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A Truckload of Produce

by Valerie Nusbaum

It was a lazy weekend morning, and Randy and I were having breakfast (and you all know how I feel about cereal) in bed and watching last weeks’ episode of Blue Bloods. Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) had just revealed his surprise guest at their weekly family dinner, and he told everyone present that, “Now you know why she’s seated beside me.”

Randy piped up with, “So she can cut your meat?” and proceeded to look amazed while simultaneously cracking himself up. He was pleased as punch that he’d made a joke, and I had to laugh, too. I told him that it always makes me laugh harder when he enjoys his own jokes.

He replied, “Sometimes the joke sounds funny in my head, but when it comes out, it lands like a lead balloon. So, when I nail the punch line, like now, I feel good about it.”  He laughed for a good five minutes.

That little story has nothing to do with produce, though, so let me start over.

We decided to hop in the truck on a Tuesday morning and take a drive up to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the farmers market called Roots.  We hadn’t been there in many years, and neither of us could remember exactly where it was or what it was like. We’ve been to Green Dragon several times recently, and we thought we’d spread the love around.

It was a sunny day, and we enjoyed riding through the farmland and little villages. A favorite pastime when we’re on the road is reading signs and billboards. I saw one billboard advertising a jewelry store that sold fine jewelry. That made me question whether there are any stores selling not-so-fine jewelry or just-adequate jewels.

Another sign advertised “Hot Pizza.” Again, I had to ask if any pizza shops specialized in cold pizza or lukewarm pizza. Granted, my brother used to eat cold pizza for breakfast, but only because he was in too much of a hurry to heat it up. He’d stand in front of the refrigerator, leaning on the open door and devour a chilled leftover slice or two, all without opening his eyes.

Yet another sign at a nursery advertised different varieties of willows, including curly. Randy had only glimpsed at the sign and didn’t know we’d passed a plant farm, so I explained to him that the Willow sisters all had odd first names. You can imagine what some of them were. Needless to say, I got the look from him.

Arriving at Roots, we were nearly blown away by the wind that day, but once we made it inside the main building, we didn’t have to worry about finding our way through. The immense crowd was shoving us right along. Every now and then, I’d break out of the throng to approach a produce stand. I purchased enough fruit to fill several gift baskets, and also got a lot of our favorite vegetables. The prices were very reasonable and the quality was good.

There were so many lunch choices, but we settled on pretzel sticks filled with meat and cheese.  Mine was barbecued pulled pork, and Randy had a cheesy hot dog.  Yes, they were as good as they sound, and also inexpensive.

I went off in search of more veggies, and Randy disappeared. I found him leaning over the glass cases full of fresh baked goods. I swear he was drooling. He wanted one of everything, but we each settled for a cream-filled long John.  His was vanilla-iced and mine was chocolate. They must have weighed two pounds each. We made our way back to our truck to eat our dessert. It took a while, but we both ate the whole thing. I swore that it was so sweet I’d never eat another one, but you know if I had one in front of me right now, that puppy would be gone in a flash. I did wonder, though, exactly how those long Johns are made. I’ve had some experience with pâte à choux dough, and mine is usually pretty good. I’m aware that variations of pâte à choux are used for eclairs and cream puffs, but the dough I had at Roots seemed more moist and heavier, yet it was completely filled with cream.  It wasn’t sliced in half, lengthwise, either. The cream was piped in at both ends. I’ll do some investigating and figure it out one day, but in the meantime, Roots isn’t that far away.

It wasn’t until we got home that I discovered half a shoo-fly pie in our cooler, along with all the produce.  Randy grinned, and other than a thin slice (It was pretty good, but I didn’t need any more of it), he ate the whole thing pretty quickly. No, Randy hadn’t eaten half the pie before we got home. The pies were sold in halves. It was a wet-bottom shoo-fly, so now I’m wondering if there’s also a dry-bottom version.  More research for another day. Or not.

Meanwhile, I’m eating Brussels sprouts and looking forward to cooking that nice head of cabbage with a corned beef brisket and some potatoes and carrots.

And, Torin Daly, thanks for the epistle. I’m limited to 900 words here, so I can’t respond fully, but it was certainly food for thought. Pun intended.

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Frederick County’s Golden Immigrants

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is part three of a series about goldfish farming in Frederick County.

In the early 1900s, goldfish farming produced a major cash crop in Frederick County.

“By 1920, Frederick County was producing 80 percent of the goldfish in the United States, and they were being shipped from Thurmont to all parts of the country,” George Wireman wrote in his book Thurmont: Gateway to the Mountains.

His number is supported with information in “The News-Post Year Book and Almanac.” Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s, the annual publications note that Frederick County had “more goldfish produced than in any part of the United States.” Interestingly, the yearbooks list goldfish as “selected crops harvested” rather than “livestock on farms.”

The fish raised in Frederick County were considered common goldfish. A 1914 The Frederick News article noted, “Few, if any, of the Japanese variety are raised. They are said to be too clumsy and awkward and an easy mark for preying birds. No coloring is necessary for the fish raised here, as is the case with those raised in some localities, where the fish have to be kept in shallow ponds in order to obtain their color.”

By the late 1930s, competition from larger, more diversified, growers across the country reduced the demand from Frederick County farms. Ernest Tresselt, whose family raised goldfish in the Thurmont area said, “Frederick County farmers raised the plain, common goldfish. By the 20s and early 30s, fancier varieties became available. It wasn’t so easy for locals to keep up with the change. They weren’t in a position to grow fancier varieties that were genetically difficult to breed, and we lost some goldfish producers.”

Tresselt said that when he entered the family goldfish farming business, about 40 percent of each year’s crop would not turn orange. They remained the dull, muddy color of wild goldfish.

“Those fish would be sold as bait fish. They were called Baltimore minnows,” Tresselt said.

He said the county’s goldfish breeders began more selective breeding of goldfish and the percentage of goldfish that turned the proper color dramatically increased and “Baltimore minnows” disappeared.

The use of modern science helped the goldfish farmers increase their harvests and profitability, which helped keep the county goldfish farmers competitive.

Other advances worked against county goldfish farmers. Advances in shipping techniques and the increased variety and quality of goldfish available from growers around the world gradually changed the goldfish market. The result was that farms producing only common goldfish seasonally could not compete. By the 1940s only a few farms in Frederick County were still cultivating goldfish.

By the 1950s, fish could be shipped in plastic bags by air freight. The plastic made shipping costs cheaper and the planes extended the distance the goldfish could be shipped. This increased the competition in the market, particularly from the countries in the Orient that had created goldfish.

“Everything changed,” Tresselt said. “We have to supply fish year-round. The competition made it unprofitable for most farmers and they went out of business.”

Charles Thomas, another Frederick County goldfish farmer, said that with air transportation, areas that usually weren’t thought of as places for goldfish farming, such as Arkansas, became competitive or even better locations than Frederick.

“By going south, you had a longer growing season,” said Thomas. “In a place like Arkansas, instead of having only one crop each season, you could have two.”

By 1980, Lilypons, once the world’s largest producer of goldfish, had diversified so that it now specialized more in water garden supplies and plants than fish. Hunting Creek Fisheries and Eaton Fisheries also survived by diversifying their offerings into plants, game fish, and/or other types of ornamental fish, such as koi.

Today, you can still see fish ponds marked on a Frederick County maps, but not as many as there once were.

Lilypons has 265 acres and about 500 ponds, though very few of them are devoted to goldfish. However, the business has grown into a multi-million-dollar business employing more than 50 people.

Hunting Creek Fisheries still has ponds in Thurmont and Lewistown. Eaton Fisheries still has its Lewistown ponds as well. Other ponds are now lost to history:

The Claybaugh fish ponds are now covered over by Mountain Gate Exxon and McDonalds in Thurmont.

Along Moser Road across Hunting Creek from the Thurmont sewage treatment plant is where Ernest Powell and Maurice Albaugh used to have fish ponds.

Ross Firor used to have his fish ponds east of the Maple Run Golf Course.

The ponds on William Powell’s Arrowhead Farms on Apples Church Road north of Thurmont were adjacent to Owens Creek have been turned into pasture.

Frank Rice’s goldfish ponds south of Thurmont alongside Route 15 have been filled in and turned back to pasture.

Frederick County’s no longer the biggest producer of goldfish in the country, but there are still fish ponds out there, and if you stop and watch, you may see a flash of gold.

My beautiful picture

Goldfish in vats at the Hunting Creek Fisheries in the late 1980s.

DIY Wildlife Habitats

by Ana Morlier

Happy April, readers! A lovely month of spring flowers, planting, and, hopefully, more time outside. With all of these advantages, it’s time to give back to the Earth during the renewal of spring, to do your due diligence on Earth Day.

Let’s make strides to undo the urban human destruction that destroys local habitats. Let’s create a safe haven for all animals. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your yard more wildlife-friendly! And, remember, any new plants you use should be native to Maryland.

Natural Food Options for Animals (small wildlife)

Nectar (hummingbird feeder, native flowers).

Pollen (native flowers, butterfly weed, ironweed, false blue indigo, etc.).

Foliage such as ferns (groundcover, lady, Christmas), wool rush/grass, black chokeberry, fothergilla, oakleaf hydrangea, and sweet pepperbush.

Old or rotting trees (which can provide lichen, moss, and fungi for all sorts of animals and insects).

Bugs are actually quite important for birds, acting as an important food source. For example, hummingbirds love nectar, but also graze on mosquitoes, gnats, and even spiders for protein.

Add food sources. If you’re okay with having larger animals in your yard, add food sources such as berries, nuts, and seeds. These might include black-eyed susans, black chokeberry, lowbush blueberry, inkberry holly, winterberry holly, and red chokeberry. In addition, acorns, pinecones (for birds), and seedy flowers.

Animal Upkeep

A birdbath. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! It can be a flowerpot, formal birdbath, or even an old cake pan (that has depth). Make sure you have a plate or pan to catch water under the bath.

A water source for bees and butterflies. Something as simple as filling a bowl (plastic, ceramic, etc.) with pebbles and a small amount of water so they can perch on the pebbles to drink. Honey bees especially love salt water. Bees in general will be more attracted to the source if it has an earthy scent like moss, wet earth, salt, and even sugar. They are also attracted to the scent of chlorine, thus why you’ll see so many floating bees in the pool. You can use chlorine beside the water source to attract more bees, if desired. After the bees get used to the location you’ve set the watering station you won’t have to keep adding extra scent. Coming to the watering station will become a habit for bees.

Make a toad abode. All you’ll need is a small entrance in a flower or terra-cotta pot (flipped upside down for cover) for the toad to get into. Even a carved-out tree stump works. Make sure there is some gravel, mulch, or plant life around the abode.

Once again, provide shelter. Tall grasses (wool grass, little bluestem, yellow Indian grass), shrubs (listed above), and trees (can be dead) are best for shelter and hiding.

Other Tips

Allow weeds to grow, as it also offers groundcover.

Resist the urge to use insecticide! If you absolutely need to, make sure the insecticide is a natural substance, such as neem oil, vegetable oil, or vinegar.

Hold off on deadheading if the flower stalk has lots of seeds. Wait until birds or other critters have taken as much as they need, then deadhead.

If you have pets, try attracting pollinators with flowers only for a safer environment (without the risk of encountering other animals).

Always try to plant perennials if you can for year-round sustainability.

If you have the time, plan out the bloom time of plants so you have flowers, berries or nuts at various times of the year.

May this be a helpful guide to starting out making a natural habitat.

The best resource for the layout and plants in your garden is the National Wildlife Federation. The website has a plethora of resources and information for any setting, such as school, work, and animal-specific habitats.

Thank you for giving back to the Earth during the renewal of spring, and best of luck!

Photo Courtesy of Rusty Burlew of Backyard Beekeeping

Credit to: University of Maryland Extension, Rusty Burlew of Backyard Beekeeping, Monica Russo of Audubon, and the National Wildlife Federation.

by Buck Reed

I Like Pork Butts

I know that someday I will have to write an article about the proper way to serve crickets and meal worms. Of course, I will include information on how to prepare the bugs, what wine goes best with them, their nutritional value, and, more importantly, how to properly store them to maintain their satisfying crunch. I know there are people in power right now planning for us to make them a staple in our diet. But, not today. Let’s talk about pork butts, the unsung hero of the animal that brings us bacon, ham, and baby back ribs.

For the record “butt” is a marketing term (another faux pas for the marketing team). The actual cut is from the neck and shoulder of the pig and usually weighs in at about 5-6 pounds. It is a very cheap cut of meat, often found on sale for under $3.00 per pound, sometimes even two for one. This cut can be cut down into pork steaks or roasted or smoked whole into wonderful meals. But, they are probably best known for throwing in a crock pot for several hours until they are tender, then pulled apart with a pair of large forks and served as tender braised pulled pork. It is almost the perfect meat: cheap, foolproof, and delicious. The best part about pulled pork is that it is great as sandwiches as well as leftovers, creating wondrous meals.

When you are done with making sandwiches, hopefully, there is enough left to make at least one more meal. A case can actually be made for cooking two butts and saving one for later. The unused portions can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days and be microwaved quickly for a quick sandwich or frozen for months for the same. Or try making a Cuban sandwich, or a bit outside the box, add it to a grilled cheese sandwich.

Some of my favorite ways to use the excess is for Latin-American inspired dishes; tacos, enchiladas, or even tamales. Enchiladas are quick and easy, just roll them up in a tortilla with some peppers or other cooked vegetables, line them up in a baking dish, cover in V8 juice (infused with cumin and chili powder), and bake in a hot oven until hot.

For breakfast or brunch, try chopping it up into a pulled pork hash and serving it on the side with eggs. All you need is some peppers, onions, and potatoes. Or if you have the skills, you can use it to make an Egg Benedict. At this point, you have to want it.

If we look to the Far East, we might use it in a fried rice or noodle dish. Or we can use chunks in a stir-fried dish. Experimenting with Siracha and pineapple, we might find ourselves with a delightful hot and sweet pork dish.

Adding pulled pork to a soup or chili might also put a new spin on a hot dish for a cold day. With the meat already cooked, you can use it as a topping for pizza or add it to stuffed peppers.

Cooking up a batch of pulled pork might seem like a long affair, but once prepared, you can make your time in the kitchen seem short. So, before we are munching on grasshoppers, perhaps this will become your favorite ingredient to work with.

Turkey at Thanksgiving, Prime rib at Christmas, and Brisket at Hanukkah. (And, oh yes, all the candy at Halloween.) Holiday food pairings make each separate celebration special—and something special to look forward to each year. Come spring, I always bake a ham for our Easter dinner. I came across this recipe some time ago.  I hope you enjoy it.

Baked Ham with Bee Sting Glaze


1 fully cooked bone-in smoked half ham

1 c. honey

1 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. cayenne (ground red pepper)

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. grated lemon peel


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make shallow cuts diagonally across the side of the ham, spacing about 1 inch apart. Make cuts perpendicular to first ones to create diamond pattern.

Place ham in a large roasting pan, flat side down, along with ½ cup of water. Cover with foil. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, whisk together honey, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne, cloves, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Heat on medium until sugar dissolves, whisking often. Cool completely.

Stir in lemon peel.

Remove foil from ham. Brush generously with honey glaze. Bake uncovered 40 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown and ham is heated through (140 degrees F), brushing with glaze every 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

To remaining honey glaze, add ¼ cup liquid from roasting pan, whisking to combine. Serve with ham.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy April! Today’s recipe makes an elegant (but delicious) accompaniment to your Easter feast: Blueberry Strudel.

Sweet and savory, the blueberry strudel is a great way to invite spring to your table. Blueberries bring bright and sweet notes of flavor, while the delicate layers of phyllo dough wrapping up the sweet filling provide an element of delicious savoriness (and makes the pastry an easy handheld).

Today’s strudel isn’t rolled like a traditional strudel. Instead, it is folded into triangles for elegance and to ensure the filling is well wrapped within the phyllo. Phyllo dough is very delicate. Rips are bound to happen (and that’s okay!). If it rips, sandwich the broken sheet between two unbroken sheets. The triangle will still fold just as well. Too many ripped sheets? All good! Make crackers by brushing the sheet with butter, placing another piece on top, and repeat until the desired thickness is reached. Sprinkle seasonings between layers and on top, bake until golden brown, let cool, and serve. Your mistakes will make a delicious snack! Enjoy the delicious flavors of this pastry, and may it help you have a sweet Easter!

Blueberry Strudel


3 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 pinch of salt

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

½ lb. phyllo dough, thawed

cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling


Make the filling: Start a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. In the saucepan, mix together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Once done, pour into a bowl and let cool until room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 4000. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a small bowl.

Fold the strudel: On a clean workspace, unroll phyllo dough gently. Cut into 3-by-11-inch strips and stack. Cover the stack with a wet paper towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry out (the wet paper towels may need replacing as you work the phyllo dough).

Gently peel a sheet from the stack and place it with the long side nearest to you. Evenly brush butter on the entire surface.

Add another layer of phyllo dough on top of the first, so it covers the first sheet, and brush with butter.

Lay a final sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first two sheets.

Spoon a small amount of blueberry filling 1 inch away from the left edge of the pastry.

Fold the top left corner of the rectangle to the bottom over the filling so that it creates a triangle. Brush the rest of the sheet with butter and continue folding so that the strudel resembles a triangle.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a wet paper towel. Repeat until filling runs out.

Take wet paper towels off the folded triangles and brush with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the tops of the strudels. Cut a small vent into the tops of the strudel with a knife. Place the sheet in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and place strudels on a cooling rack. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve.

Tools Needed

Medium saucepan, dry measuring utensils, medium bowl, small bowl and pastry brush (for brushing butter), wet paper towels (to cover phyllo dough), medium baking sheet, parchment paper, cooling rack.

*With credit to Claire Robison’s Blueberry Strudels recipe on

Sergeant Jim Adelsberger

Emmitsburg’s Last Pearl Harbor Survivor

by Richard D. L. Fulton

On February 24, 2009, Emmitsburg lost its last Pearl Harbor survivor, James (“Jim”) O. Adelsberger, at age 87, when he passed away at St. Catherine’s Nursing Center.

In November 2004, the reporter, who was then the news editor for the The Emmitsburg Disatch, met with Adelsberger at his West Main Street home, where he recounted his experiences on that fateful day of December 7, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the military installation at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Adelsberger was born on May 24, 1921, in Baltimore, son of the late Dwen and Adele Adelsberger, and James was married to the late-Loretta C. (Sanders) Adelsberger.

Upon graduation from the Emmitsburg High School, Adelsberger, at age 24, decided to enlist, at which time he became a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, the unit in which he was serving at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, and the unit with whom he remained for five years.

Adelsberger had said during the 2004 interview, that he and three of his friends, Joseph Boyle, Jack Stoner, and Bud Shearer (all of whom enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the same time), upon enlisting, requested to serve in Hawaii, which the Army was then promoting as a “paradise.”

They were then assigned to “guard-duty” at Hickam Field when, subsequently, “Paradise” quickly became Hell on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese targeted Hickam Field as part of the overall assault in order to suppress any effort by the Army Air Corps to get their planes into the air to defend against the Japanese attack.

The attack commenced around 7:55 a.m., when Japanese Commander Mitsua Fuchida uttered the command, “Tora, tora, tora!”—which doesn’t mean “Attack, attack, attack.” It is Japanese for “Tiger, tiger, tiger” (code for executing a lightning attack).

“We heard the planes coming in and thought they were ours (an incoming flight of B-17s was anticipated that morning at Hickam Field),” Adelsberger stated during the 2004 interview. 

In fact, the B-17s were arriving and found themselves mixed in with the attacking Japanese aircraft.  Unfortunately, said Adelsberger, the B-17s were unarmed to lighten their loads. 

“Some of them (the B-17s) were being hit. Some of them were being shot down. We didn’t know what was going on. Some of them were shot up pretty bad,” Adelsberger said.

As the intensity of the attack increased, he stated during the 2004 interview, “They just kept coming and coming, and we couldn’t figure out where they were all coming from,” adding that, none of the men could figure out why they were being attacked. “We didn’t know what it was for… I could see all of the attack. I could see ships half-sunk and buildings burned down after the attack.”

When the attack subsided about two hours later, Adelsberger said, during the 2004 interview, “There were a lot of fellows lying around (on the ground). They were lying everywhere. The field hospital was doing a real business that day.”

Hickam Field suffered extensive damage and aircraft losses, with 189 people killed (including civilians) and 303 wounded. In total, the Japanese assault left 2,388 military personnel dead, along with 1,178 wounded. Among the dead were 68 civilians. And the attack propelled the United States into World War II.

Sergeant Adelsberger was discharged from the military on October 16, 1945, and, subsequently, worked for 35 years at the United States Post Office in Emmitsburg.

On December 2, 2004, the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners officially recognized Adelsberger as the “town’s last surviving citizen and Veteran of Pearl Harbor,” and issued a proclamation that declared December 7, 2004, as “James Adelsberger Day.”

Adelsberger was a member of the Emmitsburg Memorial VFW, Post 6658, the American Legion Francis X. Elder Post 121, and a lifelong communicant of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Photograph of the attack on Pearl Harbor, taken by a Japanese fighter pilot.

