Pat Shingleton: "Scrapple, Mush and Black Ice..."
Sometimes when you don't know what's in it, it still tastes good. Our Dad was a butcher, often referred to as a "break-down" artist and as an example would take a side of beef then saw, cut grind and transfer all the cuts to the meat case. He took great pride in the "look" of the presentation. After a health-class assignment we would question Dad about the contents of franks or hotdogs, wieners or weenies. "Is it true Dad what they put in those?" His response,"They don't leave anything out..." There's a common Pennsylvania “entrée” called scrapple. The famous staple originated with the Amish Dutch who utilized all parts of the butchered animal for multiple purposes. The ingredients include pork stock, pork, pork skins, cornmeal, wheat flour, pork hearts, pork livers, pork tongues, salt, and spices. It's taken from the can and fried and traditionally served with toast and eggs. This morning you may be enjoying some hot oatmeal, grits, pancakes or waffles accompanied by a piping-hot cup of Community coffee to compete with the chill. My mother made another breakfast warmer called “mush.” Cajuns are familiar with something similar to mush, “couscous” - a combination of cornmeal and milk. Our "Mum", better known in her remaining years as "Grandma Shirley," would mix and boil a cornmeal recipe, pour it into a Pyrex dish or tray and refrigerate it. The next morning it was sliced into half-inch squares and fried. We then would smatter the hot mush with butter and syrup. With a hot mug of homemade cocoa, we were ready for the outdoor freeze. Another wintry note includes Sunday evening's expected wintry mix in the northern part of the state. One of the worst weather-roadway events is something called “black ice.” Black Ice is very thin, hidden new ice that lingers on roadways and appears dark in color because of its transparency. Behind the wheel, the roadway appears normal, until you encounter this patchy ice slick. Depending upon the vehicle’s speed, it can quickly send one into a spin. Upon hitting an adjacent dry area, cars have been known to flip.
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