Everything Ruth Qualls has done in her life has been done with style and class.
She and her husband, James, were married for more than 60 years and raised three girls, Vickie, Donna and Janet. One daughter was a blonde, one a redhead, one a brunette.
Ruth's body is frail now due to strokes and other ailments that come with age, but she continues to want to help others -- and insists her daughters do the same.
What a gifted homemaker she was, keeping an immaculate house and preparing healthy meals for her family. She sewed beautifully and shared her talents with whomever wanted to learn. She introduced "corn bags" to the area -- and everyone who has one can attest to the soothing power they carry.
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Known for her generosity, Ruth gave her time and talents as a faithful member of the Ribaut Garden Club. She was president more than once, and eventually got the garden club involved in the state association, where they won a number of awards. She kept scrapbooks of all the club's activities and even had her yard certified as a bird sanctuary. She enjoyed watching birds from her kitchen window.
Ruth was known to make sourdough bread. She shared loaves with church members, family and friends. A woman of true faith, she taught Bible study to young people and held Ladies Bible Study in her home. She encouraged others to follow her example.
Ruth often invited church visitors and friends over to her home for lunch, where she would serve chicken salad sandwiches and Beaufort tea. Later she added her ham delight sandwiches. She gained a reputation for this menu.
Beaufort is Ruth Qualls' home. She was a caregiver for her mother and husband. She is proud of her daughters and loves to share the stories of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, delighting in their successes.
There is nothing she would not share with others: the history of the area, flowers from her yard, food from her table. She is an example to others.
Recipes are from Ruth Qualls' personal files, submitted by her daughter Vickie Norris.
NOTE: "My mother made this without doing much measuring, just tasting. I advise you to do the same," said Vickie Norris.
3 cooked chicken breasts (NOTE: Chicken should be cooked in chicken broth with a stalk of celery and a small onion), chopped up in a pot on top of stove. This really enhances the flavor.
5 boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup celery, about 1 stalk
Chopped sweet pickles to taste
1/2 cup Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Spread on bread or rolls to make sandwiches,
1 cup butter
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons mustard
1 medium onion, minced
3 packages Pepperidge Farm party rolls, split
1 pound boiled ham, chopped up
3/4 pound Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter, poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and onions. Spread tops and bottoms of rolls with mixture. Add ham and Swiss cheese divided evenly over the rolls. Wrap in foil and bake for 10 minutes. Cut individual rolls to serve.
Makes: 10 servings
5 cups water
5 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
3 or 4 small tea bags
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Boil water with cloves and cinnamon. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon. Add tea bags and let remain until color darkens well, then remove. Add sugar, orange juice and lemon juice. Stir well.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.