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by Buck Reed

In cooking, there is a hierarchy of dishes, cuisines, and ingredients that most everyone can agree on. But, like most things in life, the simple pleasures are the best pleasures of life. For this reason, I suspect that the biscuit gets the entire month of September to itself.

Good bread is a staple at any meal, but a warm, tasty biscuit can take the spotlight anytime. Biscuits are relatively easy to make compared with bread. Once you learn to make them, they can actually be the most wonderful afterthought you can add to any meal. Good people cook, the best people bake, and I am not even sure you can consider yourself a good person if you can’t make a biscuit. All the great literary characters in Western novels made biscuits, and most considered it a higher calling. Augustus McCrae wouldn’t let anyone besides himself make the morning biscuits.

So, why a whole month dedicated to biscuits? I would suspect because even if it actually has a mixing method named after it—the biscuit mixing method— there are actually a number of ways to create a biscuit. Taking 30 days to explore and experiment with these methods may actually seem like a short time to dedicate to this undertaking. The ingredients are simple enough: flour, fat, salt, and liquid mixed together in the proper proportions, order, and technique, will yield a good biscuit. Of course, like with most simple things, you can complicate them with the addition of other ingredients. Cheese, ham, bacon, and fresh herbs can be added to make a unique addition to flavor. During the Civil War when flour was at a shortage, they made biscuits with sweet potatoes. And like most things made out of necessity, they soon found their way into our repertoire because they are just that tasty. 

The idea is not so much what you can do with a biscuit, but what a biscuit can do for you. Because they can be made so quickly, they have saved me on several occasions. Once, when the bread didn’t quite work out due to bad yeast, we threw together a cheddar biscuit just in time to save the meal. Another time, when the dessert wasn’t cutting it—and you gotta have dessert—a biscuit became strawberry shortcake. We do not use the word fail on the cruise ships.

A quick breakfast sandwich, an accompaniment at tea, an essential in biscuits and gravy, and a necessity for any stew, are just a few of the many uses for biscuits. In fact, you can make a biscuit every day this month and you might not have to serve them the same way twice. Try it!

And, if you want to talk about memorable, I would wager almost everyone can remember the best biscuit they ever had and who made it for them.

by Valerie Nusbaum

We see ourselves a certain way.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), that’s not necessarily the way others see us. Keep in mind that the public self we present isn’t always our whole self, or even our real self. We know what’s going on in our minds, but luckily, those who interact with us don’t. We can change from day to day or moment to moment, and we adapt differently to every situation.

For instance, the Valerie you read about and perceive from this column is only one part of the whole Valerie. In other words, I write about the things I’m comfortable having people read. The events you read about are always based in truth, but sometimes things are omitted or added for the sake of the story. Sometimes, my memory is faulty, and I have to wing it. I never, ever write about (and usually don’t discuss) my big problems, and I make it a point not to discuss touchy subjects like religion and politics. I write about my own life because telling stories about other people might cause hurt feelings. Sometimes, I say or write outrageous things about Randy, but I assume that people know I’m kidding. They don’t always. So…this is me, for sure, but not all of me.

With that being said, I recently set out to discover if other people see me the way I see myself.

As some of you know, in addition to writing, I also have a small art business where I sell my prints and jewelry online as well as at shows, exhibits, and shops. The big focus on sales these days is on “branding.” What is my brand?  Well, I tried to figure that out. The most recent study I read stated that in order to correctly label my products, I first needed to find out how others perceive me (i.e., I am my brand and my brand is me).

Armed with this information, I contacted my closest circle and asked each person to get back to me with three words they’d use to describe me. I asked for total honesty, but reminded everyone that I’m old and my ego is fragile.  Out of 15 people, only 1 didn’t respond. She has been demoted to Friend Tier #2.

Creative was the number one word people used to describe me, with variations of artistic and talented. Second was fun or funny, and tied for third place were friendly and generous. I’m also seen as loyal, honest, caring and thoughtful. One person used the word beautiful, one mentioned integrity and compassion, another said smart, and one person called me bossy. That was my mother. I can’t demote her. Both Randy and my mom gave me long lists of words because each of them said that three words weren’t enough.

This exercise was an eye-opener because I see myself as a strong person and no one mentioned that word. It’s because I don’t share my problems and worries with everyone. You won’t find me on Facebook posting about the bad things that happen in my life. I keep it to myself and am very selective about sharing.  People tend to think that I don’t have any problems and that my life is all unicorns and rainbows because they don’t see that side of me. I’m a very private person, but no one mentioned that either.

My friend Gail had a party a while back. I was there and met some of Gail’s other friends. At lunch afterward, Gail asked if I was interested in hearing how other people perceive me. Sure. Why not? Turns out that one of Gail’s friends had asked her who that very proper lady in the lavender sweater was. Gail said she had no idea because, “the only woman wearing a lavender sweater that day was Valerie, and she’s about the funniest person I know.” We both had a good laugh over this, but being seen as proper isn’t a bad thing. Another friend once told me that I remind her of Thelma Lou on the old Andy Griffith Show. I did not ask why. I was afraid of the answer. I cautioned her not to tell Randy that he reminded her of Barney Fife. She, very seriously, asked if he gets that a lot.

Anyway, I have always seen myself as organized, decisive, clever, private, intuitive, perceptive, and sympathetic, but those are only the good words I’d use to describe myself. I’m not going to tell you the bad ones because you don’t need to know about those. 

Did I figure out my brand?  Well, I guess my art is creative and it’s friendly and generous, too, because I’m often told that my prints remind the buyers of happy times in their lives. They evoke good memories, and while the pieces aren’t necessarily funny, they do make people smile. I didn’t figure this out on my own. Randy had to explain it to me, which might be why only one person said I’m smart.

My point in all of this is that we all might want to remember that there are many, many facets to every single person we know, and we likely don’t see all of them. It’s all a matter of perception. Just FYI: Randy is strong, nurturing, and thoughtful, and that’s only the beginning of all of his good qualities. My thoughtful, loving, and entertaining mother is bossy, too. I get it honestly

Murder or Suicide, An Unanswered Question

by James Rada, Jr.

Elmer K. Buhrman hadn’t heard from his son, Melvin Cletus Buhrman, over the weekend of January 19-21, 1923. It was unusual because Melvin’s house in Foxville didn’t have running water. He had to visit his father’s house regularly to fill buckets and bottles with water.

Elmer walked the 500 feet between the two houses and knocked on the door. When there was no answer, he tried the doorknob. The door was locked. He used his key to enter the house, thinking he would fill up the buckets with water to help Cletus.

Inside, he found Cletus sprawled on the floor dead from a shot through the chest. Elmer ran back to his house and called the police and a doctor. Dr. E. C. Kefauver drove up from Thurmont and examined the body.

Dr. Kefauver deduced that Buhrman had pressed the butt of a 20-guage shotgun against the wall and the barrel against his chest. Then he had used a stick to pull the trigger. Death was instantaneous.

Melvin had last been seen Friday afternoon on January 19, so he died somewhere between that time and the time Elmer found his son.

For the doctor, it was a clear case of suicide. Justice Robert Cadow didn’t even call for an inquest in the case.

However, rumors soon spread through Foxville. “While no evidence indicating that the young man had been murdered had been brought to light, persons living in the neighborhood of his home declare considerable mystery surrounds the circumstances of his death and the tragedy has been the sole theme of conversation in the mountain town since the body was found,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The fact that Elmer hadn’t heard the killing shot when he lived so close to his son made people suspicious.

Although Melvin was found in a locked room, doubters pointed out that a key was found on the ground outside of the house. The killer could have entered the home, killed Melvin, and locked the door behind him.

Despite the rumors, States Attorney Aaron R. Sanders said that no investigation of murder had been performed or even asked for. Sheriff James Jones was asked why he hadn’t investigated the death. He said the same thing that Anders had.             

Officials seemed to believe the suicide resulted from domestic problems. “It is thought that worry over his domestic affairs caused him to end his life,” the Frederick News reported.

Melvin had been living alone for the previous three weeks after his wife, Lillian, left him with their two children. He had married his wife six years earlier when she was just 13 years old.

The Frederick News reported, “Friday morning Buhrman went there [to his in-laws’ home] and choked his wife severely during a quarrel, in which he is said to have threatened her life if she did not return.” Lillian broke away from her husband, ran into the house, and locked herself inside.

While this supported the suicide story, it also provided a motive for anyone in Lillian’s family to have killed Melvin.

Melvin was buried in the Mount Moriah Lutheran Church Cemetery in Foxville. Meanwhile, the rumors lingered, although it never reached a point where the Buhrmans asked for an investigation or the sheriff felt the need to investigate.

Carry On, Brave Mother

by Anita DiGregory

Over the last few months, I have been blessed to have the opportunities to meet and talk with many moms from all across the country—new moms, seasoned (notice I didn’t say “old”) moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms. I have talked with moms who teared up as they shared how hard it is going to be this month as they drop their little one off at preschool for the first time…how heartbreaking it will be to walk away. And I have talked with moms who shared their stories about packing up and dropping off their children at college.

Through tears and smiles, these moms shared their fears and joys, sadness and pride, all those mom emotions that accompany packing up a child (who seems like only yesterday was toddling around trying to take first steps) and depositing them and their mounds of stuff on a college campus, and then somehow trying to say goodbye. I myself have had the pleasure (and sadness) this month to have two not-so-little ones spread their wings and head out to tackle their next adventure.

Being a mom is an immeasurable blessing, but it is also a miraculous paradox. It is forever holding on and letting go. It is multi-tasking a million different things in a day, while precisely focusing on the hearts in your care and trying to imprint little MOMents in your memory forever. It is being a powerful force in someone’s life and development and being invisible at the same time. It is smiling even when your heart is breaking. It is saying, “It’s all going to be okay,” to someone who really needs to hear those words, when quite honestly, you don’t really know if it will be. It is staying close enough to be there when they need you, but far enough away that they can make their own mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them.

Let’s face it: this mom club is pretty intensive. Unfortunately, there is no handbook, no “official how-to produce faith-filled, well-adjusted, happy, helpful, successful, caring adults” manual.  Believe me, there are times I would have happily paid all I had to flip to the back page of this life’s novel to make sure it all turns out okay.

Logically, you would think motherhood would get easier as they get older. In some ways, maybe it does. But honestly, for me, as my children have grown older and their struggles and challenges have gotten tougher, this motherly load has gotten heavier. 

Sometimes, I feel like a sponge, not the mysterious, colorful, intricate ones at the bottom of the ocean, but rather the old, smelly, porous thing that is pulled out every time there is a spill, and it still manages (despite its age and appearance) to soak it all up. 

I can actually feel myself just absorbing all the pain, sufferings, joys, and elations of those around me. Sometimes, it can feel really heavy. But did you know there is actually something known as a “mother sponge” in the baking process of sourdough bread. 

The mother sponge is actually the necessary, smelly, beginning process that allows the resulting sourdough bread to rise and produce its bold, unique taste. So, here we are in September with all the changes it will bring before us. I guess that is just a part of the exhilarating, exhausting rollercoaster ride that is motherhood: the sadness and tears, the worries and anxiety, the utter joy and celebration. 

For me, this rollercoaster has been quite intense these past few months. As I try to go forward after two more have left the nest, I must say it has been hard. This is the undeniable part of being a mother: to be a mother is to be a cheerleader, intercessor, consoler, crier, worrier, celebrator, confident, and resting place.

Whatever this season brings you, momma, fear not; know you are not alone; you are seen, and you are loved. “Breathe, sweet mom. Your kids need you. Not perfect. But you. With your worries. And your laughs. And your fails. And your try agains.  Your love. Your showing up.  That’s what matters. Breathe, sweet mom.”

                                ~Rachel Martin

Although Edward Bowman Coleman was born in Port Republic, Virginia, in 1924, he has lived most of his life in the Blue Ridge Summit and Sabillasville areas.

In the early 1920s, his father rented a farm in Virginia, earning $1.00 a month, two hogs, and a house to live in. Later, the family moved north and rented farms that the banks had foreclosed on during the hard times of the Great Depression. When the farm was sold, the Colemans moved on to another foreclosed farm. Once the Colemans lived next to the Browns, the mothers would do their Monday laundry together because Edward’s mother had a gas-powered washer! Edward did not notice at the time the Bowman’s 13-year-old daughter….but he would later!

Edward’s father worked at the Crown, Cork and Seal Co. until he broke his leg, resulting in one leg being shorter than the other. His father then moved to Baltimore to work at the Martin Marietta Plant and would return home to Sabillasville on the weekends. Edward attended the brick school at Sabillasville through seventh grade, and then went on to Thurmont High School, where he graduated in 1942.

Edward followed his father to Baltimore to work at Martin Marietta as well, but with war engulfing the entire world, the U.S. Army drafted Edward in February 1943. After training, he was assigned to Company A, 149th Infantry, 38th Division, nick-named the Cyclone Division. In January 1944, the division shipped out as part of a large convoy that traveled through the Panama Canal on its way to Hawaii. The wrecks of the ships the Japanese sunk on December 7, 1941, were still visible, and his company patrolled the beaches until they were sent to New Guinea for “mopping up” operations. Luckily, they did not encounter any enemy troops, but Edward did notice that the native women did not wear bras!

Then they traveled to the Philippine Island of Leyte, where the American troops first invaded the island nation. Ironically, Leyte is where a Japanese sniper severely injured Graceham native, Sterling Seiss. Before Edward arrived, they encountered a bizarre quirk of nature: a fine white powder that reduced visibility to zero suddenly engulfed their ship. Without warning, their ship beached on a coral outcropping just beneath the sea with no land in sight! Unable to get the ship off the coral, the troops boarded other smaller landing crafts. They eventually discovered a volcanic eruption miles away that caused the white cloud.

Once again, Edward’s company performed “mopping up” operations. The enemy had abandoned a strategic landing strip, and Edward’s company was there to protect it. Edward and a comrade dug a foxhole and two slit trenches to rest in while another soldier kept guard. They switched jobs every two hours. Edward had just finished his duty and was trying to get a little rest when a grenade exploded right in front of his buddy, killing him instantly. In the battle that followed, Japanese paratroopers attempted to regain the airstrips. They failed, but the Japanese killed 18 men in Edward’s company.

With Leyte finally secure, the 149th was loaded up and sent to Subic Bay in Luzon. Manila had finally fallen, and 100,000 Filipinos died in the horrific fighting there. Gen. Douglas MacArthur then declared the Philippines secure, neglecting to mention the thousands of enemy troops still in the mountainous north. Once more, Edward’s regiment was sent to “mop up” northern Luzon. They were still fighting when the Japanese surrendered after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of their battles on the Bataan peninsula, they are called the Avengers of Bataan.

After spending nearly two years abroad, Coleman was finally discharged in November 1945, having earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star. He returned home to meet his youngest sibling, a sister, born when he was in the Pacific.

Jobs were hard to come by after the War, and Edward worked at Fairchild in Hagerstown and at Martin Marietta. Then, using the GI Bill, he attended an aeronautic mechanic’s school. Martin Marietta rehired him, and he spent the rest of his career with the company, even moving to Orlando, Florida, in order to keep his job.

In 1949, he married the now-grown-up Doris Brown, whom he had met so long ago. They had three daughters: Denise, Donna, and Darlene.

When Edward’s father died, Edward bought his house in Sabillasville, where he now spends the summer enjoying the peace of the Catoctin Mountains. However, when the cool winds begin to blow, the family returns to their home in Orlando. In good health, Edward enjoys the mountains and still gardens with the help of his nephew. He revels in the love of his family that now includes four grandchildren.

If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is willing to tell his or her story, contact the Frederick County Veterans History Project at priscillarall@gmail.com.

Mountain View Ministries Church of God

by Theresa Dardanell

Support of local, national and international missions and evangelism is important to the members of Mountain View Ministries Church of God, but Pastor Jeff Shaw said, “The number one outreach is leading people to Christ and then mentoring them in order that they may grow in the Lord.  One way we do this is through a 4-week discipleship program, which enlightens people to find the will of God for their life.” 

Their uplifting Sunday service begins with inspiring contemporary music led by Worship Music Director Sissie Jerrell and the Praise Team with guitar, keyboard and drum accompaniment.  Reverend Shaw continues the service with announcements and a call to pray for members in need. Pastor Shaw’s reading of Scripture and his accompanying message are met with enthusiastic calls of “Praise the Lord” and “Amen” from the congregation.  Once a month, the service concludes with Communion. Revival Sundays this year will feature guest pastors: Pastor Robert Redford on October 20 and Pastor Jerry Price on October 27. Christian song writer Willis Canada will be featured in concert during Revival Sunday on November 3. 

Locally, the church donates to Catoctin High School Safe and Sane and the Thurmont Police Department.  On the first Sunday of every month, the Pastor Shaw and members visit the residents of Moser Manor in Thurmont to provide a meal, a message, and fellowship.  They provide financial support to many of the Church of God ministries including Youth World Evangelism Action, Church of God International Women’s Ministries and the children’s home in Tennessee.  National and international financial support also includes Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse, Kibera Kids center in Africa for AIDS orphans, and the Wycliffe organization which helps people translate the Bible into their own languages.

Everyone is invited to join in all events and activities.  The annual “Blessing Day” in July is like a yard sale with tables of clothes and household items set up in front of the church, but it’s even better because everything is free!  During the winter, families get together for movie nights in the church. A giant splash pad, basketball, ladder ball, and corn hole were the activites during family fun days this summer.  The annual picnic will be held this year on September 15 after the morning service; join them for food, fun and fellowship.

Pastor Jeff Shaw and Meredyth Shaw began their ministry, originally named Thurmont Church of God, in their home in 1992.  The church relocated several times over the years; the current church building was dedicated in 1997 and renamed Mountain View Ministries.  It began with 13 charter members. The congregation has grown since that time but Joe and Colleen Tumulty have been with the church since the beginning.   When I spoke to Joe Tumulty about the practice of adult baptism in the church, he explained the doctrine of “believer’s baptism” which is baptism for people who make the choice to receive the Lord as Savior.  They are then encouraged to seek the baptism of the Spirit.

Mountain View Ministries is located at 103 Apples Church Road in Thurmont.  They would love to hear from you; call them at 301-271-9088 or email mountainviewministries@yahoo.com.  You will find lots of additional information on their website, www.mountainviewministriesinc.com, including a calendar of events, a message from Pastor Shaw, a declaration of faith and the mission statement: “At Mountain View Ministries, we will be equipping believers and carrying out our vision by acceptance, prayer,  worship, Bible study, leadership, spiritual gifts and counseling care.”

Pastor Shaw (pictured in back row, with white shirt and tie) and members of Mountain View Ministries Church of God.

Study Shows Food Additives Alter Gut Microbes and Cause Diseases in Mice

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Our digestive tract is home to 100 trillion bacteria, collectively known as the gut microbiota. These bacteria help with metabolism and maintaining a healthy immune system. Changes in this microbial community can cause chronic diseases.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that a study on food additives (also called emulsifiers) promoted colitis and metabolic syndrome in mice by altering gut microbes. These emulsifiers—detergent-like food additives found in a variety of processed foods—have the potential to damage the intestinal barrier, leading to inflammation and increasing our risk of chronic disease. Emulsifiers are used because oil and water will not mix until an emulsifying agent is added. Emulsifiers made from plant, animal, and synthetic sources are often added to processed foods such as mayonnaise, ice cream, and baked goods creating a smooth texture and preventing separation while extending shelf life.     

The findings of the study suggested that certain food additives might play a role in the increasing incidence of obesity and chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Findings appeared in Nature on March 5, 2015.

The research team lead by Dr. Andrew T. Gewirtz, professor of biology at Georgia State University, studied the thick layer of mucus that separates gut bacteria from the lining of the intestine. The team wondered whether chemicals that disrupt this mucus barrier might alter the gut microbiota and play a role in disorders associated with inflammation, including inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

“What we’ve been attempting to understand for the past several years is the increase in metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases that affect digestion,” explains Gewirtz. Metabolic syndrome includes obesity, increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. All these conditions, Gewirtz explains, “are associated with changes in gut bacteria.”

The recent, dramatic increase in metabolic-related diseases cannot be attributed solely to genetics, says Gewirtz. Human genetics haven’t changed in recent decades. Therefore, he and his colleagues set out to investigate environmental factors that might be responsible, including “modern additions to the food supply.”

Previous research suggested that emulsifiers could be implicated. For the new study, researchers fed mice emulsifiers in either their water or food. The experiment used polysorbate 80 (found in ice cream, sherbet, mayonnaise, and salad dressing) and carboxymethylcellulose (found in ice cream, dressing, cheese, icing, toppings, gelatinous desserts, infant/baby formula, candy, cottage cheese, and cream cheese spread) and found that it altered microbiota in a way that caused chronic inflammation. They tested the emulsifiers at levels below those approved for use in food and at levels modeled to mirror “what a person would eat, if they eat a lot of processed food.”

Mice with abnormal immune systems fed emulsifiers developed chronic colitis. Those with normal immune systems developed mild intestinal inflammation and a metabolic disorder that caused them to eat more, and become obese, hyperglycemic, and insulin resistant.

The inflammatory response prompted by eating emulsifiers, explains Gewirtz, appears to interfere with “satiety” (a state of being completely full, someone who has eaten enough) and can lead to overeating. The mice experiencing this inflammation developed more fat.

Gewirtz explains that the emulsifiers appear to disturb both the bacteria normally present in the gut and the gut’s protective mucus layer. The chemistry of the emulsifiers seem to change the microbiota and how these bacteria interact with the intestine itself. The combination, Gewirtz says, sets the stage for inflammation. He is quick to say that these food additives are by no means the “only cause of the obesity epidemic or inflammatory bowel disease.” However, emulsifiers may be a factor contributing to excess eating. The results showed that changes in the gut microbiota caused by dietary emulsifiers could drive inflammation and metabolic changes.

“We do not disagree with the commonly held assumption that over-eating is a central cause of obesity and metabolic syndrome,” said Gewirtz. However, these results suggest that modern additions to the food supply can interact with gut microbiota to influence inflammation, metabolism, and weight.

Probiotics are live microorganisms (e.g., bacteria) that are either the same as, or similar to, microorganisms found naturally in the human body and may be beneficial to health. If you picture the human body as a “host” for bacteria and other microorganisms, you might have a better understanding of probiotics. The body, especially the lower gastrointestinal tract (the gut), contains a complex and diverse community of bacteria. Although we tend to think of bacteria as harmful “germs,” many bacteria actually help the body function properly.

Probiotics are available to consumers in oral products such as dietary supplements and fermented foods, such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir. Because of how they are prepared, they contain microorganisms that boost the diversity of good bacteria, yeasts, and fungi living in our guts.

Probiotics also might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They also can replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria. 

Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There is some evidence that probiotics may be helpful for acute diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children.

Although studies are limited to large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60 percent, when compared with a placebo. More common than diarrhea is the opposite problem of constipation. Researchers have found that probiotics increase the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and probiotics help to soften stools, making them easier to pass.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease.  Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are trying probiotics before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they are using.   

Harboring a flourishing gut flora has been linked to lower obesity, fewer autoimmune conditions and digestion problems, longer lifespan, good brain function, and happiness in some studies.

It is important to be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any health claims for probiotics.

If you are struggling with some of the symptoms mentioned in this article or other health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Celebrating the Vegetable, Celery

Perhaps celebrating celery may be a little excessive. It’s a reminder that we should remember this nutritious vegetable. Celery is a low-calorie vegetable. It is nutritious and anti-oxidant-rich.

Two medium celery stalks (one serving) has just 18 calories. Choose large, firm stalks that are pale to deeper green, with leafy ends. This vegetable contains a list of other vitamins, too. Celery contains an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Based on 2,000 calories/day, celery provides 40 percent of Vitamin K and 10 percent of Vitamin A, supporting eye health.

It also contains dietary fiber (1.6 grams per cup), which helps curb cravings because it absorbs water in the digestive tract, making you feel fuller longer.

Organic celery is best, to reduce exposure to contaminants like pesticides. Be sure to wash thoroughly, whether grown organically or non-organically.

To keep celery for a week, store unwashed stalks in airtight plastic bag. They’ll keep fresh until ready to use. Also, the leaves can be stored in dampened plastic bag for future seasoning or dried.

Yours truly uses celery to season soup, salads, stuffing, casseroles, and main dishes. Also, the leaves are a clever way to garnish a dish.

Celery is a nutritious snack. Try topping it with peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese, or dipping the stalks in a variety of sauces, including hummus, cheese sauce, salad dressing, vegetable dip, and yogurt.

Next time you’re looking for a healthy snacking vegetable, go for the celery, with its low calories and various nutrients; also, it’s available year-round  It’s a winner all the way!

Predators

by Christine Maccabee

The first time I witnessed a large butterfly in the clutches of a “preying” mantis I was shocked. Within a couple minutes, the mantis had eaten the entire body of the helpless butterfly, its wings drifting silently to the ground. Silence and stealth are the trademarks of a predator. So much is happening in secret in the insect world, we could all call our gardens the “Secret Garden.’’ Earlier that same summer, back in the ‘90s, I had discovered many pairs of butterfly wings under various flowering plants, attributing them to natural deaths. However, after seeing this one instance of predatory behavior of that mantis , and reading up a bit about it, I knew better. In fact, I knew the war was on as I watched a mantis consuming a honey bee! Of all things!

So began my mission to capture every mantis I could find on my morning and evening “mantes (pl.)patrols,” grasping them with a gloved hand, putting them in a convenient container with a lid, and feeding them to my chickens—a bit of extra protein for my good birds. When fall and winter came, I went around the gardens where I would find mantis egg cases, cutting them in half with pruning clips or putting them underfoot. Each egg case of the mantis holds at least 100 babies, so I was able to control population by this simple method.

Thus, I had become the predator of the “preying” mantis. Mantis have few, if any, predators due to their sharp forelegs and fierce appearance, but they don’t scare me!

By the way, praying mantis are not praying, trust me. They are simply protecting themselves, or waiting to pounce in a flash on unsuspecting prey. That is why I refuse to refer to them by their official praying mantis name, instead always calling them “preying” mantis instead, in case you were wondering.

Now, I realize that many people love preying mantis. But why have a garden with flowers as a magnet for butterflies and bees only to have it become a death trap? Since the 1990s, when I first discovered my problem, I have clearly made a difference in the population of mantes in my gardens. However, now and then I see one, and …well, you know what I do. Even without chickens now, I dispose of them by other means. One can get fairly creative when it comes to predation.

This year, I ran into another problem having to do with other predators. I know there is a fine line between predation and survival, so I do understand when monarch caterpillars begin disappearing from my milkweed. However, this year I noticed an overabundance of predatory hornets and wasps.

