David Hays’ Secret Rib Recipe

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This week is about one man’s junk could be another man’s treasure. It’s time to do some spring cleaning ya’ll. Maybe you have already done so and the stuff is hidden piled up somewhere else and you don’t know what to do with it. Follow the rule of feng shui, not what I call funk shui. Are you like me, saving it for the tag sale that probably will never happen? Here’s my plan for getting rid of the excess treasures. The Como church of Christ is having a yard sale and car wash this Saturday April 10th. Proceeds from that day will go toward the upcoming youth mission trip to Panama.

They want anything you don’t and will even come pick it up if necessary. The fellowship building is open every day and when the coast is clear, I’m adding to stuff already there. Or, load your vehicle up Saturday morning come to the church located on East Street. We will take your junk while you while you look at ours. Maybe you’ll discover a treasure. If that doesn’t motivate you to clean out and come, how about placing a value on your own things and receiving a receipt for a tax deduction? The sale and wash are from eight a.m. until everything is gone. The suggested donation for a clean car is only five dollars but you can offer more if you would like.

One Sunday David and I went over to say good morning to Tommy Williams. Tommy was looking at the table of recent donations. Many of us pickers have been checking out the growing stash of stuff regularly. Tommy had found an old cookbook from the Sardis women’s’ club printed in 1951. He was enjoying the local business advertisements from that time and ladies names he knew or had heard of. I circled around like a shark waiting for him to put it back on the table. If we weren’t at church I might have snatched it from his hands. Instead, I politely asked if he was going to buy the book. He said he might if it was still around the day of the sale. I thought, “Not if I can help it”. But I couldn’t rob Brother Tommy of his treasure. I asked if I could borrow it to copy some of the recipes. Some of the ladies who shared their dishes include: Mrs. W.C. Andrews, Mrs. James Moss, Mrs. Robert T. Ballentine, Mrs. J.Q. West, and Mrs. Fred Klyce. There are ads for: Panola County Bank “Friendly Service since 1904”; City Meat Market; Loden Motor Company “Repairs to all makes of Automobiles”; Hanson Mercantile Company “Dealers in ready-to-wear and high grade millinery”; E.L. Howery Company “General Merchants and cotton buyers”; and The Dixie Store “Meats and Groceries”. Each section of the cookbook is introduced by drawings of ladies serving up their dishes.

Here are some items to look for at the sale: A treadmill; four oak wooden children’s chairs; an old portable electric singer sewing machine that probably won’t make the sale just like the cookbook. I decided to take a break from writing and explore my attic and storage closet upstairs. David and I had a lot fun sifting through boxes of misfit things. Some kool items I’m donating to the sale are a Gemeinhardt silver flute. (Sorry mom and dad, I never play it); a lamp made out of an old wagon hub that reminds me of the wagon wheel table in the film “When Harry Met Sally”; and a like new canon color printer.

And hopefully someone will be crazy ‘bout a Mercury and cruise it down the road! Our preacher Glenn Bowman is selling his 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis with leather interior and gray exterior and only approximately seventy eight thousand miles. Why is he parting with this deluxe mobile? Glenn is leaving in May to become a missionary. He plans to first travel through Europe, and later to China. His exit will leave a big hole in Como and especially those of us of the church here. We had the pleasure of meeting his parents Terri and Richard. Like all mothers, Terri supports her son in following his heart, but will still worry about him so far away. In the past, my mom has worried about me in such places.

Mom is also probably one of the best pickers I know. She hunts and gathers for treasures to send care packages to all of us kids. This week she sent one for David and another for me. David has already begun reading the John Irving novel, and loves the 1970’s silver polyester shirt. I received an unidentified fur coat from what looks like the 1940’s. Along with her thoughtful package was a small newspaper clipping. It was written by a USA Today founder Al Neuharth. It was about the importance of brevity when writing, so as not to lose the reader. The short piece referred to such writers as Twain, Thoreau, Franklin Roosevelt and others. They knew it is easier to write long, but difficult to make things shorter. Mark Twain said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter”. It’s mom’s gentle way of guiding me without discouraging words. As always, she’s right. Thanks for the advice, you’re right, I guess I’m not a columnist – I’m a writer of “short stories”. I know I can get carried away, so I will try from now on to mince my words.

Oddly enough, we also were gifted more vintage pieces from friend Brian Rice who is a picker plus. Brian is spring cleaning too. We love his gift of the Fire King coffee cups, the Maxfield Parrish art book and, most recently, an “Indian Maiden” print by L. Goddard. This piece was one of a series of calendar and advertising prints in the early 1920s. I think our renewed sense of appreciation for old things has been partly inspired by watching TV shows such as American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and Auction Kings.

Now on to something you can chew on. David and I were invited to a dinner party at Jeanette and David Hays’ home. We traveled through the town of Sardis. The hills and the land suddenly opened up and dropped into what is the Delta. This rural area is known as Ballentine. There are cotton fields that seem to go on forever. The land owned by David’s family which he now continues to farm was purchased from the Ballentine family. When we arrived at the large brick tutor style house I could smell the rich delta soil and the aroma of something on the grill.

We sat down to a huge table that seats fourteen. The menu: David’s ribs, potato salad, Jeanette’s slaw and dinner rolls. Everything was homemade, including the desserts – layered lemon icebox cake and a German chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing. How do Jeanette and David do it all? Lots of experience, cooking often for a large family of twenty to thirty. They have two separate full kitchens and three ovens. One is a wide open space with granite countertops including a long island that that is great for prep and later serves as a buffet. I said, “Oh what I could do in this kitchen”. I invited David and myself to cook for them in their own kitchen sometime. An awesome kitchen here in Como is Glenda and Joe Barber’s. They don’t have two separate kitchens but just as much in one. Viking everything – love it! They have custom cabinets that house the plates standing vertically and separated from one another to protect them from wear.

Monday night we had the pleasure of entertaining the Hays’, as well as Glenn and his parents. His folks live in northern California near San Francisco. They had come to spend some time with their son before he leaves on his travels. Glenn’s mom and I found that we have something uncanny in common. We both collect pins from Hard Rock Café. Terri is an avid collector of many years and has way more pins than I do. She has doubles from Rome and is going send one to me. All had an enjoyable evening.

Next week: Eddie Beasnett of Sardis was most excited about Mrs. J.Q. West’s gumbo recipe, so I’ll print that then.

David Hays’ Secret Rib Recipe

Seven or eight racks Pork ribs
Number Five rub from Piggley-Wiggley
Rub ribs down well with the rub.
Place in baking pan and cover
Bake at 300 degrees for five hours.
Remove and place in smoker for about 20 minutes.

Jeanette’s Crisp Coleslaw
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 onion, sliced in rings
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
¾ cup Wesson oil
1 cup white vinegar
¼ tsp celery seed (optional)

Alternate layers of cabbage and onion in large bowl.
Sprinkle salt over each layer
Sprinkle sugar over all and let stand 30 minutes.
Heat remaining ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture.
Cool, seal tightly, and refrigerate.
Keeps indefinitely

Crazy bout a Mercury? This one is for sale.

A page from the 1951 Sardis Women’s Club Cookbook.

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