We spent a week in our hometown in Michigan earlier this Fall. One of the highlights of the trip was attending an estate sale at what has come to be referred to as The Heddon House. My hometown, Dowagiac, Michigan, was the headquarters for the Heddon and Sons factory, one of the most well known manufacturers of fishing lures in the United States.
I remember as a young child passing The Heddon house on my way home from school. I remember wishing that I could have a look inside and hoping that someday I could have such a lovely home. I never got the chance to see it until the estate sale this Fall. The home had passed from the Heddon family to another prominent family in the Heddon factory and it was their possessions that were being sold. I actually graduated from high school with the son of this family.
I find estate sales to be bittersweet. Having strangers pawing through what may have been lovingly acquired belongings is unsettling. But on the other hand, if those belongings go to people who knew the family and that brings the family to mind every time they use them, then their legacy will live on. At least that will be the case for us.
The fish filleting knife will be much loved by David. Not only does it have the date stamped on the handle, but it has Mr. Lund’s name engraved on the sheath. Trig Lund was an executive at Heddon and Sons and became the historian for the company. By the way, I have to thank my sharp- eyed sister-in-law for spotting and buying the knife. David had to bargain with her after the fact to get it. Thanks Barb. David also bought Mr. Lund’s barometer and a fishing stool (not shown).
I did not know Mrs. Lund personally, but I picture her as a sophisticated lady who traveled widely and loved to entertain. Her cookbook collection was extensive. This trout casserole caught my eye. I wonder if she ever used it? The recipe sounds delicious. David catches trout in Lake Lure and I will definitely be trying the recipe in this casserole. I think she would be pleased. We also bought that beautiful red plaid wool blanket.
I bought three of Mrs. Lund’s cookbooks. Feasts for All Seasons by Roy Andries de Groot was published in 1966. At that time cooking seasonally was a unique concept. It was the era of canned and boxed convenience foods. The recipes are interesting and reflect concepts that we are espousing today. To sample the cookbook I made the author’s Pork Chops with Apples and Apricots.
The apples, onions, apricots and cranberries make an aromatic chutney similar to the fruit salsas that I have used with meat before. The thick pork chops cook in the mixture and remain moist and delicious. It was a very good dish and a great cookbook. I’m looking forward to perusing the tattered copy of Helene Sailer’s Own Recipe Book. I wonder what story that book could tell.
I would like to think that by purchasing well loved items from an estate sale, memories of the previous owners are honored.
PORK CHOPS WITH APPLES AND APRICOTS (Adapted from Feasts for All Seasons)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 1-inch thick center cut pork chops
3 medium onions chopped
3 medium tart apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 ounces each of dried apricots (chopped) and dried cranberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In an oven proof casserole brown pork chops in 1 tablespoons of olive oil until browned on both sides. Remove to plate. Add more oil to pan. In it cook onions and apples until they are softened. Add the seasonings and stir. Return the chops to the casserole. Add the broth and wine. Place a lid on the casserole and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour, checking once to be sure there is enough liquid. Add more broth if needed.
Remove casserole from oven. Turn the oven to broil and adjust rack so that casserole will be 3-inches from heat. Mix soy sauce and olive oil and with a brush paint the tops of the pork chops. Place casserole back in oven and broil for a few minutes to brown the tops of the chops. Serve from casserole.
Note: I halved the recipe