Saturday, May 19, 2018

Grandmother's House

I miss the smell of grandmother's house as I enter the back door.

I miss the toile wallpaper and gas fireplace that is lit three seasons of the year.

I miss the purple bedroom where I slept with my aunt until she got married and moved next door.

I miss the red bedroom and huge Gone With The Wind lamp that sits in front of the window.

I miss the ladybugs behind every curtain in the house.

I miss the grandfather clock's toll and Westminster chime.

I miss the winding staircase with heavy wood banister.

I miss the turquoise bathroom with Estee Lauder powder and lingering scent.

I miss the attic where I found my mother in 2012.

I miss ringing the dinner bell.

I miss the radio tuned to WILE, and the whistle of the tea kettle.

I miss the breakfasts of oatmeal, toast, tea and oranges.

I miss Muffet, Ryan, Tilly and Shane.

I miss the cats that gather for scraps and bread and milk in a tin plate on the porch.

I miss the huge trees that shade the parlor and kitchen windows.

I miss the porch swing and rocking chairs.

I miss her.

I miss my grandmother.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Grandma's flower pot now holds my petunias (or so I thought)


The other day I posted these two photographs, intending to create a simple blog about this flower pot.
To make a long story short, I was studying the photographs after I posted this when it occurred to me that this is NOT the same pot.
All of these years I have believed the pot that holds the petunias was the same pot that sat on the flower bed ledge of my late grandparents' house at 1028 Belford Street in Caldwell, Ohio.
I'm sad about this.
But it doesn't mean the pot on the bottom is not also from my grandparents house. I just can't remember where it came from.
My pot is a beauty.  It's old but in great condition. I love the design and the colors.
The pot on the top had a tray too, it appears.
Those are oranges. My grandmother's sister lived in Florida and I think they brought home the orange tree.
I don't remember eating any of the fruit.
I just remember the pot.

Monday, May 8, 2017

V-E Day fell on GI Fred McDonald's 34th birthday

By Matthew O. McDonald


On Labor Day of 1943 Fred McDonald's draft number had finally come up. Born May 8, 1911, at the age of 32 Fred left Caldwell, a small farming community in southeastern Ohio. He had left behind his 23-year-old wife of three years who had just recently became pregnant.

His first stop in route to basic training was Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio then Camp Atterbury in Indiana and finally Camp VanHuston, Mississippi for boot camp. Camp VanHuston was very swampy and the men sent here were trained for battle in the swampy South Pacific. Here in basic, McDonald was trained in the 63rd Infantry as a machine gunner and cannoner (ammunition handler). However, McDonald liked to talk to the cook of the division about cooking so when the cook's age caused him to retire, McDonald ended up with the old man's job. His job consisted of cooking lunch, dinner, and breakfast the following day and then getting a full day off. The 63rd was considered the full division with 1,500 members and its own artillery.

Fred McDonald during World War II

Before the 63rd was sent overseas it was Christmas so the soldiers had Christmas dinner and then were sent to Camp Shanks in New York. While stationed here many men weer allowed to go to Times Square to see the ball drop on New Year's Eve. Shortly after on January 5th the soldiers were briefed and loaded into ships. Although these troops were trained for the South Pacific, they were sent to the war in Europe. After landing in southern France the men traveled up the middle of France to Alsace and Lorraine. They finally engaged in battle while crossing the Rhine into Germany. The 63rd was in connection with the 5th Army, a support group which was in the same outfit as General Patton.

From January to April of 1945 they were in the lines (on duty, in battle) just outside of Munich, Germany. On May 7, 1945 they were relieved at their Munich position, however, the next day the war in Europe had ended. Ironically, V-E fell on Fred McDonald's birthday.

They remained outside of Munich until things became organized. They were keeping patrol duty with the military police. Around September of November of 1945, the 63rd Infantry was split up into carrier divisions destined for home. However, the troops who had not accumulated enough points were transferred into other outfits. Fred McDonald did not have enough points and was transferred to the 84th stationed near Castle Germany. On December 6th, 1945 Fred was drove into Austria and from there he was connected with the 83rd Division. Here he had camped with an outfit called the mechanized cavalry (motorized guns and tanks) which was on patrol duty in Austria close to the Italian border.

This outfit left from here and traveled on the Autobahn for two and a half days to another place in Austria. While on the Autobahn they noticed the Germans had dug up the median and replaced it with green cement. These were used as runways for the Luftwaffe. Planes high above unknowing of the runways assumed it was only a median. The Luftwaffe parked their planes in dense pine forests on the runway/median.

Christmas 1945 rolled around and by that time the cooks and mess sergeant had saved up enough milk and sugar to send it to Stires Austria for ice cream to be made. The troops, stationed in an overtaken hotel, had invited 100 orphans and some sisters from a local nunnery for Christmas dinner. The biggest soldier there dressed up as Santa Claus for the orphans. The orphans then received dinner and ice cream.

The last meal Fred McDonald cooked during the war was spaghetti with meat sauce. The meat sauce was made from wild deer that some soldiers had hunted earlier. A man who worked in the message center was getting seconds and he informed Fred that he was going home around New Year's. Before the man got out of the kitchen a sergeant came in and said, "Mac, you're headed for home," and told him what he needed to turn in. Fred replied, "But I don't have enough points." The sergeant replied, "Well the Red Cross has sent for you." Then Fred started slinging in his returns. Apparently Fred's wife had given birth and the doctor told her dad to get the Red Cross to bring Fred home.

From Austria he went on train to Munich, Germany. While at an overtaken airport, he and about a dozen others tried to get an emergency furlow (needed at home). The men were granted the emergency furlow. While on the plane at Munich they were informed that a cold front was moving in and that they would not be able to leave. They were sent to Leharve, France on a slow moving train. From Leharve they rode on cattle trucks in the cold, to the coast. From the coast they loaded on victory boats and Fred McDonald rode upon the Frederick Victory. It took 15 days to reach Staten Island, New York. Here they were rushed through their complementary steak dinner and given their clean change of clothes. They were sent on a train from New Brunswick, New Jersey to Indiana. While in Indiana some of the troops pitched in for a bus back to Atterbury. While they were there they were debriefed and received medals. Many of the men, sick of waiting, walked to the Red Cross to get help in getting back home. While there Fred bumped into a man from his hometown who worked at the Red Cross. This man helped Fred "to get the hell home." Fred arrived in Cambridge, Ohio (20 miles north of Caldwell) and saw his six-month-old son "Bud," Fred McDonald II, for the first time.


My brother Matthew wrote this story about our grandfather Fred McDonald for a freshman history class (interview piece) at the University of Cincinnati in 1997-98. Grandpa died on Feb. 21, 2000. This is a special tribute to his memory. He was the best grandpa ever! V-E Day is celebrated in America and Britain. May 8, 1945 was the day Hitler killed himself and Nazi Germany declared an end to the war. People called the Victory in Europe Day for it was a celebration for their victory.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Laundry day

I'm in love with Fridays in Amish country because that's the day of the week the laundry is hung outside to dry.
I'm attracted to the many colors of dresses, shirts and overalls, towels and wash cloths, sheets and quilts, and even socks on the lines that are strung across large yards under huge trees, from porches and even from barns.
A string of color set against a white farmhouse or a red barn is a pretty picture that I call art.
I've taken hundreds of Amish laundry photographs in Ohio and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Here are my latest photographs taken on June 26, 2015 in and around Mt. Hope, Kidron, Walnut Creek and Sugarcreek, and many points in between.
Click on photographs to view full size.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day from glass collector heaven

In early December one of two Goodwill stores in Cambridge prepared to close and every item in the store was priced at 10 cents. I bought home nine glass swans that I found in the store in an old box. Each swan was wrapped in a yellowed page from the March 3, 2002, Columbus Dispatch.
Cambridge is well known among glass collectors as it is home to the former Cambridge Glass Company that produced glassware here from 1902 to 1958.
Current glass manufacturers in Cambridge include Boyd's Crystal Art Glass, and Mosser Glass.
Earlier this year I visited Mosser Glass where they confirmed they made my swan salt cellars, from 1973 to 2004. Mosser Glass was established in 1971.
The swans are small, measuring about 3 1/2 inches from end of tail feather to tip of beak.
My cost was 90 cents for the lot! There are no markings. They're selling on eBay for about $10 a piece but I think I'll hang onto mine.

In 2014 Mosser opened a brand-new, 2,100 square foot showroom and retail store. It was my first visit ever to the store. Wow! I love that place.
I bought a six inch cake plate - black raspberry color - and a bell jar.
The cake stand and bell jar on display was filled with very small pink glittery ornaments. I came home and filled mine with these boxes of conversation hearts candy for Valentine's Day. My boys ate them all, weeks ago.
I also bought a small jade bunny on a basket as next week I am putting my snowmen away and decorating for Easter.
I have as many decorations for Easter as I do for Christmas, and the bunny is my latest addition to my collection.
I see a set of mixing bowls from Mosser coming my way. Now I just need to decide on a color.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

The end is near

The notice arrived yesterday.

"The end is near," it reads.

It is the end of my paid subscription to the newspaper where I was employed for a quarter of a century.

I'm relieved.

This is something I've been waiting on since May when I was fired.

Apparently I had my subscription paid through the end of this month and I continue to receive home delivery of the newspaper.

Those who know I got fired cannot believe I even still read the newspaper. They are like "I would have stopped my subscription as soon as I got my pink slip!"

But I paid for it so I'm going continue to take it.

It's not like they are going to give me a refund.

So first I look at the obituaries.

Then I look at the classifieds, and I always look at the auctions on Thursdays. Some day I'd like to go to an auction.

I sometimes read a whole front page story like the one about the man who fell from the Guernsey County Courthouse. Mr. Casto.

Written by the woman who was hired to take my place. Uggghhhh! But the story is magnificent.

I don't have any animosity toward her.

Just her bosses who didn't even say good-bye or thank me for the good things I did for the paper.

So now I'm trying to forgive them for that.

It will be good that soon I will no longer be reminded daily of this place.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Special cookbook from Caldwell fourth-grade class in 1976

This is the final Vintage Family Fixin's column that was published in the newspaper where I used to work.
I've decided to change the name of the column, and I'm brainstorming about that. 

Got a suggestion? send it my way.

I have material for my next blog post which will be about the Club in Caldwell. In my late Grandmother Ruth McDonald's recipe box there are Club recipes. I have recently been in contact with Beverly Ralston, of Caldwell, widow of the late Robert "Bud" Ralston. Bud wrote a history of the Club which Bev shared with me. I will talk about that and share the recipes from the Club too. It's something to look forward to.

I've procrastinated in publishing this cookbook column, which was my last piece of writing with the newspaper. It's been almost seven months since I lost my job and I'm still not settled. Who would have thought it would be this hard. I hope 2015 brings me some peace and motivation.


Welcome back to Vintage Family Fixin's. Today I am sharing "A Special Cookbook" prepared by my fourth-grade class at Caldwell Elementary School in 1976.

Our teacher was Mrs. Beverly Heddleson and our school was located on the hill between North and Main streets. (This is where GMN Tri-County CAC has its offices now. The fourth-grade classrooms were located in the three-story original edifice.)

The first inside page of the cookbook reveals its title:

"Our Mom's Cookbook" surrounded by all of the first name signatures of the members of my grade school class plus mine.

A Special Cookbook from Mrs. Bev Heddleson's fourth-grade class in 1975-76, which is also pictured.

Mom's cookbook was created for Mother's Day that year and is comprised of carbon copies of our recipes in our hand writing. The cover of the book is kitchen contact paper, that was popular at the time, adhered to construction paper. The book is bound by three punch holes and brass prong paper file fasteners. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the signature page that tells it is "Unedited."

That is funny because I see a few mistakes in the recipe I, the former Lisa McDonald, submitted (i.e. graded chedder).

Special Salad
1 1/2 heads lettuce (wash dry put in plastic bag 4-5 hours). Break into bite size pieces in bowl. Layer following 1/2 - 3/4 c. diced celery. 1/2 c. chopped gr. pepper

layer sliced purple onion

pkg. frozen gr. peas cooked

1 pt. Hellman's mayonnaise (spread like frosting)

Sprinkle 2 t. sugar

8 oz. layer of graded chedder cheese

15 strips of bacon browned and crumbled

Cover with glad wrap and refrigerate for 8 hrs.

Do not Toss


Other recipes and their contributors from the 1976 Caldwell cookbook are (unedited and written or copied by fourth graders):

Glorified Rice -- Frank E. Harriman
1 Cup Cold Rice - Cooked

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Cup Crushed Pine Appled Rain

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

1 Cup Whipped Cream

8 Marshmalllows - cut up



Cheese Cake -- Lori Schoeppner
Chill 1 can of canned milk for 1 hr.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 stick oleo 1/4 lb.

1 tblsp. sugar (save 1 cup for top)

1st bowl

1 small box lemon yellow

1 cup boiling water dissolve

2nd bowl

1 large package cream cheese

1 c. p.

