American Visitor in Dungannon

After her retirement from Television in 1954 Beulah moved to Carmel Valley, California. There she and Bill built a lovely home in the hills where she was able to have horses and pursue her dream to write novels. Three novels were published by John Day in the early 1960s, two based on the life of her father (Keepers of the Bell and Wild Imp). Later she wrote about the California Missions in The Listening One (also published by John Day) and Old Father’s Long Journey (Published by CLC Press).

Two additional works are available online through CLC Press. They are Papa’s Story, the story of her father from about the time he married Beulah’s mother and Mary of Agreda, a story of a nun from Spain whose visits to the American Southwest are the basis of native American legends of the “Lady in Blue.” Mary of Agreda never actually left Spain, but was able to describe in great detail the peoples of the Southwest and communications with them.

But i digress…this story appeared in a local Irish newspaper on the occasion of Beulah’s first trip abroad.

from the Dungannon (Ireland) Observer, June 26, 1954

Staying at present in the Northland Arms Hotel is Mrs. William J. Powers, of Chicago, U.S.A. Exactly half of her two weeks stay in this country has been spent in Dungannon. The modest people in this town will be inclined to raise their eyebrows in unaffected astonishment at this phenomenon.

The explanation is simple. Mrs. Powers has reason to believe that her father, Mr. William Mullen came from around these parts and is assiduously tracing his ancestry — so far with little success. He left this country about 1867 at an early age to work in the coalmines in Newcastle. From there he entered the shipping business in Edinburgh and hence emigrated to San Francisco where he made a great name for himself, but more of that later. He was a great horseman. Mrs Powers is certain that he came from Co. Tyrone, but her only other clue as to hes whereabouts is his occasional mention of Moy. His mother’s name was Henry. Combining his interest in mining and horses and his mention of Moy, Mrs. Powers has deduced, and rightly so, I think that he probably came from somewhere within a ten mile radius of Dunagannon. He seemed to have had some previous experience of mining and where else woud he get this in the country other than in Coalisland where the canal, which latterly was used to bring coal from Belfast to the town was originally built to transport it from Coalisland to that city.

Visit Curtailed
Mrs. Powers has unfortunately had to curtail her stay here and to cancel her projected tour of Europe owing to the sudden illness of her aunt who accompanied her, and who is now in the South Tyrone Hospital. They plan to fly back to America as soon as she is fit to travel.

Smart well-dressed and youthful, Mrs. Powers combines the vitality of the New World with a warmth and friendliness which betrays her Irish ancestry. Intelligent, gifted and energetic, she has evidently inherited many qualities from her father who must have been a remarkable man.

The San Francisco Earthquake
He rose to a position of importance in San Francisco and after the great quake of 1906 was appointed by the Governor of the city to organise relief camps for the destitute. His work in this sphere was so remarkable as to catch the eye of Hollywood, who some years ago made a film of it. Mrs. Powers, who has appeared on television in America and has all her life been engaged in newspaper work, is at last realising her ambition to write a novel. This, her first book, is based to a certain extent upon the character of her father, and for this reason she is very anxious to catch the spirit and atmosphere of Ireland between the years 1855-65, which was his background. She spent a busy week in Dublin listing the willing aid of the Folklore Commission and Au Bord Failte. She told our reporter that she was very satisfied with the results and only regrets that her time here is so short.

A Contrast
Her father was responsible for initiating a great irrigation scheme in San Joaquin, California, which gave much needed water to a parched but fertile soil. Perhaps Mr. Mullen was urged onto his invention by his boyhood memories of our soft Irish rain. If only we could we could export this commodity, what a rich nation we would be. There would be none of the customary outcry against free trade in this commodity.

Asked about her impressions of Ireland and its people, Mrs. Powers said that the thing which stood out most clearly to her were the firm spiritual values which this nation held. She said that on the whole, such values were not met with in materialistic America and when they were, as sometimes especially with American-Irish, they stood out impressively. She thought that we in Ireland did not appreciate our good fortune in this respect being as it were all the same sea-worthy boat. She said that the Irish in America were liked everywhere. ” Indeed, I venture to say that they are THE most popular nation. They are more loving and affectionate and more ready to give time and friendship to others than their more self-centered American neighbours.” She had no explanation for the query as to why Irishmen abroad work so much harder and get on better materially than they do at home. Possibly a knowledge of history and economics plus a psychological analyses of Irish temperament would explain this characteristic.

Of Dungannon itself, Mrs. Powers had several flattering things to say, though naturally she was chary of criticism before a “native.” She thought the girls pretty and the young men fine and upstanding and was only puzzled at the slow and low marriage rate. Here again a little background knowledge would assist, but since the topic has been flogged to death in newspapers around the country, it is better left without comment. Sufficient to say that Mrs. Powers failed to detect any signs of the Vanishing Irish. To her we seem very much alive and kicking.

