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The State Parks of Arkansas - The Natural State: E-Newsletter
"Just a Walk in the Park" Newsletter

Recognize these "Naked Ladies?"

They are a type of lily that we see popping up all over Historic Washington State Park. Ours are vibrant red, though pink is the more common color, hence one popular name is Pink Ladies. There are many common names for this sort of plant. The ones I hear most often are Surprise Lily, Spider Lily, Magic Lily, and Resurrection Lily. 

The red spider lily is in the genus Lycoris, and in the amaryllis family.

In late summer, most often during September, red spider lilies will begin to sprout and bloom. The stems and flower buds quickly emerge reaching their height in about a week. Since they often go unnoticed until they are in full bloom, it is a surprise when all of the flowers appear because it happens in such a short period of time. There is no foliage present during this time.

If you would like to plant some bulbs and have this easy to care for flower in your yard. Check with some online flower stores or ask a property owner to share some bulbs with you. They reproduce quickly. Please make sure to notice our blooms while you visit the park.

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Newsletter
for this important announcement -
There is a new baby in the park family. Park Curator, Josh Williams and wife Jaimie, welcomed a beautiful daughter into the world on October 1, 2012. Watch next week's newsletter for more details and pictures.

Frontier Days for Home Schools
starts this Week.

Thursday, October 4, 2012 is the day special programs will be set up for Home Schooled families to enjoy hands on learning of frontier life. Arrive at 9 a.m. and enjoy as much, or as little, as you want until 4 p.m.
Many families like to make a picnic lunch to enjoy in the Pecan Grove next to the Candle Shop.
Why not add a research of common pioneer foods and make some of these to enjoy as part of your experience? If you have frontier clothing, you are encouraged to get into the spirit and wear these. Here are some ideas to create your own lunch (biscuits and bacon) and an outfit (option A) to wear (option B).

New Activity Books Available
The Gift Shop in the Visitor Information Center of the 1874 Courthouse has some new items available for the young and young at heart. "A Soldier's Life in the Civil War" is a coloring book to match a program on Civil War soldiers done by our staff. The "Old Fashioned Farm Life" coloring book is not your average coloring book. It has very detailed pictures that depict frontier and farm life settings that older and more accomplished artists will enjoy. "Civil War Coloring Book" covers items and scenes common to both armies. There is a more engaging "Civil War Color and Learn" book available as well as one filled with "Civil War Paper Soldiers." For the young ladies and fashion conscious readers, we have the gorgeous and fun "Godey's Lady's Book" paper dolls! These can all be used just for the fun of learning and coloring or added to your curriculum for interactive learning. Please stop in and check them out. 

You Are Here
A new information board has been installed near the main parking lot outside of the Visitor Center to help people get more from their park experience with less effort. One side of the board contains a large map of the park and town with a large yellow star to mark the "You Are Here" location. This will help visitors orient themselves and plan their path around the park.
Upcoming events with details and descriptions are also displayed on the board. It is a convenient place to check for any programs being offered that day, so you won't miss anything that is important to you.
Future plans are in process, for other information boards in other areas of the park to help visitors get their bearings and move in the best direction to the next site on their tour.

Dutch Oven Workshop Photographs are available for viewing online. Look at our Calendar of Events and get signed up for the fun at the next one.

Since we are having Frontier Day for Homeschools this week, I thought it might be nice to post some recipes that families could make and bring for a picnic lunch that would be much like what people on the frontier or traveling by wagon might have eaten. Some people happily at biscuits and bacon twice a day and some people suffered through it. Either way, it was a common meal and one we can easily make from common ingredients today.
Martha White Biscuits with "Hot Rize Plus"

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
2 cups Martha White® Self-Rising Flour
1/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening
OR 1/4 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
3/4 cup milk

1. HEAT oven to 450°F. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with no-stick cooking spray. Place flour in large bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk; stir with fork until soft dough forms and mixture begins to pull away from sides of bowl.
2. KNEAD dough on lightly floured surface just until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 2-inch round cutter. Place biscuits with sides touching on prepared cookie sheet.
3. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
1. OLD-FASHIONED BUTTERMILK BISCUITS: Substitute 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk for milk; add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to flour, if desired.

Fried Bacon

To fry bacon to crisp perfection, start with a cold skillet. Carefully separate the bacon pieces from each other and place them side by side in the cold skillet.

