This is the first day of the rest of my life and I'm marking one item off my "bucket list." I love telling stories, yarns, etc. and for the past 25 years have written weekly articles for the DeKalb Newspapers and now I get to try blogging. It has been said of me that I write about old days and old ways, along with modern tales of our adventures here on The Windy Knoll, our home place. Drop in just any time to see what's going on. Now let me say up front I'm no Julia Childs or Paula Dean - not even a distant relative - but I will be writing about cooking now and then. As best I can remember the only thing considered fast food in this house is a cake mix. I cook from scratch like the old timers used to do. I'll be posting old and new articles and in most cases the published date will be to the right of the title. That way you can read along (with a few pictures) and see what the aging process has done.

Ah, Beautiful Blossoms of Winter

NOTE: A blog post from one of Mrs. Crumly’s unpublished works.

It’s a sight to behold, the blossoms on our sun porch – and it January.  Several years ago a friend gave me an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas.  Then, apparently, forgetting what she had given me the year before she gave me another blub the next Christmas.  Well this year these plants have been a show.  The last bulb bloomed with two very large bright red blooms and has gone out; however, Number One is still in bloom.  Every year it produces two stalks and each stalk has four super large red blossoms.  Gorgeous!!

Maybe twelve years ago I was given a strange looking plant by a friend in Gardendale.   She told me it was some kind of orchard and it bloomed in January.  Of course, the plant has grown over the years; I’ve repotted it, rooted from it and given plants away.  The blossoms look somewhat like small hyacinths and there are eight white blossoms now open.  After it finishes the bloom cycle, I’ll have to prune again.

This is to say nothing of the African Violets in bloom at the same time.  The violet story is another pass-along plant story.  A number of years ago I had a friend who worked at place that sold plants and she would grab plants headed for the garbage can and try to save them.  One year she brought me eighteen violets in need of repotting, pruning, etc.  I went into action, repotted, pruned and gave away more than plants.  I have 12 left which were repotted this fall and heavily pruned.  Four of them are now in bloom with buds showing on other plants.  These are really pretty blooms – variegated – at least most of them are.  My favorite is the purple and white one – of course, it would be since that’s Geraldine High School colors.  One year in Georgia a friend asked me if I help repot her violets.  We got a table out in the yard, emptied the overgrown violets out and I pruned and pruned, and then reset.  That night when her husband came home, she cried and said, “Mrs. Crumly has ruined my violets.”  Well in a few months she had the prettiest violets one could imagine.

Another pass along plant was given to me this Christmas and when I opened the gift I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two.  It was Paper White bulbs.  When I was a child Mother used to grow winter Narcissus (which is what Paper Whites are ).  She put gravel in a shallow pot, put the bulbs in the gravel with a little water and then stuck them way back in the cabinet and left them in the dark for several weeks.  Today’s bulbs are handled differently; however, in gravel and I planted in a deep jar to help hold up the stalks.  Their blooms are opening.

This has to be some of the best of country living.


Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

It’s Jigsaw Puzzle Time

John and I became fans of jigsaw puzzles while he was in the U. S. Air Force.  We spent many hours at the USO where there were always puzzles on the tables — we also enjoyed singing around the piano and just visiting with other service people.  Christmas-Jigsaw-Puzzle-001

Now in the winter we always keep a puzzle on the sun porch.  It’s right by the window and one can sit there, soak up sunshine and attempt to find the puzzle pieces while leaving everything else go.  You should see my house and how it needs attention –who cares?  It’s our house and our mess anyway it’s no fun to hold onto the walker and try to run a vacuum.

Last week our youngest came and brought two new puzzles — one being a Coco Cola one and the other a Christmas scene and made by the Lang Company.  I always have Lang calendars hanging out here on the porch and now I have a puzzle.  It’s a really nice one with thick pieces making it easier for John to pick up the pieces.  Perhaps you didn’t know, but my maiden name was Lang and I brag to my family that this company is owned by some of our rich cousins.

Puzzle after puzzle will be constructed here this winter and we have a stash.  Our oldest had a big box of puzzles shipped to us and not one puzzle has been opened from that big box. We used to do the 1,000 piece ones; however, now we opt for the ones with 500 pieces.  A few years ago, our family doctor (my nephew) in NYC gave us a 2,000 piece puzzle — it was the Brooklyn Bridge and a night scene.  Wow!!  We had to have an extension put on the card table the puzzle was so large.  John hardly touched it and I struggled ’til I got to the sky, which was all shades of purple, and I gave up.   Thanks, Sam, but no more biggies for us.

This is one of the ways we’ll spend our winter days as we long for spring and enjoy country living.


This puzzle below was recently finished by my mother, Mrs. Mary Sue Austin.
This puzzle was recently finished by my mother, Mrs. Mary Sue Austin.

This puzzle was recently finished by my mother, Mrs. Mary Sue Austin.


Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

A Windy (very windy) Knoll Report

Whew!  For an old couple this is a busy week.  We can’t handle going somewhere every day and this week is doctors week for us.  We’ll keep I59 hot as we run up and down the interstate to meet various doctor appointments.  And on top of that, we’re freezing.  We are having an early fall here.

Wish you could hear the conversation as we travel along — it’s a lesson in mechanics (I think).  John doesn’t drive the 70-mile-an-hour speed limit and, of course, we are the slowest ones on the road. The reason?  It would burn too much gas. Vehicles small and large, to say nothing of the 18 wheelers, whiz right on by us.  You would think we were in reverse.  Then John’s conversation starts about how “he (meaning the other driver) has his RPMs revved up.”  I don’t even know what he’s talking about, but just listen.  He sees things differently since he spent so many years working as an airplane mechanic.  Then he is in awe at the length of the trailers the big rigs pull and has lots of comments about that.  If it’s a flat bed trailer and he can see what’s on there, we have a conversation about what it is and maybe where its headed.  I thought ours would be the only such conversation; however, I was telling a younger friend about this and they happened to be travelling in the opposite direction on I59 one of the same days we were and they had a similar conversation.

We’ve been told already this week that John has some macular degeneration and that gives us a new concern.  He already has to have a flash light to read the thermometer or set the correct temp on the oven.  I can’t imagine this man being blind — wow, his caretaker would have his or her hands full. He is such an active person — for him to sit for any length of time is virtually impossible.

So much for a Windy Knoll Report — perhaps you’d rather read the telephone book — but nevertheless, this too, is country living.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

As Time Goes By…..

DSCN5465-001As I am all nice a comfy on my bed with my screen door open to feel the nice cool breeze and hear the rain (I know I may be the ONLY person in Alabama with a window open on this cold wet Sunday afternoon) watching the birds come and go to the feeders. I am so sad that I did not get to take our fall ride over Sand Mountain with Mrs. Billie Crumly. The Lord called her home June 22, 2014. Seems like only yesterday to me.DSCN1722-006

The trip last year with Mr. John and Mrs. Crumly was very nice and beautiful but the leaves this year were really much better than last year because of the rain we have had. She would have loved to be in the car riding around just looking at God’s beauty. But, she is getting to see all of God’s beauty, with God. How about that for great looking fall colors. Eternity of fall leaves and beauty.

DSCN1815-001I just wanted to share with all the blog readers, and there are many, some of the photography I have been blessed to do the last few weeks. Mrs. Crumly has really been on my mind so strong this fall with each and every photo I have posted here. I still want to pick up the phone and ask her, just one more time like she has not told me 5 times already, what plants do I need to bring in and what is ok to leave out for the winter. I think just maybe I have that figured out now. We will see what is still alive next spring.DSCN1652-001

Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.

Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.


Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama

Oh and that wonderful bread or Friendship Cake she could make. I can just smell it now. That would be so nice for us here in North Alabama on this cold rainy day with a hot cup of coffee.

Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.

Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.

I remember our talks about how I just did not see butterflies or moths around my home anymore. Well she took care of that after she passed away. My yard had several different butterflies and moths for the first time ever.  DSCN1017-002

When Mrs. Crumly started the blog she was afraid no one would read it. “What if I cannot think of enough things to write about every day,” she would say. With all due respect, I knew she would always have something to write about each day. Then as time went on she was so thrilled to be getting 400 hundred hits a day. FOUR HUNDRED hits a day, what a thrill. Four hundred quickly became 1,000, yes ONE THOUSAND hits a day. WOW! She would just cry when she would call me and tally up the numbers every night at 9:30pm. And you would have thought an earthquake was coming when she had 2,000 hits in one day she would be so excited.  DSCN1801-001

On behalf of myself, Donna Crumly Harvey, Beth Crumly Littlejohn and Mr. John (the man who makes everybody walk the line, and I do mean er’body as Aunt Bill would say) this little web blog that Mrs. Billie Crumly started on June 1, 2013 with the very first post being, “Reminiscing With A Friend” and 490 post later has had no fewer than 4,218 hits A DAY since October 28, 2014. OVER FOUR THOUSAND HITS A DAY!  WOW!

