Dear Sisters

Dear Sisters
Highland 12th Ward Sisters

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pilgrims and Pioneers...My Family History at Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in old Alpine, Utah...
Autumn brings with it the desire to put away food, fuel, warm clothing and bedding, along with feed for livestock against the harshness of winter.

The days shorten and feelings of urgency grow stronger.  There are no longer enough hours of daylight to get everything done.  Many hands make for lighter work.  If everyone in the village helps out, there will be plenty for all.  When the work is done, there will be time for fun and celebrations.  A time of Thanksgiving.

The hardy settlers of Alpine and Highland, Utah found ways to mix work and fun during harvest time.  When the fruit trees in Alpine started to produce, those with orchards shared with others.  The ladies came with paring knives and pans and worked for hours preparing fruit to be dried.  It would be placed on clean cloths upon the roofs, slabs on sawhorses, or whatever else was handy.

The men brought their husking pegs and shucked corn while the ladies did fruit.  The children enjoyed these occasions and anxiously waited for the piles of corn shucks to increase, as they had several games they liked to play among them: hide-and-seek, run-my-sheepie-run, and tag.  At the end of the day, a delicious dinner would be served under the apple trees on tables made of boards laid on sawhorses.

Note: Turkeys in Alpine were raised by the Watkins family.  Hertha, left, is admiring that year's fine flock.

Other autumn activities which combined work and recreation were quilting bees and "rug-rag bees."  No materials were wasted.  If the cloth wasn't too worn it was patched into quilt tops.  What wasn't good enough for quilts was torn into rug-rags and the remaining scraps were clipped into small pieces to stuff bed ticks, pillows or cushions.

I remember some old quilts Grandma Zetta had from the time when her family raised fruit in Fort Canyon.  In those days whenever a quilt began to wear out, she simply recovered it in another layer of fabric.  Women like my grandmother definitely followed Brigham Young's counsel to "make it do, or do without."  They were born recyclers!  Those quilts were extremely heavy, though, as well as damp and musty.

When Thanksgiving Day came in Alpine, it was generally celebrated rather quietly.  People spent the day at home with their families.  Later they added an afternoon dance for the children.  An adult dance and ball game was held in the evening.

The Pilgrim...
Going back even further in time, I learned the First Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was a traditional English harvest festival to which the colonists invited Massasoit who was the most important sachem (leader) among the Wamapanoag Indians.

The festival was celebrated in response to "God's favorable Providence" in times of plentiful game and bountiful harvest...with no little thanks to the Indians, who had introduced the settlers to native food plants and animals, and deserve much of the credit for keeping the Pilgrims from starving.

Among those gathered at the feast in 1621 was a man named Francis Cooke and his 14-year-old son John.  Francis' wife, Hester, was still in England.  She would follow in 1623 on the Anne with her three other children, Jacob, Jane, and Hester.

There isn't anything particularly remarkable about this family.  If Francis and John had not sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, no one would have remembered them at all, except maybe their descendents.  But this is where it gets interesting.

The Pioneer...
One of Cooke's direct descendents was a Mormon pioneer named John Joshua Tanner who came to Utah in 1851 and settled in South Cottonwood in the Salt Lake Valley.  The family of John Joshua Tanner now numbers in the thousands...hundreds of which live here in northern Utah County.  He is my ancestor as well.

Both men...Tanner and Cooke...were men of conscience and conviction, a remarkable family pattern to hold up over such a long stretch of time.  The Pilgrims were refugees from religious persecution in England, just as the Mormon pioneers traveled west to practice their faith in peace more than two centuries later.

I became a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in 2003.  Since then I have learned many things about my pioneer ancestors.  Because of what I have learned, Thanksgiving has a special meaning for me.  Family history is kind of like an archealogical dig.  Among the dirt and stones a single golden nugget of information could be hiding.  Discovering my  family genealogy is a blessing for which I am eternally grateful. 

At the top of my list of things for which I am grateful this season, I am placing the names of Francis Cooke and John Joshua Tanner...the Pilgrim and the Pioneer.

Blessings to you and your families this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Relief Society News...and Progressive Dinner!

