Friday, December 6, 2013
Both my mother, Val Hayes, and my grandmother, Rose Luedtke, used the Mrs. Mehn's Cookbook, published in 1939, in their kitchens. Here's Mrs. Mehn's sugar cookie recipe, all slicked up for the Van Camp House 4th annual cookie contest that was held tonight at the restaurant in Port Sanilac.
A Cranberry Coconut Bar cookie won the contest, but, really, I enjoyed the afternoon of messing up my kitchen with flour and sugar and butter and almond extract. This recipe makes over six dozen cookies. I took 18 to the contest and brought some home, so there will be lots of cut out cookies left for this holiday season.
Mrs. Mehn was the wife of an Wisconsin Evangelical Church pastor. She must have been quite the entrepreneur to have published and then sold this cookbook to many of the church families in Wisconsin. My sister Carla makes a great Cowboy cookie using a recipe from this cookbook. Or is it the corn flake cookie? Hmmm, I will have to find out.
A church history note: The Evangelical Church and the United Brethren Church merged in 1946 to form the EUB (Evangelical United Brethren Church). Neither of the two denominations nor the resultant EUB denomination were very large, so many of the pastors and their families knew each other quite well. So, Mrs. Mehn's Cookbook had quite an audience among church folk.
My father was ordained in the Evangelical Church before the merger, graduated from seminary after the merger, and served most of his ministry years in the United Methodist Church, a 1968 merger of the EUB's, the Methodists, and the Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church. The Central Jurisdiction was the segregated black church.
In 22 years, from 1946 to 1968, those denominational flavors came together to form one church, quite an accomplishment when you think about how factionalized much of American society is today.