Sunday, April 1, 2018

Editor's Corner

April 2018

"The Hallmark version of Easter is not the real deal. The real story is as manly as manly gets. " -–Michael Burns, Easter: Beyond the Bunny
Do you recall Easter ever being on the first day of April? To have April Fool's Day on the same day seems somehow sacrilegious. At any rate, this issue we are reprinting the article "All About Lent, Easter Dates" by the late Leo C. Helmer (1924 - 2013) which explains the way Easter is scheduled, a long and complicated process, but interesting.

We are also carrying "Cincinnati Chili" from one of his cooking columns as Rod Cohenour our current cooking columnist, has been busy attending to the health and well being of his wife (your editor's baby sister) who just had cataract surgery.

 Therefore Melinda Cohenour's column "Armchair Genealogy" is a reprint of the first genealogy type story she ever did for Pencil Stubs Online, an extremely well researched piece, "The Fate of Abraham Josselyn aboard Ye Good Fame of New Yorke."

Thomas F. O'Neill's column "Introspective" from China discusses the problem of 'sound alike' words when teaching English to his students.

 "On Trek" by Judith Kroll, aka Featherwind, tells how being with her father in his declining days was a blessed together time for the two of them. His acceptance of his status was eye opening and a heart warming solace for her.

Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" delves into various literary offerings as only Mattie can, as he encourages his readers to check into different stories, books, and plays.

Dayvid Clarkson's "Reflections on the Day" features a pic with words also by him in addition to a selection of daily reflections.

LC Van Savage's column "Consider This," wonders how she escaped all the maladies people are warned about now when they camp out or go hiking. Her article asks "Were You There?"

Bruce Clifford's poems for April are "He Left Her," "A Distant Memory," and "Up in The Clouds." Bud Lemire submitted these three: "Michigan's Beauty," "The Spit," and "Grandma's Funeral." John I. Blair poems are "Squirrels Climbing," "Planting Wood Phlox," "Hello Quince," "Strangers on A Path," "What A Trip It Has Been," and "God's Image" for this issue.
See you in May !!!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Armchair Genealogy


