Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson Nation’s #1 movie comes to stage Artectis hosts grand opening Waiting for the ax to fall, who’s to blame? WU Seniors going to State Sci. Fair Peebles Elem. releases Honor Roll Finding the strength to endure They fought for us Born and raised “free range”

Delivering the baked goods

I know I’m always saying that the years when I grew up were so good and I’m sure that a person can tire of hearing that but I must say it at least one more time. I was raised in a time when it was almost taken for granted that a cook was also very good at baking. Almost each meal had homemade bread and/or yeast rolls to go with the meal. Cakes, pies and cookies were also common and delicious. Along with these items were other types of baked goods, everything from doughnuts to corn fritters.

In this are, our home was blessed in because my Mom not only baked, but did it well and enjoyed doing it, an awesome combination in a cook if you enjoy baked goods as much as I did and still do. Please don’t get me wrong, there are still ladies that can bake with the best. It is just not as necessary as it was in days gone by.

My Mom and all of her sisters were pretty gifted when it came to this part of a meal and I can say I know, because I of course tasted their products. My Mom may not won first place for the best cakes or cookies in a contest but she would have been first in volume. She loved to bake and from so many family and friends I hear that Mom always had a pan of Toll House chocolate chip cookies and they were extra good. I doubt very much that there is a soul that can say they went to our house and didn’t get offered some kind of baked goods.

Mom favored baking the cookies (Toll House or oatmeal raisin mostly) as a plate wasn’t needed to serve them and if they got dry, she offered a glass of milk or a cup of coffee to dunk them in. Upon departing our home, Mom would put a few cookies in a bag for the visitor to take with them, I think Mom’s theory on life was that it wasn’t complete without a cookie or two.

When the holiday seasons got near, our kitchen became a bakery, producing the amount one might expect from Keebler. My mother was a lady standing only 4’ 11” tall and weighing 104 pounds, but her unlimited energy was equal to uranium. It went on forever, leaving all others in her dust. When the baking began in high gear, it was truly high gear. Along with the Toll House and oatmeal cookies she baked pressed sugar cookies, snicker doodles, shortbread and even no bake cookies as they didn’t need the oven time. Along with the cookies, she baked Boston Brown Bread in a large number of loaves by saving tin cans and cleaning them and then baking a loaf in each can.

After so much had been baked and Dad, Ben, Peg and I had sampled them until we felt they had all passed quality assurance, Mom then would dig out a pile of small boxes she had been saving all year and wrapped them in Christmas wrapping paper and then commenced to fill the boxes with a mixture of all she had made and then added a loaf of the Boston Brown Bread along with a pack of Philadelphia Cream Cheese to be spread on the bread.

On the two Saturdays before Christmas, she and Dad would load the car up and head out on their route to deliver a box to each person, be it the elderly or physically handicapped and some who just didn’t have any family to care for them. I went along a few times when I was a younger boy and was always amazed at how warmly we were received by these people Mom had on their list. To my surprise in some of the homes where the person was very limited in what they could do for themselves, Mom would maybe wash a sink full of dirty dishes and Dad would carry out the trash or even take the broom and sweep the floors for them.

For as long as my parents were able, they did this every holiday season. I knew the folks would like the cookies as I knew I sure did. but I ask my Mom, “Why do you and Dad do this and even help with their housework?” Mom answered, “Not all folks are as fortunate as we are and it only seems right to give something to those who don’t have that good fortune. Besides it is only a little flour and sugar and some of our time.” With that answer, I never had to ask again.

To my Mom it was a gift she knew how to make and enjoyed giving and we all know that a few cookies can always be a good thing. To this day when I’m offered a homemade cookie I can’t help but think back to a time when I was the fortunate boy to live where the endless line of cookies came from. I can only think that Mom’s gifts were sweet in more ways than one. Then I eat one of those homemade cookies I was offered.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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