Thursday, March 17, 2016

Clint's Ingenuity and Mary's Recipes

My paternal grandparents, Mary and Clint Troutman's personalities can be sensed from the memories their children shared about them.

“Clint was a farmer who used to say he was 'Jack of all trades, Master of none.'” Neville remembers. “He cut our hair, mended our shoes, played a banjo and taught us to sing. He had bees and knew how to care for them, so we had fresh good honey. My Dad bought us a phonograph with records of hymns. He taught us all to carry a tune. Only Verne could not carry a tune. . . . Dad made whistles out of small tree limbs, and he made small spinning tops out of spools. My father would always invite anyone in for a meal, even a man on the road, and he would pick up anyone on the road. One time I was with him and he picked up a man on the road with a pack on his back. I was a bit leery of him, but Dad said, 'I'm not afraid.' It turned out he was a scissors grinder and walked from town to town for work.”[1]

Clint and Mary Troutman, c. 1932, Winside, NE.
Mary was a skilled seamstress and cook. She also cared for a large garden and she enjoyed her chickens. To earn extra money, she sold eggs, not just any eggs to anyone, but fertilized eggs to the hatchery in town, for which she got more money. She valued education, and she made sure her children finished school. “She helped us with our studies.” Neville recalls. “Mother made pretty dresses for me and Virginia. Later, she made flowered dresses for Hazel [a cousin] and me. Sometimes Mom would give me a nickel go buy a very good coconut cup-like down-town in Winside.”[2]

Mary’s cooking made her children’s mouths water. To please Verne (my dad), my mother was always trying to cook as well as Grandma Mary. To children, I suppose their mothers are always the best cooks. “My mother was a very good cook,” Neville claims.

Even today, for our upcoming Troutman reunion in Nebraska in July, my sister Verna has challenged family members to bring desserts that would make Grandma Mary proud.

A few recipes from “Mother Troutman,” sent to me from Aunt Virginia must be shared:
Grandma's potato soup recipe is one my mother, Lois McIntyre Troutman, gave me when I was married. This is in my mother's handwriting.

This frozen corn recipe may be in Grandma Mary's handwriting, but someone else wrote "Mother Troutman" on it.

Now for the desserts! Upside Down Cake:

This Pineapple Fluff recipe is definitely in Grandma Mary's handwriting.
So there you have them: some of Grandma Mary's recipes for the next reunion.

[1] Neville Troutman, “Neville’s Memory Book with Virginia’s Memories of Country School,” compiled by Sharon Lamson, Troutman Family Newsletter: This One’s a Keeper!, 1998, Troutman: Family Newsletters and Other Historical Info, binder, privately held, Z. T. Noble [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana, 2016.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Virginia O. Nelsen, Rogers, Arkansas, to Zola Noble, 3 July 2001; grandma's recipes; letters from Virginia, box, privately held, Z. T. Noble [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana, 2016.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.

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