The Fate of Abraham Josselyn aboard 

Ye Good Fame of New Yorke

Added by mecohenour on 15 May 2009 /for Column April 2018.
Abraham Josselyn is noted by many historians as having lost his life aboard the ship Ye Good Fame of New Yorke sometime between the making of his Will on 16th March 1669 and the proving of that Will on or about 17th April 1670. His Will, as recorded in the records of the Surrogate's Office of New York, indicate he was "very sicke & weak" at the time of the making of the Will. It is doubtful he survived long after rendering and signing it.
Long fascinated by the rather romantic place of dying ("seventeen miles off the coast of Virginia, aboard the ship Ye Good Fame of New Yorke"), my research has disproven many of my favorite theories as to the cause of his death: 1) that the ship was capsized by a storm; 2) that the ship sank after colliding with an obstacle at sea; or 3) that the ship was fired upon by Dutch sailors and Abraham Josselyn lost his life as a result of battle. Thus, my research into the history of the ship itself.
The history of Ye Good Fame is enmeshed with the history of the State of New York . New Netherland, as New York was called by the Dutch in 1664, was taken by the Englishman mariner, Colonel Richard Nicolls. It was the opinion of the Crown of England that the Dutch were "encroaching" upon the land which belonged, by right, to England . Although Col. Nicolls' personal account of the retaking of New Amsterdam ( New Netherland ) was lost at sea, other versions have survived. One of those documents was entitled Original Papers (penned by the Duke of York who later became King James II) and provides the following history of this event:
"The Duke of York, borrowing of the king two ships of war, sent Sir Richard Nicholas, groom of the bed-chamber and an old officer, with three hundred men to take possession of the country; which the Dutch gave up on composition, without being blockaded..., Colonel Nicholas remained there in peaceable possession of the country; and then called it New York and the Fort of River Albany. All this happened before the breaking of the first Dutch war." [Autobiographical notes of James II]
Colonel Nicolls was named first Governor of New York for his troubles. The son of a lawyer, his mother was a daughter of Sir George Bruce. He was "splendidly educated" and spoke Dutch and French as well as he did English. He served the Crown well in settling disputes among the various nationalities, including the Dutch and English settlers; and quieted unrest among the Native Indian tribes; established the first laws and organized the colony so that ongoing discussion could be had to settle new disputes. It is said of Nicolls:
"Nicolls was just then reconstructing the government of his province along English lines; and, laboring more conscientiously, more intelligently, and with more patience, cheerfulness, tact, and good-will than could have been expected of a soldier charged with a civilian's tasks, an Englishman set to govern Dutchmen, a courtier not yet forty years of age exiled from Whitehall to the edge of the world, he had almost finished the work before he heard that war had been declared in Europe."
Although he served the colony and the Crown well, he became tired and frustrated at the entanglement of rules that drained not only his mental and physical energies, but his pocketbook as well. One constant complaint: the little colony needed ships to maintain commerce among other colonies in order to sustain itself. The Crown, not wishing to provide too much freedom among these independent and tough-minded colonists, resisted. Those ships which did sail between the colonies were, ultimately, forced to sail to England with their cargo, permit inspection, pay the fees and taxes levied, and only then deliver their goods to the intended colonial port. New York merchants, eager to find markets for their goods, determined to build their own ship(s) to this end. The first ship, the King Charles, was followed shortly by a ship whose name was not noted and is lost to history. A bit of history concerning the King Charles helps to understand the plight of those merchants:
Jacob Janse Schermerhooren was commissary to the General Privileged West India Company, and was also one of a court of three commissaries (magistrates) at Beverwycke and Fort Orange ( Albany ), in 1652, 1654, 1656, 1657, 1664, 1666, 1674, and 1675." The records of this court also show that in 1654 he visited Amsterdam , where his father, Jan Schermerhooren, was then living.' He again visited his native land in 1668, and there loaded the ship "King Charles" with goods for the Colony. The ship was prohibited from sailing to New York, and on December 11, 1668, Schermerhooren petitioned King Charles II for his permission to depart with his ship from the Trexel, " where it hath lain many days ready to sail, and now lies there at great hazard on account of the season of the year." The permission was subsequently granted by the orders of the King, through the Duke of York, Lord High Admiral of England . [Genealogy of a part of the third branch of the Schermerhorn family in the United States, Author, Louis Younglove Schermerhorn, 1840.]