James Adelsberger poses with his Pearl Harbor “Mementos,” including spent Japanese fighter cartridges and his burnt wallet and dog tags, which he recovered from his barracks after it had been bombed.

Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

A growing body of evidence suggests that some complementary approaches, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, mindfulness meditation, spinal manipulation, chiropractic, tai chi, and yoga, may help to manage some painful conditions.

What is the Safety of Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain?

Although the mind and body practices studied for chronic pain have a good safety record, that does not mean that they are risk-free for everyone. Your health and special circumstances (such as pregnancy) may affect the safety of these approaches. If you are considering natural products, remember that natural does not always mean safe and that some natural products may have side effects or interact with medications you may be taking.

What Is Chronic Pain and Why Is It Important?

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than several months (defined as three to six months, or as longer than “normal healing”). It is a very common problem. Results from a National Health Interview Survey showed that about 25.3 million U.S. adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the previous three months. In addition, nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) had severe pain.

Individuals with severe pain had worse health, used more health care, and had more disability than those with less severe pain.

Who Has Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain becomes more common as we age, at least in part because health problems that can cause pain, such as osteoarthritis, become more common with advancing age. Military veterans are another group at increased risk for chronic pain; U.S. national survey data show that both pain, in general, and severe pain is more common among veterans than in nonveterans.

Not all people with chronic pain have a health problem diagnosed by a health care provider, but among those who do, the most frequent conditions, by far, are low-back pain or osteoarthritis, according to a national survey.

Other common diagnoses include rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

The annual economic cost of chronic pain in the United States, including both treatment and lost productivity, has been estimated at up to $635 billion.

Chronic pain may result from an underlying disease or health condition, an injury, medical treatment (such as surgery), inflammation, or a problem in the nervous system, or the cause may be unknown. Pain can affect quality of life and productivity, and it may be accompanied by difficulty in moving around, disturbed sleep, anxiety, depression, and other problems.

What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain

The scientific evidence suggests that some complementary health approaches may help people manage chronic pain.

I will highlight the research of some approaches used for common kinds of pain.

Chronic Pain Complementary Approaches

There is evidence that acupuncture, yoga, relaxation techniques, tai chi, massage, and osteopathic or spinal manipulation may have some benefit for chronic pain.

Research also shows that hypnosis is moderately effective in managing chronic pain, when compared to usual medical care. However, the effectiveness of hypnosis can vary from one person to another. A study of mindfulness meditation for chronic pain also showed to be associated with an improvement in pain symptoms.

Also, studies on music have shown that it can reduce self-reported pain and depression symptoms in people with chronic pain.

Low-Back Pain 

Low-back pain has shown improvement with acupuncture, and a massage therapist might provide short-term relief from low-back pain. Unfortunately, massage has not been shown to have long-term benefits for low-back pain.

A research review concluded that mindfulness-based stress reduction is associated with improvements in pain intensity and physical functioning in low-back pain, compared to usual care. 

Spinal manipulation appears to be as effective as other therapies commonly used for chronic low-back pain, such as physical therapy, exercise, and chiropractic.

An evaluation of the research on yoga for low-back pain found that it improved pain and function in both the short term (1-6 months) and intermediate term (6-12 months). Yoga is an option for chronic, but not acute, low-back pain.

A study on herbal products for low-back pain found evidence that cayenne, administered topically (applied to the skin) can reduce pain. Two other herbal products used topically, comfrey and lavender essential oil, and two herbs used orally, white willow bark and devil’s claw, may also be helpful, but the evidence for these herbs is not as strong as that for cayenne.


There is evidence that acupuncture has short-term benefits in relieving knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.

A study for osteoarthritis of the knee concluded that tai chi has short-term (up to 12 weeks) and medium-term (12-26 weeks) benefits on pain for people with knee osteoarthritis. There has not been enough research to show whether it is helpful for longer periods.

Studies of glucosamine, chondroitin, and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) for knee osteoarthritis pain may be effective for some. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), or the herb thunder god vine may help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.


There is moderate evidence that acupuncture may reduce the frequency of migraines. 

Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society classify butterbur as effective; feverfew, magnesium, and riboflavin as probably effective; and coenzyme Q10 as possibly effective for preventing migraines.

Neck Pain

Studies on acupuncture suggest that acupuncture is helpful for neck pain.

Massage therapy may provide short-term relief from neck pain, especially if massage sessions are relatively lengthy and frequent, but it does not appear to be more effective than other therapies.

Spinal manipulation also may be helpful for relief of neck pain.


Some studies show tai chi, yoga, mindfulness, and biofeedback for fibromyalgia symptoms have had promising results.

In addition, vitamin D supplements, for those who have low vitamin D levels, may help to reduce pain in people with fibromyalgia.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Probiotics may be helpful for irritable bowel syndrome, but it is still uncertain which types of probiotics are most effective.

Some formulations of peppermint oil may be helpful for irritable bowel symptoms as well.

Other Types of Pain

Various complementary approaches have been studied for other types of chronic pain, such as nerve pain, chronic pelvic pain, and pain associated with endometriosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, pain associated with gout, and cancer. There is promising evidence that the complementary approaches talked about earlier in this article may be helpful for some of these types of pain. 

What the Science Says About Safety and Side Effects

As with any treatment, it is important to consider safety before using complementary health approaches. Safety depends on the specific approach and on the health of the person using it. If you are considering or using a complementary approach for pain, check with your health care provider to make sure it is safe for you.

Safety of Mind and Body Approaches

Mind and body practices, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, massage therapy, mindfulness/meditation, relaxation techniques, spinal manipulation, tai chi/qi gong, and yoga, are generally safe for healthy people if they are performed appropriately. People with medical conditions and pregnant women may need to modify or avoid some mind and body practices.

Like other forms of exercise, mind and body practices that involve movement, such as tai chi and yoga, can cause sore muscles and may involve some risk of injury.

Safety of Natural Products

Remember “natural” does not always mean “safe.” Some natural products may have side effects and may interact with medications.

Millions of people in the United States are living with some form of chronic pain daily. Chronic pain can seriously interfere with your daily activities, work, studies, family life, social life, and emotional well-being.

If you are struggling with 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 in Frederick. Check out the website at

by James Rada, Jr.

March 1923, 100 Years Ago

Chloroform Destroyed

About 1000 cans of chloroform, seized by Federal agents because it was below standard, were destroyed Saturday by deputies from the office of W. W. Stockman, United States Marshal. The chloroform was said to be valued at approximately $10,000.

The cans were taken to a dump on Ridgely Street, Baltimore, where each can was opened with a hatchet and the contents poured out.

About 700 cans, seized at Hagerstown and other county towns, were destroyed earlier in the week.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, March 29, 1923

Ring Off

We have just come from an attempted conversation over the telephone. **!!?-**!-‘!!

We were receiving information for publication when—bur-r-r goes the phone in our ear, a third party removes the receiver and listens to our very polite “line’s busy.” Mr. Third Party immediately “hangs up” and – bur-r-r-r-r-r- again he hears our polite explanation that the “line’s busy.” T. P. “hangs up” again and immediately—bur-r-r-r-r-

Our explanation of “line’s busy” became less polite as the unwarranted rudeness of Mr. T. P. continued until we finally called a recess of 15 minutes in order to permit the rude and ill-bred Mr. T. P. to inquire the price of bathing suits in Iceland.

The telephone porker is one of the species that is protected by the S. P. C. A. Too bad—too bad!

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, March 29, 1923

March 1948, 75 Years Ago

Charter Night Of Thurmont Lions Is Held

Approximately 150 members and guests were dined and entertained Tuesday evening at the nineteenth charter and ladies’ night of Thurmont Lions Club. Nine charter members were introduced and had a carnation pinned upon them by the wife of the district governor.

                                          – Frederick News, March 10, 1948

Citizens’ Meeting Is Sparsely Attended

Thurmont officials were rather disappointed Tuesday night when but few of the citizens attended a special meeting of the Commissioners, called to discuss matters considered of importance to all of the residents. Citizens in attendance were few and far between, the officials said. The round-table discussion centered largely around the operation of parking meters. Businessmen in attendance expressed the general belief that the meters have benefitted business in the town. Voices were divided as to whether the meter fee should be charged after 6 o’clock in the evening on week-days. The meters are in service now to 8 p.m. on week-days and to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.  

                                          – Frederick News, March 24, 1948

March 1973, 50 Years Ago

Donkey Ball Comes To Catoctin

Donkey Ball, the world’s craziest sport, comes to Catoctin High School on Saturday, March 10. This basketball game played from the backs of trained Donkeys, is re[p]uted to be wilder than a rodeo and funnier than a circus.

For the game the Booster Club has obtained the services of the nationally known Buckey Donkey Ball Co., Columbus, Ohio.

All local riders will be used for the exhibition and the local players have gone into serious training for the big event. The Booster Club, who will compete, have announced that the players are on strict diet of Mothers Oats and raw carrots.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, March 1, 1973

Resort Development Rumors Confirmed By County Board

Rumors of a resort development in the Emmitsburg area were confirmed by the County Board of Appeals Tuesday. Viking Ventures, whose president is Sheldon G. Erickson, has applied for a permit to construct a building of 250,000 square feet.

The resort will include 325 units or rooms, restaurant, golf course, tennis courts swimming pool and conference rooms.

The proposed $11 million development is on the north side of Hampton Valley Road, a 1,000 acre parcel which adjoins Emmitsburg just north of the Mount and stretches north to Charnita. A public hearing on the proposed development is scheduled for March.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, March 1, 1973

March 1998, 25 Years Ago

Mayor Carr Seeks Third Term

Emmitsburg Mayor William H. Carr announced this week his intention to seek a third term as mayor of Emmitsburg in the upcoming April town election.

“The town is beginning to ‘turn the corner’ and I would like to see some of the important projects through to completion,” said Carr.

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, March 1998

Library Volunteers Recognized for Long and Productive Service

Members of the library staff, library advisory board, and volunteers gathered in February to salute and honor the service of three significant people associated with the Emmitsburg Library: Mary Hoke, Sheila Chatlos, and Francis Smith.

…Mary Hoke is being honored for serving the Emmitsburg library for 68 years of service; as librarian, secretary/treasurer, and treasurer of the Library Board.… Sheila Chatlos became associated with the Library Board in 1961 serving as secretary until her retirement in 1997…. “You have to be careful not to miss meetings,” said retiring president Francis Smith. “Ten years ago, I missed the second meeting of my association with the library and was elected president.”