Doing a little research, I learned that many of these insects do suck nectar and eat rotting fruit, so they serve a purpose when it comes to pollination and cleanup services. However, many of them are carnivorous as well, especially when it comes to their young. They will find a caterpillar or other soft-bodied insect and pre-chew it as food for their larva back in their nest.

So, of course, I brought as many monarch larva as I could find, along with their host plant, milkweed, into my house. As we speak, my second chrysalis is soon to open into a full-fledged adult, and there are two larva feeding safely on milkweed, soon to transform into their chrysalis. The ones that I cannot save are out there, on their own, such is the nature of life.

There are many other predators in our wildlife habitat jungles, too numerable to write about here.* I often contemplate about the difference between wild and supposedly civilized human predators, and must say, there is a huge difference. As we read and hear in the news, humans prey on other humans, whereas most insects and animals usually do not, seeking other species as their necessary food. Their actions are not mercenary or ego-driven; they hunt for their survival. As for human predation, that is a sad situation we are all concerned about, and the answer to that mystery is yet to be solved, if ever.

Keep the balance; do your part. That’s all we can do.

*Some common predators: assasin bugs, tiger beetles, ant lions, wheel bugs.

Capture and contain it with care. If you see a stray cat or dog, try to capture and contain the animal if circumstances permit. Always approach stray animals slowly and cautiously while speaking in a calm, gentle voice. You can also use food to coax a frightened animal into approaching you. Ideally, dogs should be secured using a leash or contained in a fenced yard. Most cats do not like to be held for any length of time, so stray kitties are best confined inside a cat carrier, secure box (with air holes), small room of your house, or temporarily in your car (as long as the car is well ventilated and not too hot).

Call the authorities. Never put yourself in harm’s way by attempting to capture an animal that is behaving aggressively. Call your local animal control or police department immediately. Be sure to give the dispatcher the exact street address where the animal was last seen.

Check for ID. Once you have contained the lost pet, check to see if the animal is wearing an ID tag. If so, you may be able to immediately contact the owner and return the pet to her or him.

Get the pet scanned for a microchip. If the pet is not wearing an ID tag, the best course of action is to either take it to your local animal shelter or call the animal control/police department to pick it up and transport it to the shelter. The shelter staff will scan the animal for a microchip.

Take pets with no ID to an animal shelter. If the animal has no ID tag or microchip, its best chance of being reunited with its owner is generally at an animal shelter. The shelter is the one obvious place where owners are likely to look for lost pets.

Post fliers. Whether you hold the lost animal yourself or place it in the custody of your local shelter, there are several ways you can help find the owner. If possible, take a photo of the pet and post fliers around the area where the pet was found. You can also place a “found” ad in the classified section of your local newspaper.

by Buck Reed

Stir Fry Guidelines

Stir-frying is a great way to prepare a quick main course or meal. These dishes are low in fat and taste fresh, and the textures are very appealing. However, getting them to turn out right can be a little challenging. Using the following guidelines and practice can help.

Equipment

Wok

A heavy skillet can do the job properly; you really should investigate purchasing a wok. The design of the wok helps to distribute the heat, which is needed to cook the ingredients properly and evenly. This shape also keeps the oil from splattering, and it prevents the contents from spilling over the sides as you stir or toss them. A wok can work well as a regular fry pan or even a deep fryer.

Wooden Spoons

Use wooden spoons to keep your ingredients moving in your wok. Using two of them will also help you pick up and turn the ingredients.

Ingredients

Oil

You will need an oil with a high “smoke point,” that is, one that you can heat to a high temperature without it burning. Peanut, sesame, safflower, vegetable, and even olive oil or a combination of any two, will make excellent choices. NEVER use butter or margarine as these will not work well under the kind of heat that you need to generate.

Vegetables

Choose vegetables that are fresh, and clean them under warm water. Cut each vegetable into the same size pieces so they will cook uniformly. Some canned vegetables are acceptable, such as water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, but try to stick to fresh whenever possible.

Meat

Most any kind of meat, poultry, or seafood can work well. Cut into a uniform size.

Preparation

Be Ready With All Ingredients

Since this is a very quick cooking method, make sure all of your ingredients are prepared and ready to go into the pan.

You will not have time to find that one essential ingredient as your stir fry burns away.

What to Add First and Last

First, add the oil to your heated wok. Pour it in so that it covers the sides. After the oil heats, add any aromatic ingredients: onions, garlic, ginger. These will help flavor the oil and transfer that flavor to the rest of your dish. Stir them around a few seconds, but do not allow them to burn.

Then, progressively add the other ingredients, starting with the ingredients that require the longest cooking time. Meats or poultry would probably be your first choice, as you will want to get a fast sear on them before they start to cook.

If you are cooking seafood, such as shrimp and scallops, you may want to sear them and cook them most of the way, then remove them. Add them back to the stir fry towards the end to heat them back up and finish cooking them.

Then, denser vegetables like carrots and celery should go into the wok, followed by softer things such as green beans, zucchini, and bell peppers. Then, you’ll want to add leafy vegetables, like spinach, near the end of the cooking time. Also, this is a good time to add any canned vegetables or nuts you may be using.

Finally, add any sauces or flavorings that the recipe requires, and, in some cases, thicken with corn starch. As you are cooking and adding your ingredients, use your wooden spoon to toss and stir them. You want to get every part of the stir fry into contact with the base as evenly as possible, so they cook properly.

All kinds of ingredients are good for stir fry, so do not be afraid to experiment. You can make a different one each time, experimenting with different sauces and vegetables and meats.

If you follow the guidelines and practice often, you will soon be making stir fry dishes that you and your family will thoroughly enjoy.

The Anger of Innocence

Story Written by James Rada, Jr.

Part 2: The Power

“The Anger of Innocence” is a six-part original serial set in the Graceham area during 1973. Serialized fiction is something that older newspapers often did as an additional way to entertain their readers. We thought it was about time for serial to make a comeback. Let us know what you think.

Sarah Adelsberger’s hand trembled as the 14-year-old reached for the bottle of Coca-Cola on her aunt’s kitchen table. She grasped the glass bottle with both hands and gulped down most of the soda until she thought a giant belch would explode from her throat.

Had she really seen thousands of birds attack another student from Thurmont Middle School? If not, then what had happened to Christine Weber? The birds had surrounded and covered her, and when they had left, Christine had vanished.

Sarah shivered and then smiled. It might be a terrifying image to recall, but Christine, her school tormentor, was gone.

A macaw landed on the table in front of Sarah. She jumped. It was just Francis, her Aunt Anna’s pet bird. Unlike any pet bird Sarah had ever seen, Francis wasn’t kept in a cage. He was allowed to fly around the house wherever he wanted. Amazingly, he always seemed to do his business in a sink or toilet. Aunt Anna insisted the bird wasn’t trained, but birds didn’t do that on their own, did they?

“Sarah, what’s wrong?”

Her aunt had stood up from the table to get herself a piece of apple pie. Now she stared at Sarah from the counter.

“I saw something today…I think it was horrible, but I’m not sure,” Sarah said.

“Tell me.”

So Sarah explained how she had followed Christine home after school to confront her and end Christine’s bullying. Sarah had been standing behind a tree, working up her courage to confront Christine, when the birds had attacked, and Christine had vanished.

“Marvelous,” Aunt Anna said when Sarah finished.

“Marvelous? Didn’t you listen? Christine vanished!”

Aunt Anna nodded. “I heard you. It was your power protecting you.”

Sarah shook her head. “My power? What power? What are you talking about?”

Aunt Anna pulled a chair near Sarah. She sat down across from her niece and held her hands. Anna Whitcomb was only 10 years older than Sarah, so they were more like friends than aunt and niece.

“I’ve been telling you that you have power. It runs in our family. If you have it, it makes itself known during puberty,” Anna said.

Sarah’s brow furrowed. This is what her aunt had been talking to her about since the school year had started? Sarah had just thought her aunt was a women’s libber, talking about the power of women in the 1970s.

But, this…this was unreal. Yet, Sarah had seen it happen.

“Christine was a bully,” her aunt said. “You told me so yourself.”

Sarah nodded slowly. “Christine had been picking on me again in school, calling me a cow.”

Sarah was pudgy, while Christine had hit puberty early and wore make-up so she looked like a high school prom queen. People said Sarah, her aunt, and Sarah’s mother all looked like sisters. Sarah only hoped that in 10 years she would look like her aunt with her shapely figure.

“Your power acted to protect you from Christine,” Anna said.

“But what about Christine?” Sarah asked. “All I found was a little bit of blood and a piece of her book bag.”

Sarah pulled the piece of blue canvas out of her pocket. She held it up for her aunt to see.

Anna smiled and nodded. “In that moment, you must have hated Christine for what she did to you, and your power worked through the familiars to take care of it for you.”

“My familiars?”

“Your spirit animal. Familiars can use our power to aid us when we need it. In our family, birds are often our familiars.”