The colonists also resisted a plan by the King to permit two Scotch ships to sail into their harbors, fish in their seas and carry cargo bound for their markets.
Ultimately, Nicolls was permitted to step down from the position of Governor. His successor was one, the "Right Honorable Colonel" Francis Lovelace. Lovelace was about 38 when he accepted this post. It was believed he was, like Nicolls, a single man but history has shown he may have married "beneath his place" and been forced to leave his wife in England . He brought with him two of his brothers. It is recorded that, "although in every way a weaker man than Nicolls", Lovelace attempted to maintain the double thrust of Nicolls' success: "mingled conciliation and firm justice." Lovelace is reported to have served his post well, all in all, as he was both an amiable and intelligent leader.
Appointed in 1668, he
"interested himself in better ferriage, roads and transportation by land and water, and the regulation of trade and extension of commerce. He instituted the first merchant's exchange and the first haven master of the port. He promoted shipbuilding and himself owned a fine ship, The Good Fame of New York. He extended settlements and laid out new villages and townships, and by purchase for the Duke, freed Staten Island from Indian control."
Lovelace continued the work begun by Nicolls in fortifying the settlement by strengthening of the fortifications themselves and by raising foot companies and troops of horses which were constantly in training. His last effort on behalf of his growing settlement was to establish a continuous post road between New York and Boston , thus instituting the first postal service as well as setting forth the means for management of the system: a postmaster with a small amount of monies raised to pay his salary.
Unfortunately, this last effort on behalf of the young settlement cost Lovelace the respect of the Crown, in fact earning him a trip to the Tower of London and dishonor. For, during Lovelace's trip to Boston in 1673 to cement the final arrangements for that fledgling postal service, the Dutch moved into New York , overtaking the settlement in his absence. He was granted full blame. He contracted dropsy after lengthy incarceration in the damp and drafty Tower of London and died two years later in full disgrace, penniless and wrongfully blamed.
It is Lovelace's efforts to provide the merchants of infant New York with a means to conduct commerce that we will now explore. He entered into a joint venture with sixteen merchants to have Ye Good Fame built, at a very dear cost for that time and place. One Samuel Maverick had been enticed to settle there by Nicolls who induced the Duke to gift Maverick with a house confiscated as part of the property of the West India Company. It was on 'the broadway' as the former Heere Weg was then called. After Nicolls' return to England , Maverick wrote to him of newsworthy events, including the building of the Good Fame.
"The governor with some partners is building a ship of 120 ton by Thomas Hall's house...another of 60 or 70 ton is building at Gravesend ."
A few months later, Maverick reported to Nicolls that the governor's ship had been recently launched and named The Good Fame of New York and that it was a "very strong and handsome vessel, but costly." Used initially in continuance of the West India trade routes, the ship was sent to Virginia and then to England . (*)
It may be assumed that it was during this trip to Virginia that Abraham Josselyn met his Maker aboard Ye Good Fame of New Yorke. The timing would be right and it is documented that the Good Fame was taken by Dutch privateers in 1673 after this voyage:
The last of the Anglo-Dutch wars put a temporary stop to Lovelace’s involvement in foreign trade, when Dutch privateers took the Good Fame at either Trexel or Sandy Hook in 1673. That same year Steenwyck lost his ship James; Thomas Delaval lost the Margaret, and Frederick Philipse lost the Frederick . But these and other losses, including the surrender of the city to the Dutch for one year, only underscored how vital the Dutch trade could be for supplying the city. Indeed, many of the city’s Dutch paused long enough with English residents to consider which mother country was, as Capt. John Manning put it, the greater “enemy in our Bowells.“ [The Hollander Interest and Ideas about Free Trade in Colonial New York : Persistent Influences of the Dutch, 1664-1764 by Cathy Matson, History Department, University of Delaware .]
According to “THE JOCELYN-JOSLIN-JOSLYN-JOSSELYN FAMILY”, Compiled by Edith S. Wessler, Produced by Charles E. Tuttle Company of Rutland Vermont and Tokyo , Japan , copyright in Japan , 1961. Library of congress Catalog Card No. 61-11559. First edition 1962.
Page #81, family #35 reads as follows:
"Abraham was largely interested in commerce, and probably owned several ships sailing between Plymouth and England . He was a proprietor of Black Point (Scarborough) Maine ; a member of the Grand Jury there in 1659, the year he sold his property and went to Lancaster , Mass. , where his father lived.
