The season of spaghetti dinners

This seems to be the time of year for spaghetti dinner fundraisers where hungry people who are glad to be free of most of the snow of the past winter season come out in droves.

The Friends of Smithfield held a pasta dinner in their fundraising attempt to bring in money for whatever needs to be done in cleaning up the burned-out building on Main and North streets.

Evelyn Clouston told me it had to be called “pasta” as it was not spaghetti. Actually it was rigatoni, which I like better as there is no winding strands on the fork and having them fall back off again.

JoSana Maul was busy in the kitchen for the entire time, and there were many servers in the main dining room

There was a Chinese auction with many lovely gifts to be had if the correct ticket was pulled from the deposited bag. I wasn’t lucky in that respect but had a wonderful meatball and pasta dinner and dined with Judie and Tony Phillippi again.

We were partakers of lunch together at the Smithfield United Methodist Church the previous Sunday. They were a busy bunch, selling 130 dinners total, along with the tasty Easter treats made by Karen Rish.

Larry Rish was busy selling tickets for the dinner, just as his dad, Bob, had done in the past.

Ron and Brenda Vanderborne came out from Richmond to see the hometown people and have a good meal, too.

I got to talk to Cindy Grace when business slowed down at the FOS benefit, and we discussed people we each knew from the days of Smithfield High School. John Borkowski is another Smithfield High School alumni who moved away, to Kirtland to be exact. He keeps us all straightened out with former student addresses and deaths.

Jared Pflugh and Emily Slaughter, the two Smithfield residents from the Backwoods Gang 4-H Club that originates in Bloomingdale, were busy packing up take-out dinners and wrapping silverware. It was nice to see young people helping out.

Jene Watkins, a former Smithfield High School alumnus and resident, was one of the diners, along with Rodney Roe, who was buying one of Richard L. McElroy’s books. His choice was “Battlefield Presidents.”

Then we had another spaghetti dinner, this one by the Purple Circle 4-H Club to raise money to conduct community projects, such as planting flowers at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and in the East Springfield area and participating in parades and such.

All the 4-H members who are available assist with the dinner in some way. They filled bread trays, cut and served cake, brought drinks, carried trays with the pasta dinners and did cleanup.

Cylene Wood had a Chinese auction where I won a peanut butter pie baked by Amanda Wood. You really have not tasted peanut butter pie until you taste hers. I ate almost half myself in three days’ time. She makes a terrific coconut cream pie as well – this I know as she saved a piece for me for dessert at the dinner. As I told her, it pays to know people.

Shirlene and Herk Wood, the patriarchs of the Wood family and founders of the 4-H club, were enjoying the dinner and their grandchildren who are all 4-H members, along with all of their sons.

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The U.S. Bank in Smithfield was hearing plenty of car horn noise on April 18. There was a sign out front announcing that it was Christy Holmes’ 40th birthday so “honk your horn.”

Happy birthday was sung by the Wintersville Women’s Club to Todd Piergallini on April 17 for his April 14 birthday. I know how old he is, too, because my son, Jay, will be the same age in August.

My dear friend, Florence Turnbull, celebrated a birthday on April 13. In our younger days, we would make plans to do something fun on that night, and it would end up snowing.

We always made up for it another day, though.

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There have been many people coughing and sniffing from the flu for the past two months. There isn’t any way to breeze through this terrible time, but Prevention magazine has listed some ways to make the suffering less disturbing.

To curb a cough, the magazine suggests a mixture of cayenne pepper and honey to take by the spoonful. Just watch how much cayenne is used. That stuff is powerful.

To kick the flu or a cold, try olive leaf extract. It will make the illness a lot shorter. It also will kill viruses. It doesn’t mention where to purchase the olive leaf oil. You might try a health store.

White tea, with its high antioxidant levels, is suggested. Also, this method was tried and true for a bridesmaid who wanted to be well by the time of her friend’s wedding – 1/4 cup chopped garlic mixed in a half glass of tomato juice. She said no one wanted to get near her for a week but she felt fine and looked good in the wedding picture.

Woman’s Day magazine had a way to soothe the sore muscles that come with the flu. First, when one sock seems to have disappeared forever, keep the lone survivor and fill with uncooked rice and knot it at the other end. Microwave it for about a minute in 20-second increments, or until it is warm to the touch. Apply to the aching area as you would a heating pad.

Another thing that can be done with four lone socks is to put them on the legs of furniture to be moved. The heavy table or couch will slide across the floor without leaving a scratch on the floor that way.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at