Tag Archives: Harriette Anderson Kaser

Valentine Day Is February 9th

Between my mother and father, Valentine Day fell on the 9th of February–and March, and June, and July, and August, and every other month. Here they are a few years before they met in 1933.

Here’s a letter my father wrote to me in 1945.  He had a job that kept him “on the road” most of the time, and faithfully wrote letters home. Mother and I and my baby brother were living in Killbuck, Ohio at the home of my grandmother. I think of this letter explaining their unique Valentine Day as a love letter to my mother–disguised as a letter to their nearly six-year-old daughter.

 

East Liverpool Ohio

February 9 1945

Dearest Little Rabbit,

This is going to be a really truly fairy story that actually happened.  Once upon a time there used to be a club in Killbuck called the Dramatic Club.  That means a group of people who put on plays like the one you went to see Bobby in.  Your mother was in the club and so was your daddy.  One autumn we put on an operetta, that’s a play with lots of songs in it as well as speeches.  At that time your mother and daddy weren’t so well acquainted as they are now and if daddy had kissed mother hello or goodbye as he does now she would have slapped his face.

Well your mother was a teacher and her job in this operetta was to coach the actors so that they would know their speeches when they got up in front of all the people–just like she helped you learn your speeches to say at church.  Daddy was an actor (?) and played the part of a very dumb englishman and he had a mustach (now remember about the mustache.

Your daddy didn’t learn his lines as fast as he should have and so your mother had to give him lots of help In fact they used to go off in a corner of the basketball floor and go over the speeches and over and over.  Now one of the reasons your daddy was so slow learning to say his speeches was that he spent most of the time thinking what a pretty girl your mother was and how sharp and perky she was, and trying to get nerve enough up to ask her to go out with him and be his girl.

Now this club always went out somewhere and had a party after the play was over so finally your daddy got up nerve enough to ask your mother to go with him to the party.  And what do you know, she said she would.  And we all had a very nice party except that mother said she didn’t like daddy’s mustache (remember?) and she wouldn’t go to any more parties with him unless he shaved it off.  Well daddy shaved it off because mother always means what she says and as a result Mother and daddy got married.

Now all of this happened on the 9th day of the month so that the 9th day of the month is a sort of valentines day every month Just between your mother and I.  And thats why I’m telling you this story today because today is the 9th.

A Few Notes:

  • There are a couple more paragraphs about the snow, and telling me to be a good girl and play with my brother, and saying when he will be home.
  • Mother explained that the drama club was one of the ways the young people of Killbuck found to entertain themselves during the Great Depression when they could not afford to pay for entertainment.
  • “Bobby” is my cousin Robert J. Anderson, son of William J. Anderson whose letter from the Pacific we saw earlier. In one of my Grandmother Vera’s letters, she had mentioned Bobby putting on a show for the family, mimicking Hitler, so he was quite the performer.
  • “…like she helped you learn your speeches to say at church.”  I don’t recall speeches plural, although I know that kids had to memorize Bible verses and sometimes recite them in church. But the one I do remember is learning “Now I am Six” from A.A. Milne’s series of Pooh Bear books. Mother did a good job. Sixty-plus years after reciting that poem for the Lady’s Aid Society at the church, I can still recite it.
  • “…go off in a corner of the basketball floor”.  The school in Kilbuck had a small multi-purpose auditorium with only room for a basketball court.  For basketball games, seating was in a balcony on one side of the court.  On the other side of the court, there was a stage, raised about four feet above the main floor.  For basketball games, people would sit on bleachers on the stage.  When plays were performed on the stage, folding chairs were set up on the basketball floor (I can see basketball coaches everywhere shrinking back in horror!) as well as the seating in the balcony.  The school was built in the twenties, and when I went to high school there in the fifties, performing in class plays, the set up was still the same.
  • “get nerve enough”. Not only was she an authority figure–a teacher, and he was working at odd jobs, but she was two and a half years older than he was.
  • The mustache.  Not only did Daddy never sport a mustache again–I have found no photos of him with a mustache. Mother REALLY didn’t like mustaches!

The Ninth of the month continued to be a Valentine day they marked the rest of their lives. And we celebrated their 50th anniversary in June 1989.

Waffle Iron Cookies

 

Waffle irons and instructions

When my sister, Paula Kaser Price, inherited our mother’s waffle irons and the oil-stained recipe , she also inherited memories and tradition. Paula’s story gives us a  great example of how donning an apron can lead us back to our memories of those family members long gone. Besides traveling back in time, the story travels from Hilliard, Ohio to Scottsdale Arizona to her home today in Virginia.

UPDATE: Paula adds, “It is a team effort as one cook frys the other dusts each cookie with powdered sugar. They are delicate so the rule is if any break the cooks must eat them immediately.”  And what a shame that would be!

A Note From My Sister, Paula Kaser Price

In later years Mom and I spent  a day making waffle iron cookies. The boys were sent away and we started cookin’. We had a wonderful time especially when the “boys” (Dad, Wayne, Eric and Aaron) showed up and gobbled them up getting powered sugar everywhere. Several dozen cookies were carefully hidden away before their arrival.

  Dad, Paul Kaser; Wayne Price (my sister’s husband); Eric and Aaron (my sister’s sons. Aaron’s name is Paul Aaron and he now goes by Paul.).

Paul and I carry on the tradition spending a day making them then distributing waffle iron cookies to friends. Still use the stained recipe paper with Mom’s handwritten notes.

The Original Recipe

Because each cookie is made individually, given time to dry then sprinkled with powdered sugar, it is a time consuming and messy project. We always made at least a double batch, many times a double double batch. Mom wrote the doubled amounts on the recipe. The recipe came with the box of irons that are  in the shape of a snow flake and a Christmas tree.

Waffle Iron Cookie Recipe

Recipe for waffle iron cookies with Mother’s hand-written doubling amounts

The past several years, because the recipe paper is torn in half and so oil soaked as to be difficult to read, I have thought I should rewrite it on clean paper. Then I reject the idea because using that recipe paper with Mom’s calculations is like having her spirit there watching over Paul and me and joining in with our fun listening to Christmas music, laughing, getting powdered sugar everywhere, anticipating the joy our labor will bring and the happy exhaustion at the end of the day.

So like Mom and I did In the 80s standing around the counter in my little house on Latham [Street, Scottsdale, AZ],  Paul and I  stand around the counter in our little house in the woods and fry us up some Christmas cookies.

Waffle Iron cookies with Santa

Sorry they don’t ship well. Also sorry I wondered down memory lane. Oh well, it is that time of year.

PS. Do you recognize the table cloth under the waffle box? It was always on the Christmas dining table in Hilliard. I think I remember being with Mom when she bought it at Lazarus [Department Store in Columbus OH].  Unfortunately now I can only use it folded in half as there is an ever growing hole on one side.

Recipe for Waffle Iron Cookies, AKA Rosettes

Waffle Iron Cookies

Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Christmas
Region Swedish
Mother made "waffle cookies", a deep fried confection known as rosettes in Scandinavian countries.

Ingredients

  • 2lb shortening or oil (For frying)
  • 1 cup flour (Sifted or fluffed before measuring)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (Beaten)
  • confectioner's sugar (To sprinkle over finished waffle cookie.)

Directions

1. Heat about 2 inches of oil or shortening 350 degrees
2. Mix milk, water, sugar, salt and egg together. Stir slowly into flour, then beat until smooth. Batter should be smooth and alost as thick as cream.
3. Heat waffle iron (rosette) in hot oil.
4. Dip iron into batter being careful not to get batter on top of the iron.
5. Dip the battered iron into the oil. As soon as batter begins to separate from the iron, gradually lift it up and allow Waffle to drop off into oil. When waffle is brown on one side, turn to brown on other side. Remove waffle from oil. Drain on paper towel.
6. Sift confectioner's sugar over the waffle when cooled. (Optional: add cinnamon and/or nutmeg to the sugar)
7. Store in air tightly covered container. May be reheated in warm oven.

A reader asks about the term “fluffing the flour”. Here’s my source.  I suggest this alternate because I realize to younger cooks, the flour sifter is a relic of the past.  Sifting is no longer “a thing.”  Do you use a flour sifter?

 

Heirlooms: Wedding Jewelry

Way back in January 2016, I showed you some pictures of my mother’s “Jazz Age” jewelry, including this bracelet–possibly wedding jewelry. (Click on that link to get a description of the bracelet.)

Wedding Day Bracelet

The bracelet Harriette Anderson wore the day of her wedding to Paul Kaser.

When I wrote that article, I said that I wasn’t absolutely sure that the bracelet was a part of mother’s wedding day outfit–, but I thought that she wore this unusual wedding jewelry.

Now I know!  This newspaper wedding article features a picture of my mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, with her Matron of Honor, Lois Duncan Feight .  The wedding took place in the home of Lois and her husband Hank in Newark, Ohio.   (This article explains why no relatives attended.)

Wedding picture in newspaper

Newspaper Article :Lois Duncan Feight and Harriette Anderson Kaser at HAK’s wedding to Paul Kaser

And just in case you cannot see the bracelet, here is a grainy enlargement.

Close up to show Wedding bracelet

Close up to show bracelet worn for wedding. Harriette Anderson Kaser wedding with Lois Duncan Feight.

I have shared some of the letters my mother and father exchanged during the years leading up to their marriage.  In one, Mother mentions going shopping for a new dress, presumably for the wedding. It does not mention wedding jewelry, though.

In March, 1938, she wrote:

I went to Coshocton tonight and bought a new dress, hat, gloves, purse and tomorrow am going to get shoes.

I couldn’t stand a chance of your looking nicer than I might. No Dear I just had the urge and saw one I liked pretty well so there was.

It is true that despite his lack of funds, Paul Kaser was a spiffy dresser, but judging by the picture above, she was keeping up with him just fine, don’t you think?

Others Blogging About Heirlooms

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco, Everyone Has a Story to Tell,  started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join her in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Here are some of the bloggers who also blog about heirlooms.

Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
True Lewis at Notes to Myself  
Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Kathy Rice at Every Leaf Has a Story
Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog

Are you a blogger who writes about heirlooms (even once in a while)?  Let me know in the comment section and I’ll add your blog to this list.