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Ever tried to eat cattails?!

This update takes a little side trip from our sea faring journey. To sign on to a whaling ship, Ann must have been a remarkable young lady. In Second Fury, Ann’s adventuresome spirit takes her over the Oregon Trail from California east to the States. Last week, I decided to try some of the fare she would have eaten on her trip…cattails. For those of you who like culinary adventure, here’s what you do. Find a patch of cattails; wade out into the muck; with a hand, follow a reed down into the black mud until it ends in a lateral root; trace the root till you feel a new shoot; cut the root 2 or 3 inches back; remove the root and the shoot. (This is how the pioneers did it. You might find it easier to dig with a shovel.) Now make sure you wash them well. The root will be shiny black and white. Strip off the outer layer of the root to reveal a clean white interior. THINLY slice the root and the shoot. Sandy and I tried them 3 ways: 1) fried with shallots (ok), 2) boiled (bland), and 3) in stir fry. The stir fry was the best. The cattail does not have much flavor and takes on the taste of other vegetables. The root has somewhat the consistency of a stringy potato. The shoot has the consistency of a tough onion layer. I am finding it hard to bring myself to prepare the one root and shoot we have left in our refrigerator. You can see the pictures here on my Thomas Macy author Facebook page Eating Cattails album.

More images can be found at

So, what’s a Gowan Pamphlet?

“The Slaves” is the ninth segment in The Courage of Your Faith series. The historical setting for this study is Virginia after the Revolutionary War. While researching topics for this series, I came across an article that mentioned a Gowan Pamphet. Now, what was a Gowan Pamphlet, I wondered. It turns out it’s a “he.” Gowan Pamphlet was a black slave in Williamsburg who pastored its first Baptist church. It was made up of, by some estimates, 600 free and slave blacks. Under his leadership, the African Church (as it was known) was accepted into the Dover Association in 1783. While in Williamsburg, we spent some time tracking down one of the possible early sites for the church. You can find an online slide show including a possible location of “Raccoon Chase” here.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith.” “The Courage of Your Faith” consists of 12 short stories from our history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation.

All documents can be downloaded at no charge from the web site. The short stories have been compiled into one eBook which is downloadable from both Barnes & Noble and Amazon for a small fee. A link now appears at the top of this email for those who wish to be added to this mailing list. Feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. They can then add their name to receive future updates. Have fun.

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