This past weekend was a beautiful weekend in our town and a real reminder of why we choose to live in a small town.
Saturday morning my daughter Jacquie and I worked at our church bazaar. The bazaar is a real friend helping friend to accomplish a goal situation. Usually both of us go to help, with the mindset that we will work wherever there is a need. My focus throughout the year is the handmade crafts, and I help make some of them. Saturday I assisted with the jewelry table and spent some time with a sweet lady I’ve known my whole life. In fact, she was my second grade teacher, Jackie Green. I’ve never heard this woman utter a cross word and talking to her is always a treat. We sold jewelry, packaged purchases and chatted.
There were many people at the bazaar I had not seen in a long time and it’s fun to catch up. Cindy, a friend I’ve known since my childhood, was at the bazaar and she told me she enjoys this column, and also loves fresh herbs and uses rosemary in chicken like I do.
We started talking about herb gardening and I told her about rosemary and smoked gouda mashed potatoes. You can also use garlic instead of rosemary. You boil the potatoes with a sprig of rosemary, just a small sprig as you want a hint of flavor not overwhelming flavor in the dish. Mash the potatoes as you normally would with a little butter and milk. Lessen the milk so the potatoes are on the stiffer side, and add in smoked soft gouda cheese, which I purchase at the Andersons in Toledo. Continue mixing until the cheese melts.
When we get together as a community for whatever purpose it is for more than the issue that brought us together, it is support. Support of our small town and each other and fellowship with long standing friends that always brighten our day even after long times apart. The bazaar is a fun way to support missions outside our own personal ones and take home some inexpensive little item either as a gift or for ourselves. I probably have never left the bazaar without purchasing something, but I always leave with something bigger…a warm heart from the knowledge that Morenci is one very special place in a great big sometimes harsh world.
As our little town evolves with the ever-changing world, I hope each one of us can hang on to the small town feeling of togetherness for the goodness of all. From our bazaar to the lighted Christmas parade with all the hard work put into the floats, to the decorated homes and light poles downtown, our community Thanksgiving dinner, the Education Foundation benefit, and so much more, we say caring in so many ways.
Whether you are a person from generations of Morenci history or your are new to town, you are always welcome and able to join in and make a home in a beautiful little community. Friendship is right next door. Try finding that in the big city on the scale that we have it.
Some of you may wonder why I chose this topic instead of a gardening how-to. Well, it’s quite simple: If you want to share nature and your love of it, you have to reach out and share yourself. To be beautiful outside you have to be beautiful inside. Share your garden, share your recipes, reach out and others will too. Thank you Morenci for being a town many of us are proud to call home.