Skating queen - People bring in books and magazines they no longer want to the Clifton,Colo., library, and I was happy to pick up last year's March issue of CAPPER'S - and more so when I read 'Open Session.' Kenneth Roberts, of Winnebago, Wis., wrote in thankingyou for publishing his story 'Cherishes memory of ice skating with Mother.'
I love iceskating. I learned to skate by myself on a frozen pond in my home state of New Jersey. I regretnever pursuing it further - I just didn't have money to take lessons. I'd skateon frozen areas, such as outdoor basketball courts that were flooded with waterand left to freeze so that everyone could skate at no charge.
I am now 60 yearsof age, and I still skate. In fact, I had a small part in a summer ice show ata local arena. My favorite skaters are Peggy Fleming and the beautiful icequeen of long ago, Sonja Henie.
I found a VHS copyof Henie's 1937 skating movie, 'Thin Ice,' co-starring Tyrone Power. TheHollywood Golden Age was a little before my time, but I must say I enjoywatching Ms. Henie and Tyrone.
I'm sure that Mr. Roberts'mom knew of Henie. My own mother, who never skated and who passed away severalyears ago, once mentioned the famous skater to me. My mom was of Norwegiandescent like her.
Helen R. Ketts
Many nicknames - When I receivedmy October issue, I couldn't believe all the nicknames everybody had. I comefrom a family of eight - three girls and five boys.
I had an uncle, Roy Knipfel, who gave each of us kids a nickname. Therewas Florence(called 'Tools'), Mabel ('Bettzie'), Earl ('Jigger'), Raymond ('Fritz'), Harly('Jin'), me ('Dutch'), Merle ('Pickle Puss') and Arnold ('Mouse Nest'). We alsohad a cousin, Lawrence, called 'Casey.'
To this day, everybody calls Lawrence 'Casey.' I had a brother who alwayscalled me Dutch, but he passed away, so nobody calls me Dutch anymore.
When we went toschool, we were called the 'Sniffle' kids. Why I don't know. Perhaps theycouldn't pronounce our last name, Knipfel.
Another curiousthing is that though I was born in September, I didn't get a name untilDecember. Until then, I was just called 'Babe.'
Dorothy M. Meyer
A home for gnomes - A few yearsago, I saw a photo in CAPPER'S of a tree stump (''Elf' has the rightanswers for inquiring kids,' Sept. 16, 2003). That gave me the idea to fix upmy oak tree stump. I call it my 'Gnome Home.'
Farm memories - I got married to a farmer in 1938, and aneighbor gave us hens as a wedding present. One day, a man came by selling CAPPER'S.He said he would take chickens as payment. That's how I got my firstsubscription.
I bought dresspatterns from it and made dresses out of the printed feed sacks chicken feedcame in. Ladies in the neighborhood would exchange sacks to get enough to makedresses.
Later, I gave mymom CAPPER'S as a present, but I still read it. Now, my daughter hasbeen giving it to me as a Christmas present every year. I'm still enjoying it.
St. Clair, Mo.
Peculiar pickles prove to be a hit
Editor's note - Last year, we printed instructionsfor making Kool-Aid pickles (or 'Koolickles') and for frying pickles - andencouraged readers to send letters our way recounting their experiencespreparing pickles. Here's a sampling of some of what we heard back. Thank youall for writing.
Favorite flavor - I enjoyed yourarticle on Koolickles. My sister gave me a recipe for them this summer, so Imade some. The flavor I liked best was lemon-lime. I've also eaten deep-fried dill pickles, which were very good.
Go deep ... - To make fried pickles, do not pan fry them.After you dip them in batter, deep fry them in oil. Any cooking oil will do.Fry them like you would when preparing fish or chicken.
Around here, theyuse dill spears, and it's very good. Try them - you'll like them. They are onthe menus in all the fast food places around here.
Dorothy H. Harting
… Or use a skillet - Our family hasbeen frying cucumbers for at least four generations. It was one of the recipesfrom my family that my husband and children also love.
Never fret if youfind a cucumber missed in the garden that's too large for canning or slicingfor a salad.
Simply peel andslice lengthwise between ¼ inch and ³/8inch. Dredge with flour and placein a skillet of hot grease. Cover and fry to golden, turn and repeat. Salt andpepper to taste. Yum! Easy!
Sometimes thecenter slice has too many seeds, and it becomes soggy. Just discard it.
Delicious anywhere - Fried dillpickles are served at the Pearl Street Grill on the town square in Harrisonville, Mo.We aren't a Southern town, but lovers of dill pickles say they are very good.
Mary Kathryn Yoder
Open SessionWe welcome letters from readers. If you have an opinion or comment on an article you saw in CAPPER'S that you'd like to share, send it to Open Session, CAPPER'S, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.