Monday, July 18, 2011

Waltons 2.2: The Odyssey

Airdate: 9/20/73

Guest star Sissy Spacek returns in this episode, playing Sarah Simmons, a wide-eyed girl with dreams of love, marriage and starting a family. When a frustrated John-Boy decides to go to a secluded cabin to spend the night (to get some quality writing time), he discovers Sarah there; she had run away from her adopted parents’ home and reveals that she is pregnant and married to a young man who left to find work at the WPA. She is also ill with a severe fever, so John Boy nurses her back to health and even delivers her baby. Returning to the Waltons’ homestead, they find Sarah’s biological mother, who finally makes amends with her daughter. Sarah tells her that she is rightfully married, but an inconsistency in her story implies that she actually isn’t.

Spacek once again demonstrates her acting chops in this episode (particularly in the childbirth scene), and another supporting character, Granny Ketchum (played by Frances E. Williams), has a nice, meditative speech on aging and dying, and making room for the newly born. Subplot about a contest in which the whole family takes part offers more of that warm, Waltons verisimilitude. Jim-Bob endures being called a sissy when he enters the family’s classic tomato preserves recipe. Here it is!

4 c. tomatoes
4 c. sugar
2 sm. pkgs. or 1 lg. pkg. gelatin
Prepare your canning jars for canning. In large Dutch oven pan or 4 quart saucepan puree in blender 4 cups of stewed tomatoes. Pour into saucepan. Pour in 4 cups of sugar. Cook on high heat. Bring to a roaring boil. Stir occasionally and constantly for about 30 minutes. Once you're sure all is dissolved and mixture has boiled for a good 30 minutes, pour in packages of gelatin; stir in well and mix. Cook about 15 minutes. Take off stove, heat and pour mixture into canning jars. Seal canning jars, and store.

Viola! Who says you can’t live off the land anymore?

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