Monday, September 23, 2013


Wendell and Eula Mae Moore brought their produce to the Farmer's Market in Hayesville, NC last Saturday.  They loaded their pickup with a fall harvest.  The old-fashioned butternut squash grabbed my attention.

Wendell said they had never raised butternut squash until their son, Phillip, suggested they plant it.  The crop thrieved on their farm in Tusquittee.  They made a wise decision.  Wendell said they sold 50 butternut squash on th townsquare.  I bought some before they sold out.

I recall when I was a child, my mama made butternut squash pies from scratch.  Back then she baked on a woodstove in a hot kitchen.  I can still taste that delicious dessert.  Here's Mama's favorite squash pie recipe:


1 cup squash, cooked and mashed
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Mix squash, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour and sugar.  Add eggs and milk; mix thoroughly.
Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes or until done. 
Yield:  6 servings

I didn't realize how much time it would take to make a squash pie from scratch.  Fortunately, Mama supervised each step of the baking.  Now I know how hard the old-time mountain women worked to prepare food for their families.

If you should decide to use this recipe, you might need to bake the pie longer than the time indicated in the recipe.  I had a hard time getting the pie done.  Sometimes I think maybe it's the weather that makes the difference or the temp. of your oven.  You will need to judge for yourself when the pie looks firm and done.

The pie tasted good with vanilla ice cream.  You could also put Cool Whip on each slice of pie.  Some folks just like the pie plain.  Anyway you like to serve it, I sure hope you will enjoy this fall recipe. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The whimsical creature scampers
like a white cloud
at the breath of dawn
through the inner city trees.

Like a white cloud,
he brushes the dew
through the inner city trees
flickering in the light and shade.

He brushes the dew,
foxgrapes crisscross a rock wall
flickering in the light and shade,
only the shriek of a blue jay.

The ghost of autumn appearing
at the breath of dawn
amazes the sightseer--
a whimsical creature scampers.
                       --Brenda Kay Ledford

Brevard, North Carolina is a sanctuary for the white squirrels and they are protected by city ordiance.  Two squirrels escaped from a circus years ago and these whimsical creatures occupy the inner city trees today.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Ranger Jason Guidry and Don Schneider pictured with the largest red mulberry tree in North Carolina.  Schneider owns the tree and received a certificate from North Carolina Big Tree Program in 2012 for his outstanding tree.  (Photo, courtesy of CLAY COUNTY PROGRESS).

A special tree,
you tower above the forest,
catching sunlight with
heart-shaped leaves.

More than an ornament,
you amaze our state
with your unusual size
and grace a century.

You lift a 69-foot crown,
toss your hair in the clouds,
offering milky white sap,
and cradle baby birds.

You hold a piece of history
in your wrinkled hands:
windstorms, fires, floods.
Your feet cleave to Clay County.
                   --Brenda Kay Ledford

Don Schneider lives off Tusquittee Road in Hayesville, NC in a historic home built by Captain Moore during the Civil War.  His majestic mulberry tree is located behind his home. 


The morning light ricochets through the poplars echoing with birdsong. Native orchids peek through the pine needles on the woodland...