Singin’ the Yodeling Blues
19 Saturday Apr 2008
19 Saturday Apr 2008
19 Saturday Apr 2008
19 Saturday Apr 2008
14 Monday Apr 2008
This recipe appeared in The Times in an article by Craig Claiborne.
It’s important to get good farm-fresh eggs, with really orange yolks and really thick cream. Halve the recipe for a smaller gathering.
12 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup bourbon
1 cup Cognac
½ teaspoon salt
3 pints heavy cream
1 to 2 cups milk (optional)
In an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick. Slowly add the bourbon and Cognac while beating at slow speed. Chill for several hours. Add the salt to the egg whites. Beat until almost stiff. Whip the cream until stiff. Fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture, then fold in the beaten egg whites. Chill 1 hour. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve in punch cups with a spoon. If desired, add 1 to 2 cups of milk to the yolk mixture for a thinner eggnog. Makes about 40 punch-cup servings.
14 Monday Apr 2008
2 tbsps olive oil
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 lbs boneless chuck, in dice or ground for chili
1/2 cup ground mild red chile, preferably New Mexican
2 tbsps ground cumin
2 tsps dried oregano
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
3 cups water as needed
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne), optional
2 tbsps cornmeal
Optional garnishes: sour cream, chopped cilantro, grated cheese
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the onion over medium heat until it’s soft. Add the garlic and cook until it’s transparent. Add the meat in several batches along with the chile, cumin, oregano and paprika. Remove each batch to a large bowl as it’s cooked. Stir and cook until the meat is browned, then put all the meat back in the pot and add the vinegar, coffee and enough water just to cover the meat. Add the salt and cayenne and stir well.
Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring from time to time. Remove the lid and simmer for a final hour. Skim off any fat on the surface. Add the cornmeal and stir in well. Cook for 15 more minutes and serve hot in deep bowls. Garnish with sour cream, chopped cilantro and grated cheese.
Nutritional info per serving: Protein, 38.6 gms; fat, 64.5 gms; carbohydrate, 6.6 gms.
14 Monday Apr 2008
1 cup black beans, soaked overnight in 6 cups water, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. cooking oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
3 tbs. dry sherry (optional)
Salt to taste
In large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute onion, celery and garlic in hot oil until tender. Add beans, chicken broth, coriander, and pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce hear and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender. Salt to taste. If desired, garnish with shredded Monterey Jack cheese or snipped parsley.
Nutritional content: 15 gms. protein; 5.5 gms. fat; 32 gms. carbohydrate; 805 mg. sodium; 249 calories per serving.
14 Monday Apr 2008
1/2 cup ground kosher or sea salt per quart of water for brine (vary this according to taste)
2 tbsp peppercorns
2 tbsp sage
2 tbsp thyme
1 stick butter
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp garlic powder
10 lbs (preferably oak) charcoal briquets (non-self starting)
hickory or mesquite wood chips (hickory burns hotter and longer, but can’t beat the flavor of mesquite!)
10 – 20 lbs turkey
large container to brine the turkey
large container to soak the chips
meat injection kit
Determine all times based on thawing, brining and smoking time. Thawing a large bird can take days. Allow 10 – 12 hours each for brining and smoking.
Thaw the turkey completely. Find a container large enough to cover the entire turkey with water. You will have to devise some method to “sink” the turkey as it will float in the salt water. Mix up enough water to cover the turkey completely by adding up to 1/2 cup ground kosher salt to each quart of water, dissolving it completely. Make sure to clear any air spaces from inside the turkey as this will ensure complete brining and assist in “sinking” the turkey in the brine water. To sink the turkey completely, put a lid on the container or some weight on the turkey to keep it down. Store the brining turkey overnight in the refrigerator. When you are ready to finish preparing the turkey, take the turkey out of the brine and dry it with paper towels.
Soaking the Wood Chips
At the same time you start the brine soak, begin the soaking the wood chips. I use a complete small bag of chips for this. Cover your chips completely in water. Take the wood chips out of the soak right before you begin to cook. You are soaking these chips to make them smolder and smoke when you put them on top of your coals.