Well, there you have it. Mrs Powers or Beulah Karney on stage and television, a charming and unaffected American Lady, slow to critise or make rash judgments, who frankly admits that she likes us but for the complacent spirits let us emphasise she didn’t add “as we are” coming to Ireland for research on her book and to trace her forbears and we hope to enjoy herself. We think that Irish people would be as readily disposed to like Mrs. Powers and hope that she has enjoyed her short stay in Dungannon and that she will meet with some success in her search for Henrys and Mullens. Perhaps readers of this column could help her in this task.

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The Homemakers Corner: Strawberries

from The Homemakers Corner, May 31, 1934

Strawberries are in season now and everyone is probably hunting for recipes using this delicious berry either cooked or uncooked. Here are some good recipes so that you can have some lovely deserts during the strawberry season or you can cook these berries and have some delicious preserves, jams, or berries that may be used for pies, puddings and such during the winter months.

Rhubarb Preserves
2 quarts rhubarb, cut in small pieces
6 cups sugar
2 cups water

Boil sugar and water together until the syrup becomes brittle when dropped into cold water. Drop rhubarb into the boiling syrup and cook mixture until it is thick and clear. Pour into clean, hot jars and seal at once.

Rhubarb and Fig Preserves
3 1/2 quarts rhubarb
8 cups sugar
1 pint chopped figs
1 lemon
Cut rhubarb into small pieces, add sugar and let mixture stand overnight. In the morning boil until thick and add 1 pint of chopped figs and the juice and rind of 1 lemon. Cook rapidly until mixture is thick and clear. Pack while hot, into clean, hot jars. Seal immediately.

Strawberry Preserves
Use firm, ripe strawberries. Take two quarts (do not increase quantity) and scald them, leaving them in the boiling water 2 minutes, then drain. Add four cups of sugar and boil two minutes, counting the time after the entire contents of the pan is bubbling. Remove from fire and after bubbling has stopped add two more cups of sugar and boil for five minutes. Count time as specified, after which pour into shallow pans so the preserves will not stand over 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep in the pan. Let stand over night, next morning pack the cold preserves in sterilized jars and seal with caps and rubbers in the usual way. This method of scalding keeps the berries plump and retains. the color.

Five-Minute Short Cake
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or thick cream
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Break egg into measuring cup. Fill with milk. Put all ingredients together and beat five minutes. Bake in layers. Spread strawberries between.

Other recipes in this column:
Strawberry Preserves
Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberries Supreme
Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Conserve
Canned Strawberries (open kettle)
Strawberries (jar cooked)
Strawberry Preserves
pdf version of Homemakers Corner May 31, 1934

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The Holden Enterprise – The Homemakers Corner

Beulah wrote The Homemakers Corner for The Holden Enterprise in the late 1920’s to the mid 1930’s. These columns consisted of recipes and household tips sent in by readers as well as reports from early cooking schools and even her travels to California to visit her mother. These columns along with Beulah’s uncanny sense of how to sell (advertising, products, and herself) eventually led her to Kansas City, MO and a successful radio career. From Kansas City she went on to Chicago and eventually into television.

Many of the columns from the Holden Enterprise have been preserved and passed down from mother to daughter and eventually to granddaughter. To further preserve them they have been trimmed and scanned so that they may be shared through this site. Beulah used some of these recipes throughout her career, modifying them to meet the needs of sponsors and updating for the times. These classic Depression Era recipes are the foundation for many of our favorites today. I hope to share many of these columns with readers with time.

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Food My Husband Does Not Like

Beulah had a wicked sense of humor as is evident in the following column, which would have been written about three years into her marriage and a year or so after her daughter was born. The best part is that her husband that she is pulling the wool over on is the publisher and editor of the newspaper she is writing for. She never lost this sense of mischievousness. We used to ask her to tell stories about her amazing life, to write a book. She would get a twinkle in her eyes and say “the best stories i would never tell.”

from The Homemakers Corner – Conducted by Beulah M. Kearney – The Holden Enterprise – 1930

It is not uncommon to read recipes of husband’s favorite dishes. Newspapers often print them. But to date little has been said of those dishes that husbands do not like. Out of poor cussedness, I am going to tell you of the food my husband does not favor. Somehow I always derive the greatest pleasure in preparing these dishes. They challenge one’s ability and at the same time prove that men do not always know what they like. Of course, women do. (I shall have to catch the proof on this myself if it is to see the printed page). If you have not been accustomed to cooking things your husband avowedly does not like try it. You have no idea how much fun it will be to hear him say, “I don’t know what this is but it is awfully good.” Then you may have to give it some fancy name as Florentine Omelet instead of Spinach Omelet or Souffle De Luxe instead of Baked Squash. What’s in a name anyway except to make the meal appetizing?

