Hearth & Home

Hearth and Home by Daphne Ross

Paving A Life Of Milestones

Nineteen years ago, our daughter was in grade school and our son was just about to cross the toddler finish line. It was during this time that I found a very welcoming door. I barely got a knock on when that door opened and it soon became my creative outlet, I began writing a weekly newspaper column, read by thousands in many towns, cities, townships, and counties throughout Ohio.

This past April my husband and I celebrated 33 years of marriage, I consider it a milestone, even if it isn't 35 years or 40 or 50, always adding one more year is indeed a milestone. Making it through the day healthy and happy is small milestone, even better if worries don't keep you awake at night, another small milestone. Waking up to a new day, is a gifted milestone that I am happy for every morning I am able to do so.

Over a span of twenty-one years I provided home daycare for a hundred or more children at our rural homestead. Back a quarter mile lane was the perfect setting for children to run around and play and for some, running around continued when it was time to go home. It was frustrating for parents, dog tired after a long day's work, they want to go home. Suit wearing parents could not run about the yard grabbing up their kids, I added that extra service for free. I had to explain, "You can't come back if you don't go home."

It was a bittersweet decision to end my home daycare business, but I had a new dream, and it was almost ready to become a reality. Working in my head, writing notes on paper, planning, listing, doing; one day I sat down with my friends, the parents of the children I loved and told them I was closing the babysitting door. It was a sad day, but I was excited for what was yet to come.

Five years ago this month I opened my own antique shop in Smithville, Ohio, my hometown. I opened in an 1850's house just west of the village square in a historical building where my mother once had her own business, a doll shop. She opened nearly 40 years ago and was in business for eight years. If she could do it, I could do it, too.

As I look back at the nineteen years I have been writing a weekly newspaper column, seventeen of those years I have written Hearth & Home for the Firelands Farmer. A noon deadline was near the top of my Wednesday morning to-do list. After nearly 900 columns, next Wednesday I will be crossing off the Hearth & Home column for the last time.

My business is doing extremely well, far better than a dream come true. My husband and I will become first time grandparents this coming October, another dream come true. My hand will always write what my heart and head want to say, but I will be sharing it in a different way.

I want to thank-all of you, the faithful readers of Hearth & Home, the subscribers of the Firelands Farmer; to the women who read the story and the recipes and to the men who may have just read the story. To everyone that has sent me recipes over the past 17 years, women, men, and children, I thank-you as well. God Bless, Daphne Ross.

Rhubarb Torte
(Mary Troyer, Ashland)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Combine above and press into an 8 x10 inch pan and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. In a sauce pan combine 2 1/4 cups rhubarb add a little water, boil with 1 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 3 egg yolks. Cook until thick, and then pour in baked crust. For topping; beat egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and 6 tablespoons sugar. Spread over rhubarb mixture and brown in the oven.

Deep-Dish Taco
(Delmar Sensenig, Greenwich)
1 cup Bisquick
cup cold water
1/2 cup ground beef
1 to 2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup green peppers
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheese, any variety
1 tablespoon chopped onion
Mix together Bisquick and water; press dough into greased 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Cook and drain beef and spread over dough. Cover with sliced tomatoes and peppers. Mix together sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese and onion; spread on top. Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. This is a delicious summer supper when served with a lettuce salad. But after a hard day's work this recipe should surely be doubled and spread on a pizza pan.

Rhubarb Bread
(Mary Troyer, Ashland)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
3 cups rhubarb, diced
Combine together oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Add flour and soda. Add rhubarb last; pour in 2 greased and floured bread pans. Bake for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. Yields: 2 loaves. Topping: 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup nuts. Sprinkle half of mixture on each loaf of bread.

Lavender Punch
(Miriam Sensenig, Greenwich)
1 package grape Kool-Aid
1 package lemon Kool-Aid
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 gallon water
3 cups grape juice
Mix well, and then pour into gallon jug. Fill with water until 2 inches to the top. Freeze until slushy, then just before serving, add; 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream and a 2 liter bottle of Sprite. Optional ice rings; 1 package grape Kool-Aid, 1 package lemon Kool-Aid, 2 1/2 cups sugar, and 1/2 gallon water.

Banana Bread
(Mary Troyer, Ashland)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
Pinch of salt
Mix well first 4 ingredients. Add flour, soda, and salt. Last add 3 mashed bananas. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Summertime Red Beet Salad (Miriam Sensenig, Greenwich)
3 large red beets, cooked
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup green beans, cooked (optional)
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup diced fried bacon
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the red beets and beans into bite-size pieces. Combine with onion, eggs, and bacon. Add salad dressing; mix well. Chill before serving. This is an unusual colored dish, but it is yummy!

Goat Milk Yogurt
(Mary Troyer, Ashland)
Heat 1 gallon milk to 120 degrees; meanwhile mix 2 heaping tablespoons gelatine in 1 cup cold water. When milk is hot add gelatin mixture and 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla and yogurt starter. Can add 1 cup Jell-O any kind instead of the 1/2 cup sugar. Beat with egg beater until sugar is dissolved then let set in room temperature 60 to 70 degrees for 9 hours or until sour. Put in refrigerator overnight and have delicious yogurt for breakfast! This also works for cow's milk. May also add fresh fruit if desired.

Best Fresh Fruit Pie
(Jennifer Sensenig, Greenwich)
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup margarine
Mix flour and powdered sugar. Cut in margarine until crumbly. Press in 1 (9-inch) pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Clear Jel
1 cup water
1/3 cup Jell-O
3 cups fresh sliced fruit
Mix together sugar, salt and Clear Jel. Stir in water. Cool until thickened and clear. Remove from heat and add Jell-O. Cool until it begins to thicken. Stir in fruit and spread in baked pie shell. Chill before serving. May top with whipped cream. For strawberry pie; Use strawberry Jell-O. For peach pie; Use orange Jell-O. We even like pear pie with lime Jell-O!

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