                                                – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, March 1998

We’re On A Mission

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy and I are on a mission to change breakfast for the better. In truth, it was my suggestion, and he’s just along for the ride because he’s fine with breakfast the way it is. I, however, believe that both of us could benefit from some changes.  My number one complaint is that there are no healthy breakfast foods other than fruit. Okay, oatmeal and those other gruels are considered healthy, but oatmeal is loaded with carbs. Plus, I have to add cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla or maple extract, raisins, and apples just to make it taste like something I can swallow. I can’t eat the stuff in the packets, so I have to cook my own oatmeal, and this isn’t doable on the days I have to be up and out in a hurry. And, thanks, but I don’t like the overnight stuff. 

Maybe yogurt is considered a healthy choice, too, but again…yuck. I do eat yogurt and so does Randy. He prefers the regular yogurt in plain vanilla, and I buy the low-fat, low-sugar Greek style. There’s really only one flavor of yogurt I can tolerate well, and I have to run down to Walmart in Frederick to buy it.  If you know me, you know that I’d rather have my teeth cleaned than go to Walmart, so I don’t eat yogurt every day. I also add granola to my yogurt to give it some texture and mask the taste. 

There are a few cold cereals that have healthful benefits, and I eat some of those occasionally with fat-free milk and fruit. None of this stuff tastes good to me, though. I do it for the fiber, but also to avoid eating any of the breakfast foods that actually taste good.  

Anything that’s a vehicle for syrup is delicious, but it’s not good for us. Waffles (which Randy loves to make), pancakes, and French toast are full of carbs and fats. I do use sugar-free syrup, though. Eggs, sausage, and bacon all have a lot of fat and cholesterol, even though they’re proteins. I don’t love eggs but will eat them scrambled if I have to, and Randy does make beautiful and tasty omelets. He prefers his fried eggs with runny yolks, which I find gross, especially when he dips stuff in the yellow glop. Sausage is fine but not something I crave, and neither is bacon, although it is tasty and adds flavor to mostly anything. Toast and English muffins are more bread, and there’s usually butter, and some form of sugar involved with them.  All of that being said, we do enjoy breakfast for dinner on a cold winter evening, and I never turn down Randy’s homemade waffles on a weekend morning. It’s just not food that we can eat on a daily basis.

And forget about going to a restaurant or fast-food chain for a healthy breakfast alternative, unless you want to spend a fortune. Yes, there are egg-white menu items, turkey bacon and sausage options, and whole-grain breads available.  Just don’t try getting a healthy breakfast at the McDonald’s drive-thru because aside from the fruit and maple oatmeal, there’s not much to choose from if you’re trying to be heart-healthy.

I do admit that the hubby and I find the food at IHOP delicious, and we’ve been known to stop there for a late breakfast/early lunch on days when we’ve had to fast for blood tests or medical stuff. We’re entitled to a treat after that, right?  I’ll even go so far as to recommend the “Split Decision,” which includes both pancakes and French toast.  Go ahead and treat yourself but be smart and bring home half of it for another time. By another time, though, I don’t mean as soon as you get home, Randy.

Speaking of IHOP, I’m reminded of the time my mom and a group of her friends were going out to eat at IHOP in Leesburg, Virginia. Maggie was driving, and they were all hungry, but Emma was very disappointed when Maggie pulled into the parking space. 

“I thought we were going to IHOP,” Emma said, “but this is International House of Pancakes.”

I’ve gotten off track here, but my point about breakfast is that I’m hoping someone will come up with a breakfast soup or a salad, or even a vegetable option. That’s all I’m saying. What’s wrong with eating regular food at breakfast time? Like I said, we do have breakfast for lunch and dinner.

One morning at breakfast as we were watching the news, Randy and I saw a story on how Shakira has written a break-up/revenge song about a failed relationship. We noted that Taylor Swift does this sort of thing all the time. So, just for fun, we started writing revenge songs about our own previous relationships.

Randy ended all of his songs with the chorus, “Oh the good times.” I wrote a song about a young fellow I dated in my youth, called “My grandma made that lemon pie.” Seriously, you should try it. We amused ourselves for at least an hour.

Please let me know if you have any viable healthful breakfast suggestions. 

In closing, I’d like to give a shout-out to my old pal, Diana Lewis, who is both thoughtful and talented.  Those greens are still looking good in February! Thank you so much for thinking of us.

Frederick County’s Golden Immigrants

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is part two of a series about goldfish farming in Frederick County.

The first record of a goldfish farmer in Frederick County is Charles J. Ramsburg. He was born and raised in Lewistown, but he attended college at Eaton and Burnett’s Business College in Baltimore. He returned to the family farm after he graduated in 1884. Part of his farming operations was to raise goldfish. By the early 1900s, he was shipping about a million fish a year around the country, according to History of Frederick County, Vol. 2.

Another pioneer in goldfish farming in the county was Ernest R. Powell of Lewistown. “When he was twelve years old, he began breeding goldfish, and was so successful in his enterprise that he increased his output every year, and is now one of the largest dealers of goldfish in Frederick County,” according to his biography in History of Frederick County. Powell would have been 12 years old in 1892.

More farmers began entering the business, using existing farm ponds or new ponds dug by hand with shovels, wheelbarrows, and horse-drawn scoops. 

“In the early part of the century, I think people in the county, especially farmers, saw goldfish as a way of making extra money,” Ernest Tresselt said in an interview 2006.

He said the reason goldfish farming flourished in the county is unknown, “but it appears to be related to the availability of water on many farms because of the mountain streams and springs. The temperate climate, with its distinct seasonal changes, is ideal for the propagation of goldfish.”

George Leicester Thomas, who founded Three Springs Fisheries in 1917, had his own ideas about why goldfish were successful in Frederick County. He said in interviews that the water in Frederick County was well-suited for goldfish, perhaps because of the mineral content. It gave Frederick County the reputation for having the best-colored goldfish in the country, according to The Frederick Post.

Thomas’ grandson, Charles, said in 1981 that the rich-colored goldfish came because the county farmers used good breeding stock, but he also notes they lived in nutrient-rich water from truckloads of manure dumped in the ponds.

“The manure has nutrients that fish thrive on and actually all they have to do is open their mouths in order to eat,” said Charles Thomas.

George Thomas started his business as a roadside stand that sold vegetables and goldfish. This grew into Three Springs Fisheries in Buckeystown and is known today as Lilypons.

While customers may have bought his vegetables, they showed more of an interest in his goldfish. By the end of World War II, Lilypons had become the world’s largest producer of goldfish.

Hunting Creek Fisheries near Thurmont was started by Frederick Tresselt in 1923. Frederick Tresselt was a graduate of Cornell and had worked at the state trout hatchery in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

“In driving around the county with a friend in 1922, Dad was amazed to see all the goldfish ponds in the area,” Ernest Tresselt said.

Other Frederick County goldfish farmers included George English, Frank Rice, Earl Rice, Maurice Albaugh, M.H. Hoke, Ross Firor, Sam Eaton, David and Adam Zentz, Walter Rice, Joseph Weller, Richard Kefauver, and Martin Kefauver.

“Every farm that could had fish ponds,” Tresselt said. “It was a cash crop for them.”

Tresselt believes that Frederick County might not have the oldest goldfish farms in the country, but the county did have the most goldfish farmers. At the peak of goldfish farming in the county (the 1920s and 1930s), he estimates that as many as 30 or more farms were raising goldfish. The county had enough farmers that they organized as the Goldfish Breeders Association of Frederick County in 1920 to fight against the high cost of shipping.

The 1925 News-Post Yearbook and Almanac listed the county’s production at three-and-a-half to four million goldfish on 400-500 acres. Production in 1932 was seven million goldfish on 500-600 acres.

The 1925 yearbook notes, “They [goldfish] are marketed at from $10 to $50 per thousand, value of yearly production being about $75,000.”

In 1932, goldfish up to two-and-a-half inches long were sold for about $3.50 per 100 and retailed for five cents apiece, and larger goldfish sold for about $7 per 100 and retailed for 10 cents apiece. By this time, most reports estimated Frederick County farmers had been raising goldfish for about 50 years and had brought $1.5 million into the county, according to the Frederick Post.

By 1931, the U.S. Commerce Department said the United States goldfish industry was a $945,000 business in the country and, at that time, 80 percent of that was coming into Frederick County.

Early goldfish farming was relatively simple. In the spring, farmers stocked their ponds with breeder goldfish. The goldfish reproduced and the young grew through the summer and were harvested in the fall. The breeders were kept in the deepest ponds, since these ponds provided a good water supply over the winter.

In the fall, buyers would come driving trucks full of fish cans and buy the fish or farmers would ship the fish to the buyers. A single farmer would ship thousands of fish each day during the harvest. During the 1904 harvest season, goldfish farmer M.H. Hoke was shipping about 6,000 goldfish each day that he harvested from his ponds near Walkersville.

Once the crop was harvested, the farmers would drain their ponds and dry them over the winter as a means of sterilizing them. Feeding the fish was kept at a minimum. Generally, some form of ground grain, like wheat middlings or ground corn, was the food of choice. Treatments for parasites and diseases were marginal. As the ponds became older, there was an increase in a parasites problem. Another problem involved the weather. Ponds located on streams could flood, sending hundreds of fish and dollars into the stream.

Crayfish were also said to bore holes in the sides of man-made ponds, which could cause them to leak and eventually break. In 1904, one of Richard Kefauver’s Middletown ponds broke, and it was estimated he lost about $700 in goldfish, the Frederick News reported.

Other natural problems included fish cranes, hawks, kingfishers, and water snakes, all of which had a taste for goldfish.

My beautiful picture

Packing goldfish at Hunting Creek Fisheries.

My beautiful picture

Cleaning the catch boxes in the goldfish ponds.

My beautiful picture

The old fish house at Catoctin Furnace in the 1960s.

“Helping You Find Plants That Work”

by Ana Morlier


Good day, readers! How has your indoor plant adventuring gone since last month? While conditions outside are constantly fluctuating, now is a great time to experiment with indoor plants, both as decor and practicality (being a great boost to mental health). Discovering indoor plant varieties will take you to a variety of independent greenhouses, open year-round, or your local home-improvement stores. Plus, you’ll find plenty of deals on plants that have suffered neglect at the hands of their caretakers. One of the most fun and intricate projects I recommend during this time is creating a Pinterest-worthy and enchanting terrarium! Whether you choose to add a bit of magic with fairies and miniature figures and furniture or keep a regal, yet earthy, tone with just plants is up to you. Here is what you’ll need to know about this stunning, organic centerpiece!


Drainage layer. Drainage holes on traditional pots are difficult to come by with fancy glass pots or containers, typical of terrariums. It also may let in unwanted pests. Some typical fillings include rocks, aquarium gravel, and sea glass. Try for a color scheme, like bright, cool colors, which will be visible from the glass container.

Filter/separation layer. Catches excess moisture before the drainage layer. It also helps keep the drainage layer retain its color, separating it from the soil layer.

