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One traditional way that Owen countians have immortalized their families is by collecting, recording, and passing down recipes to their loved ones.
For most people, food and family are intimately connected, and family recipes are a way of keeping our ancestry, as well as a part of ourselves, alive. Cooking from family recipes can evoke vivid memories of childhood, reminding us of experiences long forgotten and allowing us to relive those feelings of comfort and excitement.
Author Laurie Colwin writes: “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at his/her most solitary times, a cook is surrounded by generations of cooks past, and the advice and menus of cooks present.” As we record the thoughts, ideas, and processes of our traditional family meals, we create an heirloom to hand down to our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. This legacy of food passed from one generation to another can be traced for decades and ties the past to the future.
On Sunday, April 10, the Owen County Historical Society will hold a fund-raiser dinner at the I.O.O.F. hall and will be serving one of Owen County’s old-time favorites, pulled pork barbecue. Most in the county have their own special recipe — some passed down from generation to generation — and our historical society vice-president, Jim Acton, will use his famous formula to delight the taste buds of all who come to enjoy the rich repast. Besides a pork barbecue sandwich, dinner will include french fries, coleslaw, a drink, and dessert. The price of $7 is indeed small for such a sumptuous meal, with the added bonus of supporting the Owen County Historical Society.
Although Texans prefer beef barbecue, in the South, barbecue is synonymous with pork; and though created from the homely pig, barbecue has assumed heroic proportions in Southern culture. The pig has always been a crucial facet of Southern diet, and in earlier times hogs were turned out to forage in the woods, which made pork an inexpensive food source. Each region has its own secret sauces, but all share the same tradition of slow-cooking the meat and hand pulling it before adding special sauces. Aside from its succulent taste, delicious sauces, and smoky flavor, pulled pork barbecue has become a Southern icon, cherished not only by those in southern regions, but by everyone around the country who has sunk their teeth into a sandwich piled high with this savory meat. Mark your calendars and bring your family and friends. Perhaps Jim Acton, who was in the restaurant business for years, will share his secrets of his unforgettable pulled pork barbecue.
The historical society board meeting was held March 24 at the museum, and along with discussion of the April fund-raising dinner, the price for a special dinner in May for society members and their guests was set. At the May meeting a prime rib dinner will be offered at the cost of $10 each. All those members who wish to attend must RSVP either by calling the museum at 484-2529, or president Jeannie Baker at her home, 484-2041. The deadline for reservations is May 1.
An Owen County History Appreciation Day will be held June 25 at the museum and everyone is welcome. A tour of the museum will be rewarded with a ticket for a free lunch comprising of a hot dog, chips, drink, and a cookie.
Ron Devore will present a program at the historical society meeting at 7 p.m. April 14 at the I.O.O.F. hall. Ron is an Owen County artist and dulcimer player. He will be entertaining us with his music, and displaying his compelling art, which will be for sale. Ron and his wife, Shannon, live in Perry Park, and he paints his creations from photographs taken by Shannon. Ron said Shannon’s contributions are “vital to my endeavors.” Please join us for what promises to be an enjoyable evening.