Mmmm, good!

I’ve been a pie connoisseur for lo, these many years. My expertise is in the tasting and the critiquing of the crust’s flakiness. Because I’m a perfectionist, sometimes it takes more than one piece to be sure that pie gets a thumbs-up! Rhubarb is my favorite.

The cover story got me thinking about pies, which got me to thinking about kitchens, which got me to remembering my Grandma Schultz’s kitchen.

Grandma was a farm wife. She took care of the chickens, tended the vegetable garden and kept her home squeaky clean. She canned everything … green beans, tomatoes, beets, corn – you name it. Her specialty was pickled crab apples. To this day, when I see an apple tree in bloom my mouth waters, remembering the spicy, sweet-gingery taste she imparted to those otherwise inedibly sour fruits.

When I picture Grandma’s kitchen in my mind, the focal point is always on the window sill above the kitchen sink. There sat a Dutch boy cookie jar. When I was very small I used to think it was magic, because it was never empty. Every single time I lifted the top half of that Dutch boy’s body, there were peanut butter cookies in the bottom half, perfectly round with fork-marked grids. They melted in your mouth.

I wonder what happened to that cream-colored Dutch boy cookie jar. If it’s still in use, I’ll bet the cookies inside can’t hold a candle to those peanut butter cookies of my youth.

A couple years ago, I was walking the aisles of an antique mall and there, right in front of me was the twin of the window-sill Dutch boy! It was like seeing an old friend. (It didn’t strike me until much later that I was in an ANTIQUE mall, and that something I remembered from my childhood was now considered an ANTIQUE! )

Is there something from your childhood that brings you sweet memories or transports you to another time in your life? If you’re looking to replace it, an antique store might just be the place to start shopping!

The Dutch boy was priced way out of my budget when I found it in that antique mall, so I couldn’t bring it home, but I vowed to someday look in earnest for another. I don’t have a window sill for it to sit on, but I’ll clear a spot on the counter and I’ll try to keep it filled with treats for anyone who lifts the top and looks inside. Hopefully I will be creating a fond memory for my own grandchildren – one that makes their mouths water for a good cookie.

Sandra Sparks
Associate Editor

Is there an antique you let get away? You passed up the opportunity to buy it and kicked yourself over it later?
We’d love to hear if you were able to capture it at some point or if you are still on the hunt. E-mail