Charcoal Layer (optional). If you’re using a closed terrarium, this can be handy for preventing harmful bacteria and thus, odor. Charcoal specifically for terrariums can be found at pet stores and nurseries.

Soil layer. Any soil can be used, including potting, succulent, and regular soil, just as long as it fits the needs of your plant. If your terrarium is exclusively air plants, you can stick to just a drainage layer and add plants on top.

Decorative layer. Where the fun begins! Add plants, sculptures, moss, miniatures, or whatever suits your vision!

Other Notes

Avoid fast-growing plants, as they can crowd your terrarium and prevent other plants from receiving sunlight.

Try using dwarf plants for a more fairy-like scene.

Choose plants that prefer humidity, as the rock layer will catch moisture and humidify closed containers. Succulents only belong in open containers.

Choose a container that has a wide opening so you can add the various layers and change out plants, in the case of withering.

Open containers are less likely to have problems with bacteria and fungus compared to closed containers.

Some affordable terrariums include goldfish bowls, aquarium bowls, mason jars, glass cookie jars, and even plastic containers.

More specialty containers include Wardian cases (looks like the glass version of a dollhouse), which may be more costly; cold frames, a classic bell jar (looks like the container that held the rose in Beauty and the Beast); and apothecary jars.

There will most likely be a terrarium or at least a dwarf plant section at your local greenhouse. While not the case for large-scale businesses like Lowes, specialty stores like the Dutch Plant Farm (on Baughman’s Lane in Frederick) will have sections with displays and brochures about how to make a terrarium just right for you with available plants. Always feel free to ask an employee when in doubt about plant location in the store or what resources to buy for your terrarium!

Open the lid of closed containers once a month, and leave it off until the condensation disappears, then place it back on top.

Remove/prune yellow or damaged leaves regularly. Do not fertilize.

Terrarium Plant Recommendations (all require bright to medium indirect light with regular watering)

Polka dot plant: Its pastel-pink coloration adds a mystical, yet whimsical, pop of color to your terrarium. Perfect for emphasizing the fantastical environment.

Baby tears: This extremely leafy plant looks like a mini-bush with a fairy-like scale.

Croton: Also adds a pop of color, though with darker tones and warm colors of orange, yellow, and red. You can find it in a range of colors and leaf sizes.

Ferns: Autumn (red-orange for a warm color scheme), woodland (the image you conjure up when you think of a fern; shiny, dark green leaves), button (small dot-sized leaves).

Pilea (sometimes called “pancake plant,” with bright green, round leaves).

Purple clover.


Moss is the best thing to happen to your terrarium! It can be placed anywhere and will not compete for space with other plants. As long as there is high humidity, you’ll only need to water it lightly or so that it stays moist to some degree. It hates chlorine and other chemicals, so use rainwater or distilled water. Water evenly, which can be done with a spray bottle. Moss also prefers indirect light.

Acapporus moss grows in clumps, such as cushion or mood moss. It’s good for filling up areas that are difficult to grow or place plants.

Pleurocarpus moss grows in sheets, such as fern moss, and sheet moss.

Sphagnum moss is great for adding to a red color scheme.

You can use moss from outdoors, but, more likely than not, it’ll be used to cold temperatures and might hate being in a terrarium. If you’re dead set on outdoor moss, keep your terrarium in the coldest room of your house, and place plants comfortable with cold temperatures with the moss.

And there you have it, one terrarium recipe ready to go! This can be a great activity with children, as they can help you plan out your terrarium. Devise a color scheme, fairy scene (that can be adjusted to your child’s imagination), and arrange a watering schedule. It’s best to use a spray bottle, both for the plants to get just enough water and for children to develop fine motor skills while using the bottle. May this project bring you some luck and magic! Ádh mór (best of luck)!

Want to re-read any of my old articles? Visit for archived articles or to suggest topics for me to write about.

Credit to: Kerry Michaels, Debra Lagattuta, and Jessica Wrubel from The Spruce; Dan from Terrarium Tribe, Taysha Murtaugh from Country Living, and The Dutch Plant Farm of Frederick.

by Buck Reed

Mexican Cuisines

Mexican cuisine is regional. No one would think that New Orleans prepares their beans the same way they would in Boston. And nobody does beans like California. That being said, we have to look at Mexican cuisine in the same way.

Regional Cuisines

There are a variety of regional cuisines in Mexico. Some of the best can be found in the following states:

Puebla: Located about 100 miles south of Mexico City. This region is famous for mole sauce, which can take a day to make but a lifetime to perfect. This sauce was first prepared by nuns for a visiting dignitary and served on roasted turkey. Coffee is grown in Puebla and is served with the area’s many unique desserts. Pastry shops are abundant, and there are as many here as there are churches.

Yucatan: The land of the Mayans, this southeast region is recognized for using more fruit-based sauces as opposed to chilies. One of these sauces, pibil, is made from red annatto seeds and flavored with Seville oranges, pepper, garlic, and cumin. It is then spread over pork or chicken and baked in a banana leaf.

Veracruz: This western region is home to a busy port and is well known for fish and other seafood dishes. Tacos, tamales, and enchiladas are all made with fish. Any fish dish a la Veracruz means it will be served with a sauce of tomatoes, olives, capers, and chilies and leaves a definite European footprint.

Oaxaca: Arguably the coffee capital of the world and is usually prepared a la olla, made with sugar and cinnamon, and left to simmer in a large pot for hours. The resulting brew will definitely wake you up. Oaxaca also is known for mescal, a type of tequila. Mole Oaxaqueno is a sweeter version of mole made with bananas.


South America was known in Europe as the “New World” for the fact that so many new foods were introduced to the explorers.

 Beans: Mexicans embrace almost all these legumes and use them in many dishes, including soups and stews. Small beans are often served refrito (refried in lard; tasty but heavy) or de la olla (boiled and served in a light broth).

Chilies: Used both fresh, dried, and smoked, Mexicans prefer to recognize the difference between heat and flavor, something that can be lost on the untrained palate. Popular varieties are jalapeno, poblano, serrano, guajillo, chipotle, pasilla, habanero, ancho, mulato, and cascabel.

Chocolate: Easily one of the most important foods found in the New World; even today, there is no cuisine in the world that does not embrace this as a food stuff.

Fruit: Mango, papaya, coconut, and pineapple are all eaten fresh, as well as used in sauces and desserts.

Corn: Most commonly used for tortillas, the warm, flat rounds that accompany or enhance many dishes. Also used for tacos (tortillas stuffed with chicken, beef, fish, or cheese) and tamales (steamed and stuffed with meat or vegetables).

Tomatoes: This ingredient is used extensively throughout Mexico in fresh salsas, as well as soups, stews, and sauces for main dishes and side dishes. Tomatillos are small green tomatoes covered in a stiff husk—they’re more tart and often used for tomatillo salsa, which is made with spicy chilies.

Vanilla: “Food of the gods,” vanilla, like chocolate, is also prepared in an intricate set of steps and became a staple in many of the world’s dessert shelf.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy March! Today’s dish is a gourmet take on a classic breakfast (or dinner) pairing: chicken and waffles! Chicken and waffles are the ultimate any-time-of-the-day meal (with the waffle providing carbohydrate-fueled energy and the chicken satisfying your stomach with protein).

While most chicken and waffle dishes involve fried chicken and waffles, today’s recipe uses a chicken gravy instead. Why? Gravy’s liquidy nature allows the savory flavor to easily spread across all of the textured surface of the waffle, similar to how syrup coats a regular waffle. No need to transition from taking a bite of fried chicken to a bite of waffle; using gravy allows you to get all the flavor in one bite.

Another way this dish is gourmet? The waffles themselves! Waffles are a great blank canvas in terms of flavor. Though the common notion is that waffles have to be savory and buttery or sweet, one can flavor waffles however they like. Case in point: these Parmesan-herb waffles. No longer buttery and bland (and not dependent on syrup to sweeten things up), these waffles take center stage with their rich, cheesy, and herby flavor. Impress family and friends alike with this delicious spin on a tried-and-true classic and satisfy everyone’s taste buds with the rich and savory flavors. Enjoy!

Chicken Gravy & Parmesan-Herb Waffles



2 cups white flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

2 large eggs

1 tsp. dry parsley (or 2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley)

2 cups buttermilk

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted or cooled

¾ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Oil for greasing the waffle iron


3 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. white flour

2½ cups milk (2% or whole; if using whole milk, omit 1 tbsp. flour)

½ tsp. garlic salt (can use more or less to taste)

½ tsp. black pepper

½ c. cooked chicken, shredded


Preheat the waffle iron on the medium heat setting.

Make the waffle batter: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, parsley, salt and black pepper, mixing with a spoon until ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside. In a small bowl, add eggs and beat together. Add buttermilk and butter; mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the large bowl and mix until the batter is smooth. Mix in Parmesan cheese; put batter in the refrigerator for later use.

Make the chicken gravy: Start a medium saucepan on medium heat. Once warm, add butter and melt. Whisk in flour and let cook 1-2 minutes (in order to cook out the flour flavor). Add in milk and spices and whisk mixture until smooth. Let cook 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken; set aside (if gravy is too thick, add milk and stir).

Cook the waffles: Once the waffle iron is heated, take the batter out of the refrigerator. Get tongs and plate out and set to the side of the waffle iron. Open and grease the iron; pour batter into the middle of the waffle iron with the ⅓ cup, pouring in just enough batter to fill the waffle iron (not too much). Close the waffle iron and let cook 6-8 minutes, or until the waffle is golden brown. Once cooked, open the waffle iron, take out the waffle with tongs, and put on the plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Assemble the dish: On a serving plate, place cooked waffles. Pour on chicken gravy, garnish with parsley, and serve.

Tools Needed

Dry and liquid measuring utensils, large bowl, medium bowl, spoon, whisk, medium saucepan, whisk or fork, waffle iron, tongs, ⅓ cup, plate.

Pvt. Francis Xavier Elder

First to Enlist, First to Fall

by Richard D. L. Fulton

“I am about to enter the fight for democracy…”   ~Francis X. Elder, 1918

In 1917, as the United States entered World War I, the soldiers of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Maryland (state national guard) regiments found themselves on their way to France, and in the process, those units were combined to form the 115th Infantry.

Among them was 21-year-old Emmitsburg resident, Francis X. Elder. 

Elder was born on June 30, 1893, to Emmitsburg residents Doctor James B. and Sarah B. Elder.

He enlisted in the service of his country on May 9, 1917, the first Emmitsburg resident to do so.  Based on a sole, last letter written home in 1918, Elder was full of vim, vigor, and patriotism and was prepared to face an impending storm of battle as the Germans prepared to unleash a massive attack in order to capture Paris. 

Between the Germans and their Paris objective, a line of French and American units had been assembled in order to resist the onslaught, Elder amongst them.