2 tblsps. vanilla

beat until creamy

3rd bowl

whip canned milk until thick add contents of 1st bowl

contents of 1st bowl

contents of 2nd bowl

add 1 can drained crushed pineapple

stir well

pour over crumbs crust


Chocolate Chip Cookies -- John Turner
1/2 c. shortening (use half butter)

1/2 c. sugar (white)

1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1t. vanilla

1 c. plus 2 T sifted flour

1/2 t soda

1/2 t salt

cream suger and shortening until fluffy.

add egg and vanilla.

add all dry ingredients.

add 1/2 c. chopped nuts and 1 pkg. chocolate chips

Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased baking shot.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 min


Marshmallow Treats -- Jimmy C (Cantor)
1/4 cup regular butter. 1 pkg. marshmallows.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melters and well blended. cook 2 minutes longer. stirring constantly. remove from Add rice kris pies stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or waxed paper press miture evenly and firmly in buttered 13x9x2 inch pan cut into squares when cool


Chocolate Soda -- Stephen Minyo
Mix in glass 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce

1/4 cup chilled club soda

Add 1 or 2 large scoops vanilla icecream

Fill glass with chilled club soda

Stir to blend slightly and serve


Apple Punch -- Karl Cox
2 cups cider or Apple Juice

1 cup orange on Juice

1/4 cup sugar

Stir until sugar is dissolved Chill

Just before serving Add:

2 Cups Ginger Ale

Garnish with orange slices



Wacky Cake - 2 -- Steve Green
1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. Cocoa

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. soda

dash of salt

1 tsp. vingar

1 tsp. vanilla

6 tsp. cooking oil

1 cup water

Bake at 350 7 degrees for 40 mins.


Molosses Krinkles -- Donald Shaw
3/4 C. Shortening

1 C. Brown Sugar

1 egg and 1/4 C. Brer. Rabbit Molosses

2 1/4 C. Flour

2 t. soda

1/4 t. salt

1/2 t. cloves

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. ginger

Blend Shortening, sugar until creamy. Add egg and Mollasses Sift fry ingredients and add. Roll in ball size of walnut Drop top in sugar Drops two or three drops of water on top.

Bake 8 to 10 min. 350 degrees.

Cookies verey good.


Applesauce Cake a La Mode -- Robin Riggs
2 C. sifted floar 1/4 C. sugar 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 C. shortening 1/2 tsp. each Alspice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves. 1 1/2 C thick Applesauce 2 eggs unbeaten 1/2 C currants or raisins 1/2 C. clates, cut in small pieces 3/4 C Walnuts, cut and toasted.

Soft floor, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt and spices into mixing bowl Add shortening and Applesauce beat 2 min. Add eggs, beat 2 min. Blend in fruits and nuts. Bake in greased 8x12x2 inch pan in moderate oven (350 degrees) 55 to 60 min.


Fudgie Scotch rings -- Tony Hansen
16 oz. pkg. (1 cup) Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

16 oz. pkg. (1 cup) Nestle Butterscotch Morsels

1 can Borden Eagle Co. Magnolia or Dime Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (Not Evaporated Milk)

1 Cup coarsely chopped Diamond Walnut

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Melt chocolate and butterscotch morsels with sweetened condense milk in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling water). Stir occasionally till morsels melt and mixture gebins to thicken. Remove from heat; add chopped walnuts and vanilla. Blend well. Chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour till mixture thickens. Line bottom of 9 inch pie pan with a 12 inch square of foil. Place 1/4 cup walnut halves in bottom of pan, forming a 2 inch wide flat ring.

2. Spoon chocolate mixture in small mounds on top of walnuts to form find. Decorate with remaining walnuts.

2. Chill in refrigerator until firm enough to slice. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Makes about 36 slices.


Date Pudding -- Brad Braden
1 1/2 c cold H2O

1 t butter

1 c Brown sugar

Bring to boil

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c english walnuts

3.9 c flour

1 t soda

1/2 lb dates mix

pinch of salt

Pour liquid in pan pour dry mixture in Bake for 45 min

Bake oven at 350 degrees


Cottage Cheese and Pineapple Salad -- Misty Bates
1 pkg. strawberry Jello

1 no. 2 can Crushed pineapple (not drained)

2 T Suger

1-16 oz. Carton Cottage Cheese (small curd)

1-9 oz. Carton Cool Whip

Mix pineapple and sugar together and allow to boil 10 min., while hot, add the pkg. of Jello. Stir until dissolved, cook in pan of cold water. Add Cottage Cheese and blend. Add Cool Whip, Mix in well. Add Nuts if desired. Pour into an 8x8 pan or any type of mold and chill.


Marshmallows Puffs -- Annette Thompson
36 marshmallows

1-6 oz. package chocolate bits

1/2 c. cruncy peanut butter

2 T. butter

Line an 8 in. sq. pan with aluminum foil, cover bottom tightly with marshmallows, melt chocolate add peanut butter and butter, mix throughly, pour chocolate over marshmallow spaces on all sides of marshmallows, place in refrigerator until mixture hardens, turn candy out of pan up side down, peel off foil, cut candy into pieces store in refrigerater.


No Bake Cookies -- Michael Pangle
2 Cups sugar

1/2 Cup milk

1/4 lb. oleo

2 tablespoons Cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring to a good boil, add 1/2 cup peanut butter and 3 cups of quick cook rolled oats, Mix, drop by teaspoon fulls on wax paper.


Peanut Butter Fudge -- Jennifer Dawn (Creamer)
Combine in enameled saucepan

2 cups sugar

3 Tbsp. butter

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, over medium heat. Boil about 5 min., stirring constantly. Turn off heat and add

1 cup Peanut Butter

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 tsp vanilla

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

stir until melted and Blended. (Place over low heat if necessary). Pour into butter 8 inch square pan. Cool, cut into 1 inch squares.


Individual Brownie Alaska -- Brenda McCullough
1 package (15.5 oz.) of our fudge brownie mix

1 pint pink peppermint or strawberry ice cream

4 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Bake brownies as directed on package. Cut into 3-inch squares; place on baking sheet. Top eat with small scoop of ice cream and place in freezer 1 hour. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff glossy. Cover Brownies and ice cream with meringue, sealing it to edge of brownies. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until meringue is light brown. 9 servings.


Buckeyes -- Jill Smith
1 8 oz. peanut butter

1 lb. powered sugar

1 Tbps. Vanilla

1/4 lb. butter

Mix well - shape into balls

1/4 sq. parifin

12 oz. chocolate

Melt in top of double boiler

dip balls in chocolate

use toothpicks


Sloopy Joes -- Chris Tilton
1 lb. ground beef

1 c. catchup

2 f. chopped green peppers

1 t. Worcestershier Sauce

1/2 t. salt

3/4 celery seed

Cook ground beef, green peppers in skillet until brown. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring mixtures to a boil over full flame. Turn flame to a simmer and cook ten min. Spoon mixtures into hamburger buns.


Chicken Rice Cassoroll -- Wendy (Watson)
Grease casserole with spray Put 1 1/2 cup of washed raw rice all over the pan. Spoon 1 can of cream of mushroom. 1 can of cream of chicken all over the rice by spoonfuls. Put unseasoned chicken pieces on top. Springle 1 pkg. of Lipton onion soup mix (illegible word) over the chicken.


My Salisbury Steak -- Mike Clark
1 egg

1/2 cup of milk

2 slices of white break

1 LB. ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 small onion, finely diced

Beat egg; add milk. Break bread into small pieces; add milk mixture. Beat until well mixed. Combine meat, salt, paper and onion; add to milk mixture. Form mixture into patties; fry until well done. Note: Patties can be make in oven at 350 degrees until done. Yield: 5 servings.


Meat Loaf -- Anne Walters
2 1/2 lb. ground beef

1/4 C. minced onions

2 C. soft bread crumbs

3 tsp. salt

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. mustard (from jar is OK)

2/3 C. tomato soup

1 egg

Soften bread crumbs then add all Ingredients, mix thoroughly. Pat into loaf pan pack down. Butter if mixed night before. When ready put in oven for 1 hr. at 400 degrees.


Chicken Waikiki Beach -- Nick Schell
2 whole chicken legs and 2 whole chicken breasts

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup salad oil or shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


1 can (1 lb., 4 oz.) sliced pineapple

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 chicken boullon cube

1 large green pepper, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch circles

1. Wash chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Coat chicken with flour.

2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken, a view pieces at a time, and brown on all sides. Remove as browned to shallow roasting pan, arrang pieces skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and paper.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Make sauce: Drain pineapple pouring syrup into 2-cup measure. Add water to make 1/14 cups.5. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, pineapple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and boullon cube; bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 2 minutes. Pour over chicken.

6. Bake, uncoverd, 30 minutes. Add pineapple slices and green pepper; bake 30 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender. Serve with fluffy white rice. Makes 4 servings.

Originally published on May 18, 2014, and reprinted with permission from the publisher of the newspaper where I was formerly employed.