Saluda News & Notations: Never open the oven door unless armed with baking soda

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 1, 2018

“I am as constant as the northern star/Of whose true-fixed and resting quality/There is no fellow in the firmament./The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks,/They are all fire and every one doth shine,/But there’s but one in all doth hold his place…”

~ Shakespeare,

from Julius Caesar

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Can you believe it’s the first of June?

As usual, I’m left scratching my noggin wondering where time flew off to — spring turned to monsoon season before we recovered from pollen overload!

Last week, the weekly whine was about food poisoning. Now that bout is (hopefully) coming to an end, I’ve felt like occasional baking again. It’s therapeutic for those who love to cook to roll out a handmade pie crust or stir a vegetable soup during a lazy rain-soaked Sunday afternoon.

So, how do you make apple pie if you only have two apples? You create a lovely French tart: slicing apples paper-thin and arranging over crust that is carefully arranged on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Then pop the tartlet in the oven and clean up the flour, pastry cloth and rolling pin.

You rinse and straighten up bowls, toss peels in the compost bucket while puttering around, enjoying sniffs of cinnamon-apple-deliciousness. River Dog hovers near, sniffing too.

By the time you do a double-take when spying flames dancing around in the oven, you’re realizing your tart has started a revolt. Parchment paper, filling, a flambé dessert you never planned on. Oops!

Most cooks know — don’t open the oven door unless armed with baking soda, or just wait until the filling spillover has burnt off.

Hollering “fire in the hole,” baking soda ammunition in hand (I was NOT losing the war), I managed to avoid soda-bombing the tart, although a good bit of the juices had hit the oven floor, a sticky-blackened mess.

C’est la vie, this chef thought, pulling that tart out of the carnage. Snipping off charred parchment, I slid a slice on a china plate. It was wonderful!

The mess, not so much.

• Saluda Welcome Table at Saluda Methodist Church is every Tuesday from 5:30-6:45 p.m.

• Saluda Tail Gate Market is open every Friday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street.

• Saluda Living in Place is offering free blood pressure and diabetes risk screenings on the third Tuesday of each month at Saluda United Methodist Church’s Wesley Cottage, 132 Greenville St. SLIP will have a free breakfast to all Saluda veterans at Saluda Fire Department at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 6. “Let Food Be Your Medicine” will be presented by Dr. Lisa Broyles on Wednesday, June 13, at 1 p.m. Pre-diabetes screening will be available at 12:30 p.m. and after the presentation.

• Saluda Singles will have a potluck on Thursday, June 14, at Saluda Center at 5 p.m. Singles over 40 welcome; for information, contact Anita Odgen Moore at 749-3335.

• Saluda Train Tales are held the third Friday each month April-October at Saluda Historic Depot.

• Learn about Saluda Community Land Trust by visiting or calling 828-749-1560. A “Walk in the Woods” is Sunday to the Old Homeplace; meet at Saluda Library at 2 p.m. to carpool. For information on walks, contact Chuck Hearon at 828-817-0364 or

• Saluda Get-Well goes to Ruth Anderson, Ralph Morgan, Rita Igoe, Roy Eargle, Mary Ann Asbill and Peggy Wolf.

• Happy 41th Anniversary to Wayne and Cissy Thompson.

• Happy June Birthday to Nancy Barnett, Verne Dawson, Peggy Ellwood, Anna Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Amy Violet Ford, Terry Arrington, Julie Arrington, Susie Welsh Hearn, Jeremy Edwards, John Savage, Eleanor Morgan, Mary Lu Price, Sigi Hendrickson, Edna McKee, Lucinda Pittman and D.J. Gaskin.

Thank you for reading this column; as ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly mountain town called Saluda. Feel free to contact me at, 828-749-1153, or visit