Sarah glanced at Francis, who was still sitting on the table seemingly following the conversation. He even nodded when Sarah looked at him.

“But how?” Sarah asked.

Anna stroked Sarah’s hair. Their hair was the same color, but Sarah thought hers was stringy compared with her aunt’s lustrous, raven-black hair. “That doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that judging by the number of birds that responded to your need, you are very powerful, and that power will take care of any problems that threaten you.”

Sarah knew her aunt meant to comfort her, but the comment scared her.

When Sarah’s mother picked her up after she finished work, Sarah said nothing about what had happened to Christine. Aunt Anna had warned her that people who didn’t understand the power would not believe her or even fear her.

At the dinner table with her parents, Sarah stared out the window at the birds eating from one of the feeders that her mom maintained in the backyard.

“It’s late in the season for so many birds to be around,” her mother said when she noticed Sarah staring out the window.

“Is it?” Sarah said, barely paying attention to what her mother was saying.

“It’s November,” her mother said. “Most of them should have flown south to warmer places.”

“Why not all of them?”

“I guess they have a reason to stay. They’re lovely, aren’t they? I love to watch them fly. They are so free when they are in the air, gliding along on nothing but an air current.” Her mother sighed as she turned to watch three starlings hopping around on a bird feeder.

Later, after Sarah finished washing the dinner dishes, she put on a jacket and walked into the backyard to get closer to the birds.

She comes.

Sarah looked around but saw no one. “Who’s there?”

Will you make us act?

She realized the voice was in her head, but it wasn’t her voice. Then she saw a cowbird sitting at her feet. She held out her hand to the bird, and it flew up and landed on her palm. Sarah leaned closer and stared at the bird.

What would you force us to do this time?

“Is that your voice I’m hearing?”

Let us leave.

“Us? What? The birds?”

You are bad.

Sarah frowned. “What are you talking about?”

You force us.

“I don’t force you to do anything.”

You made us take the other one.

The other one must have meant Christine. She was the only one the birds had taken.

“I didn’t make you take her. The power did.” Sarah realized that she was arguing with a bird, but she couldn’t help it. She felt a surge of anger come from nowhere.

You are bad.

“Then go!” Sarah yelled. “If you want to leave so much. Go!”

The cowbird flew off of her hand, its wings flapping furiously. Sarah thought it would fly away, but it flew full force into the side of the house. She heard a sickening thud, and then the bird fell to the ground.

The anger vanished.

Sarah ran over and scooped up the bird in her hands. It didn’t move. She stroked its head gently.

“Don’t be dead. Don’t be dead.”

The bird’s head turned at an awkward angle. Its wings flapped, and suddenly it was standing in her hand.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

The bird stared at her, and Sarah realized that instead of black, the bird’s eyes were a smoky white.

Fly now.

Sarah heard the voice, but it wasn’t the same as the voice she had heard earlier. This one was deeper and sounded scratchy.

“It that you?” she asked.

Yes.

The bird flew off.

Had she brought the bird back to life? What was happening to her?

Poem by Francis Smith

In the gray-green glade

dappled by the morning sun

patchwork wilderness

Hemlock, dogwood, elm

grace the rapid woodland scene

pierce the plunging rocks

Little watery pools

reflecting the heaven’s blue

form in hollow rocks

Gray rock and green tree

every glimpse a vista

white sun on white waters

Lichen, moss, and fern

their tempting texture pleases

nature-lover’s eye

In the rocky wood

so many a tiny trickle

pours into a stream

Celestial solitude

captured in the gray-green rock

and falling waters

The Getaway

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy and I haven’t been able to do much traveling over the last several years, and we both miss our excursions and adventures, particularly the road trips to places unknown. Since we can’t take those long vacations any more, we made a bargain with each other to find new places to visit that are closer to home and can be reached in a few hours. Day trips can be fun and spontaneous, with no reservations required and no deposits to be lost if the trip has to be cancelled.

Not too long ago, we were spending a lazy morning having breakfast and reading the newspaper. I mean the actual newspaper, not the internet news.  We’re dinosaurs, remember?  Anyway, I saw an ad for Seven Springs Resort somewhere in Pennsylvania, and I was curious about it. This was a Saturday morning and still early, so we looked at each other and said, “Why not?” The ad I’d seen advertised a food truck festival and a grand and glorious fireworks display at dusk. Over 30 food trucks were promised and 3,000 brilliant explosions lasting forty minutes. How could we go wrong?

We got ready, grabbed our go-bags and some water bottles and headed out the door. We gassed up the truck, got some cash (again, we’re dinosaurs), and decided to swing through the McDonald’s drive-thru for some sustenance and Diet Cokes. I ordered the oatmeal and Randy got an Egg McMuffin, along with our drinks. We pulled up to the pay window and the nice lady said that our order had been paid for by the person in front of us. Wow! What a nice thing to have happen, and we’re very grateful to our unknown benefactor. Randy looked like a deer caught in the headlights, because he’d had a previous experience with the “pay-it-forward” thing and it hadn’t gone well. I nudged him and told him to ask the cost of the order behind us. It wasn’t much at all and we were happy to pay for it. An even better thing was that we recognized the folks in the car behind us. We don’t know them, per se, but we’ve seen them around town, and we were glad to do something for them.

The Nusbaums headed out of Thurmont feeling good about things and excited to be out and about.  I always enjoy being on the road with Randy because we have some of our best conversations during those times. We sight-see and we aren’t on the clock, so if we want to pull over and explore something, we can do that. I did remind him that the food truck festival started at 3:00 p.m., but we had plenty of time and the trip would only take three hours at most.

Seven Springs Resort is in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, not far from Somerset. That’s an area we’d wanted to visit anyway, so we took note of things that we’d want to look at in more detail on a possible future trip there.  Breakfast had been early, and we’d skipped lunch in order to be hungry enough to visit several of the food trucks. Don’t judge us. It was an adventure.

Along the way, we did notice a restaurant in Somerset called Eat & Park. The place was packed, and I’m sure we’ll stop there if we go back up that way again; but, it did beg the question: Shouldn’t the order of the name be reversed? I’d definitely park first.

We finally found the resort nestled way, way back in the mountain. We parked and went looking around. We found it to be a very rustic place, with lots of activities. Of course, the ski slopes weren’t in use, but the lifts were, and there were toboggan rides.  The weather was actually a bit chilly and drizzly, but it felt good to us after the heat wave we’d been experiencing.

We purchased our tickets for the festival, and were waiting at the gate with a lot of other hungry people at 3:00 p.m. It became a blur after that. The best empanadas ever—I’m still dreaming about them. Then, a chili-rice bowl and lasagna-stuffed eggrolls. The list goes on and on. We ate a s’mores crepe and then some pizza. Randy and I shared everything so that we could taste more dishes. I didn’t care for the smoked mac and cheese, and I’m still not sure what the Venezuelan platter was all about. I do know that the three meats were delicious, but I honestly don’t know if I ate plantains or French fries.

 Luckily, I had some Tums in my go-bag. Incidentally, old people carry go-bags when we take day trips. Extra underwear and a toothbrush are always a good idea.

The hours flew by, and since we had planned to see the fireworks, we decided to see if we could get a room for the night. Yes! We were pretty tired, so we sat on our balcony in our make-shift pajamas and watched the gorgeous display.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it, but I did point out that it only lasted twenty minutes—not the forty minutes we’d been promised. 

We went inside our room and stretched out on the bed. It was 10:00 p.m. We’d had a full day, stuffed ourselves, and we were tired. Then the second act of the fireworks started. We didn’t care.  We just opened the curtains and watched through the window.

August 1919, 100 Years Ago

Little Girl Killed

On Wednesday morning of this week an accident occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Layton Moser on the State Road south of Thurmont, that resulted in the instant death of their youngest child and daughter Olie, aged about three years.

Mr. Moser had brought home a load of fertilizer, and found it necessary to stop the team in order to remove something in the wagonshed before pulling in the wagon.

 Unconscious of the children being about he started the team and drew the load in the shed, and looking around saw two children just outside the shed, one then already dead, the left rear wheel of the wagon passing over the baby’s head and crushing it. The other child was so near the wheel that some flesh was rubbed from its leg.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 14, 1919

Lightning Strikes Barn

Monday afternoon last a heavy thunder, rain and wind storm coming from the west passed over Frederick county and did considerable damage to growing crops and property of various kinds. Reports are that a heavy wind accompanied the rain in a section north of Frederick city, and that the rainfall was very heavy.

The heavy portion of the storm passed to the southeast of Thurmont.

During the storm a large bank barn, with wagonshed and corncrib attached, on the farm of George Houck, near Harmony Grove, tenanted by Harry Green, was struck by lightning and totally destroyed. More than half of this year’s wheat crop, a quantity of hay, springwagon, four horse wagon, carriage, and a lot of farming implements were burned. The loss is estimated between $4,000 and $5,000, partly insured.

