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EASTER WITH GRANDPA

My grandfather, Reverend Henry Ingraham (H. I.) Cook was a man who ran his life on a strict set of rules because he had self discipline. He did not believe a church should have a kitchen and should be just set aside for the worship of God. Period. He did not think too much of some of the pagan customs which had become integrated into the religious structure, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Still he was a tolerant man and had no objections to church outings and picnics.

One Easter before I started to school, I was at grandfather’s house and begged him to hide my Easter eggs. He reluctantly assented and after a time came back and said they were hidden. I started looking, side yard, backyard, in flower beds, in bushes, all around the house, with no results. Not giving up, I decided to look in the "plunder house". There they were, all the eggs in the Easter basket hanging from a nail. That man could really hide eggs.

For those who are not familiar with the term "plunder house", it was a wooden structure used to store garden tools and other things around the house but it was large enough for you to stand up and could be used for work space in inclement weather.

Grandfather was very fond of pinto beans and cornbread and often said that this was probably the type of meal that they had at the Last Supper. Not quite historically accurate because beans were a New World edible but he could have been accurate because they ate lentils.

Grandfather liked a particular type of cornbread, calling the modem version "cake." His cornbread had to be made with white cornmeal, contain no eggs, be made with buttermilk and baking soda and salt, with no flour. It was a little heavy, but stuck to your ribs. Grandmother would often make what she called a "hoecake" but I never saw a hoe in the kitchen. Early settlers would use their hoe blades to bake before an open fire.

While some of my "Musings" may be trivial, I hope they give my children and grandchildren some idea of the type of man he was,

Musings of Henry T. Cook, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)