“Abraham, Scarborough, with his wife, sold 200 acres of land 27 October 1659; deed witnessed by Henry and Margaret Joselyn; removed to Boston with wife Beatrice; sold land at Scarborough which had been in his possession for “divers years past.” This land was sold to Mr. Scottow, 8 June 1660. It included “Josselyn’s great hill, later known as Scottoway’s Hill.”
By 1663, Abraham had rejoined the rest of the family in Lancaster , where he maintained his residence until his death. He was a man of enterprise and some wealth, and evidently a daring and hearty mariner, considering the size of the ships of that day. Sloops and ketches measured more than fifty or sixty feet in length, and ranged in size from forty to sixty tons."
It is not known whether Abraham Josselyn shared in the ownership of Ye Good Fame, but it is doubtful since his Will makes no mention of it. However, one other assumption may be made concerning Abraham's position aboard the Good Fame. Considering the level of education which may be assumed by Abraham's delayed trip to the New World in order for him to complete his education, coupled with the social position he and his father Thomas Josselyn (the Immigrant) enjoyed, it may be assumed he was no common mariner. Those facts and other common sense suppositions indicate that Abraham Josselyn was probably the Captain of Ye Good Fame of New York. This assumption is bolstered by the following notation found in a study of the Joslin, Joceline, Josselyn, Joslyn family which, in a footnote, includes the following:
14 "My Great Grand-Father Capt Abraham Josselyn was Born in England in Essex . . . Uncle Joseph took this acount from his Cousin Rebecca Clark Octr. 18th 1759." Diary of Thomas Josselyn, 1743–1775, Mss C3489, NEHGS.
The cause of Abraham's death may never now be determined. From the section of the Will where he indicates he is both "very sicke & weak," indications are that he had contracted a fatal illness. It is known the New York colony was wracked by epidemics of unidentified fevers in both 1668 and 1669. Gov. Lovelace proclaimed "days of humiliation" on September 8 and 22, 1668, to atone for the sins he believed had caused the epidemic to be visited upon the populace. In a letter from Samuel Maverick to former Governor Nicolls in October of 1669, he noted, "The flux, agues, and fevers, have much rained, both in cittie and country, & many dead, but not yett soe many as last yeare." Some historians believe the 1668 epidemic may have been caused by an outbreak of yellow fever. Abraham Josselyn was 54 years of age when he died aboard his ship, Ye Good Fame of New Yorke.
(*) Based upon calculations by Francis Turner which are contained in a separate story here, Francis Lovelace and his sixteen merchant partners paid a dear price for this "strong and handsome vessel." One Egydius Luyke, a Dutch merchant who participated in the joint venture documented his indebtedness to Lovelace with a debt instrument which has been preserved among the historic papers of the State of New York . The debt instrument, although the manuscript is torn in a number of places, is in surprisingly good shape such that Luyke's one-sixteenth share of the cost may be read. Assuming the tears in the manuscript are minute (which appears to be the case, given the balance of the text), Luyke's 1/16th share cost him "Six thousand, three hundred and nineteen Guild (manuscript torn here) Stiv's Seaw't or the Equivalent Value thereof" (manuscript torn here). In 1632, one Guilder would be equivalent to $36 US Dollars. That would make Luyke's portion equivalent to $227,484 and the full cost of the ship, assuming equal portions for each of the sixteen, would be equivalent to $3,639,744 in today's currency. [MEC note.]
Copyright 16th May 2009, Melinda E. Cohenour
1) History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century, Vol II; by Schuyler Van Rensselaer; published by The Macmillan Company 1909;
2) History of the city of New York ; it origin, rise, and progress by Martha Joanna Lamb, Burton Harrison, published by A. S. Barnes, 1896
3) The Hollander Interest and Ideas about Free Trade in Colonial New York : Persistent Influences of the Dutch, 1664-1764 by Cathy Matson, History Department, University of Delaware .
4) Original Papers, Duke of York, later King James II, autobiographical notes;
5) The Genealogical Advertiser: A Quarterly Magazine of Family History, edited by Lucy Hall Greenlaw; published by Lucy H. Greenlaw, 1901;
6) Wikipedia: Col. Francis Lovelace, with Annotations;
7) State of New York , Historical Papers, Surrogate's Office, compiled.
8) “THE JOCELYN-JOSLIN-JOSLYN-JOSSELYN FAMILY”, Compiled by Edith S. Wessler, Produced by Charles E. Tuttle Company of Rutland Vermont and Tokyo, Japan, copyright in Japan, 1961. Library of congress Catalog Card No. 61-11559. First edition 1962. Page #81, family #35.
9) Money and exchange rates in 1632 by Francis Turner.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Reflections on the Day

