Our cousin Bob surprises us now and then with a “new” old picture. Here’s one we hadn’t seen before of my mother (Gail) and her two sisters. I need to find an incentive to get Bob to scanning all those photos he inherited from his mother.
Happy Birthday, Mom! Gail was born in 1924. If we were baking a cake for her, it would need 95 candles to celebrate the day.
Thank you to all the followers of this blog. I love that I can share memories of my mother with you here. I hope that you’ve discovered a recipe to try or a craft to make or just enjoyed some of her writings and some of my memories of her.
“Don’t take any wooden nickels.” This old saying wasn’t adhered to by Gail and Clyde Martin. They actively sought out wooden nickels for their collection which they displayed on their living room wall.
They had vintage ones and new ones too. Sometimes local businesses would print up some as an advertising gimmick. Gail and Clyde found so many that they wouldn’t all fit into their display cases.
Here is a sampling of ones they picked up over the years.
- Dalton Museum – Coffeyville, KS
- Greenwood County Historical Museum – Eureka, KS
- Pony Express Museum – Marysville, KS
- Chamber of Commerce – Waterville, KS
- Madison Kansas Centennial
Friends and family found some further afield and sent them to boost the collection. For their 40th wedding anniversary, their daughter, Virginia had wooden nickels printed for them to give to the guests.
I’m sure Gail researched the history of wooden nickels and found that the earliest ones go back to the 1880s and were issued at times of coin shortages. They became popular in the 1930s when the tokens were issued at fairs and festivals to commemorate the event. Merchants also issued them offering something free if the wooden token was presented in their store.
Have you ever found a wooden nickel?
This recipe was in an email of Gail Lee Martin’s that I had saved. I must say that I’ve never tried making it. As a matter of fact, I never even had a chance to taste it. If my siblings are reading this, I’m hinting that a small sampling of Dad’s Velveeta Fudge would be a great birthday gift.
Your Dad’s recipe for great fudge made with cheese.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
8 ounces pasteurized process cheese, Velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, about 5 cups unsifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
In a large saucepan over medium heat butter and cheese cubes together, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Sift together confectioners’ sugar and cocoa; add to cheese, mixing well. Stir in non-fat dry milk, vanilla and nuts. Turn into a 9x9x2-inch pan; chill until firm and cut into squares. Makes about 3 pounds of Velveeta Fudge.
I know the folks used to get cheese in the commodities distribution that the government did for seniors. Not sure if it was Velveeta or just something similar. They used to joke that the government was trying to get rid of all the old folks by giving them artery-clogging foods like cheese.