Inject your turkey with a mixture of 1 stick melted butter, 1/2 cup white wine and 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
After injecting the turkey, coat the turkey with olive oil. Grind the peppercorns in a coffee grinder and mix with the ground sage and ground thyme. Rub the mixture all over the turkey. The bird is now ready to cook.
Preparing the Wood Chips
Build a “boat” out of aluminum foil large enough to contain the wood chips on top of the burning briquets. Punch some holes in the bottom of the boat to allow air to flow through. Drain the wood chips and place them in the boat.
Preparing the Smoker
Place a 10 pound bag of charcoal briquets (oak does the best job) in the fire pan of the smoker. Avoid self-starting briquets as you will taste the fuel in the food. Dowse the charcoal with charcoal lighter fluid and light. When the flames die down and the edges of the coals are glowing, carefully place the “boat” of chips on top of the coals (use leather gloves). This could be a tight fit, but with a little persistence you can get everything in. Put the empty water pan in place and fill it with water. Be careful not to extinquish your fire. Replace the grill. The cooker is now ready.
Place the turkey directly on the grill. Cover with the smoker lid. Verify that the fire is taking by checking the temperature attached to the cooker lid. Once it has caught, resist all temptation to look inside. Never open the smoker lid or open the side door. There is no need to add more water or chips or charcoal. The fire will burn hottest and heaviest at the beginning before it slows to a lower, steady and smoke-free state, eventually running out of fuel. Do not remove the turkey until the heat has lowered to the point where it is obvious that it is only keeping the bird warm. After this point, remove the turkey. I suggest you remove the turkey right before you are ready to eat. If you started 10 – 12 hours before you want to serve your turkey, your time should be just perfect.
14 Monday Apr 2008
Posted All History, Horsecreek Valleyin
William Gregg, jeweler, watchsmith, champion of industry, and founder of the Graniteville Company, was known as the father of Southern cotton manufacturing.
Gregg was born February 2, 1800, in western Virginia, the son of William and Elizabeth Webb Gregg. His mother died when he was 4 years old, and he was reared by a neighbor woman until he was about 10. He was then sent to live with an uncle, Jacob Gregg, a successful watch and spinning-machine maker in Alexandria, Virginia.
A few years later, his uncle established a cotton mill in Georgia, one of the South’s first. The mill did not survive the War of 1812. In 1814, William Gregg was apprenticed to a friend of his uncle’s, a Mr. Blanchard, a watchmaker and silversmith in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1821, Gregg moved to Petersburg, Virginia, to perfect himself in his profession.
Gregg undoubtedly formed a strong friendship with Mr. Blanchard. A decade after leaving his employment, Gregg stopped at the Blanchard’s new home in Louisville, Kentucky, to pay his respects. Sitting at Blanchard’s bench, Gregg made a silver pitcher of the treasured first coins he ever earned. It became an heirloom that was handed down from first son to first son in the Gregg family.
After completing training, he moved to South Carolina and established a jewelry business in Columbia. On a sales trip, he called on Colonel Mathias Jones, who operated a store at Ridge Spring in Edgefield District. There he met Jones’ eldest daughter, Marina, and they were married in 1829.
Gregg was prosperous in Columbia, and during the 1830s, he not only traveled extensively throughout the United States, but he retired with a large amount of discretionary capital. In 1838, he bought an interest in what became Hayden, Gregg and Company, a jewelry and silversmithing firm in Charleston and moved his family to the Lowcountry.
Also in 1838, he bought into the Vaucluse Manufacturing Company, a cotton mill in Barnwell District. His experience with Vaucluse taught him two things: first, how cotton manufacturing in the South should not be conducted (the plant was a model of inefficiency), and, second, in his words, “a settled conviction . . . that manufacturing is a business that ought to engage the two Carolinas and Georgia.”
In 1844, William Gregg traveled to New England to inspect its textile districts, and the trip, coupled with the lessons of Vaucluse, prompted him to write a series of essays for the Charleston Courier that would become known as the Essays on Domestic Industry, a visionary call for the active development of mills in the South.
While corporations were not commonplace in those days, shortly after publishing the essays, Gregg and a group of mostly Charlestonians applied for and, in 1845, received a charter from the state Legislature for the Graniteville Manufacturing Company.
The Graniteville Company relied on local people to build the mill as well as operate it, employing farmers, tenant farmers, and the poor at wages commensurate with those paid to Northern mill workers. Granite quarried about a mile from the plant site was used in the construction.
