By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
I hope everyone survived the pranks that some people play on April Fool’s Day. Isn’t it something how earlier in the week we had more summer like weather, so early in the springtime?
The recipe for this week, I thought was appropriate for this time of the year.
6 c. sliced strawberries, cut up
¼ c. sugar
1/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ c. butter
1 egg, beaten
2/3 c. milk
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
¼ c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Chill your small mixing bowl and your metal mixing beaters in the freezer while you are making the shortcake.
Mix the strawberries and sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and baking powder. Cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
Separately, combine the egg and milk together in a small bowl and slowly add to the flour mixture. Stir to just moisten all of the ingredients. Spread the dough in an 8-½ inch round baking pan.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cool, in the pan for approximately 10 minutes. Remove shortcake from the pan. Slice through the center and make the shortcake into two layers.
To make the Whipped Cream
Assemble the cold beaters and bowl on the mixer. Immediately pour your heavy cream into the mixing bowl and whip on high speed. You will have to watch as it begins to thicken and then add the vanilla. Blend and turn off the mixer when the cream is whipped. If you whip it too much, it will turn coarse and will be the beginning of butter.
Instructions to Assemble
Place a layer of the shortcake on a plate and top with half of the whipped cream, spread evenly. Then spread half of the cut up strawberries on top of the first layer.
Place the second layer on top. Add the remaining whipped cream and top with the strawberries. Cut into wedges and serve.
Out east, there are a lot of historic things to go see that are hundreds of years old that have been preserved. We used to go on trips to various states along the east coast and visit different places and tour historic locations and homes that dated from the 1700s. One state that is very interesting for historic places to go see, is Virginia.
They have many old homes that date from the Colonial times in the 1700s and Revolutionary War sights, as well as Civil War locations from the mid 1800s.
On a journey into Virginia, on Monday morning, April 22, 1991, we left our home in New Jersey around 3:30 a.m. We drove to the town of Leesburg, in Loudoun County Va., the northern most county in the state. We arrived by around 7 a.m.
We got such an early start because we wanted to eat breakfast in the old, historic Leesburg Restaurant that had been there since 1865. That was the same year the Civil War ended. The restaurant there was renowned for their locally made breakfast sausage, which was really good. If you did not get there early, they sometimes would run of out of it. They were also known for their German Chocolate Cake and their pies which were a house specialty.
At that time, the interior of that restaurant appeared in a commercial for Progresso Soup that we had seen on television.
The quaint court house was built in 1894 and was adorned with a Palladium Portico over the entrance, along with being topped by a fancy cupola.
While we were in the pretty town, we rode around and took in the sights, in their historic district. We saw the old Norris House Inn, which was built in 1806. This pretty two and a half story brick home was adorned with unique woodwork architecture on the outside.
At that time, it was open as a Bed and Breakfast inn that contained parlors, a stately dining room, along with a sitting room that were decorated with antique furnishings, throughout.
Loudoun County is renowned as being Hunt Country and for hosting Steeplechase horse races.
We then ventured north of Leesburg, out in the country to a historic old mansion known as Morven Park. Along the way, we passed an old original log cabin that someone was still living in.
Loudoun County, Va. is known for having the most old log cabins that date from the late 1700s and the early 1800s that are still owned and used as family homes, than any other place in the entire country.
To enter the estate, you drive down a mile long, tree lined road. The Redbud and Dogwood trees were fully in bloom, growing wild, under a canopy of hardwood trees, that you could enjoy as we rode along.
As we approached the grounds of Morven Park, we saw their big equestrian center along with their race track where they held their annual Steeplechase races. That year, their Fall National Steeplechase Races was going to be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, 1991.
When the stately Greek Revival mansion comes into view, it sits on a knoll at the top of a long expanse of lush, front lawn.
The home was originally built as a fieldstone farm house in 1781. The Virginia Gov. Thomas Swann and his family lived on this 1,200 acre estate in the 1800s.
In the 1900s, Gov. Westmoreland Davis and his wife Marguerite resided in the mansion, which over the years, evolved into the gracious manor home that graced the estate at that time.
As you enter the home, you go under the Greek Revival portico and find yourself in a Renaissance style Great Hall. The home is decorated with a variety of styles. Also featured was a French Style Drawing Room along with Jacobean Dining Room.
On display were a unique collection of tapestries, silver, fine porcelain and paintings, all collected by Mrs. Davis during her travels in Asia and Europe.
The grounds also had a large formal garden, and Mrs. Davis’ Boxwood garden.
Their Carriage Museum contained over 100 horse drawn vehicles that were also on display. The collection was the life long collection of Mrs. Viola Winmill. Her Winmill Carriage Collection, was donated to the Morven foundation to preserve them.
In 1969 a new building was constructed to house the collection. Mrs. Winmill passed away in August of 1975, knowing her vast collection of horse drawn vehicles, would be preserved so others could enjoy them.
They even had a small carriage in the collection that was pulled by six ponies. It originally carried General Tom Thumb and his wife, in the Barnum and Bailey Circus,
During our travels on that trip, we also drove nearby to see White’s Ferry. Around 1833, it was then known as Conrad’s Ferry. Passengers and freight were taken across the quarter mile expanse of the Potomac River, by the use of poling a small boat across the river.
By 1920, a motor from an old hay baler was used to power the ferry across the river. When we visited there in 1991 the ferry was called the “General Jubal Early” after a famous Confederate General from the Civil War. It was powered by a diesel motor on a small tug. The ferry at that time could haul up to six cars across the famous river. It operated seven days a week, except when there was high water.
So no matter where you venture in that state, there is always something of historic interest to see.
Congratulations are in order for Austin Huebner, the son of Barry and Heather Huebner of rural Exline. Austin was recently initiated into the National Honor Society. He is a senior at the Centerville High School and will be graduating this spring.
A big thank you goes out to the 4-H members and their leaders of the Exline Ramblers 4-H Club, for their work last Sunday afternoon. As one of their ongoing projects for the Adopt a Highway program, the club picked up trash along the road from the Exline corner at Highway 5, all the way into the town of Exline.
By the look of their pile of 20 bags of trash and debris at the corner by the highway on Monday morning, the group sure got a lot of stuff out of the ditches into town.
The April birthday celebration was held this past Wednesday, at the Exline Old Country Store. Those people who were acknowledged that day were Jeremy Carlsten, Linda Spence, Lindsay Sedgwick and Bill Deahl.
Robert and Idalee McClurg will also be celebrating their wedding anniversary this month,
Just to let you know, the city of Exline is going to have a Spring Clean Up this year. It will be held on Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, throughout the town.
They will be picking up things like; old refrigerators, microwave ovens, washers, dryers, newspapers, cardboard, old batteries and paint.
If you want to get rid of old tires, there will be a charge of $2.50 a piece, to dispose of each tire.
No brush or trash will be picked up. They also will not be accepting old televisions or computer monitors.
Place the things you would like hauled away, by the curb near the street. If you need further information you may contact the mayor of Exline, Jim Casteel, or members of the City Council; Jim Burns, John Matheny, Terry Hand, Gary Hull or Mary Ann Hurley.