Revisitng Cooks Of The Past

Members of Bethel Lutheran Church’s Adult Sunday Class were featured in 2006. Submitted photo

I have featured people of all ages over the last 21 years and today I revisit a few of them, from a preteen to some senior citizens.

I begin with Johnathan Schulz who was just 12-years old when he appeared on this page on May 19, 2012. I was impressed with his work ethic and the fact that he was an entrepreneur while still in the sixth grade.

It started when he was telling his mother, Rhonda Schultz, how he wanted to replenish the $40 he had spent from his birthday money to buy Christmas gifts and her suggesting he take orders for freshly-baked cookies. With his mother’s guidance, he decided which kinds of cookies he would offer and that’s when J’s Jazzy Cookies came to be.

The preteen started by going door-to-door taking orders from people living in his neighborhood and from the congregation at Randolph First Baptist Church, where his father Pastor Ken Schultz preaches. Within two days he had orders for 500 chocolate chip, peanut butter and double chocolate cookies. A coupon was given with each order for a free half-dozen when two dozen cookies were ordered, as well as an insert that read “May the Lord bless and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you. Numbers 6:24”

He tithed 10 percent of his profits to the church and gave a donation to a local Christian school. At that time, he had planned to take some of his earnings on the family’s vacation.

The late Rhandy Ling is posed with a doll she made representing herself when she was a child. Photo by Jack Berger

Baking wasn’t the only thing the young man took seriously. His grades were a priority and his hard work paid-off, when in 2018, he graduated from Randolph Central School in the top ten percent of his class, earning a full-ride scholarship to Jamestown Community College, where he entered as a Sophomore.

Between his classes and a job at Red Lobster, the 19-year old doesn’t have time for baking. He has plans to transfer to SUNY Buffalo or Brooklyn College next September to study news broadcasting.

Frewsburg’s Julie Minor was multi-tasking the day I visited her home in 2006 and she hasn’t slowed down yet. At that time, she estimated her rolling pin had rolled 10,000 pie crusts over a 15-year period.

“It’s still going, but is wobbly,” she said. “I have made 500 pies per season since, so multiply that by the number of years since you were here and add that to 10,000.”

She still enjoys flower gardening and canning, but no longer has a vegetable garden.

Twelve-year old Johnathan Schultz samples one of the many cookies he baked when he ran his J’s Jazzy Cookies business in 2012. He is now a Sophomore at Jamestown Community College. Submitted photo

“I had to make some changes, so I gave up the vegetable garden.

Another change she made was leaving her job at Roberts’ Nursery after 22 years.

The Page Road resident attends Clark’s Corners Community Church where she has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and where she teaches a Bible study. Quilting, cross-stitch and horses are hobbies as was reported in her January 7, 2006 story. She belongs to Chautauqua Region Quilt Guild and enjoys meeting with her horse friends.

Her two sons and daughter live in Clymer, Farmersville and “across the road.” She has six grandchildren, including a set of twins. When we last spoke, she was making pizza with her 2 1/2-year old granddaughter, Alivia.

She and her husband, Al, own and operate a dairy farm with his brother, Dan, and his wife, Julie.

Julie Minor of Frewsburg made an appearance on the recipe page on January 7, 2006. Submitted photo

My opening paragraph for Rhandy Ling’s July 18, 1998 article was “Have you ever met someone who was upbeat, talented, creative and made you feel good just by being near them? Rhandy Ling is just that kind of person.”

I happened to have known Rhandy, due to living in the same small town as she did and I never ran into her when she didn’t act thrilled to see me. I heard that same enthusiasm is her voice whenever we spoke on the phone. There was never a time when I felt like I was interrupting her day, in fact she made me feel like she was waiting for my call, even though it only came every few years.

Once, after not talking to her for a long period of time, I shared how I was trying to come up with some ideas to pamper my four aunts on Aunts’ Day, an annual day I used to host for them. She not only told me she and her daughter-in-law would do foot baths, but arranged for two friends to come give the ladies massages.

On another occasion I invited her to come to a slumber party I was hosting for several of my girlfriends. One of the activities was playing “Name That Tune.” Even though there were 10-12 women in attendance, Rhandy guessed 90 percent of the 50s and 60s song titles, usually after hearing only the first few notes.

In my original article I told how Mrs. Ling met her childhood sweetheart and future husband, John, at a church when she was thirteen years old and about their three sons and two grandchildren.

That number has grown to six grandchildren. She had owned and operated Duds You Do Right, a laundromat she had put much time and effort into planning and decorating with a country decor.

She enjoyed singing at weddings and funerals, coming from a long line of soloists, beginning with her great-grandfather.

The wonderful woman passed away in 2010 after battling breast cancer. She tried to keep a positive attitude and to help others in the same situation with their attitude.