Gregg provided quality housing for his workers, as well as a church and a small library. They received medical care for a small fee. They had gardens and woods from which to harvest timber.
Gregg also created what was perhaps the first compulsory education system in the United States. He built a school for children from 6 to 12 years old, furnished teachers and books, and fined parent workers five cents a day, withheld from their wages, for every day their children were absent from classes.
Gregg was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1856, and he continued to argue passionately for internal industrial development. He believed that there was little reason to look to the expanding West or the industrialized North when so much of the treasures of South Carolina, in his eyes, lay untapped.
Graniteville Manufacturing Company barely survived the Civil War. Immediately after the war ended, Gregg worked diligently toward the continued modernization of his company through travel, research, and the investment of about $120,000 in personal capital for more modern machinery.
In April 1996, Graniteville Company was sold to Avondale Mills, Inc.; it currently operates as Graniteville Fabrics.
The University of South Carolina at Aiken Library features the Gregg–Graniteville Memorial Rooms, which contain The Gregg–Graniteville Collection. The collection has proven of primary value for scholars in Southern economic, social, and labor history for the period 1845 to 1985, as well as for cultural historians of the South as it moved into the 20th century.
William and Marina Gregg were the parents of three children, Mary, William, and James.
Source — South Carolina Business Hall of Fame
14 Monday Apr 2008
Posted All History, Horsecreek Valleyin
Popular history says that the New South was born after the War Between the States, that it was an economic resolution by the defeated South to rise from the financial ashes of defeat and build an economy diversified enough to compete toe to toe with the victorious North. Atlanta Constitution editor Henry W. Grady coined the term “The New South” in a famous speech to a New York gentleman’s club in 1886.
But popular history has a way of bending real history. The “New” South, it could be argued, and quite forcefully, got its start in Augusta, Ga., and Graniteville, S.C., between 1845 and 1849, when visionaries in both towns built major cotton mills-mills that competed in yardage produced with most any Northern mill-and closed the economic circle, at least in a small-scale way, that would ultimately lead to the diversified manufacturing economy we enjoy today.
While Augusta’s business community gets most of the credit for that small leap forward, it can be argued that South Carolinian William W. Gregg, founder of the Graniteville Mill, truly got the ball rolling. Today, the original Graniteville Mill is hidden in a vast redbrick industrial complex owned by Avondale Mills. But the mills Gregg pioneered, first in Vaucluse and then in Graniteville, continue to provide jobs to hundreds of Midland Valley workers.
And had it not been for political intrigues and economic opportunism on the part of Augusta business and political leaders, Gregg could very well have built the first major cotton mill here as well.
Notice the term “major cotton mill.” Since the Revolution and, even before, the South had pockets of manufacturing, from cotton to paper to iron products to name a few. But most of the goods turned out were for the local market, some of it cheap, some of it of high quality. The idea of mass output of any Southern factory, however, was pretty much beyond the imagination of the Southern entrepreneur. Manufacturing was just another way to make a living and the South’s planter society, which had built wealth beyond the imagination of most successful Northern manufacturers, not only didn’t like manufacturing but were outspoken enemies of it.
Yet while the planters were doing well, the small cities of the South, and especially commercial towns like Augusta, were not doing so well during the early 1840s. Cotton prices were not only somewhat depressed, but since the 1820s the number of towns that competed for the wholesaling of the cotton crop had grown by a factor of three, with Columbus, Macon and Albany siphoning off the cotton market from once dominant Augusta. So concerned were local business leaders, mostly merchants and bankers, some questioned whether Augusta could survive the downturn as a town, much less a vibrant and proud city.
Meanwhile, over in South Carolina, William W. Gregg had invested in and helped run a small cotton mill in Vaucluse and quickly discovered that, under traditional Southern-style management and capacity, one could not be a successful manufacturer. Gregg was not a manufacturer by trade, but a successful and retired silversmith (he was 39 in 1839) who, at the time, lived much of the year in Charleston. But he could see potential in the cotton trade and, in 1845, he and a group of investors petitioned the South Carolina government for a charter to build a new, bigger factory near Vaucluse that would be run in a Northern manner, with professional managers and well-trained workers that had, for the day, a superior social support system (housing, stores, churches, all provided by the mill).