March 30 -
On a cold crisp night, I look to the stars, even in the dark, you can see the remnants of navy blue. The crystalline stars seem to define Father Sky as Grand Mother Moon has yet to make her entrance. Contemplating time, it seems we never have enough, always governed by the clock. What if we understood that we are eternal, that we truly have all the time we require? No time during your past was wasted. This journey is like reading a book, once read another book will appear. If we could learn to read and enjoy without the compulsion to skip over parts and read the last chapter to see how it ends. Enjoy each chapter and relish the storyline. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

February 26 at 9:46pm ·
The eve time approaches and we prepare for rest. What an incredible act of faith to enter into sleep time. We have no assurances we will awake in the morning. We release our consciousness and our ego. We are relieved of the Monkey Mind for a period of time. We have no idea what is going to happen or where we will travel. We rarely consider the outcome. And after we arise everything fades away for the most part. Mayhaps we should apply the same leap of faith to our awake time? Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid.

February 25 at 9:45pm ·
There are some evenings when a sweet melancholy permeates my soul. The feeling when you have been away from home for a while and you cherish the time you will return. The feeling when you have said goodbye to a friend and you yearn for the time you will meet again. It’s not really a negative feeling and I find it somewhat serene. I am enjoying the journey yet that melancholy seems to embrace me every now and then. The serenity is I know I am on my way home and I know we will meet again. The old adage that there are no strangers just folks on their way to meet me whispers. I am grateful for all that are sharing my journey and I look wistfully to our reunion. Sleep well, dream deep my friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

February 20 at 9:55pm ·
It was a surreal sunset this eve, indistinguishable from a summer evening, in the middle of February. It seems confusing. I sense there are great changes coming. At times it is like a great storm is coming and I left one of the doors open. Not scary per se, more like an adrenalin rush. Grand Father Sun and Father Sky combine to draw my attention, Mother Earth in early fertility, and Grand Mother Moon soothing the waters. There is something afoot. Yet I feel serene. Many I know are coming through or have come through great challenges mayhaps it is now their turn. As you rest this eve, seek the sacred circle and listen closely, inhale the wisdom. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid.

February 17 at 9:39pm ·
It starts as a clear night then the mists gently roll across the lake. I sit in contemplation of the familial bond that unites us by blood. We might not have it all together but when we are together we have it all. Even in the most stressful of situations, one can find blessings. Moments that affirms the kindness and compassion that surrounds us. These small miracles might go unnoticed as you journey through the valleys, breathe and pay attention. Ease your burdens by seeing what is right with the divine comedy rather than what is wrong. Care for those around you and you will be cared for. May the Great Spirit give us rest this evening rekindling the pure fire of the soul. Awakening refreshed and restored. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Irish Eyes


       I have, in the words of Churchill, “a lot to be humble about” but I have one boast. Our family burial ground, in Baltyboys, is situated on the highest, bleakest and coldest site in Ireland. I would pity any unclad female who had the stand there, even on a summer’s day.

      And what, you may ask, prompted that paragraph? You are probably asking “Has that fellow lost the plot?” (Pun intentional.) Read on. When I read in the Global Times that the authorities in China are clamping down on the increasingly popular event of striptease artists at funerals I contacted China's official Xinhua News Agency and they confirmed that authorities have, indeed, announced a new crackdown. An attendee at a village funeral in Cheng'an County in Hebei Province said mourners of all ages, including children, enjoyed the raunchy performance at a recent send-off. But he said “I felt something wasn't right. The performance crossed the line. I had heard about hiring strippers to dance at funerals but had never seen it myself. I was shocked when I saw the strippers." He went on to say that, “the villagers were not surprised by the erotic display at all.”

       China’s Ministry of Culture have released a statement, which detailed two cases. They say the practice distorted the "cultural value of the entertainment business" and such acts were “uncivilised". In both cases, in north China's Hebei Province and east China's Jiangsu, strippers were “invited to stage obscene performances, “it said. The organisers and performers have been punished. The ministry added it will continue to work with the police to stamp out the practice. The crackdown will involve residents being offered a financial reward for tip offs made to a hotline that divulge “funeral misdeeds.”

      Chinese state media has often condemned the erotic shows as “low culture” and a “toxin for public morality.” However, some experts claim stripper performances at funerals also honour reproduction and fertility. "According to the interpretation of cultural anthropology, the fete is originated from the worship of reproduction," Kuang Haiyan, a media professor, told Global Times. "Therefore the erotic performance at the funeral is just a cultural atavism."

      The above information prompted me to wonder what, if any, legislation governs such a practice on this island. I wrote to the Department of Justice but I didn’t get a reply. I then contacted the office of the Attorney General Seamus Woulfe asking for information on the subject ( I half expected to get a reply from him describing my request as a "Dog's Dinner"!). A communication from his office by Christine O’ Rourke, Advisory Council, informed me, “. . . this Office is unable to assist with your query. “ So I don’t know where we stand, (that is not a double entendre), with regard to the legality of strippers at funerals here.