Halloween is nigh...
Time to mark our calendars for November!
Daylight Savings Time!
Set your clocks back this weekend...and sleep in!
Christmas Progressive Dinner...

Wednesday, December 4 - 6 - 8 pm
We are so excited to have Emily Freeman - popular author & speaker join us for this wonderful evening. 
Put it on your calendars now so you don't miss this evening.  More information will be given as we get closer to the event. 

Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Ten Virgins; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and The Promise of Enough.
Scripture Study Group
No scripture study this week due to Halloween
Play Group
No play group this week due to Halloween
Stake News...

Stake Conference
Stake Conference will be held this weekend Nov. 2-3.  A new stake in Highland will be formed.  Following are the dates and times of the sessions:
* Nov. 2, 4pm - Priesthood Leadership Session (Highland Stake Center)
* Nov. 2, 7pm - Adult Session (Highland Stake Center)
* Nov. 3, 8 am - youth Session (Highland West Stake Center 11605 N 6000 W)
* Nov. 3, 10 am - General Session (12th ward meets in our building for broadcast)

FHE Packet -
The stake has given us another wonderful FHE packet for us to share with our families.  This one is about missionary work.  It is attached to the email Tracy sent out this week.  

Family History class
is held each Monday from 9:30 - 11.  These are held at the stake center by the 4-way stop on your way to Costco.  If you haven't gone to any classes no worries!  You can attend 1 or as many as you would like.

women's volleyball is this Thursday (and every Thursday through Nov.7th) from 8:30-10:00 pm at the Stake Center.  We had a lot of fun last week.  Everyone is welcome!
Returned Missionary Course...
Sometimes it us harder to return home from a mission than it is to depart.  For this purpose, the Alpine Utah YSA Stake is providing a six-week course that helps returned missionaries...both Elders and Sisters...successfully transistion after their mission.
Parents are also invited to a fireside to help their missionaries transition from full-time missionary service to everyday life, while retaining their spirituality and desire to serve.
Details on both classes are attached to the Relief Society email sent this week.
On the subject of Missionaries...
One of the best movies I've seen all year!
I don't remember hearing about was about the time we were getting our son Geoff ready to leave for Brazil.  I would have been pretty nervous.  This film is so well done...I got pretty teary at times.  This was well worth seeing on our Friday Night Date.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Provident Living...Meals in a Jar/Bag Class!

Meals in a Jar...Using Your Food Storage
Pinterest has many Meals in a Jar recipes
For the last while I have seen a lot of meals in jars on Pinterest.  It really piqued my interest, because I am having a hard time visualizing how to use all those cans of dehydrated and freeze dried foods in my store room.  If you are anything like me you would rather give your first born to the Gypsies than open one of those cans!  Last Thursday night, the Highland Stake sponsored a class on Meals in the Bag and Meals in the Jar.  It was held at the home of Leslie Heath.  Lisa Barker from Honeyville Farms taught the class.  While we were waiting to begin, she quickly put together a wonderful Pasta E Fagioli Soup in a countertop pressure cooker that takes only about 10 minutes to cook.  I will include the recipe later.  The following information is from Sister Barker's handout.  The handout will be sent to you in an will include some recipes that I won't publish here.

I've stored how do I use it?
Meals in a jar have been around for quite awhile.  We put together soup and cookie mixes for gifts for our neighbors and friends.  This takes it to a new level.  Many of the ingredient will come from those special cans we just can't bring ourselves to open...because...once they are opened they aren't good for 25 years any more!  Relax...once the cans are opened, the remainder can be resealed in canning jars using your Food Saver.  The Food Saver can also be used to seal the meal...or you can use oxygen absorbers.  Mylar bags are also used for this...but I like the pretty layers.  If you are worried about impending earthquakes...use the mylar.
Two books available...
"Dinner is in the Jar" and "It's in the Bag."
Both are available from Amazon.

Sample...Meal in a Jar
What to store...the basics

This is helpful...I've wondered about this.
Meals in a Bag...