While Gregg was planning his Graniteville enterprise, Augusta’s canal boosters asked him to come and discuss an even bigger mill on their planned canal. Gregg was beyond just a little interested. He was also one of the few Southerners with meaningful experience in the cotton mill business and had some regional fame with his tract Essays on Domestic Industry, which with his breadth of experience captivated business leaders across the South. His plans in Graniteville called for a half-mile-long millrace from a local millpond to his new mill and mostly his money for the building and capitalization of the mill. The Augusta folks would provide (pretty much free of charge, except for the water he used) hydropower far beyond what his planned millrace could provide, a deep-pockets group of investors to help capitalize and operate the mill and theoretically a much larger pool of potential workers.
And so it came to pass the South Carolina entrepreneur went to Augusta and began selling his services as an already experienced cotton manufacturer, spoke of the problems he faced with a cotton mill, how he was correcting them, what he would do different and how he would operate the new Augusta mill. And the business leaders soaked up every word. Gregg’s informative meetings were not so much sales pitches as consultations and once the Augusta investors had heard enough they also decided that they could hire professional managers, they could provide the proper labor pool, they could provide the social support services for the workers and, well, they could also make all the money from the mill project. So Mr. Gregg’s offer to build and run the new mill was declined and he went back to the Midland Valley to build his own mill.
Had it not been for the negotiations with the Augusta investors, Gregg’s Graniteville Mill would most likely have been the first of the two to be completed and operational. But he put his own mill plans on hold while consulting with the Augusta Mill investors and it was the Augusta Mill that came on-line first.
But once his negotiations ended, Gregg threw all his energy and most of his money into the Graniteville complex. He quarried nearby blue granite seams as his primary building material for the mill itself and at the same time constructed housing for workers. He also decided to run the mill himself, building a home just above the mill site so he could give it day-to-day supervision, not only during construction, but also during the spinning and weaving of cotton products, not to mention the sales of those products nationwide. Whether he continued to practice, even as an avocation, his silver smith trade is not mentioned in the research. He did throw himself with passion into the cotton business, working 12 to 15 hour days on a regular basis.
And he never forgot the “slight” the Augustans had given him-turning down his offer to build and run their mill. It was as if he wanted to show the Augustans a thing or two as much as he wanted to build a successful mill.
It was not an easy task, building a successful cotton mill, but Gregg had the energy the corporate boys in Augusta did not. When problems arose, he was there to fix them personally; in Augusta professional managers answered to a board of directors. Even so, both operations prospered as competitors. By 1860, Graniteville was turning out some 4,000,000 yards of cloth annually, making it a potential prize for Union forces. But Gregg was not doing well financially during the war, with most of his production paid for in Secesh specie. Shortages were rampant and while he looked after his workers best he could, he was often criticized, even in the press, for turning down others in need. Gregg, who had sacrificed so much for his mill, and at times his workers, considered this criticism, and most likely rightly so, the cruelest blow of all.
One goal of Billy Sherman’s well-lighted march through South Carolina was to destroy the Horsecreek Valley mills and, if possible, the Augusta mills as well. Those plans were thwarted by the skirmish at Aiken when Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry defeated a Union cavalry attack. After the war, Gregg had to invest an additional $120,000 in the plant for upgrades, but his vision and energy helped it through the post-war era, though, ironically, he died of pneumonia in 1867 after helping stave off a flood in the millrace.
His company passed under control of his son James, who went on to head up the investment group that built the Enterprise Mill on the Augusta Canal in 1878 (that’s the one with the big Graniteville neon sign on its roof. Makes me think of William the Conqueror). While the old Augusta Mill was demolished as part of an urban renewal project in 1960, both the Graniteville mills have survived-the Graniteville as a working mill and the Enterprise Mill in Augusta as luxury condominiums. William W. Gregg was honored in 1985 by induction into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame.
An important postscript: One of the black marks on all the Victorian manufacturers was the use of child labor. At the Canal Museum at the Graniteville complex in Augusta you can see the old black-and-white photographs of barefoot children posing either with their machines or in front of the mill itself. W.W. Gregg, however, had a somewhat different vision, enforcing one of the first compulsory education rules in the history of the United States. He built a school for children five through 12 and fined parents five cents a day for every day the children did not attend.
