Larry’s grandmother, known as “Mom” to all of her family, was a frugal woman, having raised her five children during World War I and the Great Depression. Her careful use of resources continued throughout her life and exceeded our prideful recycling programs today. Stories of her creativity abound in the Kennel family lore. When her enamel wash basin wore through, she stuffed a rag in the hole and continued to use it. When her dish clothes thinned and tore in the middle, she cut them in half and sewed the outsides together, forming a “new” one. Bread crumbs were gathered and thrown out as food for the birds.
Like many women of her era, she sewed her own clothes, often using the cotton fabric from feed sacks. (You can read the fascinating history of feed sacks used for quilts and clothing here) Not only did she transform colorful printed fabrics into dresses, she also used the plain white cotton sacks to make her underwear. One of the few times Larry remembers Mom being upset was when family members saw her underwear drying on the washline and teased her because the feed company’s slogan, prominently displayed, read “Full O’ Pep”!
Frugality did not hinder hospitality. Every year for decades, Pop and Mom Kennel hosted a hymn sing in a wooded grove on their dairy farm. This event was a highlight of each summer, and the entire Kennel family, along with fellow church members, spent weeks getting ready for the day. Everything had to be meticulously cleaned--farmhouse, barn, grove, and meadows used for parking, and single plank wooden benches were set up in the grove. At its height, “The Singing” drew thousands of folks from all over the region.
Mom was also a good cook and her handwritten recipe book gives evidence of her joy in using the best ingredients available as she prepared tasty yet hearty meals for her family each day.
These memories have influenced our own desire to provide gracious hospitality and a welcoming space for friends, neighbors and family. Our winery and tasting room is the latest representation of our commitment to hospitality.
We are thrilled to honor this remarkable woman with the release of Mom Kennel‘s Blackberry Wine at a special event in our tasting room this Friday night, March 1. Join us for a night out with friends, wine, chocolate and live music! The doors open at 6:30 p.m., with live music from 7 – 9 p.m. Each ticket holder will experience a taste of Blackberry Wine in a dark chocolate shot glass made for us by Wolfgang Candies in York, PA. There will also be a chocolate fountain complete with an array of fresh fruit and accompaniments for dipping. Wine will be available for purchase by the glass or the bottle.
Purchase your tickets on EVENTBRITE.
Mom Kennel with her Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren 1971
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