Sample Meal in a Bag.
Everything...including included in the bag.
A "Meal in a Bag" is everything needed to make a meal packed inside a color-coded shopping bag.  Breakfasts, dinners and desserts will each be a different color.  I like this idea because it uses the shelf-stable pantry foods that our families will eat.  It can be mixed with some long-term items such as freeze dried fruits and vegetables, as well as meats.  Fresh meats, vegetables and condiments can be added as desired. Colors can also be used to determine if a meal is a chicken dish or a beef dish.  Sister Barker said that her children are allowed to go down and  pick a meal from the shelf...that way they feel involved and that they have a choice.  The meal bags can be put together one at a time until you have the number that you want.  Once the meals have been put together they should be rotated.  Use them everyweek.

Recipes and instructions are included on the front of each meal bag.
Using a counter top electric pressure cooker...makes meals super fast!

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

1 c. FD sausage or ground beef
1 c. dehydrated onions
1 c. dehydrated shoestring carrots
1 c. FD celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2  14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2  15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed
1  15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed
1  15 oz. can tomato sauce
28 oz. V-8 juice

4 c. water
2 T. rice vinegar (it's what makes all the difference)

3 t. Wayzata Tuscan Spice Blend
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. thyme

1 1/2 c. ditali pasta

Put everything in electric pressure cooker and cook on HIGH for 9 minutes
with a natural release.  Delicious!
This recipe is a perfect Meal in a just won't fit in a jar.  You could do it half and half with the FD veggies, spices and pasta in a jar.  Add the jar to the bag...easy peasy!  More recipes and information is on the way...check your email.

Note:  Remember that Conference Weekend is the time to rotate and update your 72 hour kits.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hello Fall...and Relief Society News!

Hello, Fall!
Some time over the weekend...perhaps when we weren't paying attention...Fall arrived.  She sweeps into town in a golden gown, draped in a wrap of oak leaves with acorns dangling from her ears.  I saw her today in the garden...she had a bushel basket filled with  tomatoes and green peppers.  She spoke not a word, but shook a gentle finger at me as if to say..."Your pantry shelves are very bare...there's hardly any canned goods there."  I guess I better get the canner out...I'd hate to let Fall down this year.
 Halloween Family Traditions...
 Where did your Halloween family traditions start?  When I was a little girl we lived in Alpine, Utah.  The old school...which was pretty creepy and had only four classrooms and a rickety fire escape...also had a gymnasium next door.  My fondest Halloween memories from that time are of the school's carnival and spook alley in that old gym.  The whole town turned out for the pond, pop bottle ring toss, bean bag games.  Afterward we did a little trick or treating, which I did with my eyes shut...because people in costumes are scary!  I wish I had a picture or two from back then.
The Old Alpine School
Did you ever see the movie "Lady in White?"
This is one of my favorite Halloween movies.  The little boy on the cover has been locked in the school and is hiding in the cloak room...what happens next is spooky fun! The old Alpine School had cloak rooms like this.  The time period of the movie is my's like watching your Halloween memories come to life...if you were locked in the school after the class party!
Halloween Class Party...not mine, though!
When we moved to American Fork, I was in third grade.  My mom was in PTA, so she helped out with the Harrington School carnival.  Spook alley mostly...grape eyeballs and spaghetti gutts.  The classics!   My favorite part of the carnival was the sloppy joes and doughnuts.  Today, they are still the perfect Halloween foods.

We were too broke to buy costumes, so we had to use our imaginations and whatever we could dig up out of an old box in the basement, but I think we came up with some pretty good ideas.  Still, it was annoying to be dressed as the world's scariest witch and then have to wear a coat!
Lovely store-bought!
Devey Family Trick or Treats
Like I was saying, we didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't afford to give away full-size candy bars like many of our neighbors.  So we improvised.  With a little creativity, we made some of the most popular treats on the block.  Our two favorites were treat bags filled with candied popcorn and Tootsie Pop Ghosties.
One Saturday I made a huge batch of candied popcorn...for demonstration purposes.
My recipe card is below...still written in my high school handwriting.
(I made recipe cards for my "hope chest")

"Karen Lundell's Candied Popcorn"
Also known as "Granny Goose Popcorn."
  It was colored bright red and was sold in bags in the Potato Chip aisle. 
I can still taste that red dye they later banned.
3/4 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Food Coloring

Cook to a softball stage.  Pour over a dishpan (?) full of popcorn and stir until all the popcorn is coated and becomes sugary. Note:  I use 4 to 5 bags of microwave popcorn.  The buttered variety makes it even yummier.

