RSS Feed


Posted on

March 4, 2015 and it is snowing again! Spring is just around the corner though and with spring comes the chance of scary weather! Lightning, thunder, and tornadoes, oh my! Today I thought I would tell a couple of tornado stories that took place in the little town of Cherokee City, Arkansas. The Howertons and the Shaws, both families on my Granddad Shermans side, settled there in the 1870’s and my Granddad lived there until he married Grandma, and they eventually moved to Siloam Springs.


Sherman Howerton

Granddad loved to tell the story of a tornado that passed through the little town and surrounding farmland when he was a boy. He remembered the sky getting dark and the family running for cover. The storm was over in a matter of minutes; the family was safe and sound, so they all went out to survey the damage. There were a few trees down, branches and debris strewn around, but the worst damage was to the henhouse. The roof was gone, along with other parts of the small building. As they got closer they saw an amazing site. A chicken still on her nest! But her feathers had been plucked clean by the wily tornado winds. Of course, that was one of our favorite stories to hear when we were kids.

I love looking at the old Gentry newspapers and there were plenty of storms that blew through the countryside. Most of the damage done was to roofs, trees, small buildings and after electricity became prevalent, power lines and poles were victims to the storms too. One article in the paper told of how the winds had damaged the electric lines and the housewives had to scurry around and find the old coal oil lamps that had been stored away after electricity came to town.
It’s no wonder that one of the weekly advertisements that ran for years was for tornado insurance!

tornado 5

In 1927, Cherokee City was hit by a tornado (could this be the one granddad remembered?) and it brought back memories to a man named W.R. Harper of a terrible storm that happened when he was a small boy. He wrote a letter to the Journal Advance in October of 1927 recalling the events. The Talbot Library and Museum reprinted that letter in 2001, in their publication TL&M Genealogy. Just click on the picture below to enlarge the image.


What an horrific experience to the little town and it’s residents! Even though we still have terrible instances of tornadoes and bad storms, what a blessing we have with all of the technology to warn of bad weather coming!
The recipe I want to share today from Grandma’s recipe box is called Egg in a Bacon Nest. A tribute to that hero chicken back in the day that stayed on her nest in the worst of weather! It’s from that old Table Talk Cookbook that Grandma loved so well.

Line muffin tins with strips of bacon. Drop a raw egg into each nest. Cook 15 minutes in a moderate oven at 350 degrees. Remove with fork and garnish with parsley.

We had these for breakfast this morning and I cooked them for much longer! When I googled the recipe there are all kinds of yummy recipes that are similar to this one. Adding cheese and hashbrowns, the ideas were endless. One great idea was to microwave the bacon till almost done and then use it to line the muffin cups. That’s what I will do next time and add some cheese too!

I’ve joined my friend Lisa Williams in a genealogy blog challenge called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks where there’s a different theme every week. This weeks theme is called Stormy Weather.
Check out her interesting blog post about the Black Blizzards, the Second Dust Bowl that occured in Abeline, Texas in the 1950’s.



Posted on


On Sunday, February 28, 1915, Lena Mae Whiteside Howerton was born just outside of Gentry, Arkansas. It must have been early that morning because the March 5 issue of the Gentry Journal Advance reported that she had been born late Saturday evening on the 27th. Among other items in the newspaper the week of her birth were: an Ozark farmer who built a house at the cost of $2.00! Examination Week at the High School and an article about how to plant strawberries. Exciting times in the little town.

birth lena

Grandma was well loved by her parents and older brothers. I think she might have been a little spoiled by them too. She always had a sweet disposition though throughout her life. I never heard her say a cross word about anyone, and she was usually smiling.

She started school at Gentry a year early because her cousin Clara, who was a year older, was beginning school.When she was in the 5th grade she was sick and missed school on her birthday. While looking through her childhood scrapbook I found this birthday card from her teacher Mrs. Highfill.


I also found two other birthday cards. One from Hazel Johnson*:

bd card 2

And one from Dad and Mother:


I am also blessed to have her diary. She didn’t keep it up for very long, just a couple of years. But on her 20th birthday, in 1935, she said, “Another birthday, I am about to feel old. Mother fixed me a good dinner. Sherman came tonight. We listened to the radio.” She would marry Granddad Sherman a year later.

Grandma and Granddad had one child, my mother, Barbara. I know she was as sweet a mother, as she was a grandmother. That was her most important job. But she also worked as a seamstress at Patterson’s in Siloam Springs and her and Granddad owned the little store “Howerton’s Grocery”. It was on North Mount Olive Street in Siloam Springs.

She was always busy making something. Grandma made a lot of our clothes, and she loved to quilt. In the 1980’s, she took up crocheting dolls and toys and sold them on consignment at a store in Fayetteville.

After Grandad passed away, Mom and Dad built her a little house behind theirs in Gentry. It was just the perfect size for her, and she was very happy there. She lived in her cozy home several years, and it was a joy to know that she was lovingly taken care of by my parents. She died in 2002 at the age of 87.

Today, I wanted to share a recipe for a cake and some frosting from an old cookbook named “Table Talk”. I think it was first printed in the late 1920’s, although this is a later edition. Grandma used it often; it has fallen apart and is very worn. I picked out a cake recipe called “Queen of Sheba,” it is NOT the fancy Julia Child Queen of Sheba cake. It’s a lot “homey-er”. The frosting is Mocha Icing, and it is yummy! I did try out both of he recipes, and the cake is good too! I would have posted a picture of my tribute birthday cake for Grandma Lena…but I ran out of frosting, and it looked a little sad! So I would suggest making a batch and a half of the frosting.
Here’s the recipes:

4 tablespoons of Cocoa
1 cup of sweet milk
4 egg yolks
¾ cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
2 ¼ cups of pastry flour (cake flour)
3 teaspoons of baking powder
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Cook the milk and cocoa together until smooth; then pour the hot mixture over well-beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly; add slightly melted butter to the sugar and pour the chocolate mixture over it and beat with a wire whip until smooth; sift flour and baking powder together and fold into the mixture, using the wire whip for the mixing. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and vanilla flavoring. Pour the batter in two buttered and floured layer cake tins. ( I just used cooking spray.) Bake for 40 minutes in a moderate oven 350 degrees. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the edges of the tin. Invert the tins on a cooling rack and leave for five minutes before removing the cake.

6 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons hot coffee
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa
Cream butter. Add sifted dry ingredients. Blend with hot coffee. Beat until of spreading consistency.

* Here’s a link to learn a little more about Hazel


Posted on


Happy Cherry Day! I mean President’s Day. As kids we always knew that on Washington’s Birthday (February 22nd) we would have a cherry treat. We would also hear the story of how George Washington could not tell a lie and told his father that he chopped down the cherry tree.
Grandma would fix cherry cobbler or pie, or if she was running short on time cherry dumplings. I decided to try a recipe from a little cookbook I found in her recipe box called “Say it with Dessert” from Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Cookbook.

cherry crunch
I made it yesterday. It was delicious and so simple! So even though you may be snowed in today, if you have a can of cherry pie filling and some Bisquick you can celebrate President’s day with a sweet treat!

2 cups of Bisquick
2/3 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 egg
½ cup shortening
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

1. Mix all the ingredients except pie filling.
2. Pat 2/3 of the dough in greased square pan, 9x9x2 inches (mine wasn’t exactly square). Spread pie filling over dough in pan. Crumble remaining dough over pie filling.
3. Bake about 30 minutes. Serve warm.


If you are bored on this cold, snowy day, here’s a link to an article in the Farmer’s Almanac with some odd facts about some of our past presidents.


Posted on

It was cold this morning! And I have an awful cold or the flu… It’s on days like this that I would love to have some of my Grandma’s chicken and noodles. Noodles were a tradition in our family, we had them at almost every family gathering, sometimes just on cold winter days or on days when we were just feeling yucky. Their warm, salty, soupy goodness is something you’d crave if your throat was sore or your body was achy. I’ve been making them for a few years now and even though I am feeling better than I was at the start of this nasty cold, it just seemed like too much work. So I googled crock pot recipes for chicken soup but nothing seemed like it would be as tasty or as comforting as those noodles.
So I got out Grandma’s recipe box hoping to find a recipe that would suit me. I did! It was one of the first recipes I picked up. Written in my sweet Grandma’s handwriting was the recipe for Feather Dumplings. It was as if  she had it ready waiting on me. I remembered back to when I was a kid standing in front of the stove watching my Grandma or my Mom drop those balls of dough into the bubbling broth. Just thinking about it made me feel warmer and better inside.
So for supper tonight, it’s chicken and dumplings! Here’s the recipe:

1 Cup of cake flour
1 ¼ teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons of melted fat
14 min

That’s it! I think I will use butter instead of melted fat..that just sounds a little gross! 🙂 And Grandma would leave you sometimes hanging with her recipes. I’m assuming that “14 min” means you boil them in the chicken broth or soup for 14 minutes.