Now place the skillet over medium heat. The bacon will begin to sizzle and turn translucent. Here's the main tip: don't move the bacon until it releases easily from the pan.

You can gently lift the edges as the bacon starts to brown on the first side, but don't lift it or force it until it releases. Then turn the bacon, using tongs, and cook on the second side until it releases easily again.

Keep turning the bacon frequently for even cooking. The bacon is done when it looks like bacon! The noise will subside dramatically, and when there are no more pink, white, or translucent areas on the bacon, it's ready. Remove it to a paper towel to drain, then eat!

Or use this quick and easy way to get great bacon that keeps hot splatter risk away from kids (and big cooks, too)
Broiled Bacon

Step 1

Position your oven racks. According to Purdue University, broiling any type of meat takes a direct heat put out by a flame or an electric heating unit. Place your oven rack only about three inches from the heat source to broil bacon.

Step 2

Preheat your broiler. Turn on your oven's broiler and allow it to heat up as you prepare to cook your bacon.

Step 3

Prepare your bacon for broiling. Remove the rind from the bacon slab, if necessary, and slice the bacon if it didn't come pre-sliced. Carefully separate cold, pre-sliced bacon strips by sliding the edge of a butter knife between the slices and gently moving the knife back and forth.

Step 4

Place the bacon on a rack in your broiler pan. Don't let the bacon slices touch or the fat in the meat will cause the strips to stick together.

Step 5

Place the broiler pan in your oven. Set a timer for two minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully slide out the oven rack and flip the bacon slices over with a fork or tongs. Slide the oven rack back in and set the timer for another minute or two, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove the broiler pan from the oven when the timer rings again.

Step 6

Season your bacon. Add a dash of salt and pepper to your broiled bacon, if desired. Eat your bacon as is, add it to a BLT sandwich or crumble up the slices to use as a healthy substitute for commercial bacon bits.

If a frontier family needed to be saving with their flour, they would use cornmeal. Here is another recipe you can try. (Remember that pioneer families brought chickens and cows with them for milk, butter, and eggs)
Corn Dodgers

2 Cups yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Cups milk
1 Teaspoon baking powder

Preheat Dutch oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook cornmeal in a saucepan with butter, salt, sugar and milk until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Add baking powder. Spoon the mix onto the Dutch oven in heaping tablespoon-size balls, then bake for 10 to 15 minutes. They are done when slightly brown around the edges.

And for dessert- fry up some of these;
Fried Cakes

Mix well with fork 1-½ cups of flour and 1 cup water. With plenty of flour on hands and rolling surface, roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch squares. Heat rendered beef fat (or any oil) in skillet, and add dough squares. Brown on both sides. Sprinkle fried cakes with salt. Makes about 20 cakes.

Sprinkling the Fried Cakes with sugar can make them a great dessert.

We hope to see you on Thursday with some of your frontier food for lunch and we know you will have a great day. We will!

Sign up for weekly and daily specials from Williams' Tavern Restaurant - click here.
Check out this week's specials - here.

Check out our Calendar of Events.

Frontier Days for Home schools October 4, 2012 Frontier Days for Home Schools

This red heart symbol designates programs involving physical activity and promoting heart health. Dancing with the Stars "Washington Style"
October 6, 2012 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Introduction to Forging Workshop
October 6 -7 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Heritage Gardening in the Fall
October 6, 2012 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The Art of Candle Making

October 12 - 14

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Dutch Oven Cooking 2--

Beyond the Basics

October 13

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Harness and Driving Workshop

October 13

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Art of Candle Making

October 19 - 21

  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Washington After Dark

October 20

6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

This red heart symbol designates programs involving physical activity and promoting heart health.Pack a Picnic - History Hike

October 20

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The Art of Candle Making

October 26 - 28

  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Washington After Dark

October 27

6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Volunteer opportunities are available! Call Vicky at 870-983-2558 or email.
Follow us on search for  @HWSPeNews for up to the moment tweets.
Group Rates - Call and reserve a time for your group of 20 or more and everyone gets $1.00 off their ticket price.
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  Historic Washington State Park
P.O. Box 98
Washington, AR 71862

Phone: (870) 983-2684
Fax: (870) 983-2736

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