Florentine Omelet

Among the things my husband does not like is spinach – few men do I guess – and it is a dish I have often. Florentine Omelet has received the biggest success. To one cup of cooked spinach I add 4 beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons of milk, 1/2 of a chopped onion and salt and pepper. I fry a clove of garlic in hot olive oil or butter and before pouring in my omelet batter remove the garlic. The flavor is there in just the right amount. I cook my omelet until it is nicely browned on one side, fold it, and turn it before covering it and finish the baking. If you have time to separate the yolks and whites and fold the stiffly beaten whits in last the result is more fluffy omelet.

The only dessert I know that my husband does not like is apple pie. I am fond of it and make it frequently. I use Mrs. Geneveive Browning Hale’s recipe that was printed in this column last year. A similar recipe was contributed by Mrs. Holiday only a few weeks ago. A number of women here have used it with success, too. My recipe is a variation from both, simplified a little and using grated cheese after the recipe contributed by Mrs. W. A. Clark some time ago. I made it last week “I don’t know what this is,” my husband said a little cautiously but “is just about the best pie I ever ate.” My meaness got the best of me. “Oh, that’s the apple pie you don’t like,” I replied. “Well let me have another piece of the horrid stuff,” he replied and “make it bigger than the first if you don’t mind.”

I have had a request for this delicious pie and reprint the proportions given by Mrs. Hale which are: 22 large size graham crackers, rolled and mixed with 1/2 cup of butter as you would in making biscuits. The cracker and butter mixture is pressed to the pie pan instead of being rolled as the usual case. You will find this quite easy to do, molding a little at a time until the entire surface of the pan is lined with the crust. Then the cooked, sweetened apple sauce is poured in. Care should be taken not to cook the apples too much or add any more water than is necessary to keep the sauce from burning. Bake in a hot oven, about 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until the crust is done. Your will find it will crisp when cool as cookies. do. Top with whipped cream or grated American full cream cheese.

pdf version Food My Husband Does Not Like

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Dutch Dressing (for Iceberg Lettuce)

This recipe comes from Beulah’s Homemaker’s Corner column in the Holden Enterprise, March 23, 1933. It was contributed by Norma S. Newton. Other recipes in this column include Puff Pastry Shells, Fruit Salad Dressing and Mince Meat Cookies. It is transcribed as written:

Dutch Dressing (for Iceberg Lettuce)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons chutney, cut fine
1/2 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
2 tablespoons chili sauce
Beat the cheese, chili sauce and chutney, add the oil gradually. Beat in the seasonings and vinegar slowly. This makes a delicious thick dressing.
pdf of the original column coming soonDutch Dressing on Iceberg Lettuce
I actually made this dressing…not too bad…a little sweet for my taste buds so i added a small amount of Sriracha hot sauce to spice it up a bit. It is much like a Thousand Island Dressing…but a little sweeter. The use of cottage cheese in place of mayonnaise is interesting…took a blender to actually get it smooth.

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Southern Fried Chicken Pies

Mrs. L. E. (Kathleen) Claiborne’s Famous Southern Fried Chicken Pie, published in Liberty Magazine May 1948. Beulah went to Mississippi to interview Mrs. Claiborne on the recommendation of her publicist, and later New York Times Food Editor, Crag Claiborne, who boasted that his mother was the best cook in town. Mrs. Claiborne ran a boarding house in Indianola, Mississippi and boasted that she was able to cook three meals a day for six boarders for less than the price of one meal in a restaurant!

This was also a favorite of Beulah’s daughter Ann when she wanted to impress guests during the 1950’s.
Fried Chicken Pies
Southern Fried Chicken Pies
The Filling:
Blend together
2 tablespoons flour with
2 tablespoons cream
1 ½ cups thin cream and cook until slightly thick
Pour a little over
2 beaten egg yolks
Add to thickened cream and season with
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Add 1 cup diced cooked chicken (meat from half a chicken)

The Pastry
Make a 2 cup batch of regular pastry, biscuit mix, or biscuits.
The latter is made as follows:
Sift cake flour, measure
2 cups
And resift with
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Cut in
3 tablespoons shortening (if a stewing hen is used, cook the day before, chill broth, and skim off fat)
Make a well in center and pour into it 2/3 cup milk, or enough to make a soft dough

Turn dough onto lightly floured board. Roll as thin as possible (about 1/8 inch) with floured pin. Cut in rounds with saucer (5 ½-inch size). Place a spoonful of chicken on one half of round. Fold over as for turnovers. Press dough together with fork. Fry in deep hot fat (360° F., or hot enough to brown cube of bread in one minute). Fry only a few at a time. Turn as they brown. Pass golden sauce separately. Makes 8 pies.

Golden Sauce
Sauté until brown
½ cup mushrooms, diced
1 medium-sized pepper, seeded and chopped in
2 tablespoons chicken fat or butter
1 tablespoon flour and blend
1 cup chicken broth
Add to remainder of sauce used for filling taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

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