Fargo Women Plot and Plan
Fargo Women Plot and Plan
A Vintage Daze Short Story
By Trisha Faye
The women of Fargo, Texas band together to create a church cookbook. Even though 1935 was a difficult year for most of the country, the women are determined. Extreme heat, drought, dust storms – they are nothing compared to the wake of women on a mission. But will the force of the worst dust storm in history derail the women’s project? Take a step back in time in this Vintage Daze Short Story. This historical fiction is inspired by actual women and their ‘How We Cook Down on the Farm’ cookbook created for the Fargo Baptist Church.
Seventeen recipes from the 1935 cookbook are included with this short story.
Maude stood in the doorway, hesitant, as every seat was full. She looked around the room, feeling a little out of place. Doilies filled the surfaces of the bookcase, the side tables, and the arms of all the stuffed chairs and divan. Even the radio sitting in the corner had a crocheted adornment covering the top of it. A pristine coat of white paint covered the bead board walls and the globes of all the lamps gleamed brightly with sparkle. It’s obvious that Lillian doesn’t have any children to take up all her time. Then she chastised herself for her little grumble. I should be happy that someone has a house with nice things to fill it.
“Over here, Maude.” Eula sat in the middle of the divan between two women. She scooted closer to Hazel and patted a space between her and Grandma Parker. “We’ll fit. It’ll be a cozy spot.”
Fortunately, Maude’s slim frame fit easily into the space the women made. Grandma Parker leaned over and hugged Maude. “Hi, dear. So nice to see you here today. You haven’t been to many meetings lately.”
“No…the farm…the children…don’t always have the gasoline…” Maude blushed and stammered. She didn’t know why she felt she needed to explain her absence. But out of habit, when an elder spoke or questioned, Maude answered, feeling much like a nine-year old girl instead of the grown woman she was. She searched her memory for the elderly woman’s given name but didn’t recall it. Everyone had called her Grandma Parker for so long, that’s all most of them knew her as.
Mrs. Forester, the group’s president, moved to one side of the parlor and clapped her hands. “Ladies. Your attention please.” She waited until the chatter quieted before continuing. “I call the Women’s Auxiliary of the Fargo Baptist Church to order. Lillian? You’re taking the minutes today?”
The hostess held her sharpened pencil in the air. “Yes, ma’am. Ready, willing, and able.”
“Our first order of business is a vote on our fundraiser.”
“Cookbooks.” A voice called out.
Other voices chimed in, repeating the favored suggestion.
“Yes, let’s do a cookbook.”
A timid voice from one corner called out a different idea. “Aprons and potholders.”
Mrs. Forester cleared her throat. “Let’s put it to a vote. We have three suggestions from the last meeting. The first suggestion was a bake sale. By a raise of hands…who wants a bake sale?”
The group sat quietly, hands in their laps.
The president glanced around the room, looking for any raised hands. “No one?” She waited a moment and didn’t see any takers. “The next idea was Helen Smith’s suggestion. Selling aprons and pot holders that we’ve sewn and donated. Any votes for aprons and pot holders?”
One lone hand made its way into the air. Helen Smith, the mousy woman sitting in the corner. No one else joined her in the vote.
“That brings us to the third suggestion. Compiling a cookbook…”
HOW TO SUGAR CURE HAM AND BACON
250 to 300 lb. hog – use 1 gal. salt, 8 tablespoons full sugar, 4 tbsp. black pepper – mix well. Lay meat on paper, rub in mixture well. Extra well on out side skin. Use entire mixture on entire hog. Wrap good in 2 layers of paper, and put in sack. Hang like it walks. Put on mixture next morning after killed, let hang until ready to use.
Horton H. Scherer, a Fargo Farmer
CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES
1 chicken cooked tender and ground or chopped fine
1-2 head of lettuce
2 medium sized pickles
2 boiled eggs
1 sweet pepper
Chop all these up and salt and pepper to suit taste and add salad dressing. Will make 20 or more sandwiches.
Mrs. Cecil Goins
EMERGENCY OR SOUR MILK BISCUITS
Sift 2 cups flour 4 tsp. baking powder, 1-2 tsp. salt and 1-4 tsp. soda together. Melt shortening, add to sour milk and add this liquid to dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough. Turn on slightly floured board. Roll or pat to 1-2 inch thick. Cut with small biscuit cutter and bake in greased pan 12 min.
Trisha Faye’s greatest pleasure is paying tribute to people and items from the past. When she can tear herself away from the joys of researching, she spins the facts she finds into fictional tales, usually with a cat nestled on her lap.
Trisha delivering a set of 1934 quilt squares to the Taylor County Historical Museum in Iowa.
Web Site: http://www.trishafaye.com