Good Reading, Good Eating
... Since 1977
At Eberly Press, we specialize in
historical books and cookbooks that you really
want to read. Every book is created with you in
Because we do not aim for mass market
appeal, we are not for everyone...only those
who want the unusual, the practical or the
So take your pick from any of our
books ... guaranteed to WOW you with
fascinating stories of our history or find you
cooking up a tsunami with such yummies as
Mackinac Island fudge, Traverse City cherry
pie or roasted bear paws.
Ginger and Walnut Tea Bread*
(Wonderful with a cup of afternoon tea -- or with a glob of vanilla ice cream on top while watching mindless TV)
1/2 c. shortening 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 c. sugar 1 teaspoon ginger
1 egg 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 c. dark molasses 3 tablespoons minced
1 1/2 c. flour candied ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir into shortening mixture alternately with boiling water. Stir in candied ginger and walnuts. Pour into a greased 8x8-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
* From Made in Michigan: Tales & Recipes
Do you know where Papua New Guinea (PNG) is? Neither did I when my daughter, Jessica, announced the Peace Corps was sending her there for two years beginning in 1998.
A look-see in the Atlas showed it to be an island north of Australia about the size of California where almost 800 languages were spoken. Much of the population was undiscovered by the outside world until the 1930s, just about the time PNG outlawed cannibalism – oh great! And it was the last place David Rockefeller was seen alive. Double oh great! I was hoping for an assignment in Peru, Costa Rica or, possibly, Paris. Hey, it could have happened … maybe. Papua New Guinea. So far. So foreign. So ….
She was to teach math and science to high schoolers thousand of miles from our comfortable home in East Lansing, Michigan.
As Jessica boarded the plane in Lansing, she suddenly turned to me. “Tell me I’m doing the right thing.” Tears flowed down her cheeks. I wiped them away with my hands. “Yes, you are,” I said, uncertain of my answer. We hugged together tightly before she picked up her backpack and headed down the ramp. Then I slumped in a plastic chair and sobbed.
That was only the first of many tears to follow.
Following are the letters we wrote to each other. Her school had no computers, telephone connections were spotty at best and a fax machine sat unused since there were no funds to buy paper. Snail mail was it.
I read and reread her aerogrammes until they hung torn at their creases, hoping to wring one more piece of information from them. I examined the handwriting, the greetings, the stamps for deeper meaning. She wrote of happiness, sadness, wonderment and loneliness.
She fished for a good meal, played cards in the evenings with Roman Catholic nuns and listened for endless hours to a man next door massacre Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler.” She lived in a bamboo hut, ate lots of rice, bathed in a river and attended a church decorated with a drawing of a gold statue wearing running shoes.
She survived being traded as a bride for pigs, escaped tribal wars and endured just plain loneliness.
But in the end, it was something else that got her.
This is our correspondence during that time so long ago … and yet so recent.
-- Carole Eberly
(Stay tuned for more....)