Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 24, 2014

reflections on My DNA

— I have been a member of ancestry.com since its inception - even before, as I was one of the first to participate in rootsweb.com which was subsequently pirated by a few not-so-good people and turned into Ancestry. Ah, but that is another story.

Anyway, I have used Ancestry for years in my research and writing, and for my birthday this past December, Raf gave me my DNA test to run. This is something I had been wanting to do for quite some time, and I was excited to see what nationalities are in my background.

The first kit arrived; I spat into the vial; I returned the vital to Ancestry; they, in turn, said it wasn’t correct and sent it back to me.  The second vial was handled in the same way, and, low and behold, the results came back.

I discovered, not to my surprise, that 99 percent of my ancestry is European.  Of this, 35 percent is Western European, 28 percent is Scandinavian, and 24 percent is Irish. There are trace amounts of other European blood, that being, 6 percent from the Iberian Peninsula, 4 percent being Italian or Greek, 1 percent being English, and less than 1 percent being from Eastern Europe. The less than 1 percent remaining is from the Caucasus Mountain area.

Interestingly, my grandmother always said she was Scots-Irish, but there appears to be no Scots blood in me. The Scandinavian blood is accounted for by the migration from that area into the rest of Europe and the British Isles.

My grandfather came from Germany in 1888, so I was not at all surprised at the Western European percentage, but I found it interesting to have some Spanish, Italian and Greek blood. The one that surprised me the most was the ancestry from the Caucasus area. How every interesting.

After providing me with my bloodlines, Ancestry also sent me matches with other Ancestry users who have also done the DNA tests.  There I found one third cousin and many fourth through sixth cousins!  I have already been in contact with three, who have led me to more.  And these are people whose line stems directly from my line!  It is an interesting beginning journey.  I just love finding cousins!  Being an only child, and having only seven first cousins on my father’s side and none on my mother’s side, I feel I am cousin deprived!

I encourage you, if you are interested, to send your spit in to ancestry.com for analysis.  It’s really a lot of fun, as well as being interesting.

I have a friend who went through 23andme.com to find ancestry and health DNA results.  That is another way to go, and the test are both $99.

Now for the recipe I promised.  This is from Mary Creighton, president of the Mineral Wells Woman’s Club (remember you can purchase their new cookbook for $15 by pre-ordering with check to Mineral Wells Woman's Club, PO Box 413, Mineral Wells, TX 76068).

This is Southwestern Irish Stew, and it feeds about 30 people.

*2 pounds of stew meat, cut in smaller pieces than packaged (this is important)

*2 medium onions diced. Saute these together until meat is medium and set aside.

In a large pan or small pressure cooker place the meat and onions to these ingredients (I used a slow cooker and cooked 7 hours):

*2 or 3 peeled and diced large white potatoes

*1 stalk of celery diced

*1 package of carrots that are peeled and cut into smaller pieces.

If I cook all these items in a pressure cooker for just a few minutes, I cook then, take off to cool so I can take the lid off.

Remember this is a BIG pot of soup.

To this mix, I add:

*Large can of Ranch Style Beans

*can of black beans

*can of corn

*can of butter beans, if desired

*can of Rotel tomatoes and peppers

*l large can of diced tomatoes

*Martin's Seasoned Salt, more salt and pepper to taste.

You may need to add extra liquid. I would start with two cups water or if you desire a more tomato flavor, you could use V-8 vegetable juice (I used tomato juice).

All of these ingredients should be now cooked on slow heat to blend the flavors. I like to cook it a day before I need it and store in containers in the refrigerators to blend the flavors even more. To me second day stew or soup is the best!