A summer CarolAs a new face at the Lake County News-Chronicle, I’ve spent some late nights hunched over file folders, archived newspapers, the Associated Press Stylebook and a keyboard this week. It should be possible to learn 20 years’ worth of journalistic techniques in a day before the paper goes to press, shouldn’t it?
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
As a new face at the Lake County News-Chronicle, I’ve spent some late nights hunched over file folders, archived newspapers, the Associated Press Stylebook and a keyboard this week. It should be possible to learn 20 years’ worth of journalistic techniques in a day before the paper goes to press, shouldn’t it?
On the night before press time, it’s late. I’m exhausted and sticky from the heat and humidity, but this has been a lovely day in spite of it all — maybe because of it all — and my heart is full of gratitude.
Because I stayed late to edit and do some rewrites on a couple of stories, I met Ina Backman. She came into the News-Chronicle’s Waterfront Drive office holding a single sheet of yellow paper. On it, in beautiful Palmer-method script, she had written the recipe for her prize-winning blueberry pie. I had been waiting for that recipe all day. I’d heard about Ina’s pie and I had seen it at the Socially Active Seniors’ fundraiser last week. I even took a picture of it. It was a thing of beauty and I wanted to share the recipe with you. Ina was kind enough to do so, although she was a little embarrassed by all the fuss.
She sat down at the table in our reception area and we talked for a bit. I wanted to know more about her pastry-making prowess, where she got the recipe, when she won the blue ribbon — all of that. What I learned though, was about the true prizes in her life; son Glen who lives in Duluth, but works here in Two Harbors, son Paul who is a teacher on the White Earth Reservation and her daughter, Carol, now deceased, and how special she was. Carol died of an aggressive form of colon cancer and I could see that some of the memories were still painful. But Ina she wanted me to know about Carol, in this story about the pie.
Carol died just 2 ½ years after her diagnosis and she left a husband, Cleavy Hoover and son, Cole, who live in Mississippi. The Hoover men come up to Two Harbors twice a year and Ina says she has the joy of seeing her daughter Carol in Cole, now 20.
I have never experienced a loss like Ina’s. I could only study her face as she spoke and hear her tone change slightly as she told me about Carol. There is still sadness, of course.
When Ina left, I thought about the nature of sharing and community. We all have things to share and most of us find ways to give to others. But today the gift is ours. We have been given the story of a special young woman, her mother’s love and a memory to carry on through this recipe and Ina’s generosity.
Although Ina calls this pie “Fresh Blueberry Pie with Glaze” I think I will call it “Carol’s Blueberry Pie”
Thank you Ina, for sharing your recipe (it’s surprisingly simple) and your memories with us.
Have a baked pie shell ready.
Cook—2 C blueberries, 1 C sugar and ¾ C water. Bring to a boil. Mix a little cornstarch with 2T of water. Add this to the blueberry mixture and bring to a boil again until thick.
Add 2-3 C fresh blueberries to above mixture. Pour into baked pie shell. Refrigerate.