The allied resistance effort would become known as the Meuse–Argonne campaign, a counter offensive launch by the allied troops on September 28, 1918 in the hopes of stalling the German advance, if not driving the German forces back completely from their objective of taking Paris.

Elder and his fellow soldiers were deployed within the area of the Belleau Wood, which had been cleared of German occupation in June, a battle so violent that, when the allied forces had prevailed, General John Pershing, commanding the American Expeditionary Forces, said, “The Gettysburg of the war has been fought.”

The troops that Elder was among found themselves in the area of the Belleau Wood as the Meuse–Argonne campaign was launched.  Apparently as they moved out on October 11, Elder was fatally injured and listed among those “killed in action.”  The place of his death is stated on a memorial dedicated to his memory as having occurred at Belleau Woods, Alcaise Argonne Forest.

Private Francis X. Elder was the first Emmitsburg volunteer to die in the war.  One month after his death, on November 11 the guns fell silent across the entirety of the Western Front.  The “war to end all wars” was over.  The war had cost the United States 116,708 deaths, and had helped spread the deadly Spanish Flu as an aside.

What is likely Elder’s final letter home appeared in the January 9, 1919, edition of The (Allentown, Pennsylvania) Morning Call, which stated his step-brother. Robert G. Smith,  “had just received…” almost three months following Elder’s death.  It seems fitting in this tribute to print this letter in full:

“As I am about to enter the fight for democracy it is my desire now, whilst I have the opportunity to pencil a few lines briefly, and bid you all a sincere farewell. And may our dear and most precious God always protect you in this life, and knowing this I will die cheerfully and in a good cause, if it be His holy will; otherwise it will be the happiest moment of my life when I once more kiss mother’s lips. If the worst happens to me, take the news courageously and be brave, as I am going into it cheerfully and resigned to whatever my fate may be.  If I come through O.K. I will write at once and let you know.  Hoping for the best and trusting that I may see you all on earth, or that we will meet in Heaven. I am yours affectionately, farewell, Private Francis  X. Elder.”

In 1920, the first American Legion Post in Emmitsburg was organized and named the Francis X. Elder Post No. 75 (later Post No. 121).

Elder’s original headstone was replaced , and the original headstone now stands in front of the American Legion post that bears his name.

Ask Dr. Lo

Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables that belong to the Brassicaceae family of plants. These plants get their name from the New Latin word “Cruciferae,” which means cross-bearing, due to the cross-like shape of their flowers.

These vegetables are native to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the temperate regions of Asia, and now cultivated around the world.

Cruciferous vegetables are low in calories and packed with nutrients. Although the individual nutrition profiles can vary, cruciferous vegetables tend to be high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as dietary fiber.  

Which Vegetables Are Considered Cruciferous?

Here are some common cruciferous vegetables you may want to try: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, garden cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, mustard, and watercress. 

Reasons to Eat Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are packed with cancer-fighting properties. Not only are they high in antioxidants that can help neutralize cancer-causing free radicals, but they also contain compounds like glucosinolates and indole-3-carbinol, which have been shown to ward off cancer.

Multiple studies have shown an association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. For example, one review comprised of 94 studies reported that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was linked to a lower risk of lung, stomach, colon, and rectal cancer.

Inflammation is a normal immune response, designed to protect the body against illness and infection. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is believed to contribute to conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Cruciferous vegetables top the charts as one of the best foods when it comes to relieving inflammation. One study in 2014 published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with up to a 25 percent reduction in markers of inflammation among 1,005 women.

Reducing inflammation can also benefit inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and asthma.

Cruciferous vegetables supply a good amount of dietary fiber in each serving. A half cup of cooked brussels sprouts, for example, contains two grams of fiber, knocking out up to nearly 10 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.

Fiber slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar. A 2016 study out of China found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with a significantly decreased risk of type 2 diabetes among 306,723 participants.

Cruciferous vegetables help promote weight loss, so load up your plate with them.

Since these vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber, they move slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, promoting satiety and warding off cravings. One 2009 study conducted at the Brigham Young University College of Health and Human Performance followed 252 women over a 20-month period and found that each gram of fiber consumed reduced body weight by half a pound and dropped body fat by 0.25 percent.

Another study published in PLOS ONE found that each serving of cruciferous vegetables was associated with 0.68 pounds of weight loss over a two-year period. It takes more than just adding a serving of cruciferous vegetables to your diet each day to reach your weight-loss goals. In addition, eat plenty of varieties of fresh fruits and veggies, minimize your intake of ultra-processed foods, and get in some exercise each week.

Cruciferous vegetables have also been shown to combat heart disease. Upping your intake is an easy way to help keep your heart stay healthy and strong.

Some studies have found that increasing your consumption of vegetables, in general, could decrease your risk of heart disease and heart problems. A massive study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 134,796 adults over an average period of 10 years and found that a higher intake of vegetables—and especially cruciferous vegetables—was associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease.

Cruciferous vegetables may also improve your immunity against disease. In addition, their nutritional content is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show these vegetables have antimicrobial properties that give your immune defenses a boost against sickness-causing pathogens. 

Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone responsible for regulating the reproductive system. However, too much estrogen can disrupt your balance of hormones and cause symptoms like bloating, irregular menstrual periods, a decreased sex drive, and headaches.

Researchers have found that there may be an association between cruciferous vegetables and estrogen levels. This is thanks to the presence of indole-3-carbinol, a compound, found in cruciferous vegetables, that helps regulate estrogen activity and metabolism. Because of this compound, filling up on cruciferous veggies may be able to help regulate estrogen levels to prevent adverse side effects.

Another way to help balance hormones is by eating enough healthy fats and making sure you get enough sleep at night.

Be Mindful

Despite the many health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, keep in mind a few possible side effects.

One common concern is the association between cruciferous vegetables and gas. The fiber found in these vegetables undergoes fermentation in the large intestine, which can cause excess flatulence. For this reason, it is best to increase fiber intake slowly, chew food thoroughly and pair with higher fluid intake.

There is also some concern about the relationship between cruciferous vegetables and thyroid problems. When eaten raw, the digestion of cruciferous vegetables in the intestines releases goitrogens, which can increase the need for iodine and can cause damage to the thyroid gland.

However, research shows that it would take a large amount of raw cruciferous vegetables to cause thyroid damage. If you do have thyroid issues, it is best to eat your cruciferous vegetables cooked and limit your intake to about one to two servings per day.

If you are struggling with 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

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: Newspaper excerpts are as they appeared in their respective issues.

February 1923, 100 Years Ago

Another Piece Gone

Last Thursday Mr. Ross Eigenbrode got the index finger of his left hand in the way of a running saw at the plant of the Thurmont Manufacturing Company and was relieved of a part of the first joint. Some few months ago the jointer at the same factory, and on the same hand, amputated the first joint of his little finger.

Mr. Eigenbrode says that he hopes to become accustomed to these operations in time. If he does become so, he is liable to form the habit and by the time he had finished his span of mortal life he will have been pretty thoroughly pruned.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, February 1, 1923

New Bowling Alley

Mr. D. R. Rouzer has started work on the foundation of a building in which will be placed a bowling alley. The structure will occupy the entire driveway between the Mackley Building and Mr. Rouzer’s property now occupied by Mr. R. A. Tyson.

          The building will be one story in height, the front to contain the shaving parlor of Mr. Quinn J. Florence, and the bowling alley in the rear.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, February 1, 1923

February 1948, 75 Years Ago

Final Rites For Soldiers At Thurmont

Final services for Sgt. Hanson S. Sauble and Pfc Austin C. Reed who died in action in the siege of St. Lo, and whose bodies arrived home this week for re-interment, were held at the funeral home in Thurmont, Thursday afternoon.

                                          – Frederick News, February 20, 1948

Traffic Is Stalled By Icy Roads

…The star route mail truck between Baltimore and Thurmont, which transfers mail for Frederick to Hagerstown and Frederick to the Hagerstown and Frederick Railway at Thurmont, slid from the road near New Windsor and post office officials here had no idea at mid-morning when the mail might reach here. The trolley service to Thurmont was maintained without interruption.            

                                          – Frederick News, February 12, 1948

February 1973, 50 Years Ago

Town Drops Property Ownership Requirement

According to the resolution unanimously passed by the Burgess and Commissioners Monday night, persons wishing to run for election as town officials will no longer be required to own property in the town. (The full text of the resolution appears elsewhere in this paper). According to the Town Attorney, Frederick J. Bower, the new regulation brings the town into line with recent court decisions prohibiting such requirements. Those wishing to be elected to town offices must have been a resident for one year prior to their election and must reside inside town boundaries during their terms of office.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, February 8, 1973

Thousands Brave Cold To Attend Winter Festival

Nearly 10,000 visitors braved the below-freezing temperatures Saturday and Sunday to attend the Winter Festival. Sponsored by the Catoctin Mountain Tourist Council and Catoctin Mountain Park, the Festival was highly successful in spite of the small amount of snow.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, February 15, 1973

February 1998, 25 Years Ago

VHC Bids Farewell To Colleague

On West Main Street, Towers 6 and 1 formed an Aerial Arch under which the funeral procession of Greg Hollinger passed as the bell on Tower 6 tolled in respect. Greg, age 43, an active member of the Vigilant Hose Company for 24 years, died Jan. 20, at his home.

“The outpouring of support from both the community and the emergency services throughout the region was simply outstanding,” said Wayne Powell, VHC Information Officer. “Greg was well-liked and committed to the safety and well-being of those he served in the greater Emmitsburg Community.”

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, February 1998

Emmitsburg Election Set For April 21

At the January town meeting Commissioner Phil Postelle announced that the elections for mayor (currently held by William H. Carr) and commissioners’ seats (currently held by Rosario Benvengi and Christopher Weaver) will be held April 21, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the town office.

Residents wishing to file for candidacy must do so in writing at the town office before 12:00 noon on April 9, 1998.

                                                – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, February 1998

by Valerie Nusbaum

It’s a Monday morning in mid-January 2023 as I type these words. Today’s high temperature is supposed to be somewhere around 50 degrees, and I’m wondering when—or if—we’ll see some snow.

I don’t miss that pre-Christmas deep-freeze, but I would like to feel a chill in the air and see some powdery white flakes. We’re in the winter season, after all. We actually need the cold temperatures and snow in order to prepare our planet for spring and summer and the growing seasons. I needed to stop myself just now and fondly remember my grandfather, since I’m sounding just like him. Well, like him, but without all the swear words and spitting. Pappy chewed tobacco.

I’m hoping that Randy doesn’t somehow read this column and get any bright ideas. I’d hate for him to use all my laundry detergent or instant mashed potatoes to try and coat the backyard in a white powdery substance. Can you imagine the suds if it rained? And we’ve probably all seen the commercial where the dad buys a paper shredder in order to make snow for his little daughter. No, Randy. Just no! I want the real thing or nothing at all. Snow is like Pandora jewelry and diamonds. Don’t give me any imitations.