      I was in Boston on Saint Patrick’s Day. Some wouldn’t see it as a Big Deal? But it was a big deal for me.

       While our Minister, Michael Ring, was chatting to the great and good in Boston City Hall I fell into conversation with Mr. Haakon Doherty, Professor of genetics at a Swedish University. He had been giving a lecture at the department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. When I found out what field he was in I started to do a bit of showing off. I pointed out to the good professor that the Wicklow mountain hare has two short legs on the right side of his body. He has evolved this adapted feature through following the sun around the Wicklow hills for millions of years. I claimed that our hare is the only animal in the world to have this genetic advantage.

      The great man wasn’t long taking the wind out of my sails. He quoted chapter and verse and explained to me that the Canadian hill badger is evolving in that direction and is only a few thousand years behind the Wicklow mountain hare in this race. Professor Doherty has found evidence in human feet of the evolution of “wheels.” He agrees that it took millions of years for legs to evolve from fins but he has claimed in a recently published paper that he has discovered a process to accelerate the rate of human evolution to such an extent that as early as the year 2100 it will be possible to have humans traveling on their own “wheels.” I asked him two questions;

      “Where did you get the surname Doherty”? And “Why have species millions of years older than us not grown wheels”?

       He told me that his Grandfather Hugh Doherty was Irish; Editor of the Barnasmore Bugle newspaper in Donegal and when the paper ceased publication in 1903 he went to work for a newspaper in Stockholm where he married a Swede.

      In answer to my second question he said, “We didn’t grow wheels because there weren’t any roads or flat surfaces until a few thousand years ago, which is the blink of an eye in cosmic terms. He explained that when biology was facilitating travel the terrain to be negotiated was catered for by legs, fins and wings. Evolution adapts us to suit our environment and may cause either the gain of a new feature, or the loss of an existing feature. He said “If there were motorways a hundred million years ago we would be moving around Quincy Market on our own “flesh-and-blood roller skates” .

       He went on to explain that, “The larvae of the mother-of-pearl moth when startled, will roll itself into a round shape and roll away and he mentioned a bacterium. I can’t pronounce the clinical term but it moves by spinning filaments called flagella like tiny propellers which rotate at a speed of several hundred times per minute.” Seeing that I was taken aback he went on, “if those are not wheels they are fairly bloody close.” He told me (without giving any detail) that his formula to accelerate human evolution can be employed to enable humans to grow such things as “ear lids” within a few generations but for now he is concentrating on the “wheels.” The human castors, according to Professor Doherty would have an outer re-generating “tyre” of hard tissue and the centre would be cartilage- like I was wondering about the blood supply to the “inner tube” but didn’t dare ask the question. The professor read my mind, and said “The flesh-and-blood wheel could use the umbilical connection similar to that used on merry-go-rounds”.

      Seeing that his erudite instruction was falling on barren ground he gave me a practical demonstration using a CD and one of my shoelaces.

      Back in my hotel The Boston Plaza Park, maybe it was my imagination, but when I checked each foot I think I could detect the beginning of little stub-axles below the ankle bone but I would like a second opinion.

       “I am a hoarder of two things; documents and trusted friends.”

      I can identify with Muriel Spark on that one. But I am also a hoarder of less useful things. That’s why the title of Jess Kidd’s second novel The Hoarder jumped out at me. When award-winning Kidd decided to write a sit-com set in a funeral parlour. She applied for jobs working in one but didn’t get one, even when she told funeral directors she’d do work experience for them.

      Like that other great writer on death, Kevin Toolis, London born Jess had a Mayo parent. Her mother would regularly bring her to wakes and funerals. So death was more familiar to her than to her London friends.

      When she was researching this multi-layered and novel she visited many hoarders; some of whom wouldn’t let her in. If she had called to me I wouldn’t have refused her admission. But I would have emphasised that I don’t want to be “cured.” Of course there are hoarders and hoarders. The hoarded, Cathal Flood, of the title is different. Not many hoarders have in their collection, a tray of glass eyes or a shrunken skull. This hoarder also has a violent past and an alleged connection to a disappeared schoolgirl.

