Cotton Gin is now a pleasant trip for family

My sister and our two brothers got together for a mini-reunion in Crandall, Garland and Rockwall for a short visit last week and discovered that we had all gotten a bit older and some had gotten larger and some smaller.

But we are all still here and had a great time remembering good times from the past. We had lunch in Crandall at a restaurant called The Cotton Gin on Highway 175, southeast of Dallas between Seagoville and Kaufman.

Our Uncle Hollis Dietz and Aunt Dottie owned the gin while we were growing up and it now has been made into a nice restaurant with lots of good home cooking and a lot of the workings of the old gin were left in place and used as decoration.

My brothers spent a good deal of time there (they may have worked there at times) but I did not like going to the cotton gin.

My grandmother always said before a trip to the gin, “Be careful if you go there because you might get sucked up in the vacuum with the cotton!”

To my knowledge, no one was ever sucked up the vacuum tube with the cotton, but I believed with all my heart that I might be the first one.

But it wasn’t at all scary while eating turnip greens, pinto beans and cornbread, etc.

Sister Judy had copies of some old pictures of all of us on the porch of my Adams grandparents house, which was used briefly in the movie “Bonnie and Clyde.”

The movie was shot at some other locations in Crandall and around the area as the outlaws supposedly had a hideout near there and once robbed the bank.

The bank is now something else, maybe a restaurant, and my grandparents house where we had many good times, is literally falling apart. That was sad to see but in my mind, it is just like it used to be.


Another good thing we had to eat was this banana bread made by sister Judy. I have used the same banana bread recipe for probably 40-plus years, but I am now switching to this one. It was delicious.

Hallelujah Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir together well to blend. Stir nuts into flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add bananas, sour cream, vanilla and melted butter and mix until well combined.

Make a well in center of the flour, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until ingredients are fully combined.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking another 25 to 40 minutes until done. You may need to cover the loaf loosely with foil to keep it from browning too fast.

Remove loaf from oven and cool in pan until cool enough to handle, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1 large loaf, about 12 thick slices.

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2010-05-20 digital edition

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