“She always wanted to have the kids, grandchildren and extended family close by. “says John Ling.

Until her passing, she was very active in the Jamestown Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where she is missed.

I was invited to visit Bethel Lutheran Church Adult Sunday School Class, which I featured on Dec. 23, 2006. At that time the class had been going for nearly 50 years and had had the same teacher, Alice Levin, for 40 of those years. Her daughter, Dottie, took over in her mother’s absence.

Fourteen of the 35-40 original members were still attending regularly at that time. They kept the tradition of holding two breakfasts per year, at Christmas time and in June, and brought some of the dishes the others once brought as a way to remember them.

The church was started by a large Scandinavian group and most of the classmates were of Scandinavian heritage. An annual korv party was another tradition that had observed by the class for approximately 30 years in 2006. Korv is a Swedish sausage that is still served in many Swedish homes over the Christmas holidays, including those in the Jamestown area.

The members of the class would bring their own meat for the amount of sausage they wanted to make. At one time the group made 444 pounds of sausage at their gathering.

“We all brought treats so once we made the korv, we ate the snacks,” said Dottie.

Few of the classmates survive and the class no longer meets.

“It was a very special, close class,” said Nancy Jones.

A few recipes from the earlier articles follow.

Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Soup


1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 carrots, shredded or grated

1 lb cubed, cooked ham

1 lb butter

3 c flour

3 qts whole milk

1 T chicken base

1 3/4 lbs cheddar cheese

In a frying pan, saute onion and carrots in a small amount of butter until onion is translucent. Add ham. Set aside. In a large soup pot, melt 1 pound butter. Slowly add flour, whisking constantly. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until blended and thickened. Stir in chicken base and onion mixture. Shred cheese and add to soup. Stir until cheese is melted.

Dark French Dressing

1 c virgin olive oil

1/3 c ketchup

1/4 c white vinegar

1 small onion, quartered

2 tsp salt

2 tsp paprika

2/3 c sugar

Combine in food processor and blend until the onions are liquefied and dressing is smooth.

Pepperkaker Cake

(Jeane Stark-Bethel Lutheran Church)

1 1/4 c sugar

1 egg

2/3 c milk or buttermilk

1 1/4 c flour

1/2 tsp soda

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

Beat sugar, egg and milk well. Add flour, soda, spices and melted butter. Bake in greased pan at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Topping

(Annie Riisberg-Bethel Lutheran Church)

1 c quick-cooking oatmeal

1/2 c shortening

1 1/4 c boiling water

1 c brown sugar

1 c white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs, well beaten

1 1/3 c flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

Put oatmeal and shortening into a large mixing bowl. Pour boiling water over. Let stand 15 minutes. Add sugars and vanilla. Stir well. Add eggs and combine. Stir in dry ingredients. Bakes 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes in a well-greased 9-inches by 13-inches pan. Prepare topping to have ready when cake is done.


1 T butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 T cream

2/3 c brown sugar

2 egg yolks

1 c coconut

Mix all ingredients. Spread over hot cake. Put cake in oven for a few minutes to brown. Watch carefully, if using broiler.

Buster Bar Ice Cream Cake

(Johnathan Schultz)

2 sticks butter, melted (divided)

1 lb Oreo cookies, crushed

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

6 oz Spanish peanuts, optional

1 c chocolate chips

1 can evaporated milk

2 c confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Mix together one stick melted butter and the cookies. Press into 13-inches by 9-inches pan. Spread softened ice cream over crust. Sprinkle with peanuts. Freeze. Melt remaining stick butter, milk and sugar in pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until thick. Add vanilla. Pour over frozen ice cream and return to freezer.

Salisbury Steak

(Rhandy Ling)

1 large round steak

1/2 c flour

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp butter

3/4 c water

Salt and pepper

Cut steak into six pieces. Sprinkle flour on each piece; pound with edge od saucer in a checkerboard pattern. Repeat on other side (this step is very important). Add more flour. If pieces are too large, cut in half. In a large skillet, sautÈ chopped onion in butter over medium-high heat. Remove from pan when transparent and put into a bowl. Place several pieces of meat in hot skillet, browning on both sides. Remove and repeat with remaining meat. Add water to pan and stir. Return onions and meat to skillet. Salt and pepper meat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. It will make its own gravy.

Tapioca Fluff Pudding

(Julie Minor)

1/2 c plus 1 T tapioca

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar

6 c milk

3 eggs, divided

2 tsp vanilla

Combine tapioca, salt, sugar, milk and yokes in a saucepan. Let sit 15 minutes. Cook on medium heat until bubbly. Continue cooking 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat whites until stiff, adding 6 tablespoons a little at a time. Fold into pudding.