Author Archives: Kay


About Kay

Kay Badertscher Bass , my husband Ken's sister, was born and raised in Wayne County Ohio. She attended Dalton High School, Baldwin-Wallace University and the University of North Texas where she majored in music. She works in an investment firm in the Dallas area, plays the organ at her church, likes to travel and enjoys cooking.

4 Generations Approve Badertscher Banana Bread

A few weeks ago, I talked to Gloria Badertscher Miller, my husband’s cousin, about her memories of the Badertscher family. She talked about a cookbook with hand written recipes in the back, and about a planned visit to the Kidron-Sonnenberg Heritage Center, where she would obtain some family memoir books for me. And then on June 29, I learned that Gloria had died. But because of her warm spirit and open heart, Gloria will live on with those who knew her. I am so happy to welcome back Ken’s sister Kay who had also recently visited with Gloria, and shares this memory.

By Kay Badertscher Bass

“Don’t touch those ripe bananas,” I exclaimed in a stern tone to my husband. Great plans awaited those black beauties.

Gloria Badertscher Miller

Gloria Badertscher Miller

A rare cool front was predicted for our area of Texas in mid-July with much needed rain. On top of that was the timing of its arrival – a weekend. It was time to bake banana bread using a recipe from my recently deceased cousin, Gloria Badertscher Miller (1927-2013). After all, this recipes has been tested by four generations.

As the skies remained overcast and rain gently began to fall, I reminisced about my last visit with my precious cousin. My heart overflowed with her shared wisdom, humor and family stories. Meanwhile, the house began to fill with the delicious aroma of baking bread.

Gloria received the recipe from her mother, Gertrude Steiner Badertscher (1905-1988). Gertrude was married to Uncle Monroe, my father’s older brother. I always looked forward to visits at their home in Killbuck, Ohio. Uncle Monroe always had a good story to share coupled with his hearty laughter, but it was Aunt Gertrude’s kitchen creations that excited me most.

Gertrude and her daughter Gloria shared a common personality of true ladylike manners, impeccable taste and exceptional culinary skills. At the yearly Badertscher reunions I would eagerly await Gertrude’s and Gloria’s arrivals, taking mental notes of which dishes they prepared and eagerly awaiting my first delicious bite.

During our last visit in Walnut Creek, Ohio,  Gloria shared with me her first cookbook, a thick, dark green vintage cookbook which belonged to her Mother. Gloria began her culinary craftsmanship at the early age of eight by tackling a recipe from that cookbook. A recipe for peanut butter cookies was not the easiest, but with a little help and encouragement from her Mother she was able to mix and conquer.

Badertscher Banana Bread

Gertrude Badertscher and Gloria Miller’s Banana Bread

In the back of the book, among hand-written recipes, was one passed on by Gertrude for banana bread. When she became a mother, living in Millersburg Ohio, Gloria made it for her sons. The banana bread recipe was Gloria’s grandson, John Miller’s, favorite. Four generations–one recipe.

Gloria also shared a little secret related to her banana bread recipe: freeze the bananas. She claimed the freezing process added extra moisture to the recipe. After trying her suggestion, I must concur.

Because John does not like nuts she would omit them from the recipe. I’ve made the bread with and without nuts and it is delicious either way.

Gertrude’s Banana Bread

Gertrude’s Banana Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: Kay Badertscher Bass
Badertscher Family Banana Bread enjoyed by four generations
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts – optional
  1. Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake in a slow oven (325 degrees F.) for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
A side note from the author: I’ve always held to the philosophy that all things taste better with chocolate. I suggest adding 1/3 cup chocolate chips to the above recipe, stirring them into the batter at the last minute before baking.


 Thanks, Kay, for sharing this family recipe and your memories of Gloria.

Vintage Family Restaurant: Dalton Ohio Dariette

Here’s an introduction to my husband Ken’s side of the family.  Ken and his sister Kay grew up in Dalton, Ohio, where his father, Paul Badertscher, taught at the local high school.  We’ll be talking about their mother’s food, but today Kay remembers another famous cook in their family and a vintage family restaurant.

Kay Badertscher (Bass)

By Kay Badertscher Bass

Vintage Family Restaurant, Dalton, Ohio

Dalton Dari-ette, opening day 1957 , (before Dick Kohler purchased the vintage family restaurant in 1960). Picture used courtesy of Dalton Dari-ette

Note: Richard J. “Dick” Kohler (1924-2008) owner of the vintage family restaurant, was the half brother of  Agnes Baer Badertscher who was the mother of Kenneth Ross Badertscher and Kay Badertscher Bass.

Curly fries, Nightmare Sandwiches, Coney Slaw Dogs, Banana Milkshakes…ah the memories and mouth watering sampling of the Dalton Dari-ette on Route 30 in Ohio. My uncle, Richard “Dick” Kohler, was the owner and in 1968 I was a very nervous 16 year old “Dairy Dolly”, learning the ropes.

Vintage family restaurant worker, Kay Badertscher 1969

Kay Badertscher (Bass) 1969, Sophomore year in high school in Camelot -themed prom peasant serving outfit.

How could I master the trick of making a frozen custard cone with a curly tip or a root beer float that did not react like a volcano when the soda was added to the frozen custard? Only once did I have the milkshake machine spindle cut through the paper cup, spewing milk, frozen custard and syrup all over my uniform and the floor. Thankfully Uncle Dick was a very patient and forgiving boss!



Vintage family restaurant owner RIchard "Dick" Kohler

Richard “Dick” Kohler working at the Dari-ette probably in the 1970’s

Although it was family-operated business, Uncle Dick was the true nucleus of the Dari-ette operation. Early in the mornings he would drive his pickup truck to the little white cinder block and brick building on the outskirts of Dalton, Ohio along U.S. Route 30. He would set up his apple peeler and start peeling potatoes, standing for several hours at a time to shape his curly french fries. Then a quick frying period began the cooking process of those marvelous potato delights. Many evenings after closing time he would scour the grill, mop the floor, clean the restrooms and burn the trash.

Many folks did not realize that as a young boy growing up on a small dairy farm during the Great Depression, Uncle Dick stepped on a pitch fork causing a life-long limp. He always seemed to maintain a quick smile and hearty laugh in spite of pain that I am certain he often endured from those long hours on his feet.

My mother recalled many Sunday afternoons in their family home during the Great Depression when the dishes had been washed and the kitchen cleaned, her brother Dick could be found at the stove whipping up a batch of candy. Mother said he usually was very successful making delicious confections with very few ingredients. She only lamented the fact that he often did not clean the dirty dishes after he was finished, leaving that chore for his mother or sisters. She theorized those times in the kitchen laid the foundation for later years when Uncle Dick switched from dairy farming to dairy delights at the Dari-ette.

Dalton Dari-ette Menu, at the vintage family restaurant

Dalton Dari-ette Menu Today has not changed much. Picture courtesy of Dalton Dari-ette. Click for more readable size.

The Dari-ette had a large “walk in” refrigeration vault in the center of the building that was the only cooled area of the building for years. The summers could be quite unpleasant inside that buidling, with so many refrigeration units, grill and fryer vying for top output of heat. One especially hot day, no one could locate Uncle Dick, although his familiar pickup truck was in the rear parking lot. A final search revealed his secret retreat: the “walk in”, where he was calmly reading the newspaper while seated, cool as a cucumber, on an empty, upturned plastic container. As I recall, it was only a year or two later when he agreed to install window air conditioning units, much to the joy of his employees.

I remember the 1969 night Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Uncle Dick rigged a small black and white portable TV set on top of the frozen custard machines enabling those of us working that evening to witness an historic event.

Banana Milkshakes were made with real bananas and Uncle Dick added a “secret ingredient” to the hot fudge sauce that made it downright addictive. There was  a special flavor of frozen custard featured each week. Some of the more popular ones were peanut butter, peach, mint, and maple walnut. These were usually coupled with chocolate frozen custard to make a “twist” cone, combining both flavors. We even made ice cream sandwiches, layering the frozen custard between two chocolate cookies.

Foot long Coney Slaw Dogs were [and still are] a popular item. The 12-inch hot dogs were steamed, then inserted into a warm bun, topped with delicious Coney Sauce (aka mild chili sauce) and a vinegar-based coleslaw. The slaw was a recipe Uncle Dick made in large glass condiment jars and stored in the refrigerator. The recipe is actually a secret, but the one below is very similar.

Kay's Vintage Family Restaurant Dariette Coney Slaw Dog

Kay’s version of the Dari-ette Coney Slaw Dog

 Coney Dog Cole Slaw

1 head of cabbage, shredded
1 cup celery, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 – 3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seed
1/4 cup onion (optional)

Mix well, store in refrigerator. Keeps for as long as a month.

Dari-ette Nightmare Sandwich

Dave Kohler and wife holding a nightmare sandwich at Dalton Dari-ette. Picture courtesy of the Dariette website.

The “Nightmare” sandwich was an original idea of Uncle Dick’s and it requires a very hearty appetite to finish one. It needed an extra large bun to hold all of the meat and extra ingredients. Sorry, dear reader, you’ll simply have to go to the Dari-ette to sample one to find out what those ingredients are. However, if your curiosity gets the better of you, here’s a picture from the Dari-Ette’s web page– a photo of my cousin Dave and wife, Gilda holding a Nightmare sandwich.

Uncle Dick’s son, Dave, once remarked while working frantically at the grill, “Doesn’t anyone cook any longer on Sunday evenings?” No, Dave, not in Dalton, Ohio!

[Note: The Dalton Dari-ette is now owned by Dick’s son-in-law and daughter, after being owned for many years by son Dave, which means it is truly a vintage family restaurant–since it has been in the family for almost all of 53 years.]