Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sheperd's Pie & Banjo Music

It is not often that someone I don't know sets up Dutch ovens in my side yard, fills our plates with shepherd's pie & hot biscuits, and graces my living room with fast-paced banjo music!

In fact, it's only happened once...just this past Monday. As it turned out, fiddler Dave recently struck up a conversation with Jim Huskins and his wife Beverly because of their mutual love of music. Then Jim offered to feed our family and the Molasses Creek band members. I didn't meet Jim until he arrived carrying cast iron Dutch ovens. They were soon set up in my yard, heated with charcoal briquettes...and the cooking began.

Jim made the biscuits on my picnic table as the shepherd's pie cooked nearby.


















By 7 o'clock we were all gathered around my dining room table enjoying the fruits of Jim's labor.














But another treat was waiting for us. All of the musicians brought their instruments. After dessert (David had baked an Ocracoke fig cake, and Marcy brought home-made Halloween cookies) we repaired to the living room for an hour of lively music. 



























Towards 10 o'clock, Jim retrieved his hat, and he & Beverly helped us carry the utensils back to their "motor home," a converted 40' airport shuttle bus.














(You can take a look at Jim's bus building blog here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2541. His travelogue about their trip is here: http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=28203.0).

Everything about Jim and Beverly's visit to my home was memorable...delicious food, wonderful conversation, and fantastic music! Sometimes the unexpected can be the most enjoyable.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rehabilitation

There is good news to share this week. Several years ago the Ocracoke Preservation Society received a bequest from the David and Geraldine Beveridge estate designated to help preserve an island structure. The Society used the money to purchase the Simon and Emma O'Neal house on Lighthouse Road.

The house was subsequently sold, with conservation easements, to a private buyer. He has received approval for the rehabilitation of this house to historic preservation standards, and work began just last week.

This building is a typical turn-of-the-twentieth-century island house, and is located across the street from the Assembly of God church.














We are delighted that OPS saved this house, and we are looking forward to seeing it fully restored and returned to occupancy. Take a look at the progress being made when you walk, bike, or drive down Lighthouse Road.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Costumes

The annual Halloween Parade was held Friday afternoon at the School Circle. Below are a couple of photos. The first is Lachlan as Lizardman and Bones (Bones was just his normal piratical self).


















My favorite (he won the award for "Most Original Costume") was Austin, the little mouse in the trap.














Here are a few other images courtesy of Sally Beachy:




































Halloween is just a few days away. Make sure your costume is ready! If you are on the island be sure to stroll down Lighthouse Road to see the children (and adults) in costume...and maybe get a few treats.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October Newsletter

Well, it's that time of the month again! We've recently published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. This month's article is a reprint of a 1910 account of hunting for waterfowl at Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekends

As I mentioned yesterday, I will no longer be publishing posts on weekends. Look for more Ocracoke Island stories & history tomorrow.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government established at Hatteras in 1861. You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Change of Policy

I have been thinking of doing this for a while, and now it begins. Starting today, except under unusual conditions, I will not be publishing blog posts on Saturdays or Sundays.

So, please check back again on Monday. I will continue to publish Ocracoke Island stories, history, and current events on week days. I love collecting and sharing these stories. I hope you will continue to enjoy reading them.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government established at Hatteras in 1861. You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Corned Fish

"Corning" means to preserve in salt. On the Outer Banks before refrigeration, fish were often "corned" to preserve them.

Corned fish were packed in wooden barrels with tight fitting lids to keep varmints out. The barrels were stored in the shade, and the fish would keep for many months.

According to a 2009 article (http://hamptonroads.com/2009/11/forgotten-art-corning-preserves-fish-months) in PilotOnLine.com:

"The fish should be scaled, beheaded and gutted. No trace of entrails or the black membrane that lines the cavity of the fish should remain. Then the fish should be butterflied, so the maximum amount of flesh will be exposed to the salt.... Once the fish is prepped, sprinkle the bottom of the container with a 'heavy dusting' of salt. Lay the fish on the salt and give it a heavy dusting - it is not necessary to completely cover the fish with salt. Continue layering fish and salt. Seal the container and place it in the refrigerator [obviously, old-timers did not have this option, but corning still worked].

"After three or four days, the salt should have pulled the water from the fish to create a brine. Keep an eye on the water level, and when it stops rising, open the container and add enough fresh water to cover the fish completely and enough extra salt so that crystals are visible. You want to have the water dissolve as much salt as possible. The fish is safe to eat when it is "struck through," meaning that the salt has completely penetrated the flesh. To determine if the fish is struck through, press the flesh with your finger. 'It should be firm, hard, like a board,' Merritt [Jim Merritt, owner of The Catch Seafood at Five Points Community Farm Market in Norfolk] said. After that, it no longer requires refrigeration and is ready to eat...."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government established at Hatteras in 1861. You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm.