Tom and Helen Watson, Top of Harroun Hill Cookie Exchange
Tom and Helen Watson enjoy cooking together and have an extensive collection of cookbooks. Many of the books are professionally made and published, but just as many crowd the shelves with handwritten titles, hand-typed recipes, and pages created on the old mimeographs found in school offices years ago.
Mrs. Watson herself typed up the Maplewood Elementary PTA cookbooks from 1969 and 1970.
“I was a home economics major, and I put myself through college with my typing,” says the OSU graduate. “I guess that’s why I got involved with making the cookbooks.”
Mrs. Watson says that she has at least fifty locally made cookbooks. Her own recipes have been included in four or five, but are not in one of her favorites.
“I remember when we lived on Oakland Court, women in the neighborhood got together and made a Christmas cookie cookbook,” she recalls. “I believe we did it more than one year.”
The Top of Harroun Hill Cookie Exchange is a simple, handwritten 18-page cookbook. Its yellowed paper cover has only a hand-written title and a little cluster of holly drawn below. There are no page numbers, but there are notes here and there, with new addresses and phone numbers of neighbors who moved, mentions of a passing, or brief notes of neighborhood news.
The names that appear in the cookbook are still familiar to Mrs. Watson: Marilyn Baker, Delores Beishline, Dottie Brown, Barb Tighe, Carol Van Tuinen, Barb Schlatter, Barbara Schreiber, Mryna Sanner, Madeline Sautter, Elaine Kujawa, Maurine Morrison, Lelah Dorcas, and Mary Lou Kahl.
The events of the holiday season nearly thirty years ago are still familiar to Mrs. Watson too, as she recalls mothers and neighbors sharing recipes, baking dishes for each other, and gathering at special times. With those heartfelt moments in mind, Mrs. Watson shares these recipes found in her old neighborhood cookbook.
Tom and Helen Watson with their extensive local cookbook collection (2011)
SPOTLIGHT ON 1929
Maplewood Elementary, where Helen Watson was an active parent volunteer, was built in 1929. Also occurring that year in Sylvania, in Ohio, and around the world:
Sylvania’s Methodist Church votes to sponsor a new boy scout troop for Sylvania. Clarence Courtney is the first scoutmaster.
Chandler’s Hardware company sells the Atwater Kent Electro-Dynamic Radio for $83.
The Lion Store celebrates its ninth year in business by selling men’s fancy socks for 48 cents and overcoats for $24.50.
The Brint-Reger Reality Co. on Main Street has 256 lots to sell in the new Vernabee Addition (on Brint, next to Garden Springs).
A stamp costs two cents.
The Sylvania Tanning Co. on Summit Street has coats, scarves, chokers, and collar and cuff sets made only with the better grades of genuine fur. In 2010, the old tannery building is believed to be the oldest commercial structure still standing in Sylvania, but despite protests from local historians, the building is demolished to make room for the new Rite-Aid.
President Hoover takes a train to Detroit to join Thomas Edison for his Golden Jubilee. On the way there, the President stops briefly in Toledo to shake the hand of Toledo’s Mayor Jackson and say, “Hello everybody, hello, Toledo,” to a large crowd. He sleeps through Toledo on the way back.
Penicillin is introduced for fighting infections. The first EEG records brain waves.
The stock market crashes.
By Barb Schlatter
1 pkg angel food cake mix
1 egg 2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
2 cups coconut
Mix all ingredients together. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
By Barb Schlatter
Melt in pan:
2 ozs unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter
Once melted, mix in:
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
Mix well, cover, chill, then roll into balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Bake at 370 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.