White Hall Methodist Church. Hammondville, Alabama.

White Hall Methodist Church. Hammondville, Alabama.


I am not much of a math genius but my calculator is and it told me that in the first 8 days of November, ‘Country Living’ web blog received 43,125 hits.

I will say it again.


Do you think Mrs. Crumly is bragging to F. Scott Fitzgerald or Mark Twain?  (ha ha, a little Sunday afternoon humor, or not?)

Humming Bird at The Windy Knoll.

Humming Bird at The Windy Knoll.

I want to thank each and every one of you, the readers, for your patience when a new blog is not posted every day. That is just not possible with our daily lives to be lived. Country Living has readers all over the world so I have found that in leaving a blog post up for more than one day, seems to still be getting thousands of hits a day. Donna and Beth are two very busy, always on the go kind of ladies. And as you know, Donna is also nursing her husband back to a healthy life after lung surgery. Beth is not only teaching school but she is also in school. Me, well I never know just what each day will bring. I am blessed in so many different ways. Blessed with such good friends and family. Blessed with the ability to make each and every day just what I want it to be, most of the time. Living with MS and other health issues, as some of you know, can and will change a day in an instant.DSCN1052-001

As a famous radio disc jockey, Casey Kasem, would say at the end of his program, “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”


Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.

I like that. Stay humble in life but keep reaching for higher goals, just like Mrs. Crumly did with the web blog. Enjoy your surroundings and love all the life you possibly can in every hour you are given.

God Bless you all and have a GREAT week.

20140810_192321-001P.S…..again I am not a writer or even think that I am. I apologize to all my Auburn University professors that tried to teach me the art of writing, spelling and using the correct form of the word. I could blame it all on my MS, but my MS knows it is my fault not his. Ha Ha!

I will borrow three of quotes, quotes that I heard a thousand times or more in 3 years at Auburn University, which one of my favorite people/friend/professor at Auburn University uses after his e mails and on his Facebook page, Mr. Ed Williams.

Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.

Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama.

“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise.”
– Strunk and White

“To get your ideas across use small words, big ideas, and short sentences.”

Nothing you can’t spell will ever work.
Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)

And now all those sick, horrible feelings of being graded are coming back up. So please don’t hold me to any of those journalism rules.


Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

The Story of This Old House


The Home Place

Built in 1895, if this house could talk imagine all the stories it could tell.  Births, deaths, storms,  and reunions.  The sills (underneath) are 12×12? hand-hewn white oak and the studs are 4×4? undressed pine lumber.  When we were renovating, thirty years ago, a man who had been born here in 1897 came to visit and as he came up the steps at the front porch he said, “Willie fell off this porch right over there and broke his leg.”  Willie was the man’s brother and he told how they had helped clear the land just north of the house so it could be cultivated.

I’m the third generation to own this farm, but I don’t think my grandparents ever lived in this house.  My daddy and his first wife (pregnant) were building a “cook room” onto the back of the house when she got sick and died in this house that winter. She left two small children. It was the flu epidemic of 1918.  In 1919 Daddy married my mother and then I came along in 1928 (born in this house).


The Home Place


We sat by the wood burning fireplace and tried to stay warm — we always said we froze on one side and burned on the other.  Our beds were in that same room and, then as time went on, Mother wanted a living room and the front door was moved over to the bedroom window — another bedroom wall was moved back creating a bedroom in what had been the hall.  Thus a living room was born.

John had to tear the “cook  room” off the back of the original house due to termite damage — the room was built right on the ground.  He also tried to level the other rooms somewhat.  The original house had no underpinning, but had pillars of sand rocks.  These rocks had wedges stuck in between them to help in leveling and steadying the house.  The wedges (made of dogwood) were called “gluts” and we’ve kept one here just to show. (The glut story has been passed down by word of mouth and I cannot find it in the dictionary — maybe you know another story).