No live stock perished in the flames, the 20 head of cattle and 11 head of horses having been turned out to pasture.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 10, 1919

August 1944, 75 Years Ago

Charles W. Messner Dies As Result of Terrific Explosion

Thurmont residents were shocked on Wednesday when word was received here of the fatal injury, at Hanover, Pa., of Charles W. Messner, 28-year-old refrigeration engineer, of this place who for about three years past has been employed by the Frick Manufacturing Co., of Waynesboro, Pa.

The accident, the cause of which is undetermined, occurred at the Hanover plant of the R. H. Sheppard Co. where Messner was engaged in installing and inspecting a new refrigeration unit in the test room of the plant. A terrific explosion hurled the young engineer with great force against a wall, fracturing his skull, and at the same time seriously injured three other workmen. He was rushed to Hanover General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, August 4, 1944

Teaching Positions Are Filled

… Discussion of the disposal of the Rocky Ridge school property was also a major item of Board business. A decision was reached to advertise the property for sale at public auction in the near future.

                                          – Frederick News, August 15, 1944

August 1969, 50 Years Ago

Plan To Establish Day Care Center Here

The Community Aide for Emmitsburg has been working for the past four months on organizing low income mothers to work together on a day care center. The purpose of the center would be to give mothers the chance to work and add more to their present income. In the past, a lot of women were unable to pay the fees for babysitting because they would make no more than the minimum wage and could not afford a regular babysitter.

In the past few months there has been a lot of misunderstanding as to what part a day care center would play for Emmitsburg. A lot of people think it would put some people out of work who are babysitters now. The center is for people who want to work and can’t afford the fees of babysitters. Others think mothers can put children in the center just to go shopping or visiting or whatever they want, or to get rid of the children for a few hours.

The center will be set up on a basis to enroll a child to allow the parent to work. Parents will pay on a sliding scale according to what they can make and what they can afford.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 1, 1969

Catoctin High Names Principal

The Board of Education has announced the appointment of Harper Long as principal of Catoctin High School, effective Sept. 1.

Long, presently vice-principal at Catoctin High, will succeed Howard Goodrich, who is leaving Aug. 31 to become assistant superintendent of the Burlington, Vermont school system.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 29, 1969

August 1994, 25 Years Ago

10-year-olds Fare Well in Thurmont

A team of 10-year-olds from Gettysburg finished at .500 in a recent tournament in Thurmont. The squad defeated Emmitsburg, Md., and the Mighty Gs, and lost to Westminster, Md., and Frederick, Md.

                                          – Gettysburg Times, August 8, 1994

Montgomery Ag Fair Offers a Little Learning for Everyone

… Meanwhile, Polled Hereford beef cattle producers held their state show here on Tuesday. Winning the permier exhibitor banner were the Mullinix Brothers of Woodbine and Grandview Farm of Harwood was the premier breeder. The show was held in honor of Calvin E. Sayler of Thurmont. Mr. Sayler has been breeding Polled Herefords since 1965 and served on the board of directors for more than 20 years, serving as president for four terms and managing the state sale.

Supporting the youth has been a major concern for Mr. Sayler. He started the 4-H sale at the Thurmont-Emmitsburg Community Show and started a heifer project by donating an animal to a deserving youth with the understanding that after three years, an offspring of that animal be donated to another deserving youth.

Frederick News, August 24, 1994

The Year is … 1871

There’s Gold in Them There Hills!

by James Rada, Jr.

With the arrival of the railroad in Thurmont, you would have thought that attention would have been focused on how it connected Thurmont with the world and the economic development opportunities it brought with it.

“The sound of the steam whistle twice a day in the suburbs of our hitherto quiet little town has awakened everything up to newness of life, and a spirit of ‘go-aheadativeness’ which is quite refreshing,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

However, attentions shift quickly, and the same page of the March newspaper that printed the above quote also had three articles about mining and the possibility of finding gold in Catoctin Mountain.

One article headlined “Gold! Gold! Gold!” talked about the gold strikes in North Carolina, Georgia, and California in the early 1800s. The writer then noted that the place where gold had been found had been in California, “bears a strong resemblance to the Red Land curve beginning at the dividing sections near ‘Spitzenberger’s Tavern,’ and gravitating to near Graceham and Emmittsburg. —The question comes up can it be that gold may be found in this locality?”

The article noted that an old miner had noted this and other markers that indicated to him the high probability of gold in the area.

“Has the country from Fishing creek to Flat Run been thoroughly ‘prospected?’” the Catoctin Clarion asked.

If not gold, then the article suggested that there might be other useful metals, such as iron, copper, zinc, or silver.

A second article supported Maryland’s proposal to do a statewide geological survey, as this would be the best way to determine what mineral resources were in Northern Frederick County.

The editorial praising the Western Maryland Railroad even called for prospecting in the area. “We must develop the bowels of the earth.”

Yet another article talked about prospectors coming to the area. “As the snow disappears from the mountains, our active prospectors for valuable minerals, which are believed to be embedded in the hills and canons of the Catoctin base, will be on the alert in search of the rich treasures.”

Although no gold was found on Catoctin Mountain at this time, a gold mine was eventually worked on the mountain. It was located close to Braddock Heights in the 1930s. Samples from the mine assayed at .22 ounces of gold per ton. With gold trading at $35 per ounce (about $620 per ounce in today’s dollars), this meant that there was about $7.70 (about $136 in today’s dollars) in gold per ton of raw material. Gold was first found in Maryland in the early 1800s, but it wasn’t commercially mined until after the Civil War, according to GoldRushNuggets.com.

“The majority of the gold that has been recovered here is found in the northern and central parts of the state. Unlike much of the gold on the East Coast, which are limited to glacial deposits, there are actually lode gold deposits present here, with several dozen mines that have been worked since the original discovery of gold,” according to the website.

The state’s peak production was in the 1940s, and it was only 1,000 ounces of gold. Besides Frederick, gold in Maryland was found in the Catonsville area, the Liberty area, the Simpsonville area, the Woodbine area, and the Great Falls area.

The Heart of the Matter

by Anita DiGregory

The human heart is truly a miracle. It is one of the most complex organs in the body.  Beating nonstop, the heart is the hardest working muscle in the body.  Pumping continuously, it resides at the very center of the chest and the circulatory system. The entire rest of the body relies on the proper functioning of this hardworking muscle in order to perform and function properly. Unceasingly, the heart pumps blood into the arteries, assisting in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues of the body. In order for the entire body to function and thrive, the heart is vital. 

The mother’s heart is a miraculous anomaly. Just as the heart lies at the center of the chest with all other parts relying upon it to do its job in order for them to function properly, so too resides the mother at the center of her family.  Unceasingly, she works for each member of the family as her role is vital to the proper functioning and development of each child.  However, to be a mother is to forever walk around with your heart outside your body. 

Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty said this of mothers: “The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honour of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can.

Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. . . What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this; to be a mother?”

To become a mother is to forever be changed; it is to no longer be one, but to forever be joined in this abundant and unconditional love with this miraculous little creation. Motherhood is MOMents of complete joy and utter sorrow.  It is sleepless nights, exhaustive days. It is sacrifice and hard work.  It is tears, frustration, and endless prayer. It is the hardest job there is.  But it is also the most rewarding. It is holding on and letting go.

Yet again, the time has flown by way to quickly. Those very long days evolved into lightening-speed years. And, here we are again. It is August. The month I have dreaded.  Unable to locate the Universal remote and stomp on the stop button or even slam on the slow down button, I have begrudgingly stumbled into the month I have avoided to even glance at to this point.

So many changes will happen.  Two little birds are spreading their wings and heading far out into the world. This is hard…so much to do, so many emotions. This mother’s heart is full. 

This isn’t my first ride on this “love and let go” rollercoaster.  One would think it would get easier. It hasn’t. And I certainly have not become immune to the pain that comes with letting go.  But, this is what we train them for, to be able to go out into the world to rise and to fall and to rise again, hopefully each time a little stronger, wiser, and more virtuous.

As a mom, you spend your life preparing your children for these moments.

You teach, you guide, you fail, you cry, you pray, you rise again. Dear moms, your jobs are crazy hard, but you are changing the world one soul at a time. Stay strong and keep the Faith. It isn’t easy to journey every single day with your heart walking around outside your body.

Respected CHS Shop Teacher Survived Korea and TB

by Priscilla Rall

Michael Massett immigrated from Italy with only a first grade education. He went to work in the coal mines of West Virginia living in Fairmont where he married Catherine Colorusso. Their first child, Dominick, was born in 1928 just as the Great Depression began its grip on our country. This was a time when the miners were striking for better wages and conditions. They were paid in script which was only good at the company store. Dominick went with his father to many of the strikes. Some of the workers became scabs or “yellow dogs” and helped hired thugs armed with rifles to break up the strikes. There were many accidents in the mines, and the Massett family lost several family members in them. In fact, his uncle was killed in one in the 1960’s.  Dominic felt like he was always going to funerals, either for men killed in the mines or for those who died from the effects of the coal dust. Times were tough for the families of the coal miners, and finally Michael was forced to go and ask for “relief.” The government worker there told him, “Go back to Italy and let Mussolini take care of you.” Michael resolved then and there never to ask for any assistance, and the family survived by raising a hog and a large garden. Dominick remembers being called “a hot-headed dago” many times. It was in great part due to the effort of Eleanor Roosevelt that conditions improved in the hills and hollows of West Virginia. Nearby CCC Camps employed many who were struggling to survive. Dominick started work when he was five, delivering newspapers and later at a bowling alley. Every penny he earned he gave to his mother. He also did a lot of hunting and fishing, furnishing the family with carp, suckers, groundhogs, rabbit and squirrel.