After I’m done making my dumplings, I think I’ll go crawl under one of Grandma’s quilts. That’s another remedy for feeling better. While I’ve been sick and bored, I’ve been going through old pictures. I found one of my sister Angie and the quilt Grandma made for her wedding shower.

angie's quilt

That reminded me of the quilt Grandma made me for mine:


And that made me call my sister Dea Ann to see if she had a picture of the quilt Grandma made for her. She’s home sick today too. She didn’t have a picture of it handy, but she did say she thought she would go find her quilt and crawl under it 🙂

I’m afraid to call my brother Kevin….just teasing, I know he’s working.

And just for the record my Mom, Barbara Howerton Hall makes delicious noodles too!

Grandma’s “Secret” Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Posted on

3 Libby's labels from Grandma's Recipe Box

While digging through Grandma’s recipe box I found 5 labels for Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe, so I guess it’s not hard to figure out  that this was Grandma’s “go to” recipe for pumpkin pie. The Libby’s website says that the Pumpkin Pie Recipe has been on the label since 1950.  In the picture above are 3 different labels from different years that were in Grandma’s box. The style of the can might of changed, but the recipe never did. I think it would be perfect for “My Very Own Pie Crust” recipe from the other day. I’ll be making it for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

I’ll just leave a link for the Libby’s website, if anyone would like the recipe…or it’s still found on the back of the can 🙂


A Pie Crust Recipe and a Wedding Memory

Posted on

Sherman and Lena Howerton

This picture is of my Grandma and Grandad,  Sherman and Lena Howerton, at my wedding 26 years ago last Tuesday. (That was November 15th, 1985) Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long ago. Grandad and Grandma were some of our best friends when me and Bill got married. We were at their house all the time. Grandad and Bill rebuilt the engine in Bill’s old truck (a 1969 GMC). Angie,  my sister, inherited that truck later on and I don’t think she liked it very well 🙂 Grandma and I would go grocery shopping and hang out at Walmart. We were always working on a craft or two, too. I sure miss those days.

Today’s recipe is another one from the C.R. Jones Supply Company cooking school. It’s called “My Own Pie Crust” and it must have been Mrs. Maxine Bolt’s recipe since she was the teacher of the school. I’ll have to try it for Thanksgiving!

My Very Own Pie Crust

1 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Cake Flour

1 teaspoon Sugar

2/3 Cup of shortening

1 1/2 teaspoons of Vinegar–add water to fill 1/3 cup

Sift dry ingredients together, cut in 1/3 cup of shortening until fine as corn meal. Cut in remaining shortening. Sprinkle with liquid and mix together to form a ball. Turn into floured board and roll.

Hope this recipe works out good!

Just in Time for Thanksgiving–Fall Festival Salad

Posted on
Cooking School circa 1949

Digging through Grandma’s recipe box, I found an interesting program for a Cooking School compliments of the C.R. Jones Supply Company in Siloam Springs. The school was conducted by Mrs. Maxine Bolt. It has several recipes in it. I tried out the Fall Festival Salad, which was kind of different and pretty tasty!

Before I share the recipe, I’ll have to say this program brought up some questions. What and where was the C.R. Jones Supply Company? Who was Mrs. Maxine Bolt? How old is the little program? I never did figure out who Maxine Bolt was, but the questions of  where and when were answered by a script from a walking tour of Siloam Springs that was on the Arkansas Preservation website. It states that the C.R. Jones Company was located at 201-203 S. Broadway from 1930-1950. This building later became Smith’s Carpet. I’m still not sure what the  C.R. Jones Supply Company supplied. Also because I was bored 🙂 I went to and looked at all the calenders between 1930 and 1950 for Tuesday, November 29 (the date on the program, there wasn’t a year).  November 29th fell on a Tuesday in 1932, 1938 and 1949.  Grandma and Grandad weren’t married in 1932, I think maybe they were still living in Gentry in 1938, sooo….I bet Grandma went to the Cooking School in 1949! Okay…on with the recipe:

Fall Festival Salad

4 Red Apples, Diced, Unpeeled

1/4 cup Diced Celery

1 large Raw Carrot, Grated Fine

1 Cup White or Turkey Grapes

(what’s a Turkey Grape?)

1/4 cup Diced Maraschino Cherries

Toss together with the following dressing:

1 package Philadelphia Cream Cheese (room temperature)

add gradually Maraschino Cherry juice and beat till light and fluffy

2 teaspoons of sugar

I didn’t add the whole package of Cream Cheese, I just used about 1/2 and then added more little by little until it seemed like enough.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! And if anyone knows about Maxine Bolt or what a turkey grape is…please let me know 🙂