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Day 16 - Charlerton, West Virginia

The country side was absolutely spectacular looking out the window of our plane just before we landed in Charleston, West Virginia. The Kanawha River meanders through the valley and mountains surrounding the capital city.

I said to Ziggy, "West Virginia was the 35th state in the USA and it became a state on June 20, 1863. West Virginia became the 35th state of the Union on June 20, 1863. Created in the midst of the Civil War, West Virginia provided to the Union Army 31,872 regular army troops, 133 sailors and marines, and 196 United States Colored Troops, during that terrible conflict of 1861-1865. It is also estimated that somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 men served in the Confederate Army in this war of "brother versus brother."

I told Ziggy that the state bird is a Cardinal. She wanted to go to a baseball game. I said, "It's a bird." She meowed, "Does any state have a cat for a state animal?" I said I didn't know.

We met up with Charleston Charlie. He's 87 years old and was known for his West Virginia Cabbage, Sausage and Apple Soup. He told us about his Great Granddad and how he and his brothers were in the Union Army.

"They fought in the Battle of Shepherdstown. In terms of casualties, the Battle of Shepherdstown was the largetst battle in what is now West Virginia. There were 622 casulties," he said.

This is when Ziggy pulled her West Virginia hat out of her bag.

I asked him what it meant to him to be an American. He said, "My family came over here from Ireland way back in the mid-1700's. They worked the land and made a life for future generations. My family members have fought in every war the US was involved in with pride since they came over here. Just like we work our land, we work for our country by supporting it in good times and bad."

He continued, " Now, my pappys' pappy came up with this recipe and this recipe is enjoyed all over the state of West Virginia. How bout we go git sum?"

"Sound good to me and Ziggy. Let's go!" I said.

This is a great soup on a mild Spring day or in late Fall. Here's the recipe.

Charleston Charlies West Virginia Cabbage,
Sausage, and Apple Soup

Serves 4

2 - 3 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 cups prepared coleslaw mix (available in produce section)
l med. onion, chopped
l teaspoon thyme
5 cups water
5 chicken bouillion cubes
l/2 lb. smoked sausage, cut up
2 med. unpeeled apples, cored and chopped (about 2 cups)
l/4 teaspoon black pepper

Melt margarine or butter in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.

Add coleslaw mix, onion, and thyme. Cook 5 to 8 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender.

You may cover with lid a few minutes if you need to and stir occasionally.

Stir in remaining ingredients and cook partially covered another l5 or 20 minutes until apples are tender and flavors are blended, stir occasionally.

As stuffed mushrooms go
West Virginia
Mountain Mama
What's good for a group
Is some of this soup.

_______________________________

After dinner, Chalie took us down to the Kanawha River to show us the spot where his great Grandfather and Grandmother had met and had planted a lot of lillies that still grow today.

"Every generation since has named their first born girl Lillie. One year, there were 46 Lillies in our family. Boy, was that confusing."

We had to get to the airport so we said our goodbyes and thanked Charleston Charlie for his soup and time. We're going to Topeka, Kansas next and don't know what we'll find there.

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