Douglas County Daughters / Blog
Grandma's Caramel Corn
Howdy Kith and Kin,
When Mollie and I started Douglas County Daughters in May 2009, we planned to perform folk songs already popularized and passed down by others long ago. However, the gigs lined up quickly and we needed a lot of musical material to fill our stage time. So we were forced to mine our extensive back-catalogs of original songs that we have each written over the years. It turns out, people really like our original songs. What a HUGE compliment. THANK YOU! So we continue to write original music and sprinkle them into our sets. Here’s a segment from a new song I’m writing called “Sleeping Giant.” One of the images comes from a childhood memory of sleeping in my grandmother’s big guest bed with my two sisters during an electric storm in Omaha, Nebraska. Grandma always had a coffee can filled with caramel corn next to her easy chair, so this letter’s closing recipe will teach you how to make your own. Thanks for your ongoing support. ~Emily VERSE I woke from a slumber; thunder, a crack Rumble, the covers; lightning, a flash Lying there safely, a roof overhead Next to me sharing a room or a bed “Carry your sister,” holding my hand Giggle and whisper, castles in sand I knew she would be there, never alone Next to me sharing blood, tears, a home CHORUS Now I’m peeling back the layers, hoping to find Some purity and truth, the meat beneath the rind But the questions only deepen like the furrows of my brow And there ain’t any answers anyhow.
- Sleeping Giant, Emily Afanador, 2012
Oven Caramel Corn 8 cups popped corn 2 cups brown sugar, packed 1 cup butter ½ cup corn syrup ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking soda peanuts (optional) Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir in baking soda. Pour over popped corn and peanuts and put in a large pan (or pans) and place in a 250-degree oven for 1 hour. Stir several times.
Exercise Your Independence!
Hello, dear Kith and Kin!
Mollie here, writing from our family camping trip in Eastern Washington. We actually drove through the Douglas County seat of Waterville to get here!
Camping is a true vacation for me. Spotty cell service, wi-fi localized to the campground office, and my husband's moratorium on electronic devices mean that after a couple of days, I really do disengage from the habitual concerns of regular life, and I really do engage with the people I love.
I recently read that in this era of input-overload-by-instant-notification, the key to accomplishing goals is not only saying yes to the right things, but also mercilessly saying no to an enormous number of things. When Emily and I said yes to starting Douglas County Daughters in 2010, we quickly discovered that we needed to employ this strategy in order to accomplish our DCD goals. As a result, though we live states apart, we get to regularly spend time together, create music together, and share it with you--our Kith and Kin!
Do you have a goal you'd like to accomplish? What must you say "yes" and "no" to, in order to accomplish it? If you can't take a literal vacation, perhaps there are things you could take a vacation FROM, right at home--for a certain length of time, or even during a certain time of day.
Here is a time-saving dinner you can make at home or at the campsite. Kids love it, and you can say, "No!" to a big after-dinner cleanup, making everyone a Happy Camper!
TACO IN A BAG
Ingredients: Ground beef Salt and pepper, onion? Snack-size bags of Doritos Taco fixings, like: -shredded cheese -shredded lettuce -sour cream -salsa -tomato
Preparation: Cook up the ground beef in a frying pan at home, or get the job done however you can over a campfire. Break it up while you cook, seasoning with salt and pepper, and maybe some onion if you have it. But keep it simple. Once the pink is gone, take it off the heat and drain out the fat.
Assembly: Each person gets their own bag of Doritos. BEFORE opening, they get to squeeze their bags and smash up the chips however small they want. Then just open the bags (cutting the long side makes the eating a little easier), dump in some meat, and let each person add whatever toppings they like. Use plastic forks for that camping experience, and to make dinner cleanup even easier.
From the Douglas County Mother, "Letters from Mom"
Dear Mollie and Emily ~ Good Afternoon from Douglas County, Nebraska. After returning Grandma to her home in Iowa, I've spent much time with the uncles, aunts, greats, and cousins. It's been a beautiful Spring full of warmth and sunshine. With open windows, I love waking to a gentle breeze blowing through and hearing the birds chirping away. Emily, you once told me that was something you remembered as a little girl, falling asleep at Grandma's house, lying in bed listening to frogs, crickets and cicadas. There are always many chores to do at your Grandma's -- endless mowing of her large yard, painting projects, planting flowers, pruning, weeding, trimming, etc. Along with work to be done, there are good visits with my brothers. We seem to get involved in these things quite often when getting together. A short drive to Omaha where I saw more family and had stories to exchange. They asked about you and your music. I reported you had a good show in Eugene at the Sasquatch Brewfest and were looking forward to entertaining at the Folklife Festival in Seattle over Memorial weekend. Brother Tom said you should come to Parkville, Missouri and do a show at their Brewfest. Brother Larry, your cousin Steve, and I paid a visit to Boystown and from there walked across the Bob Kerry bridge from Omaha to Council Bluffs and back, over the Missouri River just to say we did it. I stayed a few nights with my old buddy Joyce, who has known you three girls since you were "pups." We had some great chats, catching up and doing sewing projects. I decided to bake a cake after her husband Terry polished off my peach pie. Your favorite, Mollie: Secret Hershey Cake. As your great aunt Evelyn suggests... always include a recipe! So here it is: Secret Hershey Cake Recipe ~ (our family likes it refrigerated)
Cream together: 1 stick butter 1 c. sugar
Drop in: 4 eggs 1 @ time beating all time
Add: 1 can hershey's syrup (1 can=1-1/2 c.)
Sift together: 1 c. flour 1 t. baking powder pinch salt 1 t. vanilla Then beat in.
Bake 30 min. @ 350 degrees in a 9 x 13" cake pan
Frosting: 1/3 c. soft butter (5-1/3 T.) 1-1/2 c. confectioner's sugar 1 T. cocoa 1 T. strong coffee
Hello Kith and Kin, May has been glorious in the Pacific Northwest where sunny days are finally outnumbering the grey ones. Sunny spots on our musical journey? How about our TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY! The occasion was marked by performing the sold-out brewer’s dinner for the 10th annual Sasquatch Brewfest in Eugene, Oregon. Douglas County Daughters are BIG on family, as you know, and those brewers are amazing kith and kin to each other. We are honored to have become part of their tradition. After all, it was the 2010 Brewfest that brought Douglas County Daughters into existence two years ago. The Brewer’s Dinner also marked our FOURTH show with bluegrass wonder group, ALDER STREET ALL-STARS, with whom we have now developed both friendship and a repertoire of combined music. What great fun it has been to sing back-ups for them, and to have them add strings-of-fire to our arrangements. We thank this group of high energy, “boot stompin honky tonkin” musicians for inviting us to join them at the Northwest Folklife Festival, Memorial Day weekend, where we’ll busk on the sidewalk near Fisher Green Stage – and then join our buddies for a few tunes on that stage at 12:30 on Sunday. Hope to see some your smiling faces there! And with that, I leave you with the DCD newsletter tradition: a recipe from Aunt Evelyn’s “Up A Country Lane” cookbook. I chose this one because we're coming on berry season! Remember: “people may not read anything else you write, but they’ll always read a recipe.”
Old-Fashioned Shortcake 4 cups flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 2/3 c. sugar ¼ t. salt ½ c. butter or margarine 1 ½ cups milk 2 eggs, beaten Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Combine milk and eggs and stir in just enough to moisten ingredients. Pat into three greased 9-inch round pans or pie pans and bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into wedges, split, and serve with sweetened fruit. Great with cream or whipped cream. These can also be cut into circles. Bake on greased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 10 to 12 servings.