Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Shelling Peas

I stopped at a farmer's market in northern Georgia near the North Carolina border on my way home from Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) yesterday. I purchased corn, red potatoes, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, peaches, tomatoes, a Vidalia onion, okra, and purple hull peas.

I shelled the peas this afternoon. It evoked memories of sitting under the shade trees at my dad's Aunt Fannie Mae's or in my paternal grandparents' living room with paper bags for the hulls and large bowls in laps which held the peas. Everyone shelled peas as we conversed. Our fingers and nails turned purple. I did not enjoy doing this as a child, but as an adult, I appreciate the activity's relaxation. The sweaty work of tending the peas and picking them in the hot sun was done. Shelling them in the company of family and friends was a pleasure at the end of the hard work.

As I picked over the peas, in the same manner my mother taught me, it brought back memories of standing over the kitchen sink--sifting through them while looking for peas with worm holes or other defects which made them undesirable for eating. Mom taught me the difference in worm holes and discolorations so I would not toss more peas than necessary. We sorted each mess at least three times. How I'd love to do this with her once again!

I look forward to eating the fruit of my labor, even if I didn't grow them myself! Tomorrow's menu will include the peas, hand-breaded fried okra, sliced tomatoes, and cornbread. I'll cut a little onion into the peas. Dessert will include peaches--perhaps a cobbler or peaches and (ice) cream. I'll probably add some pan-fried potatoes if leftovers remain. Southerners eat well when the summer harvest comes!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Practicing Christian Education


Maddix, Mark A. and James Riley Estep, Jr. Practicing Christian Education: An Introduction for Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017.

Books designed specifically for Christian educators are not as plentiful as they once were, particularly when it comes to introductions. This introduction is really more of a theories approach than an overview as many others are. The authors correctly state Christian educators must be students of both theology and the social sciences; however, their book tends to rely more heavily on the social sciences than on theology. The authors illustrated the ignorance of today's generation in Biblical knowledge, yet their approach still relies more heavily on application of Biblical truths than on imparting the truths to them. The authors never really delved into the methodologies to be used in Christian education. It is my observation that in our attempt to make Christian education "less boring" for students, we created learning experiences more memorable for the activity than for the truth it sought to impart. While I don't advocate a return to reading a lesson and answering questions based upon it, I do believe we need to focus more on teaching the Bible and creating informed students who hide the Word of God in their hearts, particularly as we see increasing intolerance for Biblical worldviews in our society. We need to address the problem of Biblical illiteracy in the church. Opportunities for service need to exist, but we need to make sure we are equipping those who are charged with making disciples. This review is based on an advance review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes. I should also disclose one of the authors is a friend of mine from years ago.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Britain's Tudor Maps County by County



Speed, John. Britain's Tudor Maps County by County. Introduction by Nigel Nicolson. County Commentaries by Alasdair Hawkyard. London: Batsford, published in association with the British Library, 2016.

I love maps! This gorgeously illustrated book of county maps produced by John Speed in the Tudor period provides today's researchers a great tool for understanding our British ancestors who lived then. Each county map is accompanied by a commentary written by Alasair Hawkyard, providing insight into the county's history and the people who resided there. Many maps include offset maps depicting specific places, much as modern-day atlases include maps of larger cities. It's a large over-sized "coffee table" book, but it is so full of useful content for genealogists and historians dealing with the period and place.

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