       Whether Kidd is describing the gurgling of a rusty toilet cistern or “the Pidgeon shit on Nelson’s column” the prose are pure purple. Her main character whatever his past has some philosophical lines, “. . . the loveliest eyes are found in the heads of women who have suffered.”

      The Hoarder is published by Canongate Books Ltd and I couldn’t possibly do it justice in those few words. The reviewer in the Sunday Express summed it up in two words, “Utterly unputdownable” Buy it. (See cover pic below.)

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Encore: Cooking with Leo

(1924 -2013) 

A Chili Recipe

Somebody Called This Cincinnati Chili, but Don’t Ask Me Why
Don’t rightly know who or what Cincinnatian or Ohioan, for that matter, invented this recipe. But, it deserves a little recognition for being fairly decent stuff. The original recipe called for beans (how awful) and water (yuch). But, with my superior knowledge and improvisational culinary skills, whatever, I came up with reasonable substitutes for the yuch stuff and cooked the beans on the side not in.
OK, let’s get cookin’.
Grab up your big heavy cast iron pot with the tight lid. Pour in two tablespoons of Olive Oil. Heat the pot and coat the oil all around. Dump in 2 ½ pounds of good, lean, coarse ground beef and brown it. Dice up two brown onions and toss them in. After the meat and onions are browned lower the heat and dump in the following:

  • 1 - 6oz can of tomato paste, don’t toss out the can yet.
  • 1 - 12 oz can of Mick or Bud, use some of this to clean up the tomato paste can then toss the can out.
  • 2 oz red wine vinegar.
  • 1 tblspn Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 - 12 oz can of Coke Classic.
  • 1 chopped up clove of garlic.
  • 2 tblspn Chili Powder
  • 6 Bay Leaves.
  • 2 tspn ground Cinnamon.
  • 1 tspn Allspice.
  • 2 tspn Cayenne Pepper.
  • 1 tblspn Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa (not chocolate drink mix).
  • 1 tblspn very fine ground Coffee (don’t use instant stuff).
  • 1 tspn coarse ground Black Pepper.
  • Simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours and stir so that nothing burns or sticks to the bottom of the pot. Toss out the bay leaves and serve in 5 different ways:
      One Way - Plain Chili
      Two Way - Chili on Spaghetti
      Three Way - Chili on Spaghetti, with grated Cheddar Cheese on top.
      Four Way - Chili on Spaghetti, with grated Cheese and diced Onions on top.
      Five Way - Chili and Kidney beans, on Spaghetti, with Cheese and Onions.
    (If you want beans for your chili, read on).

    Side Orders

    Frijoles Negros Exquisitos
    Just in case you don’t know what the heck I’m talkin’ about, don’t sweat it. When you start readin’ and fixin’, you’ll figure it out real fast.
    This is what you’re gonna need:

  • 2 LB’s Black Beans (dry bulk beans, - don’t go huntin’ for cans)
  • 2 - large onions - chopped
  • 4 - cloves garlic - chopped
  • 2 or 3 dried New Mexico Chilies (2, if you ain’t used to ‘em, or 3, if you are) crumble them up.
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves (don’t rightly matter)
  • salt
  • Other stuff, if you want to get fancy: a side dish of raw chopped onions; cilantro; Jalapeno; grated jack cheese; sour cream; fried tortillas.
  • This is how you do it:
    Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover by about 3 inches.
    Next morning simmer the beans with onions, garlic, chilies and bay leaves about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
    Just be sure they’re tender without cookin’ em so much that they split open. If you cook ‘em gently, they won’t split. Don’t add any salt until the beans are done. And, you can pitch out the bay leaves when you’re done.
    These beans are good side dishes with Chili (I didn’t say in Chili, I said with Chili) and you can get fancy if you sprinkle some chopped onions and jack cheese over them, or serve with the other stuff I mentioned. And, don’t worry if you got too many, they’re better when they’re warmed over another time, or you can freeze ‘em, too.
    Anything Else?