When my half brother and sister were children in this house an old man lived upstairs and they called him “Uncle Ed” and now when we hear a strange noise we say it’s just Uncle Ed visiting.  I may be repeating myself, but one night when John and I had just gone to bed the commode in the guest bathroom flushed — and we were the only ones in the house.  John told that to a group of men who met in Geraldine and one of them said, “And you still live there?”  John having  plumbing knowledge knew exactly what had happened.

Since we’ve been here (1985) we had a Texas lady come here just to see the house — it seems her family had lived here at one time and she just wanted to walk where they had walked.

The house is located atop a knoll and there’s nearly always a breeze — lots of times, wind– felt here and thus the name “Windy Knoll.”  It’s the home place and we welcome family members to visit and remember things from their childhood as they visited grandparents here.  The boys laugh and say, “Every time Granddaddy got a new dog he named him “Cooter.”  Every dog had the same name.  John and I and our immediate family have made many memories here — although in more recent years,  As we count, there have been seven generations of this family who have walked here.  It’s definitely country living.

Another view of the Homeplace

Another view of the Homeplace


Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

Aunt Bill Rambles — Hi-Jac Quilt

Hi-Jac Quilt

The Hi-Jac Quilt

Hi-Jacs wuz made in Fort Payne, Alabama — at one time called “The Sock Capital of the World.”  A Hi-Jac is (wuz) a little sleeve that could be slipped on the bottom of a 6 oz Coca Cola bottle and it kept the hands dry while the drink was enjoyed. Back then when ladies got all dressed up and went out to a “function” or  ”shin-dig” they wore gloves — usually white gloves.  The little sleeve looked and felt much like a sock and some man that worked at the mill where they’s made took enough home to his wife fer her to make a quilt.

The quilt is super heavy, and has some batt in it.  The quilting on it is not much — just enough to hold the lining, top and filler together and that’s about all.  On a cold night like we’ve been a-havin’ hit would help keep you warm, but hit’d be so heavy you couldn’t turn over.

Billie don’t need it and she’s donatin’ hit to the Depot Museum in Fort Payne next week.  They’ve got Hi-Jacs, but don’t have nair quilt made of Hi-Jacs.  Billie thinks Fort Payne is where hit ort be since them Hi-Jacs wuz made there.  Of course, Hi-Jacs ain’t  made no more — at least not made in Fort Payne.  China or somebody across the waters may make them.  Hit’s all part of country living.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

A Special Commodity, Ice 1990

With living today, it seems ice is taken for granted.  Why, all we have to do is open the refrigerator door (or in many cases that don’t even have to be done) and out comes the ice. Not so in days gone by.  Ice was special in my growing up days and we only had it to enjoy on a part-time basis – and a very sparse part-time at that.  To say we protected it and savored it would be somewhat of an understatement.

At this house we had an icebox.  One compartment was insulated (somewhat) and would hold a 50-pound block of ice which cost 50 cents. Another compartment was just below the ice section where small items could be stored.  The big door side held milk and larger containers of whatever.  When we were fortunate enough to have ice in the house, it would be on the week end and that big block was wrapped with layer after layer of newspaper to try to keep it as long as possible.  We only opened the doors when we had to and they were closed in a hurry.  Having the ice meant we could enjoy cold milk (and milk that wasn’t spoiled from heat) and iced tea.

One chore that demanded oft-paid attention was the emptying of the pan under the icebox.  The pan caught the water as the ice block melted and it made a mess in the floor when it ran over – so we had to remember to pay special attention to that detail.  Usually, that was my job.

Sometimes the ice truck would come by our house, but most times we would have to buy ice from the ice house in Crossville (4 miles away), or Collinsville (12 miles away) and bring it home.  We didn’t have a car most of the time and we could only get the ice if we were riding with somebody with a car.  What did an ice house look like?  John and I surmise it would have been maybe 8’x10’ with very thick walls that were filled with sawdust for insulation.  The ice was shipped to Crossville and Collinsville from an ice plant in Albertville (15 miles to our west).  We still remember the tools used when handling ice – ice picks, large tongs and ice hooks.  Perhaps the ice would be delivered to ice houses in 50 and 100 pound blocks.  When have you ever seen an ice pick?  In our vast collection of stuff there is an ice pick. – a necessity back in those days.

The ice pick was used to chip smaller ice from the large block for adding to iced tea.  Even after people on this mountain got electricity and refrigeration, I remember hearing it said that the tea cooled with block ice tasted much better. Another time the ice pick was used was to chip off ice for making ice cream.  Some of my fondest memories are those of time spent under that large tree in my Uncle Blake’s yard.  It would be on a Sunday afternoon with the family gathered around and somebody would be turning the crank on the ice cream freezer.  I don’t remember the size of the freezer, but it must have been larger than one gallon, as there were lots of mouths to feed.  That old freezer would squeak and groan and the ice would get hung as the turning took place.  Lots of coarse salt would be added to the ice in the freezer to speed up the freezing and, of course, the freezer would be covered with a tow sack or two.  It was helpful, too, for a child to sit atop the freezer to help hold it still for the turning process.  The ice cream was thought to be better if it were allowed to “set” a while after it was frozen, but that seldom happened with that crowd of hungry folks.

John and I also remember when the old Crossville picnic took place on a Saturday in July and drinks would be iced down with chunks of ice in wash tubs or maybe special drink boxes.  Back then drinks were a nickel and many times they were called “dopes.”  Coca Cola came in 6 oz bottles, but the RC was larger; however, it still cost five cents.  That old picnic also had lemonade (made with real lemons) which had been made in wash tubs and was dipped out into the paper cups (before the days of Styrofoam) with a long handled dipper and cooled with ice chunks.

As you enjoy ice on one of these hot days, take time to remember what a special commodity ice was in days of long ago.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

A Story of My Veteran

NOTE: I have taken the liberty of adding the photo of  The Enola Gay. To hear Mr. John talk about this and see his photos just gives you chills all up and down your arms. Such a great man, Mr. John Crumly.
UPDATE ON MR. JOHN: He is doing great and we get to visit often. He is a strong brave man. God Bless Mr. John Crumly.

The idea for this article came from a reader who has an interest in WWII.  The story is about my veteran, The One I Love Best and we’ve been together 68 years.  Wedded Bliss?  No way. We could have gotten a divorce several times, but neither would agree to take the children, so we just keep on keeping on.  My vet is quick-tempered and short- spoken, but he’s a keeper.  In his younger days he could diaper a baby, change an engine in an automobile, pull a calf or put a meal on the table. And another thing, he’s a great gardener.  It’s been said that he can root broom handles.

John graduated from Crossville High in 1942, was drafted into the Army in 1943 reporting to Ft. McClellan in Anniston. Had he weighed one pound less he would have been turned down; however, from there he went to Greensboro, N.C.  A group of young draftees were together when a Sgt. asked for volunteers to drive pick ups and John volunteered.  He was given a wheelbarrow as his pick up.  This was the last of his volunteering.  Somewhere along the way it was discovered he had mechanical abilities and was transferred to the Army Air Corp, which later became the U. S. Air Force.  Early on in his tour of duty he was on a coal-burning troop train going to Salt Lake City — in the winter time.  John is small stature and very cold natured;  and even though he was wearing a wool uniform along with an overcoat, he was cold and went up front to ask if he could shovel coal to get warm and they let him.


The Enola Gay
That man you see standing on top is The Mr. John Crumly.

John’s airplane was the B-29 and most of his time in service was spent in Pratt, Kansas.  One plane brought in was something special, but nobody knew why.  Being a mechanic, along with others, he did many extra things to this plane that had not been done on other B-29’s and later it was discovered he had worked on the Enola Gay –the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb.  John spent time in Jamaica., Hastings, Neb. and finally was stationed at a beautiful air base in Salina, Kansas – Smokey Hill Air Base and this is where we were when we heard the war was over.   It was a nice summer afternoon and a group of us were sitting on the lawn of a junior college in Salina when horns started blowing and then we discovered why.  It’s memories of another time, but it’s nice to reflect while enjoying country living.


John Crumly

John Crumly

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

Gingerbread Men

NOTE: A blog post to give you an early start.

Hind sight is a wonderful thing to have and I’m loaded with that. I had every intention of sharing this with you a month ago but. . . .

For several years I made gingerbread men for children in our extended family and beyond. Each man was in a little plastic bag and fastened to a holder made of something like burlap. The holder hung on the wall and there was a man to have for each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. When the removal began the child started at the bottom of the holder removing and eating one man per day. On Christmas Eve there was a large gingerbread man (which hung at the top) with the child’s name on it to eat that.

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures, however, I’m past the age to do all this. When you make gingerbread men for several children, that’s a lot of baking to do. I was never smart enjoy to decorate mine and I had to call in backup to help with that, but the children looked forward to receiving new men to go on their holder each Thanksgiving. Well, I gave out doing all that and I gave the recipe to the mothers. You guessed it — they’ve never been made since I quit. Oh well, we made some memories for a while anyway. I’m sharing the recipe I used, but you can use your own recipe for the icing if you choose. I have a friend who bakes for others and she still makes these men for adults — of course, she’s been making them since these people were children.

Gingerbread Men

1 cup margarine 1 cup sugar 1 egg
1 cup molasses 2 tbsps.vinegar 5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsps soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Cream shortening with sugar. Add egg, molasses and vinegar. Beat well. Sift together dry ingredients and stir into molasses mixture. Chill for a few hours. Roll out dough on floured surface. Roll out to 1/8? thickness and cut with floured gingerbread man cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven ’til slightly brown around the edges. Remove to rack and cool. Decorate as you choose.

2 cups powdered sugar and enough light cream or milk to make a mixture that will go through decorator tube easily.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

Baking Sugar Cookies

It’s been a few days since I’ve baked anything sweet and it’s imperative that we keep such in the house — The One I Love Best is a sweet-a-holic.  John leaves to deal with weeds — they’ve literally taken over the hosta bed in our front yard.  We’ve had so much rain we can’t keep up.  I told him just recently that we could sell snake-hunting rights.

We’ve just turned what used to be the herb garden over to Bermuda grass and he even ran the lawn mower over the row of garlic.  As I’ve told you before, I’m the third generation to own this property and my daddy would turn over in his grave if he could see all the Bermuda grass in his old garden spot.  He worked untiringly to keep that and Nut Grass off this property.  Well — he didn’t live to be as old as John and I are either.  Guess we’ll just leave it all for someone else to worry with.

We tried without success to grow peanuts and strawberries — there was no way we could keep those two crops weeded.  We had more weeds and grass than we had berries or nuts.  Another thing we tried to grow and failed — was blueberries.  I’m told that most land on this mountain is acidic — not here — ours tests 6.5 and 7.0.  Blueberries want to grow in acidic soil and we were not diligent enough to keep the soil amended — thus no blueberries and we both really enjoy them.  I have a wonderful recipe for making Blueberry Supreme.  If I can remember — I’ll share that one somewhere down the road.

Wow — did I digress — when John left to deal with weeds, I made the decision to bake cookies — I had enough leftovers that I didn’t have to do lunch.  We have our main meal in the middle of the day.  One time a great granddaughter came to stay a few days and went home telling her folks, “Mimi and Pap don’t have dinner.”  You see they call dinner what we call supper.  And digress I did again.  Anyway John came in forthwith (back hurts when weeding), found out what I was doing and he joined me.


Sugar Cookies ready for the oven

Okay, the recipe I use is in the Geraldine Library Cookbook and put there by one of the community’s very best cooks, Virginia Johnson — now the late Virginia Johnson.


l cup margarine – softened
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups plain flour

Combine oil, margarine and sugars — add eggs.  No need to sift — just fling the rest in the mixer and let ‘er rip.  I use parchment paper on my cookie sheets (that way I don’t have to wash them).  Roll the dough out in small balls – using flour on the hands when needed.  We had 11 dozen cookies; however, how many will depend on the size balls you make.  Using a floured fork (some recipes say to dip the fork in water — this is not for me) mash the ball down slightly in both directions.  I find a fork with thin tines works best.  We use two cookie sheets and put the balls on them 4×6,  baking two dozen at a time.  The recipe says to bake at 350 degrees; however, ovens differ and we bake at 400 — 12 to 15 minutes.  I like to take mine up and have them lean against each other on edge – going round and round.  In this case, John does the taking up and he wants to lay them out in straight rows.  What the heck — I’ll take help anyway I can get it..  Let cookies cool before putting them the cookie jar.

Cookies out of the oven and cooling

I just have to tell you about this cookie jar — my daddy used to auction off household goods and in 1950 he was doing such when Mother bought two jars like this and paid fifty cents each for them.  They had been in a café in Geraldine owned by Aunt Minnie and Uncle Silas Littlejohn.  This jar is a treasure in this style of country living.  Cookies-in-the-cookie-jar-Yum-Yum-001

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now
Billie & John Crumly 1945 Part of what Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation"