By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
Editors note: Curt Oden’s column, which usually runs each Friday in the Daily Iowegian, was not printed Friday, Jan. 27 because of the special edition printed to honor MSgt. Travis W. Riddick.
It is nice to know, that we have made it through the month of January without any real bad weather so far this winter. If we can hang in there for a few more weeks, it will be springtime before you know it.
The recipe for this week was sent to me by one of my cousins that lives out east. For those of you that love the taste of chocolate, this recipe sure sounds like it would be really good. It is called the:
Best Chocolate Cake Ever
½ c. (one stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken up
2-½ c. flour
2-¼ c. sugar
1 c. unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-½ tsp. salt
1-½ c. sour cream
1 c. water
2 tsp. vanilla
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken up
½ c. shortening
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ c. sour cream
½ c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
1 box (1 lb.) powdered sugar
½ c. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 sweet chocolate candy bar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans.
Using a microwaveable safe glass bowl, melt the unsweetened broken up chocolate on high for one to one and a half minutes. Stir half way through melting. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt altogether.
Blend the sour cream, eggs, and water together. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed with the mixer for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and blend until the dry ingredients are moistened. Then, increase speed to medium and mix for two minutes. When blended, pour the batter into the three prepared baking pans.
Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, until cake springs back up when pressed.
Once removed from the oven, cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans.
Using another microwaveable safe glass bowl, melt the unsweetened chocolate on high for one minute. Remove and stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, blend the shortening, butter, sour cream, milk, vanilla and salt together. Also add one cup of the powdered sugar and baking cocoa. Mix until well blended and smooth. Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar and the melted chocolate. Mix until thick and smooth.
Place the first layer of the cake on a plate or cake pedestal. Using about 2/3 of a cup of the icing, frost the top of the first layer. Add the second layer and frost with the same amount of icing.
Then, place the third layer on the top. Finish frosting the top and sides of the entire cake.
Garnish the top of the cake with curled shavings of the sweet chocolate bar. This cake should yield 12 decadent servings.
Do you realize it has been 200 years since the big New Madrid earthquakes occurred in the Midwest? It was named for the small town in Missouri where the epicenter was located, along with the fault in the earth‘s crust, that is also named for the town.
On the night of Dec. 16, 1811 just after 2 a.m., the quake sent out shock waves that covered in an area of over 50,000 square miles. That quake would be considered today, as being an 8.2 magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale. In comparison, the great 1906 San Francisco, California earthquake that caused so much damage, was around a 7.0 to 7.3 as measured on the same scale.
People as far away as New Orleans and Washington, D.C., heard their windows rattle. Since, where the earthquake began, was so sparsely populated, only one person was killed in the town of New Madrid itself. Although, other deaths at the time, were reported as far away as Nashville, Tenn. and Cincinnati, Ohio that were caused by collapsing buildings and chimneys.
Closer to where the quake began, the land was described as pitching and heaving, with deep cracks transpiring for miles around. Entire hills and wooded areas disappeared and it caused the Mississippi River to flow northward for a time. It so effected the river’s course in places, it caused land in Missouri to end up on the Tennessee side of the river and vice versa.
The Mississippi Valley was hit again with another earthquake a little over a month later. That one was on Jan. 23, 1812. It was not quite as powerful but it too, caused damage to the landscape.
If that was not bad enough, another bigger earthquake occurred on Feb. 7, 1812. It was a magnitude 8.3 quake. This more powerful one, was felt as far away as New York and Boston.
That time, the Mississippi River developed steep waterfalls in places, as the river tried to find its way back to more of its original course.
Because of the effect on the river, it caused the navigational charts and maps of the time to be of little use following the devastation.
William Clark, who had accompanied Meriwether Lewis on their famous expedition was appointed to be the Territorial Governor in Saint Louis, one year later in 1813. One of his first orders of business, was to apply to the federal government to acquire relief, to help rebuild the effected area from the earthquake. That is believed to be the first instance of federal disaster aid.
If large earthquakes happened from the New Madrid Fault today, the seriousness of the devastation would be enormous, since the population is so great for hundreds of miles around, in the area where that initial disaster originally occurred.
There has been a good response so far, for the memorial bricks that are to be used to erect the pedestal to hold the original bell from the Exline Methodist Church. It is being donated to the town, by Larry and Carol Drake and will be on display in the Hero’s Park southeast of the Exline Old Country Store when it is completed.
If you are planning on purchasing a brick, you need to get your order in as soon as possible. As the money comes in, they will be able to buy the bricks and then they will have them lettered as selected by the donors.
These bricks are going to sell for $50 each. You may have information put on the brick, if you would like to honor your parents, grandparents or any other relative either living or deceased.
This offer is open to anyone, either a past or current resident or someone who has an interest in our town. You also do not need to have been a member of the old Methodist Church to have your information placed on a brick. You may also put your own names or your family’s name on a brick, to be included in the pedestal that will support the church bell. Everyone is welcome to participate and donate a brick for this worthy project.
A maximum number of 17 letters, characters, numbers or spaces may be placed on each line, with up to two lines of information on each brick.
When enough bricks are purchased, the project will proceed, once the nice weather arrives. To have a permanent representation on one of these bricks will preserve it in the park. Once the project is complete, there will be no more bricks available to be sold. So, get your order in as soon as you can.
This project is being sponsored by the Royal Neighbors of America, Exline Chapter 3000. For further information to participate in purchasing a brick, you may pick up a form at the Exline Old Country Store. Fill out the form and turn it in with a check for $50 for each brick you would like to purchase.
If you would like further information, you may comtact project chairman, Mary Ann (Campbell) Hurley at 315 E. Second St. South, Exline, IA 52555, call at (641) 658-2691 or e-mail at: email@example.com.
You may also contact the Royal Neighbors of America Chapter 3000 president, Jean (Traxler) Leach at 28636 Highway T30, Exline, Iowa 52555 or call (641) 658-2623 or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a form that you filled out for your brick, you may also just mail it in to one of those two ladies along with your check, if you do not want to drop it back by, at the Exline Old Country Store.
If they receive the anticipated number of orders for the bricks, they hope to have the pedestal built and the bell on display by June.
Ethan Hurley, the son of Aaron Hurley and grandson of Mary Ann Hurley, is in first grade in the Booneville, Mo. School System. He recently received the Student of the Month Award, for displaying strong character, with caring and tolerance. So congratulations to Ethan!
Recently at the Continental at St. Joseph, across from the hospital in Centerville, some ladies from Exline attended a birthday party for the Terry sisters. The three sisters all celebrate their birthdays around the same time of the year. Deloris (Terry) Foster celebrated her 93rd birthday on Jan. 20. Ester (Terry) McDaniel celebrated her 91st birthday on Jan. 24, and June (Terry) Gallo will turn 87 years old on Feb. 5.
Thirteen guests were present, for the celebration. Everyone enjoyed a nice lunch, followed by birthday cake and ice cream at the gathering.
There is going to be soup supper sponsored by the Exline Recreation Committee held on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the community center. A free will offering will be accepted for payment.