Monday, April 10, 2017

Bynum Front Porch Storytelling

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Come join us for Moon Pies, RC Colas and stories! 6:30pm - 9pm on second Saturdays in Bynum. At the historic Bynum General Store, 950 Bynum Rd. Pittsboro, NC.

May 13 lineup: Bynum storyteller Cynthia Raxter, Gretchen McNeely, Russell Davis, The Monti winner Sam Pearsall, +ReVonda Crow-Storyteller and emcee Mark Brady! Food. Fun. Friends. Fabulous!

Check out the Facebook Event  or follow me on Twitter @CynthiaRaxter to keep up with the goings on!  

See you real soon! Love, Cindy

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter
Further adventures:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ree and Christmas

Thursday's Story
I was in the stores today. They were pulling out Christmas "stuff" - Santa-shaped platters and sparkly baubles... potholders that light up and play Rudolf.... So much will end up - if not in the landfill - in the thrift shop come January.
It made me think about 'Ree - Marie Whitmire - the little wiry, sweet, tough and funny red-haired mountain lady that took care of me and my sisters and brother when we were growing up.
She never looked a day older that 14. There was always a look of joy on her face - in seeing the sun shine, the chickens set, the beds made - babies well fed.
After I went to college I'd come home to the mountains and I'd go see 'Ree. I'd ask her what she wanted me to get her for Christmas. Likely as not she would say, "Your moma is getting me a chicken so I can make a pot of chicken and dumplings. I don't need a thing!"
I finally stopped asking. I'd bring her Arnold Coconut Macaroons and a scarf or vest I'd knitted - something warm. She lived in a cabin on the top of "Blue Ridge" - one of the world's most beautiful spots - and the wind always blows there. And she loved coconut.
I can smell the wood smoke and flannel now. She cooked on a wood cook stove.... She'd give me a bowl of pintos and corn bread and hand me a big spoon - I think the size of the spoon was a point of pride.
After supper we'd listen to Country and Western records with her son Charles. Between Loretta Lynn and Conway and Bill Monroe her husband Stein would be telling stories. He knew everybody.
And 'Ree was always piecing a quilt - pulling small colorful scraps of fabric from a black Hefty bag taller than she was, stitching by hand. Me and my sisters all sewed back then. There was an never ending supply of scraps... 'Ree sewed them into quilts one stitch after another.
Now as I spread a quilt on the bed I recognize a skirt I made, a niece's jumper, my sister's Easter dress... tiny stitches... I have two quilts from 'Ree and two from Aunt Myrtle - they are my prized possessions.
As I looked at the Christmas Kleenex and Christmas Oreos and Christmas bell-shaped-Jello molds today.... I knew I didn't want any of that.
I'd love a bowl of pintos. With a big spoon and Chet Atkins on the stereo.
I hope your Christmas is everything you want it to be too. Maybe all that and coconut macaroons too.
Goodnight 'Ree.

See you soon!
Love, Cindy

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter
Further adventures:

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mom's Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding - Photo by Cynthia Raxter
Cooking from scratch doesn't take much longer.
Just a bit more attention.  
"The best cooks always have the most people hovering - helping - and hoping to stick a thumb through the aluminum foil." - Cynthia Raxter

Mom's Banana Pudding

4 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup sugar
generous pinch of salt
4 large eggs, separated (you'll need whites later for meringue)
3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box vanilla wafers
5-6 bananas, medium ripe
Lemon juice
4 egg whites (reserved from above)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cornstarch, sugar & salt in a large glass bowl. Add egg yolks one at a time & beat well after each. Slowly stir in milk. Cook in microwave at 30% power, stirring every 2 minutes, until ingredients are thickened and smooth. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla.

To layer the banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. (Another 3-quart casserole dish will work too - as long as it's oven-proof.) Slice bananas and place on top of the wafers. Pour one-third of custard over all. Repeat layering process until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used. End with a final layer of wafers standing up around the edges for decorative purposes.

For the Meringue: Wipe out a large mixing bowl and the mixer's beaters with lemon juice (to remove any traces of oil). Preheat the oven to 425.

Bynum General Store Storytelling - Second Saturdays
Bynum Front Porch Storytelling
6:30 - 9pm October 8  
950 Bynum Road Pittsboro, NC

Whip egg whites with the electric mixer set at high speed for 1-2 minutes - the whites will be foamy. Add cream of tartar. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat on high after each addition. (You want the sugar to melt and be absorbed before you add the next spoonful.) The meringue will get fluffier and fluffier. Once all the sugar has been added continue beating - but stop the mixer every minute or so and lift the beaters out of the bowl a little. When the tips of the meringue don't fall over it's ready. Fold in the vanilla.

Spread the meringue over the pudding, making sure to seal to the edges of the dish. Brown it in the oven for about 5 minutes. Take it out when the tips are brown. Watch it carefully - as Momma says, "It will burn in a wink of an eye!!!"

Leave on the counter for about an hour to cool, then chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours. 

See you soon! Love, Cindy

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter
Further adventures:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bynum Front Porch Storytelling

Treat yourself to an evening of storytelling at the historic Bynum General Store - Saturday May 14 - 6:30-9pm!
Judith Valerie

Tellers are Roger Manus, Garry Lipson, Judith Valerie and Henry Vogel. Bear Creek humorist Candice Knotts hosts! 

North Carolina’s best storytellers! True life stories, folk tales, traditional stories from many lands … LIES! Be ready to laugh, cry and laugh some more. The event is family friendly – “the stories most enjoyed by those 8 and above.”
Henry Vogel

We pass the hat. 20% goes to the Bynum Front Porch – the non-profit benevolent organization which manages the general store as a community center, runs a Friday night music series in the summer, and provides two $1000 scholarships to Chatham County seniors every year. (Friday night Music starts May 6!) 

Candice Knotts

Bynum is a former cotton mill village turned artist community beside the Haw River, 10 miles South of Chapel Hill. Bynum General Store's address is 950 Bynum Road, Pittsboro NC 27312. 

For more information about storytelling call 919-444-9535, email or follow me!

Bynum Front Porch Storytelling
May 14 ~ 6:30-9pm 
950 Bynum Road Pittsboro, NC

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter