Do It Yourself!

Evelyn Monroe Johnson

There is really something to be said for the instruction, “Do it yourself.” It’s the best way to learn, and it’s the best way to excel at whatever you do. This is the title of the cook book Evelyn Monroe Johnson wrote for her family–her children and grandchildren. Evelyn was employed many years at the Registration Office of The University of Tennessee; but, like many of the rest of us, learned that if you will cook, “they” will come. Eventually, I’m sure she got so many requests for recipes and how to do this or that it was just easier to sit down and write them a book. Her daughter-in-law actually asked her to write down all her recipes in her own handwriting. On Evelyn’s 80th birthday, Evelyn’s family, extended family, three UT bosses, and 20 student workers who worked in her office many years ago all came to Townsend to celebrate the unveiling of "Do it Yourself". Some years ago, Evelyn moved from Union County to Murfreesboro to be near her son, Tony, and his family. Her son Danny has passed away.

While the book was written for Evelyn’s family, in many ways it is a history of Union County cooking. Evelyn grew up in Union County, the daughter of Walter and Vada Lynch Monroe–sister to L. D. She’s the granddaughter of Judge William Preston and Callie Edmondson Monroe as well as Charles H. and Della Nash Lynch. I know her recipes are drawn from both families’ traditions. Judge Monroe attended law school at Cumberland College in Lebanon, Tennessee. Evelyn still has a shoe box of letters from him written in 1911. Judge Monroe’s vote helped get the Women’s Suffrage Act passed in Tennessee. He was a circuit court judge and a state senator; however, he died much too early of Lou Gehrig’s Disease at age 53. Both Judge Monroe and Lou Gehrig were patients at the same time at the same hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. The two families became acquainted and Mrs. Monroe and Mrs. Gehrig corresponded for a while. During the Judge’s illness--Evelyn was about 8 or 9--and would sit with him and call her Mamaw Callie if he needed anything.

Maynardville had a different setting at the time Evelyn was growing up. She says Grandpa Press and Mamaw Callie, who lived a few feet from the courthouse, had a garden, fruit trees, berries, a cow and chickens and a barn across old Hwy. 33. She says her grandma cooked the freshest and best, but she never saw her have a cookbook. Evelyn recalls that her Mamaw Monroe would pin a list to her dress and send her to Walt Baker’s store. She would give her an egg to swap for candy, and he would charge the rest. One day Evelyn went to the old kitchen cabinet drawer and helped herself to an egg and went to the store. She says she looked around and picked up an angel food cake. Walt asked her, “What do you want with your egg?” She said, “Dis this.” She says he never quit telling that story.

Spoody’s Pecan Pie has an interesting lineage. Louvenia “Aunt Vene” Sharp Ousley gave the recipe to her daughter, Drama Ousley Beeler, who gave the recipe to Jessie Lynch Booker, who gave the recipe to Spoody (Mona Lynch George), who gave the recipe to Evelyn.

After some years as a Union County elementary school teacher, Evelyn’s mother, Vada, opened a restaurant across from the courthouse (her cousin, Clifford Stiner’s, buildings), called the Star Café. In no time, the restaurant was always packed. People drove from miles around to enjoy Vada’s cooking. The restaurant operated from 1952 to 1977. Some of Vada’s staff members at the Star Café were Alice McCaleb, Lorene Sexton Simmons, Johnnie Campbell and Marie Wilmouth.

"Do it Yourself" includes many valuable details and suggested brands that make all the difference in a successful dish. One detail is–it takes 13 minutes to boil a “hard boiled egg.” Evelyn also says you must use fresh squeezed lemon juice, not concentrated canned juice.

Some favorite brands listed in the book are:
1. Campbell’s Cream of Chicken/Mushroom soup (in the same can).
2. Pet and Carnation evaporated milk
3. Blue Bonnet margarine
4. White Lily flour, self-rising, unbleached
5 JFG coffee, 1 teaspoon per cup. Evelyn says you can’t read the paper through it, but neither will it walk to the table!
6. Hellman’s mayonnaise
There’s lots more advice sprinkled throughout the book.

I now have gotten up the nerve to make hot tamales using Evelyn’s recipe. I not only made them. I have used her recipe three times now. The following is an Evelyn Johnson original:

Kraut Dumplings
Bake two racks of Baby Back Ribs. To prepare, wash, salt, pepper and sprinkle with lots of onion powder. Stand on edge and pour two inches of water in bottom of pan. Cover and cook until tender. This takes two or more hours. Pick meat off bone and set aside. Strain and save broth.
One box Lasagna. Break each lasagna noodle into 3 pieces, add water and cook until tender. Don’t drain. Set aside and the lasagna will absorb the water.
Then add broth from ribs; Add 2 cans of Kraut (drained), then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
Add the pork ribs last and don’t stir after you add the meat. You can layer the meat and noodles in a crock pot if you choose.
Serve with greens, cornbread, onion, white beans and a smile!

Oh! Weary mothers, rolling dough,
Don’t you wish that food would grow?
How happy all the world would be,
With a Cookie Bush and a Donut Tree.

Do it yourself can be purchased at the Union County Museum, or by calling Evelyn at 615-631-5605.

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Events

Luttrell neighborhood watch

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 19:00
Luttrell neighbourhood watch

Luttrell neighbourhood watch meeting every 3rd Tuesday at 7:00pm It takes place in the community building behind the library with speakers each month this can be a great tool for our community to assist one another in brotherly love by watching out for each other. If you need more information contact Jim Bailey at 865-809-4472

Thank you so much
Union County Sheriff's Office
130 veteran’s street suite B Maynardville Tennessee 37807
Phone 865-992-5212
Fax 865-992-2349

Free Eye Exams and Glasses!

Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 08:00

FREE EYE EXAM AND GLASSES AVAILABLE FOR UNION COUNTY RESIDENTS
(South Claiborne County, Washburn, Powder Springs, and Corryton also welcome)
Sponsored by the Union County Lions Club
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
150 Main Street, Maynardville, TN 37807 (Union County High School)
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY!
Call Kathy Chesney at (865) 566-3289
Glasses will be distributed 2-3 weeks after this event.
Sponsored by the Union County Lions Club,
In conjunction with the Smokey Mountains Lions Charities.

Hogskin Festival

Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 11:00
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On Saturday, September 29th, Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center will hold its 19th annual Hogskin History Day Celebration from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This event is family friendly and provides a fun way to celebrate the rich culture and history of our Hogskin Valley community in Grainger County. Event attractions include local musicians, artists, artisans, and historians; children’s activities; exhibits of alternative technology; tours of Narrow Ridge’s eco-friendly facilities and Natural Burial Preserve; a silent auction; good food; and a variety of local vendor and display booths.

Obituary

Melvin Corum

Melvin Corum – age 78 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully at his home with his loving wife of 60 years by his side on Saturday, September 15, 2018. He was a member of Fellowship Christian Church in Luttrell. He especially loved the yearly fall festival and The Life of Christ drive thru exhibit. Melvin was a dirt track race car driver and won many championship races during his career. His latest hobby was restoring vintage cars and trucks.

Glen C. Carmon, Sr.

Glen C. Carmon, Sr.-age 72 of Maynardville passed away Monday morning, September 17, 2018 at Willow Ridge Center. Glen was a member of Fairview Baptist Church and a U. S. Army Veteran. Preceded in death by parents, Thurman and Hester Carmon; brother, Ed Carmon; sister, Ina Carmon.

Survivors: son, Carroll Carmon of Maynardville; daughter, Jennifer Buckner and husband, Tony of Luttrell; three grandchildren, Kali Buckner, Caleb Carmon and Christian Carmon; sisters, Mary Campbell, Marie Johnson and Betty Williams, all of Maynardville. Several nieces and nephews.

George David "Dave" Murphy

George “Dave” David Murphy, Sr., age 63, of Powell went to be with the Lord on September 16, 2018. He was a member of Central View Baptist Church. He enjoyed farming, raising pigs, and working. He adored his grandchildren. He loved helping people, as he would give you his last of anything. He was a selfless man of God. Preceded in death by parents Hobert and Christine Murphy; and brother Phillip Murphy. Survived by his wife of 45 years Kathy Murphy; children David Murphy, Jr.

Ermon T. Bullen, Jr.

Ermon T. Bullen, Jr.-May 2, 1932-Sept 14, 2018 of Corryton, known by everyone as Junior Bullen originally from Washburn, born to the late Ermon T. Bullen, Sr and Hila Johnson Bullen. Preceded in death by the love of his life of 58 years, Mildred Marsee Bullen. Junior was an Army Veteran and retired maintenance man from Claiborne County Hospital. He also loved traveling with Mamaw, watching grandkids and great grandkids at sporting events, plays and such and faithfully attended church where he was a member at Union Missionary Baptist Church.

Carl Edward Fielden

Carl Edward Fielden, age 84 of Halls Crossroads, peacefully entered into his eternal rest in the presence of his Lord Jesus Christ on September 15, 2018. Saved by God's merciful grace as a young man, Carl was a faithful member of Emory Valley Baptist Church. He served his country in the United States Air Force, honorably. He retired from Fairmont Supply located in Nashville, Tennessee. Preceded in death by parents Hobert and Amy Fielden, son Greg Fielden, all of Heiskell, sister Ann Tudor of Manchester, sister Geneieve Humphrey and brother Rev. Glen Fielden, all of Knoxville.

Raymond Eugene Clark

Raymond Eugene Clark age 71, of Knoxville went to be with with his Heavenly Father on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at his home surrounded by family. He was a member of Texas Valley Baptist Church. Raymond lived most of his life in the Halls Community and was an avid sports fan of all Halls community and school sports teams. He was often thought of as the Honorary “Mayor” and Cheerleader of the Halls Community. Preceded in death by parents; Jack Raymond and Allene Wooten Clark. Survivors; sisters, Rosalee Clark Highland and Diane Clark Woods. Brother; Phillip David Clark.

James Warren "J.W." Hughes

James Warren "J.W." Hughes, age 82, of Halls Crossroads went to his heavenly home, Thursday morning, surrounded by his family. He was a member of Fairview Freewill Baptist Church. He served in the U.S. Army and retired from Jefferson Smurfit Corp. J.W. loved the outdoors; hunting, fishing and camping.

He is preceded in death by parents, C.M and Mary Hughes; and brother-in-law, Leon Spangler.

Mitchell Elvis Kitts

Mitchell Elvis Kitts-age 62 of Luttrell passed away suddenly Saturday, September 8, 2018 while away in Florida for work.

Mitchell was a Journeyman painter who took pride in his craft. He was employed by Larry Mitchell Painting Company. Over the years he coached his son’s youth baseball teams in the Knoxville Area. He was an avid fisherman and loved spending time with his boys on the lake.

Myrtle Anne Covington

Myrtle Anne Covington-age 59 of Sevierville passed away Sunday, September 9, 2018 at Physicians Regional Medical Center with her husband by her side. Those who knew Ann will remember her kindness and sense of humor. She was a member of Walnut Hill Baptist Church.

Velma Lozena Dyer Davis

Velma Lozena Dyer Davis, age 87, born at home on April 9, 1931 in Luttrell, TN and passed away on September 8, 2018 after losing her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She retired from Standard Knitting Mill. Velma was a member of Greenway Baptist Church for over 60 years and a member of the Golden Circle Sunday School Class. She loved her garden, especially picking and canning her green beans. Her life was spent caring for other people, especially her family who she loved with all her heart.

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