So, in the interest of helping humanity, I decided to do a little research on why we need some snow and how it helps us.

First of all, the temperature of the Earth’s surface needs to be regulated. Snow helps to do that by cooling the ground. Colder temperatures associated with snow and winter are necessary for this cooling process. Melting snow makes water, which seeps into the ground and helps fill our rivers and reservoirs. Yes, rain does the same thing, but snow takes longer and, thus, may be more beneficial. Conversely, the snow acts as insulation for the soil in very cold temperatures, keeping the deeper layers from freezing. The insect population also benefits from snow insulating the ground in very cold weather. The opposite is also true, in that very cold weather can help to control the over-population of the insect communities.

I’m not an authority on global warming (or anything else, really) yet I do know that these balmy days are nice for getting outside and taking down the holiday decorations, but they’re not doing us any real favors in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional warm day in winter is a gift to be enjoyed, and I do. I also appreciate that it’s a blessing and a pleasure not to be shoveling snow and driving in icy conditions. I’m just saying that a few snow days might do us all some good.

Snow does force us to get some exercise. We just need to do it sensibly and carefully. There’s an opportunity for income, too, if any kids can tear themselves away from video games and phones and are interested in making a buck. My brother and his friends used to clean up, literally. A snow day allows some people to stay in bed and enjoy a lazy day. Yes, I realize that my previous statement doesn’t hold true for everyone. There are dedicated, hard-working people out there who have to show up for work and who provide the rest of us with clean roads and sidewalks and healthcare. I applaud each and every one of you. Thank you for doing your jobs and doing them well.

I’m not talking about a blizzard here, or two months of dealing with snow on the ground. I’d just like to see a few inches of the white stuff once in a while, preferably at a time when most people are indoors safe and warm. I don’t like frigid weather any more than you do, and I hate blustery winds.

Power outages scare me, too. Don’t get your knickers in a knot. I’m not trying to bring on Armageddon. I just want a little snow. It doesn’t even have to be enough to shovel or push. I don’t need to make snow ice cream or snow angels, although Randy does enjoy making anatomically correct snow sculptures and placing them outside Steve’s back door. In fact, the last time we made snow angels, we had to call for help getting up.

Picture, if you will, Punxsutawney Phil’s outrage when he pops his furry head out of the ground to discover a blanket of white, wet cold stuff all around. There’s nothing funnier than an angry groundhog, unless it’s two old people flat on their backs in the snow.

And don’t get me started on how romantic Valentine’s Day could be if you were snowed in with the one you love. Heck, the bickering and yelling probably wouldn’t start until halfway through the chocolate fondue. Maybe the snow could start the day before Valentine’s Day, and we’d all have excuses for not getting out to buy presents or cards or flowers.

If it helps, blame the cold and snow on me. Bring your snow and dump it in our yard. We’re retired and don’t have to be anywhere. We hardly ever bicker or yell and won’t mind being snowed in with each other. Randy’s office is two floors down from mine, and if the power goes out, we have gas—both propane and natural because I made a big pot of chili.

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is part one of a series about goldfish farming in Frederick County.

Frederick County’s Golden Immigrants

Hunting Creek Fisheries, Courtesy of the Author

History is obscure on how goldfish first came to the United States. The first recorded shipment was in 1878, but the specially bred Oriental fish were swimming in the American ponds and streams before then. Some records indicate it may have been long before then.

When goldfish came to America is uncertain, but one research paper notes: “The only reasonably well-supported record of a foreign fish introduced into this country prior to 1850 is of goldfish.” An article in Fisheries by Leo G. Nico and Pam L. Fuller suggests 1842 as the earliest date and that in 1879 “goldfish could be found in great number in the Hudson River of New York; most specimens were of drab wild colors, but a few could be found that were ‘white, red, and all intermediate conditions.’” Goldfish in 1879 were also sold in New York markets as a food fish, according to National Geographic.

One thing is certain. Once goldfish were in the United States, they found Frederick County, Maryland, to their liking. George Wireman wrote in Gateway to the Mountain that during the first half of the 20th century, Frederick County produced 80 percent of the goldfish in the country.

In 1878, Rear Admiral Daniel Ammens brought a shipment of these beautiful goldfish from Japan to the United States Commission on Fisheries. This is the first recorded entrance of goldfish into the United States.

My beautiful picture

It is these goldfish that most likely took hold in Frederick County, according to Ernest Tresselt. He was raised on a goldfish farm, Hunting Creek Fisheries in Thurmont, Maryland. He also ran it after his father retired in 1962. His memoirs were titled “Autobiography of a Goldfish Farmer.”

Because of the limited number of native freshwater fish in the United States, the United States Commission of Fisheries (created in 1871) and the Maryland Commission of Fish and Fisheries (created in 1874) introduced European carp into American waters as a supplementary food source for farmers.

Ponds were created for the carp on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., and Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. For a shipping fee of two dollars per can, the government would ship carp by rail car and truck all over the country. Once delivered, the empty cans were returned to Washington and Baltimore.

Once Ammens’ goldfish came to the United States, they were kept in ponds near the carp. The goldfish produced so many offspring that they were sold along with the carp to anyone interested in them.

“Since Frederick County, especially the Thurmont area, was settled by Germans who ate a lot of fish, the fish in the area were used up by this time. German families were raised on carp and so many of them purchased carp from the government,” said Tresselt.

Albert Powell, former superintendent of Maryland fish hatcheries, does not mention goldfish in his manuscript, “Historical Information of Maryland’s Commission of Fish and Fisheries with some notes on Game.” This is because goldfish are not considered a game fish, which is the responsibility of the Commission of Fish and Fisheries. Because goldfish are ornamental fish and pets, they are tracked as a crop. Many reports, in fact, call goldfish a crop that was “harvested” in the fall.

A 1921 Catoctin Clarion describes a goldfish harvest this way:

“A sluice gate was slightly raised; at the end of the sluice a large wire basket encloses everything that comes through and a small dip net transfers the fish to buckets, whence they are taken to the sorting room. Here they are emptied about a quart at a time on a table with a sloping galvanized iron top, and as they slide by, four men separate the goldfish from the uncolored goldfish, the tadpoles, crabs, frogs, pond bass, and various other pond inhabitants. The goldfish are put into large floats and afterwards, by the same process above are sorted into their different sizes.”

Powell does, however, note in Historical Information of Maryland’s Commission of Fish and Fisheries with some notes on game that some of the fish introduced in the Druid Hill Park fishponds were golden in color, such as golden tench and orphes. They were among the fish that the fish commissioners began to ship to the public in 1878.

“That’s how goldfish found its way to the Maryland countryside, on the tails of edible carp. It is easy to speculate that one or more farms in Frederick County got goldfish along with their carp during the period when the carp culture in farm fishponds was advocated as a supplementary food supply,” wrote Tresselt.

“Helping You Find Plants That Work”

by Ana Morlier

Elegant Edible

Image Credit to Arricca SanSone of the Pioneer Woman

Pictured is a scrumptious salad with violas, spinach, and arugula.

Happy February, readers! How are your Valentine’s Day preparations? Just kidding. I’m well aware that as of this Banner’s release, it’s certainly too early to be preoccupied with the consumerism of the holiday of love. However, I want to help you prepare and plan for a dazzling culinary masterpiece for your loved one.

You can still rose-tint your world (with ravishing blooms) despite the barren landscape. Numerous online marketplaces offer fresh, delicious, and beautiful edible flowers (featured below). Chocolate-themed items certainly grow tiresome, so why not try a stunning, fresh flavor add-in? Effectively spice up your traditional candle-lit dinner and bring a “wow” factor!

Include the blooms listed below in any type of dish for a fresh centerpiece.

Some General Tips

Blooms can keep for up to a week in your refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. Flowers with small, delicate petals (such as violas) will expire the most rapidly.

It is ideal to use your flowers within two days of purchase.

When on the prowl at your local grocery store, be sure to check for mold, which presents as web-like growths (white in color and web-like) that stick the petals together in clumps). Instead, seek out vivid and perky petals.

The package or seller must explicitly list flowers for culinary usage. Don’t purchase edible flowers from a random greenhouse or florist, as they will likely contain pesticides or fungicides.

Unless otherwise listed, stick to eating petals and not the whole flower.

If you need to preserve blooms for longer, petals can be dried, candied, or frozen into striking ice cubes (Try the A Busy Kitchen website for recipes).

Forget about the flowers you had in your fridge? No worries! Place flowers/petals in an ice bath for 10 minutes to rehydrate. After their nice dunk in the tub, use the petals as soon as possible.

Place flowers on the dish after you have added dressing or sauces.

Where to buy: Melissa’s Farms, Gourmet Sweet Botanicals, Cherry Valley Organics, and Marx Foods (all online shops).

How to rinse: Slowly swirl flowers around in a bowl of cold water a few times to dislodge dirt or dust. Avoid any force, such as from the tap or a salad spinner.

More Than Just Beautiful: A Flavor Profile Guide

Savory Blooms

Zucchini Blossoms: (commonly at farmers’ markets during the summer) can be baked, stuffed with rice, or fried. An ingredient found in many Mexican and Italian dishes.

Lavender: Seen everywhere! Put in fancy beverages (lemonades) or roast in meats, such as wild game or chicken.

Borage: A small, delicate lilac-colored wildflower can add a refreshing cucumber-like element to any dish or cocktail.

Dandelions: Both the flower and leaves can be consumed. Some like to fry up the flower; however, it is commonly used in salads, raw. Unopened buds are very sweet.

Cornflower: Adds a bright blue pop of color to salads as a mildly spicy garlic-like relish.

Sweet blooms:

Nasturtiums: With stunning bright orange and yellow blooms, this perennial offers a peppery essence, similar to the flavor profile of chocolate mint. Add fresh cucumbers or strawberries to make a fresh, lavish salad.

Pansies: A more widely known edible flower. Garnishes well for anything: fancy drinks, teas, and desserts. It is safe to consume the entire flower.

Viola: Semi-sweet with vibrant colors, adding the perfect pop and focal point to any dessert, main course, or cocktail. Blueberry lemon sorbet violas and blueberry swirl violas are some of the most stunning.

Agastache: Also referenced as “licorice mint” with hints of…you guessed it, licorice.

Day Lilies: Both beautiful in gardens and on your dinner plate, these flowers are light and refreshing on the palate, combining the crisp flavors of melon and cucumber.

Some helpful websites to get recipes for edible flowers include the Academy of Culinary Nutrition (“How to Cook with Edible Flowers”), Gilmore Blog (“Create Your Own Edible Flower Garden at Home”), and Good Housekeeping (“11 Ways to Pretty Up Your Food with Edible Flowers”).

Enjoy the gift of fresh new flavors during your Valentine’s festivities. Even if you are unable to cook with these flowers now, consider this a helpful guide for a reinvigorated garden haul during the spring and summer months. Best of luck and have a lovely holiday.

Would you like to re-read any of my old articles? Please visit for archived articles or to suggest topics for me to write about.

by Buck Reed

Guidelines for

Cooking with Nuts

I would bet that when mankind first walked the earth from his former home in the trees, the first time he used a tool was to crack open the shell of a nut. Okay, maybe he used a stick, a stick with a pointy end, to kill a saber-toothed tiger, but the nut thing has to be a close second. Then came civilization, and with it, the act of eating for pleasure, which brought us to the Romans and the dinner party. After eating such delicacies as honey glazed sparrow and soups made of garlic and oxen blood, any proper meal was finished off with a serving of nuts. Hence, the term “Soup to nuts.” No, the Marx Brothers did not come up with this term—they just made it funny.

First, when dealing with nuts, try to purchase them shelled, that is without the shell. The shell really has no useful purpose and no real nutritional value. Also, it will save you a lot of work breaking them apart and separating the useless from the useful.

If you plan on storing them for any length of time, your best bet is in an airtight container in the freezer, where they can stay good for up to two years. The fridge is the next best place, lasting up to six months.

Before cooking with nuts, toast them in a hot frying pan or in the oven on a sheet pan. You should be able to tell they are done by seeing the light brown color and smelling the toasty aroma. Most of all, it will enhance and deepen the nuts’ flavor.

After your nuts have cooled down, chop them up into the pieces you wish to utilize them as. A cutting board and knife should work here, or if your food processing skills are up for it, you could give that a try. Just be careful not to overprocess them.

When dealing with a recipe, do not be afraid to exchange one nut for another. We all have our favorite, and no one is going to jail if you do. Just be aware of anyone who has an allergy and plan accordingly.

Nuts have many uses in the Epicurean world. They can be tossed into salads, used as garnishes in soups or vegetables, and made into crusts for seafood or meats. Many baked goods, such as breads and desserts, can be elevated with the addition of nuts.

For the more advanced cook—and if you are reading this article, you are, in fact, an advanced cook—try making a spiced nut mixture. There are plenty of simple recipes out there for you to follow. Pickled nuts could also be a great addition to your repertoire, and both recipes will bring a little flair to your table.

So, next time you are thinking about cooking with nuts, do not limit it to asking your significant other to help in the kitchen. Take a moment to plan and knock it out of the park with these guidelines!

by Maxine Troxell

I remember when I was growing up, we lived on a farm between New Midway and Detour. My dad would often take me and my sisters along to the grocery store in Detour. I loved the whoopie pies they sold back then. They were always chocolate.  But with Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not make the red velvet kind of whoopie pie?

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies


½ cup (113 grams) butter, softened

1 egg

½ cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt   

1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting:   ¼ cup butter, softened; 7 oz. marshmallow creme;

                                                          4 oz. cream cheese, softened


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

Add to the cream mixture the dry ingredients, alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition, just until combined.

Stir in food coloring.

Using a medium-size ice cream scoop, drop batter on the prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until tops are set.

Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting: In medium mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in marshmallow creme.

To sandwich the cookies, spoon a little frosting on the flat side of one cookie, top with another one.


by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy February! Today’s recipe pays homage to the sweet and chocolatey flavors (and gooey love) of Valentine’s Day: chocolate lava cake! Relatively easy to make (a quick bake so you can get back to your date in no time with an impressive dessert to share), deliciously gooey, and great for sharing, the chocolate lava cake is the perfect Valentine’s Day food. It even contains the mess: unlike a messy chocolate fondue, the gooey chocolate is contained by the deliciously rich outside of the cake, allowing you to save yourself from an embarrassing mess. This cake includes relatively little flour, meaning that one can really taste the bittersweet chocolate (and it allows the cake to be much more lava-like). Worried about how the batter is gooey in the middle? Don’t fret! The high temperature of the oven kills off any pathogens, allowing the batter in the middle to be enjoyed safely. Want to boost the cake even further? Try using different garnishes! Some ideas could include crushed almonds (providing a savory and crunchy contrast to the sweet and gooey cake), sliced strawberries (adding a pop of romantic red color and tangy bite to the flavor profile), raspberry drizzle (adding elegance and sweetness), caramel drizzle, or even a peanut butter drizzle for the peanut butter chocolate lover in your life. This cake can also be served powdered with confectioner’s sugar or alongside a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day delightfully with this heavenly cake, whether with a loved one or by yourself!

Chocolate Lava Cake


½ stick of butter at room temperature

3 oz. chocolate chips

1 egg at room temperature

1 egg yolk at room temperature

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ pinch salt

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. butter & 1 tsp. flour, for greasing


Preheat oven to 4500. In a medium pot, fill a little less than halfway with water and set to boil. Get out a heatproof bowl that can rest in the pot without touching the water.

Put chocolate chips and butter in the bowl and put the bowl over the boiling water. Stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

In a different bowl, beat together egg and egg yolk until frothy. Add sugar and beat well until incorporated.

Add vanilla and salt; then add flour in small amounts at a time, mixing well after each addition.

With a spatula, fold chocolate mixture into batter. Fold until all ingredients are well combined.

Take out ramekins or ceramic dish. Grease with butter and dust with a pinch of flour.

Fill ramekins/dishes with batter until they are ⅔ full. Place dishes on small sheet pan and place in the oven.

Bake 8-11 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the edge of the cake comes out clean (the top of the cake should develop air pockets).

Once baked, take out and let sit one minute. Slide a knife around the edges of the cake with a serrated knife. Put a plate over the mouth of the ramekin/dish, then flip lava cake onto the plate, holding the hot dish with a potholder. The lava cake should come out of the dish and onto the plate; lift the dish off the cake with a knife.

Garnish and serve.

Tools Needed

Solid and liquid measuring utensils, heat-proof bowl, spatula, regular bowl, beaters and mixer, spoon, medium pot, medium ramekin or small round ceramic dish (mugs work), small sheet pan, toothpick, serrated knife, plate, table knife.

My own lava cake, topped with a strawberry compote (for a chocolatey, fruity flavor) and powdered sugar (for an element of sweet vanilla contrast).

*With credit to Chef Liddick of CTC

From Iran to Gettysburg

by Richard D. L. Fulton

Photo Courtesy of Howard’s daughter, Coleen Reamer

Pvt. Howard Mace appears second from the left in this photograph, taken in the Middle East.

Photo Courtesy of National Park Service, Gettysburg

Photographed is Camp Sharpe.

Private First Class Howard Mace’s career in the Army during World War II found him guarding supply convoys carrying supplies through Iran to Russia, bombs being shipped from Virginia to New York, and 400 German POWs on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

Mace, who was born in Medix Run, Pennsylvania, was 30 years of age and working at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia when war was declared against Japan and Germany in 1941. Although he could have been granted a deferment, he decided to enlist in the Army in April 1942, serving in the 1325 Service Command Unit as a military policeman.

After completing basic training in 1942, he and his unit were deployed in 1943 to the Middle East (Iran area), where the unit guarded supply convoys heading through Iran to the Russian allies, where the unit remained on duty until early 1945. In early 1945, Mace was dispatched to Norfolk and, subsequently, was assigned to guard convoys delivering bombs to military installations in New York City.

Soon thereafter, Mace was reassigned to assist with guarding around 400 German soldiers and officers being held at Camp Sharpe (formerly a Civilian Conservation Corps camp) on the Gettysburg Battlefield. The CCC camp had been converted into a special forces training base in 1944 and was renamed Camp Sharpe. (See German POWs helped save Adams’ Agriculture in this issue of The Catoctin Banner). Mace’s primary role at Camp Sharpe was to guard the prisoners when they were outside of the compound on work details in the farm fields, orchards, and canning factories.

Mace’s daughter, Coleen Reamer, a Hamiltonban Township supervisor, said her father didn’t talk much about the war to her but did occasionally discuss the war with her brother, Ronald.

Reamer informed that her father said that “he liked that duty (guarding the PWs – POW was a post-World War II designation) very much because the prisoners did all the cooking, cleaning, polishing and had no desire to go anywhere since they were treated so well.” He stated that Gettysburg, like the rest of the country, was under food rationing, but the POW camps were not.

Reamer reported that guards and military staff could invite guests to visit the camp and the prisoners generally prepared the meals. “Because the camp had plenty of otherwise rationed items, the townspeople enjoyed being invited to the camp for a tour and dinner,” she said her father observed.

Reamer said, “The belief by Americans was that if we treated German POWs well, then that would hopefully translate the same for our American POWs held by the enemy overseas.”

Only a few prisoners attempted escapes were ever reported from the three German prisoner-of-war camps that were built on the Gettysburg battlefield. Two escaped the Emmitsburg Road camp but surrendered to a family wife and her daughter-in-law in York. Another escaped one of the other camps but surrendered to a New York City book dealer. Two others escaped and were caught at Zora (on Waynesboro Pike).

Reamer said her father did mention an escape in which two of the German prisoners slipped away from a work detail and were found sitting at the Gettysburg Town Square. They only wanted to see a movie, but the Strand Theater on Baltimore Street refused to accept PW canteen script for admission.

Mace served at Camp Sharp until he was mustered out on November 7, 1945. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal.

He married his wife Jo-Ellen Anna Nary in 1946, and they had four children: Coleen Reamer, Ronald Mace, Vikki Mace, and Beth Vivaldi.

(Reporters Note: Mace likely would have been at the Camp Sharpe compound when the Army suffered its only casualty that would occur in conjunction with the prisoner-of-war camps at Gettysburg. On September 1, 1945, when a shot rang out in Camp Sharpe, guards fanned out to locate the source and found the body of Private First-Class Joseph Ward, lying lifeless on the floor of one of the guard towers; they saw that he had been shot. It was subsequently ruled that his death was a suicide.)

42nd Annual Event Begins in March

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) is excited to announce the return of the Elementary and Secondary Science Fair and the Elementary Social Studies Fair. Both will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at Tuscarora High School.

Elementary science and social studies events will occur from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Elementary school students have the option to participate in both the Science and Social Studies Fairs. The secondary science fair judging takes place from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

A free STEM Showcase, with hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math activities is also open to the public during the Elementary Science Fair. The STEM Showcase is open to students of all grade levels.

Registration is now open. It closes for the Secondary Science Fair on March 9. It closes for the Elementary Science and Social Studies fairs on March 20.

Register for the Elementary Science Fair: Register for the Elementary Social Studies Fair: Register for the Secondary Science Fair: