Jellied Giggle Water

What happened to Fall? It’s only the 19th of October and already there’s a possibility of that evil white stuff forecast for tomorrow. I understand getting a light dusting of snow in October, but as in years gone by, it’s usually an abnormality at the end of this month. I’m now wondering if we’re going to have a repeat of last year where it was very cold in November and part of December, but after it was over, it ended up being a markedly warmer than normal winter. If it’s going to be a repeat of last, then so be it, but heaven help us if we have an arctic vortex the likes of what hit us the winter before because I was ready say adios to enduring another winter in North Iowa.

It was a haphazard work day where I had various duties needing my attention, and one of them was getting a closing coming up this Friday under control. That particular listing has been another problem child of mine which has soaked up too many of my hours, and today I mentioned to the owner how much that home absolutely must get to the closing table. If it does fall apart, I’ll not blame myself in the least bit because I’ve done everything on my part to keep it together.

Since Prairie Place on 1st has been at the back burner since this pandemic arrived, I decided to shell out some dough and do a blast ad campaign on it. Of the four units remaining, two of them are the largest of the two bedrooms, and the other two are the markedly smaller one bedroom units. I’m eternally thankful there’s not been an outbreak of the China-virus in that building, while blessing all its residents for keeping themselves out of harm’s way.

I had an appointment in Garner late this morning which had me racing to make it, and believe it or not, I pulled up at exactly the appointed hour. I had everything taken care of in about 45 minutes which got me back to Mason City during my lunch hour. On my way back I stopped at Clear Lake’s Fareway and picked up a few items which saved me from having to stop on my way home from work. I’m not a big fan of their self-checkouts which remind me of Walmart’s, as I personally prefer human interaction when purchasing groceries, and of course how does one challenge a machine when a price is rung up wrong? Yes, I am my mother’s son when it comes to remembering posted food prices at groceterias.

For whatever reason, the traffic on Hwy 122 was ridiculously high and all the while I was thinking, “Where are all these people coming from?” I’m now wondering if everyone was out doing their Wednesday grocery shopping early so to keep from getting caught in tomorrow’s bad weather.

The country landscapes are rapidly changing to where they’re once again looking like barren wastelands due to all the fewer country homesites. Just today a gentleman mentioned a friend of his looking for just an acre or two of land in our County where he can build one of those combination workshop/residences which are rapidly growing in popularity. He was trying to describe to me what they looked like until I finally said, “I’ve already seen two recently built ones in our area.” From what he told me, his friend is a bachelor who’s not planning on marrying, so living in something like that would certainly fit his needs. It looks like mixed-use is taking place out in our hinterlands.

Hearing that we were going to get rain or snow, I forced myself to make time for a trip to our landfill because I absolutely hate being out there when it’s muddy. It seems the more wet it is out there, the more it smells. I still think we need a camera crew to pay them a surprise visit just so to get a good filming of all those birds feasting on their mounds of garbage. If you ever wonder where all those flocks of crows are going in the winter once the sun rises, you’ll find they’re heading in a south-westerly direction to start their morning feasts once those garbage trucks arrive after the hour of eight.

Having remembered my thoughts about finding that very old cookbook and sharing a recipe with you, I went digging and found it. While paging thru it, I thought it best to share one of its many. The section I thought interesting was titled, “Invalid Cookery” which were recipes meant for someone under the weather or in ill health. I thought I’d share the one called, “Arrowroot Blanc-Mange”, and its following recipe is as follows:

Put a quart of milk to boil, take an ounce of Bermuda arrowroot ground fine, make it a smooth batter with cold milk, add a teaspoonful of salt, when the milk is boiling hot, stir the batter into it, continue to stir it over a gentle fire (that it may not be scorched) for three or four minutes, sweeten to taste with double refined sugar, add flavor with lemon extract or orange-flower water, or boil a stick of cinnamon or vanilla bean in the milk before putting in the arrowroot; dip a mould into cold water, strain the blanc-mange through a muslin into the mould, when perfectly cold turn it out; serve currant jelly or jam with it.

Now isn’t that recipe a hoot? Where does one find an ounce of Bermuda arrowroot? And of course I’ve never seen or heard of orange-flower water which must’ve been something popular over 100 years ago. Did you notice the words “gentle fire” and “double refined” sugar? I can only imagine what type of heat sources they used for their cooking. When seeing how old many of our pioneers lived to be, I’d say if they’d not been mortally injured by primitive machines or angry beasts, the tried and true recipes they’d put to use would’ve either killed or cured. Just remember, they didn’t have walk-in clinics, and if a doctor had to be sent for, it would’ve been a ver long spell before he got there which meant many of those home remedies were their first lines of defense. I noticed another recipe named, “Port Wine Jelly” which I may also share in the future. Never in my years have I ever heard of jellied giggle water. Have you?

Tonight’s one-liner is: To teach is to learn twice.

Related Property:
320 – 1st St. NE, Unit 208 – Mason City
Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

Firstofall....JoeChodurreallydoesn'tliketalkingabouthimselfbutthisiswhatwehavefoundoutabouthim. more about: Joe Chodur

View page.