RSS Feed from The Berks-Mont News: The latest news from The Berks-Mont News: website: all stories The Berks-Mont News Mon, 31 Aug 2015 02:16:10 -0400 60 <![CDATA[Welcome to my World: Pennsylvania honors Stephen Foster]]> On the campus of the University of Pittsburgh is the only museum, concert hall and library dedicated to an American composer, Stephen Foster. His hometown memorialized him, even though he didn't write our state song, but Florida and Kentucky adopted his tunes as their state songs.

In Pittsburgh, the Gothic structure, built in 1937 to honor Foster, houses a vast collection of 19th century American music, as well as material on Foster's life and music.

Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:24:17 -0400 20150828102417 2015-08-28T10:24:17-04:00 2015-08-28T10:24:17-04:00
<![CDATA[PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: MJ Dougherty, Saved by God's Grace (Part I)]]> A neighbor came to visit us in recent weeks and said that I might be interested in writing a story about a new neighbor who experienced Sept. 11, 2001 firsthand. Barb and I invited MJ Dougherty to have dinner at our house one evening and invited her to dessert several days later. As we exchanged introductory comments, we were quite surprised that we both started to work for the same large insurance broker in 1998 and both left the same year, 2005.

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:42:01 -0400 20150827174201 2015-08-27T17:42:01-04:00 2015-08-27T17:42:01-04:00
<![CDATA[The Historian: Early Cattle and 'Watered Meadows']]> In 1683, William Penn reported to friends in England, "Here is plenty of cow cattle." Cattle, together with all other farm livestock, were brought to the Delaware Valley from Europe by the Swedes, Finns and Dutch in the 17th century. There were no native farm animals here except the turkey. The Indians kept no livestock except dogs, which were used somewhat on the chase, but served mainly as food in times of famine.

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:36:15 -0400 20150827103615 2015-08-27T10:36:15-04:00 2015-08-27T10:36:15-04:00
<![CDATA[Welcome to my World: Uncovering the Christman Farmstead History]]> At home on the Christman farm, as a kid, I often daydreamed about who lived there before us. Did anyone famous, like George Washington, sleep in the bedroom I now occupied? Were there Indian raids? Barn dances? Quilting parties?

In later years, my curiosity was satisfied when my husband and myself researched the owners of our farmstead, for the family newsletter.

Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:09:05 -0400 20150821150905 2015-08-21T15:09:05-04:00 2015-08-21T15:09:05-04:00
<![CDATA[PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Differences in Dentists are Distinct]]> During one's life, one will be treated by a number of dentists, all of whom are different in one way or another. Some of them, I remember, were rather normal and others not quite! When I was in junior high school, I could walk to my dentist because his office was a block away. On one visit to him at 10 a.

Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:54:54 -0400 20150819155454 2015-08-19T15:54:54-04:00 2015-08-19T15:54:54-04:00
<![CDATA[The Historian: As Dutch as Sauerkraut, Part II]]> Last week's "Historian" noted that cabbage, often eaten in the form of sauerkraut, was undoubtedly the primary vegetable crop cultivated by the early Germanic immigrants of this area. Theophile Cazenove, an agent for French real estate interests, traveled across Berks County in 1794 and recorded in his journal that the farmers in the "Cootstown" (Kutztown) area, "Have a few gardens at least for cabbage and carrots and they all have beehives.

Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:17:51 -0400 20150818111751 2015-08-18T11:17:51-04:00 2015-08-18T11:17:51-04:00
<![CDATA[Welcome to my World: The Customs I Grew Up With]]> I grew up with some customs that I didn't know much about, so I decided to do some research.

The first one is "dancing in a pig's trough." My husband, Harry, and I were married in my parents', Herb and Mary Christman's church, St. John's Lutheran in Kutztown, in 1982. After the service, our immediate families enjoyed a wedding feast at my parents' home.

Fri, 14 Aug 2015 23:36:43 -0400 20150814233643 2015-08-14T23:36:43-04:00 2015-08-14T23:36:43-04:00
<![CDATA[A Look Back in History: Remembering Dr. Don Yoder, co-founder of the PA Dutch Folk Festival]]> One of the three folklorists who founded the PA Dutch Folk Festival at Kutztown in 1950 with the renowned Dr. Alfred L. Shoemaker, Dr. Don Yoder emeritus professor of the University of Pennsylvania, has written and published significant books and articles on the Americana ethnic peoples who founded this portion of southeastern Pennsylvania.

Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:13:56 -0400 20150814171356 2015-08-14T17:13:56-04:00 2015-08-14T17:13:56-04:00
<![CDATA[Felicia Fisher's Slice of Life: Lemon Pound Cake]]> I wouldn't take offense if you didn't want to bake this recipe. In fact, I don't want to bake it lately on account of the ridiculous price of eggs. Each year, I read about a scare of some baking commodity, with chocolate and pecans being the most recent items that were deemed scarce to justify the price increases.

Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:58:27 -0400 20150814145827 2015-08-14T14:58:27-04:00 2015-08-14T14:58:27-04:00
<![CDATA[A Look Back in History: Sacred Oak Tree of Oley Valley in poor condition]]> On Monday, July 20 at the regular board meeting of the Oley Valley Heritage Association, President Kelly Spatz remarked that the historic Sacred Oak Tree that was beloved and worshipped by the Native Americans of the Oley Valley (on the property of Mr. Chris Hartman) is in grave shape after the tree was damaged by a lightning strike on one of its major limbs.

Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:44:56 -0400 20150812154552 2015-08-12T14:44:56-04:00 2015-08-12T15:45:52-04:00
<![CDATA[Ask Esther: When to buy and sell to get the most for your home]]> DEAR ESTHER >> We have been working all summer to prepare our home to sell and plan to list it sometime in the fall. However, my sister told me we should wait until the spring because that's the time most people buy. What do you suggest?

It is generally understood in real estate that spring is the best time to sell, but that does not necessarily mean you should wait until spring to list your home.

Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:49:16 -0400 20150812134916 2015-08-12T13:49:16-04:00 2015-08-12T13:49:16-04:00
<![CDATA[PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: A race for Izzy, a boy beating the odds]]> I am lucky enough to have a wife to bounce my thoughts off of. Many times I get what I think are "brilliant" ideas, and when I check with Barb, she sort of throws a wet blanket over the project. I must say, unfortunately, she is right way more often than I am! That being said, this time I hope I came up with a winner, because I thought of how to describe myself from the first stanza of South Pacific, the 1949 Broadway Musical and 1958 and 2001 films.

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:39:24 -0400 20150812150936 2015-08-10T11:39:24-04:00 2015-08-12T15:09:36-04:00
<![CDATA[The Historian: So Dutch as Sauerkraut]]> Perhaps it was the humble cabbage, as much as anything else, that made survival possible in the early local farms and settlements. Cabbage in the form of sauerkraut was one of the few vegetables that could be preserved for winter. Sauerkraut contains a good deal of vitamin C, but it's questionable how much remained after it was boiled.

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 10:00:50 -0400 20150810100050 2015-08-10T10:00:50-04:00 2015-08-10T10:00:50-04:00
<![CDATA[The Historian: Thatched roofs and rye straw]]> The Germanic immigrants to this area brought with them the custom of rye straw roof thatching. Rye is a cereal grain similar to wheat, but with a habit of growth yielding stalks almost twice as high as wheat. It is claimed that rye straw is somewhat unique in that the fiber is a form of cellulose that is resistant to decay and country lore holds that mice dislike chewing through it.

Fri, 07 Aug 2015 14:34:15 -0400 20150807143415 2015-08-07T14:34:15-04:00 2015-08-07T14:34:15-04:00
<![CDATA[Through My Kitchen Window: Egg free chocolate cupcakes, take two]]> I wanted to retry an egg free chocolate cupcake recipe but this time include the vinegar. As I have been learning from my research online and from talking to other bakers, eggs can serve three purposes, for rising, for moisture or for binding.

When I first starting baking egg free, I only knew about the moisture purpose and so replaced egg with applesauce.

Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:59:16 -0400 20150806145916 2015-08-06T14:59:16-04:00 2015-08-06T14:59:16-04:00