Serving Greater Bluffton Since 1987
hat do “best friends” do when they are too old for sok hops and slumber parties? If your over 60 but have Martha Crapse’s passion for adventure, Betty Woods’ passion for shopping (even if it is mostly for her grandchildren) and Dot O’Quinn’s passion for recipes and cooking, you can count on something fun happening when these three get their passions together.
...are sok hops out
While sok hops may be out, slumber parties are still in! So what if they don’t sit around giggling (oh but they do!) and listening to Frank Sinatra And Englebert Humperdink records.
They will never forget where they were and what they were doing when the stock market plunged ti its lowest in history on Oct. 19, 1987, the day that will forever after be known as Black Monday on Wall Street. (One of them said, “should we be worried about this?” and they decided, no, maybe tomorrow.)
...high in the North Carolina mountains
This adventure took place high in the North Carolina mountains where Bobby and Betty have a gorgeous mountain retreat. And where Bobby left Betty early Monday morning to wait for Martha And Dot to drive up loaded with canning jars, recipes and pears from Donald’s prolific pear trees, along with an assortment of other goodies such as baked ham and Martha’s absolutely delicious pineapple upside down cake. (Dot hates to admit anything from a Duncan Hines box is delicious because she steadfastly refuses to bake a cake from anything but “scratch”.)
The purpose of this slumber party was to take advantage of Donald’s pears and those wonderful North Carolina apples and cabbages.
...the first shopping spree
The first shopping spree was for spices and dozens of red and green peppers along with some hot peppers and all the other good things it takes to make apple relish, pear relish and pickled cabbage. All agreed to jazz up most of the meats, vegetables and especially dried lima beans and peas. They had so much fun making the first batch of 54, yes 54 jars on Tuesday, that they shopped again for those peppers, along with tear producing onions. (A toothpick between your teeth may help some, but not much!) They turned out another 40 jars on Wednesday.
In between shopping for peppers, these “best friends” found time for browsing in antique shops and children’s stores or should they say, grandchildren’s stores. Martha bought her precious little honey-blonde granddaughter a bicycle pump, or was it for that four-wheeler upon which she tools around All Joy Beach. Donald was delighted that Dot did not write one single check or show her Mastercard to a single sales clerk. This had to be a first for her. Martha and Dot “ran by” Clemson to drop off Betty at her grandchildren’s house and was last seen trying to hold on to baby Brian and five-year-old Lauren as they opened surprises she brought. Did she even say goodbye to Martha and Dot?
Other “best friends” were invited on this trip, they will be sorry they did not go.
... canning tips
They want to share a couple of tips with other “best friends” who may want to have a slumber party. You really don’t have to go to the mountains to do this, but it will be a lot fun if you do, especially at this time of year when God has dressed the mountains in every glorious shade of red, yellow, bronze and orange that you can imagine.
Tip # 1: DO grow your own peppers ahead of time. Red peppers can cost up to $1 apiece and green peppers are only slightly more reasonable. Spices are also high and this can make your relishes very expensive, but you have to shut your eyes to this knowing that once these concoctions are on your plate, they are well worth all that you have put into them.
Tip #2: Tip two is pure joy when you are doing a lot of canning at one time. Instead of sterilizing your jars in hot water, usually six at a time, you can put at least two-dozen in your oven and heat at 200-250 degrees while you are cooking youir relish. When you are ready they will be sterilized and ready to seal.