Our Mother, Loretta E. McClure
1915 to 1999
On a Farm in Northern Colorado
Our Mother was the best cookie maker ever! She always had cookies somewhere in the kitchen in the cookie jar. At Christmas they were on the dining room table, on the kitchen table, on the side cupboard tops, in the freezer and in Dads hand. Grand kids benefited from her cookies too. I try to carry on the tradition in a small fashion, but niece, Amy Loretta Oster has made it her mission to bake all of Grandma McClures cookies every Christmas. She is the daughter of my sister Elaine. Everyone benefits from those cookies and some do end up in her Dad, Ted’s tummy. She takes great pride in her Grandma Mcclure’s Christmas Cookie baking. Thank you Amy!
In the early years on the farm, Mom had chickens and a milk cow so she had lots of eggs, cream and milk for great desserts all year long, but mostly for the cookies at Christmas. Her Coconut Dainties, fluffy eggs whites beating to peaks, with corn flakes and coconut folded in were my favorite. She made Date-Nut Goodies, Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies, the grand kids favorite, Poor Man’s cookies, and Applesauce cake. She never had the luxury of cookie mix in a package or box you just add egg and butter to. Everything was from scratch – even the butter at times. David loved her Jelly Roll and learned to make it as a teenager.
We cannot leave out a memory when Ginger, Johnny and I were in grade school at Cactus Hill Observatory District #101!! Christmas time Dad and Mom made popcorn balls for the Christmas party at our little two room school the Friday before Christmas, for Santa to give out. Sometimes Santa was Dad. Dad raised popcorn and sold it to Safeway stores already canned, yes, canned. Dad popped the corn in the big cast iron skillet and Mom made the syrup that went on the corn to be pressed into popcorn balls. Us kids then wrapped them in waxed paper cut in squares and tied them with a ribbon, (with Moms help.) I got to count them. When we reached 100 pop corn balls we were done. Dad always made it fun and he always helped Mom clean up afterwards. Us kids “sweeped” the floor.
In the 1940’s when an orange and ONE toy and a popcorn ball was put in Dads sock and hung up for us kids to wake up to in the morning. Food was a gift, because many people did not have enough. Also older people lived in the same family and were loving taken care of. No Assisted Living in those days. Because Dad and Mom felt they had enough to share, they gave as a gift, a sack of Dad fine popcorn and some of Moms delicious cookies to our neighbors. Makes me smile with memories of how Dad so proudly he delivered his gifts with a big grin, a belly laugh and a bear hug. He took his delivery service seriously!
Our Mother’s birthday was December 19. She was born in 1915 in Wellington, Colorado, no to far from where she lived almost all her life. She would have been 100 years old. We celebrate by making Grandma’s cookies every year. John’s (Johnny) wife Kathleen also does marathon cookie baking and makes a lots of Grandma McClures cookies. So when you go to make cookies, make it a tradition to be passed on as a memory. Besides everyone likes cookies.
Merry Christmas to you all
I am very blessed to have the time, energy and the memories to write these stories. I also thank you readers for the wonderful compliments, comments and stories.
It is Bob and my greatest wish that you have a Merry Christmas. Let us pray for a Peaceful, Safe and Happy New Year. Please God take care of our America!