Dominick never saw his mother asleep. She was awake when he went to bed and awake when he woke up. First she worked at a restaurant, and then at Westinghouse. Theirs was a typical hardworking immigrant family. When his father finally became an American citizen he told his children, “Now we are Americans. We will no longer speak Italian.”

During WWII, Dominick’s uncle Tony, a medic, was listed as MIA, but he had been captured at the Battle of the Bulge and weighed only 96 lbs. when he was finally freed.  Dominick was determined to join the army, but at only 14, this just wasn’t possible.

At his high school graduation, the school charged $10 in fees to be allowed to cross the stage and receive your diploma. A friend learned that he did not have the necessary money and her father paid his fee allowing his proud parents to see their son graduate high school, the first in their family to do so.

After working a few different jobs, Dominick was drafted on December 7, 1950. Just days after finishing boot camp, his father died from a combination of black lung and heart failure. The Red Cross refused his request for a 10-day compassionate leave, finally giving him only three days. Then he shipped out to Japan and then to Korea, landing at Inchon. First he was assigned to a supply unit, trucking supplies north, then he joined a tank company, eventually becoming tank commander. The only training he had on tanks was from a WWII veteran tanker, “Arkie” (he was from Arkansas) who had served under Patton, but that was enough. Dominick named his tank for his sister, Antoinette. His tank company was detached and was sent to wherever they were most needed…Pusan, Taegu, Seoul, Chosen, the Kumwah Valley in the Iron Triangle and others. At one destroyed village, they found a number of small children huddled in an abandoned school house, most probably orphans. The tankers found five nuns to care and teach them, and would periodically send money to help.

Dominick was called “Biggun” due to his size and strength. Once a young lieutenant in a jeep pulled up to Biggun’s tank and ordered that he remove the small American flag flying from his tank’s antenna. He refused, and finally his captain radioed him to find out what was the hold up. When Biggun told him, the captain said, “Shoot the S.O.B. and pull out.”

Massett often saw wounded evacuated by helicopters to MASH units, tied into baskets on the sides of the chopper. Sgt. Wendell Murphy from Mt. Airy took a ride like that.

Finally, Dominick’s tour was up and he was discharged. He began working for the railroad. But one day, things went terribly wrong. Without any warning, he began bleeding profusely from his mouth and nose. He was eventually diagnosed as having TB, which should have shown up in the x-ray taken before his discharge. He spent two years in VA hospitals, going from 226 lbs. to 167 lbs. Rated as 100 percent disabled, he decided to continue his education, first at Fairmont College and then at WVA University with the goal of helping others in rehabilitation and PT. During this time, he married Janet, and in 1958, he landed a job teaching industrial arts at Thurmont High School. During his time at THS and then Catoctin HS, he worked with Ned Kerns (also a Korean vet), Bill Baker and Carlos Engler (both WWII vets). Dominick built the family a home in Thurmont on Radio Lane and the family increased with five children; Sabrina, Elisa, Myra, Robert and Matthew. Janet worked as a nurse for Dr. Morningstar in Emmitsburg.

Dominick now has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and rarely follows his doctor’s advice to take it easy. After a long life of service to his country and community, he has certainly earned the right to do as he pleases. We in Frederick County, salute you and honor you as a true hometown hero.

Courtesy Photo of Michael Massett

Germantown Church of God

by Theresa Dardanell

On Sunday, August 25, take a scenic drive to a historic mountaintop church in Cascade and join the members of the Germantown Church of God for the Sunday worship service and a community picnic. Of course, the invitation to join them is not limited to August 25. Pastor Mark Hosler said that everyone is welcome at all times for worship, fellowship, study, and service. 

When the original church was built in 1871, Cascade was known as Germantown. The present-day church was built in 1948, and the cemetery is now located where the original church stood. When the congregation celebrated the 100th anniversary in 1971, the new educational wing was dedicated. A Family Life Center was added in 1996. 

The additional space gives the members lots of room for the Sunday School classes, Bible study, social events, service projects, and an impressive library. Sunday School classes are held after the 9:30 a.m. service. There is one class for small children, one class for the youth, and three classes for adults. The Women’s Ministry meets on the first Tuesday of every month; Bible study follows a brief business meeting. Banquets and breakfasts are held in the Family Life Center. Bible School for children ages three through sixth grade will be held August 5-9, and will feature uplifting music, inspiring Bible lessons, games, and snacks. The library, located in the educational wing, is actually two rooms, filled with DVD’s and books for adults and children. Historical items are on display in one of the rooms. Church librarian E. Joy Poling said that there are currently 11,500 items in the library, with more added every month. Subjects include fiction, non-fiction, history, inspiration, and christian living.

Service to others includes helping church members, as well as supporting local and worldwide community organizations and missions.

A ride to Sunday services for several members without transportation is provided by one of the parishioners. On the third Wednesday of each month, members worship together and then serve a meal to the guests and residents at the Hagerstown Rescue Mission. “Food for the First” on the first Sunday of every month gives everyone the opportunity to donate money and food for the Help Hotline Food Bank. The church generously participates in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox program, which provides gifts of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children all over the world. They also provide financial support to worldwide missions and missionaries; a portion of the church income is designated for this purpose.

Mission trips by members are part of the ministry and have included trips to New Mexico, Haiti, and South Africa. Also, one church family has traveled to areas where natural disasters have occurred to provide assistance.

There are lots of opportunities for fellowship. Movie nights, summer campfires, dinners, and breakfasts are some of the social activities enjoyed by all.

The Sunday service at 9:30 a.m. includes reflection, announcements, prayers, scripture reading and message, and contemporary and traditional music with piano and organ accompaniment. Communion is offered once a month.

Christian Education Director Ann Donatto said that children through third grade are invited to participate in children’s church, where they can experience a worship service designed for them. A nursery is also available. 

Coming up on Sunday, August 4, the service will feature the Gospel group, Daystar. 

Pastor Mark Hosler expressed, “Our purpose is to move people toward Jesus through worship services, Sunday school, and service projects. Jesus can bring healing and restoration and wholeness to people’s lives. We want to move people toward him.”

Visit the Germantown Church of God at 16924 Raven Rock Road in Cascade or call 301-241-3050. 

 

Pastor Mark Hosler (front row, left) with members of the Germantown Church of God.

Ask Dr. Lo

COPD: Making Breathing Difficult for Millions of Americans

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a progressive disease that refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems, to include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD not only affects the 16 million Americans who have this disease, but also the millions more who are undiagnosed.

Understanding COPD

To understand COPD, it helps to get familiar with how the lungs work. The air you breathe goes down your windpipe into the bronchial tubes or airways in your lungs. The bronchial tubes branch many times into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles. These tubes end in bunches of tiny round air sacs called alveoli.

  Small blood vessels called capillaries run along the walls of the air sacs. When air reaches them, oxygen passes through the air sac walls into the blood in the capillaries. At the same time carbon dioxide (CO2) moves from the capillaries into the air sacs where the lungs expel the CO2.

   In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways. This can be due to the airways and air sacs losing their elastic quality. The walls between many of the air sacs become damaged or thick and inflamed if the airways make more mucus than usual, becoming clogged. As a result, the air sacs lose their shape and become floppy. This damage can lead to fewer and larger air sacs instead of many tiny ones. If this happens, the amount of gas exchange in the lungs is reduced.

Most people who have COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but the severity of each condition varies from person to person. Thus, the general term COPD is more accurate.

What causes COPD?

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Pipe, cigar, and other types of tobacco smoke also can cause COPD, especially if the smoke is inhaled. This includes secondhand smoke. Up to 75 percent of people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. However, up to 25 percent of people with COPD never smoked. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dusts—also may contribute to COPD. People who have a family history of COPD are more likely to develop the disease if they smoke.

A rare genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency can also cause the disease. People who have this condition have low blood levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), a protein made in the liver. Having a low level of the AAT protein can lead to lung damage and COPD if you are exposed to smoke or other lung irritants.

Some people who have asthma can develop COPD. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Treatment usually can reverse the inflammation and narrowing that occurs in asthma.

Symptoms

At first, COPD may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms. As the disease gets worse, symptoms usually become more severe. Common signs and symptoms of COPD include an ongoing cough or a cough that produces a lot of mucus, this is often called smoker’s cough, shortness of breath, especially with physical activity, wheezing, whistling, or squeaky sounds when you breathe and chest tightness.

If you have COPD, you often may have colds or other respiratory infections such as the flu, or influenza.

