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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nannie's Peonies

Nannie McIntosh, my great-grandmother who was born Julia Emily Burbank in 1864, was a remarkable woman.  She was a hard worker.  Among other things, she made homemade mincemeat which she shipped to the Boston, Massachusetts market and S.S. Pierce Foods.   She made and sold mincemeat well into her 80's shipping more than one half ton mincemeat her last season.

Nannie's recipe was a closely guarded secret which was never sold though she had multiple requests for it.  It is believed that one of her granddaughters had possession of that recipe after Nannie's death but the recipe did not pass down to the next generation.  This is sad because some family members still love the rich taste of homemade mincemeat, which is very much different from current store-bought mincemeat.

Nannie was also a fabulous flower gardener.  Her perennial bed was renown for miles around and people came to view it on their Sunday drives.  One of my greatest treasures is the clump of peonies that I received from her garden, one of the last of the plants that survived there years after her death.

Nannie's peonies, Summer 2016--taken from the porch while waiting hopefully for the bear that scared me on the road to come to the compost pile.  He did not.  The peonies are way more beautiful than they look in this photograph.
Originally we owned two clumps of this beautiful plant but one was moved during some construction and did not survive that move, which makes this current clump so precious.  They made a glorious showing this year.

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