My collection of little treat bags.
My favorite bag from childhood immortalized on a tee-shirt.
My "Halloween Costume."

Some bags I stuff with batting and use for ornaments.

Best filled with popcorn as Nature intended.
The Tootsie Pop Ghosties I was telling you about.
Suckers, cocktail napkins, ribbon and a marker.  Easy Peasy! I decided to give these as treats this year (I wrote this in 2011)...but I'm getting them done in advance. Do you ever have that nightmare that it's 5 p.m. on Halloween and you haven't bought the candy yet? Nowadays, they put the candy out so early, I buy it three or four times!
12th Ward Relief Society News

General Relief Society Broadcast
Relief Society sisters worldwide are invited to view the satellite broadcast of the general Relief Society meeting, which will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. The Broadcast will be shown at the Highland Stake Center and live on BYUtv at 6:00 p.m. (and rebroadcast 9/29 @5pm) - also on, and can be listened to at

All women 18 years of age and older are encouraged to view the broadcast. They are also encouraged to invite family, friends and neighbors who may benefit from the meeting. Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president; Carole M. Stephens, first counselor; and Linda S. Reeves, second counselor, will speak, along with a member of the First Presidency.

Scripture Study Group

Will be held Thursday mornings at Christy Kane's home @ 9am.  We are studying "Jesus the Christ by Talmage and we are on chapter 2 for this week.

Play GroupWednesday, 10 am @ Canterbury Park Circle (if it doesn't rain) Come visit with other sisters while the children play!

DIY Skills Class
Laura Bunker will be sharing some photography basics on Thursday, 9/26 @ 6:30 pm.  This will be at the Canterbury Park Pavilion - Bring a camera if you have one.

Thanks, Tracy, for this info!
Sisters, send me your news!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's Tomato Season...Favorite Chili Sauce Recipe!

It's Tomato Season!
Cutest tomato label ever!
Have you ever noticed that when you plant tomatoes that there is either too few...or too many?  I have the sinking feeling that this is the year of "too many."  The weather has been perfect for and sunny.  Now the plants are full of quickly ripening tomatoes...and I am not exactly in the mood to spend days huddled over a steaming canner.  Lucky for me, my husband George loves the "scientific process" of canning.  He'll do all the peeling and chopping...which I hate...and I will prepare the bottles and get the water bath canner steaming.  Fair trade I think!  Last weekend we made the raspberry jalapeno jelly I posted about here.  It was a great success and I now have enough to last for at least a year.

 Of Course I Can!
She looks a tad shell-shocked if you ask!
Homemade Chili Sauce...
Yummy...better than store-bought!
George's Chili Sauce Recipe
Yield:  about six pint jars.
4 quarts peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes ( about 24 large)
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped sweet red peppers (about 4 medium)
1 hot red pepper (we use the dried pepper flakes)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons mixed pickling spices
1 Tablespoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon mustard seed
2 1/2 cups vinegar
Combine tomatoes, onions, peppers, sugar and salt.  Simmer 45 minutes.  Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag; add to tomato mixture; cook until very thick, about 45 minutes, stirring frequently
Prepare home canning jars and lids according to manufacturers instructions.
Add vinegar to tomato mixture; cook to desired thickness. Remove spice bag.  Carefully pour hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch  head space.  Adjust caps.
Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath canner. well as delicious!
Use for crockpot meatballs...serve over rice!

Better than Manwich for sloppy joes...a favorite Halloween supper treat!
Random Acts of  Fall Crafting...
Repurposed bird cage.
Burlap and Sunflowers.
Dear little owl...
I love sunflowers this time of year...a preview to Fall.
Owls and crows show up in August around my house.
Happy Pre-Fall, Sisters!