Not everyone who has the symptoms described above has COPD. Likewise, not everyone who has COPD has these symptoms

If your symptoms are mild, you may not notice them, or you may adjust your lifestyle to make breathing easier. For example, you may take the elevator instead of the stairs.

Over time, symptoms may become severe enough to cause you to see a doctor. For example, you may become short of breath during physical exertion.

When you do visit your doctor, let your doctor know about these symptoms and if you have an ongoing cough; let your doctor know how long you have had it, how much you cough, and how much mucus comes up when you cough. Also, let your doctor know whether you have a family history of COPD.  

The severity of your symptoms will depend on how much lung damage you have. If you keep smoking, the damage will occur faster than if you stop smoking.

Severe COPD can cause other symptoms, such as swelling in your ankles, feet, or legs, weight loss, and low muscle endurance.

Some severe symptoms may require treatment in a hospital. Seek emergency care if you are experiencing a hard time catching your breath or talking, your lips or fingernails turn blue or gray, a sign of a low oxygen level in your blood, people around you notice that you are not mentally alert or your heartbeat is very fast. 

Outlook

COPD is a major cause of disability, and it is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself.

Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older adults. COPD has no cure at this time. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.

If you do have COPD, the most important step you can take is to quit smoking. Quitting can help prevent complications and slow the progression of the disease. You also should avoid exposure to the lung irritants mentioned above.

Follow your treatments for COPD exactly as your doctor prescribes. They can help you breathe easier, stay more active, and avoid or manage severe symptoms.

 Prevent COPD Before It Starts

The best way to prevent COPD is to never start smoking or to quit smoking.  If you do smoke, talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit.

Have You Tried Chia Seeds?

Have you ever tried chia seeds? They are tiny and packed with nutrition, and are becoming quite popular.

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is related to the mint. Chia seeds date back to the Aztec and Mayans times and were found primarily in Mexico; they were prized for their ability to provide sustainable energy and used for medicinal and nutritional benefits. In the 1990s, American scientists took note of this nutritional powerhouse and now chia is grown in Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Bolivia and is now widely available. So, you may want to add this superfood to your healthy food list.

These seeds are filled with fiber, antioxidants, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and more. You may find chia seeds in your favorite muffins, energy bars, and breakfast cereals.

My favorite bar is Greenwise Chocolate Cherry Flavored Chia Bars. This bar contains low sugar and sodium and contains 11 percent fiber. It is the perfect snack following an exercise class!

Chia seeds contain large amounts of essential fatty acids: 64 percent of omega-3 and 19 percent of omega-6. The omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, which is a healthy factor.

There are different types of chia seeds: black, white, milled, and pre-hydrated. Its best to choose whole, organic ones to protect the omega-3s and vitamins. Also, they have a longer shelf life.

You can add chia seeds to cereals and smoothies. Or, add some to your baked goods to give them a healthy boost.

You can find chia seeds at the grocery store, as well as a health food store and online. Or, if you prefer, shop the aisle of nutritional snacks. You’ll likely find chia bars there.

Hoping you enjoy the mild-nut-like flavor of chia seeds. They are tiny and tasty, and they just may become your favorite, too!

Emmitsburg Resident Wins Dolphin-Naming Contest

Blair Garrett

Naming pets can be a fun way to form a strong bond between pet and owners.

For MaryAnne Ruffner of Emmitsburg (pictured right), she was able to connect two dolphins spotted in the Potomac River to the whole world.

Over 1,000 new dolphins have been spotted since 2015, and thousands more are thought to live throughout the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. Two in particular, temporarily named D1 and D2, went without official names until a contest was put out to name the pair of bottlenose dolphins.

“I follow WTOP on Facebook, and they posted a contest from the Potomac Conservancy, and it just popped into my head,” Ruffner said. “It was really neat; I was surprised. My love for the ocean and all the ocean creatures is what got me to do it.”

Ruffner has told friends and family of her contest win, but her excitement has yet to be made public until now.

Through more than 3,200 entries across the United States, Ruffner’s pick of Mac and Chessie lead the pack over the two-week contest. The contest concluded in June, where D1 and D2 were given their new, official names: Mac and Chessie.

Mac and Chessie, perhaps named after the fan-favorite dish of mac & cheese, or more likely the PotoMAC and the CHESApeake Bay, ended up taking the contest in a landslide, nabbing 27 percent of the total votes.

Other popular names receiving votes across the country were Cherry and Blossom (16%), Ebb and Flow (14%), Powhatan and Piscataway (10%), and Echo and Radar (10%).

Most named dolphins spotted in the Potomac and Chesapeake over the years are named after historical figures like presidents, members of congress, and first ladies.

Ruffner’s newly named dolphins are a bit different from the rest, but with efforts to clean up the pollution in the Potomac underway, it’s entirely possible for more dolphin-naming contests to pop up in the future.

Over the years, bottlenose dolphins have often migrated up the Potomac basin to raise their calves, leading to mass sightings and more research to be done on these particular mammals. Scientists believe that the efforts to clean up the waters will only lead to more dolphins raising their young even farther north in the Potomac. Bottlenose dolphins have been reportedly spotted as far north as the 301 Harry Nice Memorial Bridge and rumored to have ventured as far north as Georgetown many years ago.

Dolphin watching at the beach has been a favorite activity for a long time for Ruffner.

“I would love to live at the beach and just watch the dolphins,” she said. “We have Tom’s Creek in the backyard, so that’ll do for now.”

For more information on the Potomac Conservancy, visit its website at www.potomac.org, where you can learn or donate to help their projects in cleaning up our waters.

by Denise Valentine

Hello, everyone. Now that the children are out of school for the summer, you may be looking for some activities to keep them busy. Baking is always fun, and the best part is that they get to eat the finished product.

These “7 Layer Cookie Bars” provide the perfect opportunity to let the kids help create the recipe. You can let them sprinkle on the layers, and when they are finished baking, they can enjoy the delicious cookies with a big glass of cold milk.

I hope you have a wonderful summer!

7 Layer Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted                                

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs    

1 cup butterscotch flavored chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk                    

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour melted butter into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients; press down firmly.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

This Fourth of July weekend, millions of Americans will huddle around outdoor pits, ovens, and grills to slowly cook themselves meaty, patriotic dishes, slathered in sauce. Barbecue is about as red, white, and blue as American cuisine gets.

The history of grilling begins shortly after the domestication of fire, some 500,000 years ago. The backyard ritual of grilling as we know it, though, is much more recent. Until well into the 1940s, grilling mostly happened at campsites and picnics. After World War II, as the middle class began to move to the suburbs, backyard grilling caught on, becoming all the rage by the 1950s.

4 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs

1 cup water

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Dash pepper

Preheat oven to 325°. Place ribs in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, covered, 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour 1 cup sauce over ribs; turn to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Drain and discard sauce from ribs. Grill ribs uncovered, over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until browned, basting with 1 cup sauce and turning occasionally.

Serve with remaining sauce. Yields 4 servings.

by Buck Reed

The Charge of the Kitchen Brigade

When professional culinarians think about the chefs who shaped the structure, we labor our professional lives under one name that always seems to come up: Auguste Escoffier. Often described as not only the chef of kings, but the king of chefs as well, he spent a great deal of his career standardizing and defining how a professional kitchen should work. He didn’t invent cooking, but he did write the book that defined how the various dishes and their accompanying elements should be prepared. Le Guide Culinaire was, and still is, the book almost all chefs call the Bible. But more important to the chefs of present, he developed the brigade system that most successful fine dining restaurants follow today.

First, we have the line. This is where the various stations are “lined up” and the food is prepared and plated up before they are sent to the guests. Each station is staffed by a specific line cook who is trained and prepared to produce a specific dish or a part of dish to be plated for the guest.

The cooks working in the kitchen are given a designation that defines their training level, as well as their status in the pecking order in the kitchen. The head honcho is the Executive Chef and is responsible for the overall operation of the kitchen. He is directly assisted by the Kitchen Manager and the Sous Chef. The Sous Chef oversees the various people under him to make sure the are ready on a daily basis. The Kitchen Manager is responsible for logistics, making sure there is enough product in house and that the kitchen is clean and safe to work in. Under them is the Chef de Partie or the Line Cooks. They make sure their station on the line is ready for their shift. And, finally, there are the Commis Chefs. They assist the line cooks with prep.

In larger kitchens, the Chef de Partie can further be defined by a specialty position. For instance, the person in charge of cold appetizers is called the Garde Manager. Poissonier would be responsible for the fish dishes and the Rotisseur would cook the meats. Saucier oversees the production of sauces, and the side dishes are prepared by the Entremetier. Of course, the steak might be the sizzle, but it is the Pâtissier or pastry chef that gets all the glory. The Expeditor brings it all together, making sure everyone is working on the same order and then getting it on the plate correctly before it goes out to the guest.

Even if a restaurant doesn’t have enough personnel to fill all these positions, the work is still divided up and organized in such a way to keep the food consistent. Most importantly, the brigade system keeps the work flowing and keeps everyone—kitchen staff, servers, and guests—relatively sane.