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48 years cooking together

By Staff | Nov 18, 2016

MAVIS MEYER prepares a plate of her husband’s favorite treat.

LATIMER – In the kitchen of the farm home of Gordon and Mavis Meyer, near Latimer, in Franklin County, Mavis Meyer said it simply.

“We cook a lot together.”

The Meyers learned their cooking abilities from two different directions.

Mavis Meyer grew up in Sheffield, the seventh of nine children.

During a high school home economics class, “that’s where I really started to cook.”

GORDON MEYER’S favorite snack is the traditional Rice Krispies bars, but changed to a mix of half Rice Krispies and half Cocoa Krispies.

Since high school, she will depart from a recipe to experiment.

“I like to cook by trial and error,” she said.

Meyer will adapt a recipe to make it less fattening and healthier.

She enjoys sharing recipes with family, neighbors and other women at her church.

“Those recipes were tried and true,” she said. “I go home and try them.”

GORDON MEYER holds a plate of his version of the way he thinks Rice Krispies bars should be.

Gordon Meyer learned his cooking abilities in the United States Army. But it wasn’t by his choice.

“I was assigned to cook,” he said. “My eyesight was so bad.”

Meyer said he shares his wife’s interest in departing from a recipe.

“He’s creative,” said Mavis Meyer.

She said her husband doctors almost everything.

“He recently put soy sauce on potatoes,” she said. “It was fantastic.”

Gordon Meyer’s ease in the kitchen was an advantage for his wife when she arrived home after her off-farm jobs.

“There were very few nights you came home and supper wasn’t ready,” said Gordon Meyer.

Mavis Meyer learned tax preparation from her years working at a law office and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 23 years, retiring in 2009.

She served as postmaster at Meservey and Rockwell.

Meyer said she likes her strawberry jam recipe because it does not use Shur-Jel.

“This recipe was from Mrs. Wirtz, whose husband was the local dentist at Latimer,” she said. “Gordon’s mother, Martha Meyer, worked as a hired girl for her before she married Leonard Meyer.”

“I shared this recipe with Shirley Plagge, and she won a blue ribbon with it at the Franklin County Fair many years ago.”

Meyer’s honey wheat bread is a church bazaar favorite.

The meatloaf, apple crisp and angel food cake with butter frosting are family favorites.

When she takes the apple crisp to potlucks, she is asked for the recipe.

The grandchildren favor her chocolate cream pie, she said.

Gordon Meyer praised his wife.

“She’s a very good homemaker and a good mother.”

The Meyers are parents of two sons.

Chad Meyer, 45, and wife Maricia have two children. They live in Texas.

Kevin Meyer, 43, and wife Janet have two children. They live in Clear Lake.

Strawberry jam

2 quarts strawberries. Put in a flat pan. Pour boiling water over them and let stand 2 minutes. Drain.

Add 3 cups sugar. Boil 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups sugar. Boil 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups more sugar. Boil 3 minutes.

Let stand till cold, stir occasionally.

Jar berries and cover with wax.

“I freeze jam when I make it,” Mavis Meyer said. “It is very dark red in color.”

Honey wheat bread

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup cream-style cottage cheese

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup butter

6 cups flour

1 egg

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoons salt

1 package active dry yeast


Extra butter

Heat water, cottage cheese, honey and butter in a medium saucepan until 130 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of leveled flour with warm mixture.

Add egg, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Beat for 2 minutes.

By hand stir in remaining flour a little at a time to make a stiff dough. Knead dough on well-floured surface until smooth and elastic (pliable, slightly sticky) about 2 to 5 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl. Cover, let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size (about 45 to 60 minutes).

Grease two loaf pans with shortening (large pans). Punch down dough, divide and shape into two loaves.

Place in greased pans. Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Immediately remove from pans. Brush with butter.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 cup cracker crumbs

1 1/4 cup tomato sauce

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

1/3 cup milk


6 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup ketchup

4 teaspoons yellow mustard


Combine all ingredients, adding enough milk until juicy (about 1/3 cup).

Bake in 8-by-8-inch pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Mix all ingredients. Pour over semi-baked meatloaf.

Return to oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Cheddar cheese soup

Serves 6

2 cups water

2 cups diced potatoes

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper in large kettle and cook 10 to 12 minutes until done.

White Sauce:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 cups milk

2 cups cheddar cheese grated

1 cup cubed ham

Melt butter. Alternatively add small amounts of flour and milk to butter, stirring constantly with spoon or whisk until all added. Then add cheese and continue stirring until melted.

Add meat.

Add cream mixture to cooked vegetables and heat together.

Apple crisp


4 cups sliced apples

1 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup water


1 cup flour

1/2 cup raw rolled oats

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a greased 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan combine fruit, sugar, flour and cinnamon.

Add 1/2 cup water and mix well. Set aside.

In a bowl combine flour, oats and brown sugar. Mix well.

Stir in butter and mix with a fork to make a crumbly mixture.

Sprinkle over apple filling and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Chocolate angel food cake

12 egg whites (1 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Beat egg whites, water and cream of tartar with electric mixer until very stiff.

Sift 1 cup sugar and fold into egg white mixture.

1 cup cake flour (I measure flour before sifting)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

Sift flour, sugar and cocoa together and fold in egg white mixture.

1 teaspoon vanilla

Fold in above mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.

“I have also baked into cupcakes 12 minutes at 350 degrees,” Meyer said.

Butter frosting

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup softened butter

Measure milk and cornstarch into sauce pan. Boil until very thick.

Beat sugar and butter together until fluffy with an electric mixer.

Add sugar and butter to cooked mixture when it has cooled.

Beat until smooth and fluffy.

Add vanilla.

Never fail meringue

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup water

Pinch of salt

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cornstarch sugar, water and salt. Cook until clear. Cool.

Beat egg whites until frothy. Continue beating while adding cooled mixture.

Beat until stiff. Add vanilla.

“This meringue will not shrink,” Meyer said.

Chocolate cream pie

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour or 3 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

2 cups milk

3 slightly beaten egg yolks

2 tablespoons buffer

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 9-inch baked pastry shell


In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk and add chopped chocolate bars.

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens.

Cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir small amount of hot mixture into yolks; return to hot mixture. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla; cool to room temperature.

To prevent a crust from forming on the top of pudding, put a clear plastic wrap or waxed paper directly on top, touching the surface of hot pudding clear to the sides of bowl.

When cool pour into baked pastry shell.

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