Atlantic comes inland in a very dramatic fashion. You drive through Leenane along the coast when you travel from Westport to Galway. The beautiful town of Clifden lies between the two.
It’s getting to be that time of year again. In my search for pumpkin recipes, I came across this one which is another sent to me by my cousin, Eleanor McGrew Brumm. One day I hope to put a family cookbook together with some of the more interesting photos, and a lot of these recipes will be found there. I always add white raisins and/or nuts to this recipe.
PILGRIM PUMPKIN CAKE
1 package spice cake mix
2 cups solid pack pumpkin
2 teaspoons soda
1/3 cup water (I sometimes substitute a little oil here for moistness)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat 30 seconds on low speed, then beat 4 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2 pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm topped with whipped cream.
I’ve been in County Donegal twice. The first time was in 2000 when we drove through on the way to Derry. I was drawn to go back and explore in 2006.
I took this photo on the way to the coast and it shows the contrast between the mountains (where the sheep often graze) and the farmlands below.
One thing I noticed in Donegal is that instead of building stone walls, they plant hedges mostly to create walls and partitions. That makes me think that perhaps there isn’t as much stone in this northern County.
Here is another recipe from cousin Millie Frances McMenus Ikerd, who lived on Route 66 in Conway, Missouri. I visited her several times before she passed away. I think she was 90. She sewed and made lovely children’s clothing for her neighbors, and she was a marvelous cook. This is her recipe for Chicken and Noodles, and she told me that she always made this when her family came home, making at least four time the amount listed here. She also took this dish to her church dinners at the Twlight Church which was just up the road from her house.
CHICKEN and NOODLES
Boil one large chicken and remove meat from the bone, shredding the larger pieces. “Make sure there is plenty of broth” after boiling.
Mix 2 or 3 eggs, 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add flour, and keep adding flour until you have a “real stiff” dough. Pinch small balls off the dough and roll very thin, cutting into 1/2 inch strips. Drop the strips into boiling chicken broth, and then add the chicken once all noodles are in the broth.
She gave me no other instructions, and I’ve had to make this a few times to get it right. The noodles do need to cook a few minutes in the broth before adding the chicken, but once done, it’s wonderful!
This is another photo I bought on the quays in Dublin. It is a group of Irish school girls and friends, as near as I can tell. The girl seated second from the right is wearing a cap and gown. There are light penciled names above and below the image. The names I can make out are Murphy, O’Shea, Kingston, Guilford and Begley. I have a lot of old images of Ireland, and one day I think I will donate them to the National Archives in Dublin.
If you like salmon, smoked or otherwise, this is a great party favorite!
8 ounces cooked salmon, flaked (smoked salmon can also be substituted)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1/8 teaspoon crumbled dry rosemary
Dash of white pepper
Dash of black pepper
Dash of cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
Mix all ingredients thoroughly except sour cream. Once the salmon mixture has been coated with all the ingredients, add sour cream and mix thoroughly again. Spoon into serving dish and cover with plastic wrap. Then refrigerate for several hours until ready to serve. Great served with toasted brown bread, crackers or vegetables.
NOTE: I have also used 1/4 cup cream cheese and 1/4 cup sour cream for this recipe instead of the full 1/2 cup sour cream.
Here is another photo I bought in the shop on the Quays in downtown Dublin many years ago. Two gents appear to be taking a breather on a rustic bridge either in a park or in the countryside. The one man’s tall hat seems dated to the 1860’s or 70’s, the other gent’s hat a little later, so I estimate this was probably taken about 1880 some time. Click for a larger view.
For the last sixty years that I know of, descendants of Thomas Marlin (1782-1861) have been circulating this photo believing that it is Thomas himself. The image comes from a tintype that was found amongst other photos in the 50’s I think, and it was labeled “Thomas Marlin.”
I have always doubted that this is the first Thomas because photography was not prevalent until the 1860’s. Even if it had been taken from an earlier daguerreotype, that process was mostly only available in France until the 1850’s. Assuming that pioneer Thomas managed to come across someone to photograph him, he would have been more than 60 years old in the 1840’s, more than 70 years old in the 1850’s and he was 79 at the time of his death in 1861.
The style of dress worn by this man appears to be from about 1840 – 1860 and is reminiscent of clothes worn by Abraham Lincoln in some of his earlier photos. The pose is also reminiscent of Lincoln from photos taken during his early political days.
I have had this discussion with distant cousins in Missouri who swear this is the first Thomas despite my research into the history of photography. As the story goes, one of Thomas’ grandchildren, Gus Marlin, was asked in his later years if he recognized the man in the photo and he purportedly said it was Thomas Marlin, that he had known him as a child. However, Gus wasn’t born until several years after the first Thomas died. This is documented. That said, Gus could have known the first Thomas’ son or grandson (also named Thomas) during his life time.
So who is the man in the photo? I suspect it is the son or grandson of Thomas, also named Thomas. If the first Thomas married at around 20 to 25 years of age, he would have started having his family with wife, Polly Rice, in the first decade of the 19th century. In about 1860, a son would have been anywhere from 35 to 55 years of age. By the 1870’s or 1880’s, a grandson would have been between 15 and 40 years of age. The man in the photo looks to me to be in his early 40’s, but back in those days, people aged quickly. So for me, the mystery remains. I am sure he is a Marlin because he’s got the jaw and hair line, and his hair covers up the ears that stick out slightly. Also, those are definitely Marlin eyes. But I still do not think this is my great great great grandfather, Thomas Marlin. Note that someone has scratched the Masons’ sign around the button on his shirt front. This was done on the tintype the photo was copied from.
As I’ve mentioned before, Donegal is full of contrasts. This rolling hillside view can be sharply contrasted in a few miles with spectacular coastlines or majestic mountains.
I’ve also mentioned before that they use hedges to divide the fields more up in this county than down south. These field boundaries combine the two…rock walls punctuated with the occasional bush or trees.
When I drove around County Donegal in 2006, I did not follow any plan. I meandered here and there and sometimes went up and down the same road.
I did not realize until yesterday that I had two photos of signs directing me to Buncrana from opposite directions. The one above directs 16 kilometers to the left, and the one below directs 16 kilometers to the right! Just proves that in Ireland there are many ways to get where you want to go!
During the 80’s and 90’s, we often took vacations along the California coast, taking three or four days to get to San Francisco and then ending up in the Napa Valley for a few days, staying with my cousin and her husband.
It looked so nice, and was right on the water with one building hanging out over the Pacific on pylons. The next year we booked into the Monterey Plaza and were given the room at the very end of that wing on the 11th floor, Room 1102.
What we soon discovered was that at various times of the day, the sea otters swam by, and sometimes they dove for abalone in the water right under our balcony. There were also sea lions and harbor seals, and as the photo above shows, many many seagulls looking for food. They flew in circles, cathing bread in mid air as we threw it from the balcony. They also came to visit as you can see above. Until I took this photo, I never knew that seagulls have webbed feet, but it makes sense since they do forage for food in the ocean. The photo below shows the same seagull getting ready to take off in flight.
We went back to Room 1102 more than a few times on our trips up and down the coast, and each time we were fascinated by the marine life found in Monterey Bay. We even went kayaking on one trip, but I haven’t yet come across those photos.
I experienced an interesting phenomenon when I was in Ireland in April. The locals are VERY proud of the new roads that can get you from one part of the country to another in record time. Every time someone asked where I was going next, I was encouraged to take the M-5 or the M-7 or the M-50 wherever. They love the fact that you no longer have to go through little towns and villages to get from one palce to another, and that there are motorways going up, down and across the country.
Well, as someone who has spent the biggest part of her life driving freeways in Los Angeles, motorways are not a big attraction for me. Especially in Ireland. I like to drive around and experience the countryside and the people, stopping wherever the notion strikes me. The photo above was taken on the narrow two lane road between Tramore, County Waterford and Shanagarry, County Cork. There are viewing areas because the scenery is so spectacular. As you can see, it was a cloudy day, but that goes with the territory in Ireland. It wasn’t raining, and in an hour or two, the sun was shining brightly.
You don’t get views like this on the motorways.
I found this recipe on the back of a can of Hunt’s tomato sauce in about 1980, and over the years, I have made it over and over again. It’s similar to an old standby called Noodle Bake, but this doesn’t have the cream cheese or green onions, and it also uses macaroni instead of noodles. I’ve never known a child who didn’t love this recipe! It translates well into a gluten free diet by using corn or rice flour macaroni.
Here’s what you need:
1 lb ground meat (chuck is usually the most flavorful)
1 – 8 oz. carton sour cream
2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 medium onion
2 cups elbow macaroni cooked and drained
4 oz. grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 – 3 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop onion fine and saute in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the onion starts to turn translucent. Crumble the ground meat and add to the onion. Brown meat and onion, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Drain the meat mixture on paper towels.
In a medium (or larger) saucepan, bring a couple quarts of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt to the water while bringing to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the macaroni and bring to a boil again, then simmer until tender. Drain the macaroni when done and return to the saucepan. Add meat/onion mixture, then pour in tomato sauce and sour cream. Stir thoroughy and season with salt and pepper. I use white pepper as well as black pepper.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish which has been prepared with vegetable spray, then sprinkle the cheese on top and bake on middle rack in oven until cheese is melted and edges are a little crispy, about 35 minute depending on your oven.
The last time I made it, I added some chopped tomatoes and green pepper and it turned out great!
I have posted this photo before. It is my great grandparents, Charles Oliver Ferrier and his wife, Sarah Evelyn Forkner Ferrier. Seated in the chair is his mother, Mary Castinger Ferrier. Oldest daughter, Victoria, was not present when this photo was taken, so her photo was inset on the left. My grandmother, Dulcie Ferrier Marlin, is the girl standing in the dark dress.
The reason I am putting this photo up again is to encourage all of you who work on family history, do genealogical research and are attempting to trace your ancestral roots… DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT everything in every way you can. This photo is a classic example of how things just get “lost” or disappear.
In 1955, my family made a trip to Missouri, and my father had a new slide camera. He had a real sense of family history and a huge pride in our pioneer roots. When we visited his uncle John Ferrier, my father had the good sense to take a photo of the above photo. It was hanging on Uncle John’s wall. See below photo which shows from left my grandmother, Dulcie Ferrier Marlin, Uncle John Ferrier, their sister Victoria Ferrier Newman, and me in the right corner, age 6. Hanging on the wall between John and Victoria is the photo.
Fast forward forty years. In 1995 I had the summer off from work and decided to start digging into family history. I conferred with my mother and she found the slides of our trip to Missouri in 1955. I did not remember ever seeing the two photos above, but she refreshed my memory and I took the slides to the one hour photo guy, had him make negatives and then prints.
Then in 1997 on a trip to Missouri with my niece Deanna, we visited John Ferrier’s daughter, June Ferrier Newman. June said she had never seen the photo above, and she did not remember it ever hanging in her father’s house though obviously it had been there because I had the photographs to prove it! Her father was long dead at that time and she had no idea where the photograph had gone. She checked with other family members and they, too, had no idea what had happened to this important piece of family history.
Here is my best advice:
Finally, you might want to consider doing what I am doing…documenting family history by way of a blog. This reaches a lot more people than you would otherwise be able to contact. I have had several unknown cousins contact me because they have seen something of interest on this blog. Don’t assume that someone will come along behind you and save everything and do further documentation. It happens but most of the time it doesn’t, no matter the best intentions. Also, don’t put off labeling things. I do this myself and wonder now if I will ever get around to writing on the back of photos (hence the blog). And if you do label photos, be sure to use a photo pen or the ink will eventually bleed through and ruin the image (my mother learned this the hard way).
The photo below is “Uncle Charley” and “Aunt Ev” Ferrier once again, my great grandparents, one of the last photos taken of them in very old age.
This is one of the mystery photos which were found among Aunt Annie’s things. It is labelled, Troy and Maude Melton on the reverse side, and the photographer was in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Melton’s address is also written on the back side, 1212 E. Terrell St., but I have no certain idea what relationship these people had to Aunt Annie.
My mother told me there was a great or great great aunt on the Smith side of her family who married into the Beatty family of Phillipsburg. And the Beatty’s eventually produced a daughter, Maude.
There is a photo of a much older woman visiting Aunt Annie about 1950 here in California, no identification, but the woman does resemble this one. So the only thing we can think is that she was a cousin of Aunt Annie’s through the Smith-Beatty family.
Here is another shot showing the hedges which create the walls for the fields that are prevalent in Donegal. I was amused to see this scene…two mother cows with their half grown bulls, sharing the leavings in the field after harvest with the crows and blackbirds.
Yeats is one of Ireland’s most famous poets and playwrights. He was born in Dublin but his family soon moved to Sligo where his mother’s family owned successful mills and factories. He grew up there and later referred to Sligo as “the country of the heart.”
Aside from being a writer, he was also an Irish nationalist and much of his poetry relates to the 1916 Easter Rising. One line comes to mind…”All is changed, changed utterly…a terrible beauty is born.” He was a friend of Maude Gonne (they exchanged love letters until he married), and he ultimately became a senator of the Free State of Ireland. In 1923 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
At the age of 52, he married 15 year old Georgie and they lived together until his death in France in 1939…22 years.
This is his gravestone in the Drumcliff Churchyard in Sligo.
Photo of Yeats below courtesy of Wikipedia.
This was taken in November, 1993 in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. Kinsale is a very historical little place as I have written in previous posts. The Lusitania sank just outside the harbor and many of the bodies washed up and were buried, unnamed in the churchyard. The ruins of old Fort Charles guard the harbor today, and there are colorful boats and beautiful scenes and vistas to photograph in this quaint little place. It is also highly regarded for its epicurean restaurants, and there is an annual food festival in autumn.
On this day, I was supposed to take the noon bus (the only afternoon bus) back to Cork to catch the 5 pm express train to Dublin, but I was so fascinated by Kinsale, I decided to stay on for a couple of hours and take a walking tour.
The tour guide was the man on the right, a sea captain who guided visitors around the town in the winter. He has been featured in one of Rick Steves’ PBS shows about Kinsale and this part of Ireland. The other man was an American who was also doing the tour. This is a side street off the main part of Kinsale where there was an array of little painted houses.
Since I didn’t get the bus back to Cork that day, I ordered a taxi for a flat rate back to the train station, and the driver took me up to Fort Charles and other spots for Kodak moments.
The road is now a multi-laned highway (Interstate 44) but in its day, Route 66 was quite a road! Parts of the old road still run through various areas where it was not practical to build the new Route 44, and some people put “Old Route 66″ as part of their address.
Within a few years, his parents, Walter E. and Dulcie (Ferrier) Marlin moved to Illinois, but they did eventually return to the Conway (Laclede County, Missouri) area when my father was about 12 or 13.
This photo was taken in Marshfield, Webster County, Missouri. Not only do we have small original prints of this photo, but I also have an original oval photo that was blown up and framed. The photo and original frame hang in my bedroom today.
Though we are still having warm weather here in California, the mornings are a little overcast and chilly. I am beginning to believe that it will soon be cool enough to start baking again:
Could not resist posting this…it’s Aunt Annie’s receipt for a 5-day hospital stay at the Walla Walla Hospital, Walla Walla, Washington, July 12 to 17, 1914. They charged $2.50 per day and $7.95 for “medicine”. Amazing how things have changed! No idea why she was in the hospital. She died when I was only 4, so I never got to ask her many of the questions I would ask her today!