Augusta turned its nose to William W. Gregg. It became, some could argue, a poorer town for it. But out in Horse Creek Valley, it was his vision and energy that set forth a political, economic and, yes, social revolution. It could truly be said that while Henry Grady coined the term “The New South,” William W. Gregg set it in motion.
Source — Augusta Magazine
14 Monday Apr 2008
Posted All History, Horsecreek Valleyin
Containing some information on Horse Creek Valley:
In the western section of Aiken County extending from the Savannah River to the city of Aiken, is a section known as the Horsecreek Valley. This section of the county serves as a cradle of South Carolina textile mills, legends, old families, and hard working folks. The Valley extends some twenty miles and houses more than 20,000 people, over 40 churches, and some 20 small independent towns/communities. Each of the small communities, villages, and towns still clings to its identity, although telephone exchanges and a highway network have tied them into an almost single city stretching from Aiken to the Savannah River. The highest point in the Valley is located atop Cemetery Hill near the gravesite of Mr. William Gregg, founder of the Graniteville Company and the industrial titan of the valley.
The Westos and Chickasaw Indians originally inhabited the Horsecreek Valley. The Valley’s legacy dates back either to the tribes of the era or to the brawling era before the War between the States. In December of 1860, when the town of Graniteville was only fifteen years old, South Carolina voted to secede from the Union. At this time in history, the men and boys of Graniteville established company “F” of the 7th Regiment of the Confederate Army and sought to defend their native state. The textile industry located in Graniteville furnished cloth and other materials for Southern military purposes. Because of this war effort, General Sherman ordered the mills destroyed along with a paper mill located nearby. General Kilpatrick was in command of the Union troops. At Aiken, General Joe Wheeler held Sherman’s troops away from Graniteville and thus avoided the destruction of the mills, churches, and homes in the community. Food was scarce during the Civil War, but Mr. William Gregg bartered cloth for food items for his employees, and they fared better than most others in the state. Many people came to the community seeking food and other necessary items, but they were turned away due to the limited supply. Mr. Gregg received criticism from the press and even from the pulpits because he had to turn away many needy persons.
Graniteville became the largest town in the Valley. It was once known by the less lovely, but more descriptive, name of Hardscrabble. Blue granite was quarried from the nearby mines and thus lent the name Granite to the textile mill built in 1843. Mr. William Gregg received a charter in late 1845 and early 1846 giving him the right to build on the land. He built the town, and in 1847 he began constructing the mill and finished it in 1848. The mill has been added to on several occasions. In 1848, there were 300 employees in the mills. The number grew to 660 during World War II. Until the late 1950’s, the company was primarily engaged in making cotton. As the cost of producing cotton began to rise, the company decided to produce knits, synthetics, polyesters, and cotton cloth from the raw fibers. In 1963, when the textile officials saw that mothers were not satisfied with the cloth because they had to iron it, several members helped in perfecting a permanent press fabric.
Mr. William Gregg was born in 1800 in what is now West Virginia. Mr. Gregg went to Columbia, SC, to become a watchmaker, silversmith, and jeweler. Between 1824 and 1836, he managed to build a fortune of about one hundred thousand dollars. Then because of temporary health problems he had to take up residence with his wife’s parents in Edgefield, SC. During this time, he became interested in an old run-down cotton mill in Vaucluse, S.C. He decided to invest money it the mill and undertook its operations. He soon had it running profitably. In 1838, he left the mill and moved to Charleston to form a partnership with an old established jewelry firm and became one of the city’s leading silversmiths. His interest in textiles continued to grow and he visited New England to examine its mills at first hand. In 1845, Gregg obtained a charter from the South Carolina legislature to build the Graniteville Manufacturing Company. He became the builder and first president of the company. Gregg invested his fortune in the mill in order to see it through some very unstable times. Two years after the close of the civil war, William Gregg died. He learned that the dam at Graniteville had broken and he rushed to the scene and waded into the deep waters of the millstream to direct repair operations. During this time, he developed pneumonia and died on September 12, 1867.
Source — Excerpted from “A Brief History of Byrd Elementary,” by J. W. Peacock.