Last Friday we were in the warm, cherry wood-adorned lobby of the First International Bank and Trust raising money for the Carnegie Center window valances.
Many of you know that for several years we have been transforming the former draperies and stage curtains from the McFarland Auditorium into keepsakes which are auctioned off at the annual Minot State University Gala. In addition to this, we are currently raising money to clean all the velvet. Once this is done, we plan to donate much of the velvet to the Carnegie Center in downtown Minot. Esther Ost and a crew of admirable seamstresses, will transform this heritage velvet into window valances. It is the perfect place to have a classic presentation of this rich burgundy velvet. Unlike the curtains from McFarland, the velvet is very difficult to embroider on thus limiting its use. We will, however, continue to have items that we donate to the MSU Gala fashioned out of the velvet.
Our current process of raising funds for this has been to create fashion and sell items made from all the former McFarland fabrics. It has been going very well, and we are almost to our goal. The beauty of these sales has been the faithful public who wishes to purchase a keepsake at a set price. We have been most pleased with continued interest and support folks have in these items. Another added plus is the many wonderful memories of Minot State and McFarland that customers are willing to share in a delicious range of hues, tones and gestures.
Charles Repnow is a freelance writer who lives in Rugby. His column appears on alternate Wednesdays in The Minot Daily News.
This past Friday we had a new twist to our sale. It all happened when Les and Delores Sorenson of Minot attended the sale and brought us homemade cookies. What can be more welcoming on a Friday afternoon than a plate of homemade cookies? Yes, I know backrub is inviting too, but serving coffee with it can be a bit messy. Actually, they brought in a box of cookies. Now that was an enjoyable first for us.
Both Les and Delores are graduates of Minot State University with teaching degrees. They enjoyed teaching in classrooms at Minot Model, Kenosha, Wis., and Delores also taught for many years in Underwood. She encouraged her students to stretch past the everyday stuff of life -- "well, once they finished their English assignments" -- to explore their higher potential. Such as her students understanding the many blessings often bestowed upon them. She was also quick to inform that being the guardian of such treasures meant bringing them forth to shine.
She was superior at corralling students to join together for a cause. Her 25-year commitment of delivering Christmas gifts to the residents Anne Carlsen School in Jamestown was one of her finest explorations for students to be engaged -- giving and learning.
Usually when students have a wider perception, soon to arrive are creative methods for accomplishing their goals. Take for example the means in which the gifts were delivered to the school. Often Delores and her husband, Les, would take them down to Jamestown. Now if this was not possible, the forces for the cause rounded up parents, policemen, and once when the roads were beyond terrible, even the state patrol. This is an excellent example of students seeing the joys of giving and being aware of the needs of others and also taking note of the many connections they make along the way as they accomplish something substantial in society. Her contribution to young people went beyond the classroom and by doing the right and much needed thing her impact has made a difference.
My connection to Les and Delores goes back to Underwood, which is also Delores' hometown. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Payne, were longtime Underwood residents and certainly gracious to my grandparents Walter and Bertha Repnow and their family. The kindness of the Payne family had spilled over into the second and third generations of the Repnow family as well.
I once walked in on Delores and her dear sister, Arlette, doing early morning laundry in their classic curvaceous Esther Williams swimsuits with matching runway pumps -- Arlette in purple and Delores in black. Our Laundromat did not have a pool, but they both made a flattering splash! Delores says she has retired from modeling swimwear; however, she continues to dip into cookie baking at a steady tempo. I am willing to bet she still draws many admirers. I share with you this fine cookie recipe from Delores' recipe box.
This recipe was given to Delores by Bertha Olson. Delores shares that she has made this recipe hundreds of times and never a flop. When she first was given a plate of these cookies by Bertha, she responded by saying "Well, if I could make cookies this good, I would quit teaching."
Delores certainly has the best of both worlds -- the many memories of being a fine teacher and now the pleasures that come with her weekly sharing of these delicious cookies with others. I certainly do admire her pep and her enterprising mind to conceive running a possible bakery. This has been the exact zest that has brought forth cooking wonders like Rachel Ray. Who knows -- maybe someday we will see Delores Divine!
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of butter
1 egg using only the yolk
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 tablespoon dark Karo syrup
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
White chocolate chips for finishing garnish.
Melt the butter and mix with sugar until fine. To the egg yolk, add 2 teaspoons of soda and mix. Add this along with 1 tablespoon of dark Karo syrup to butter and sugar mixture. In a separate bowl blend the flour and cinnamon. Add this to the first mixture while blending with an electric mixer. The dough will be somewhat sticky.
Shape into balls the size of a walnut or smaller and roll in white sugar. Do not flatten. Place them on a baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper and bake in a 365 F oven for 12 minutes. Once they are removed from the oven, place them on tinfoil and press into each cookie a couple of chips. Delores shared that she has used chocolate kisses, and other candies as well for a top garnish. The cookies keep very well in the freezer for up to two months. I assure you they will not last that long! Delores also shared that she has used one stick of butter and 1 stick of Parkay with excellent results, as well.
It is a joy when a baker shares a recipe without having to look it up. This was the case with Delores as she recited the recipe in fine fashion while interjecting tried-and-true tips that she has discovered in the extension of her baking years. Keep in mind when you need to deliver the goods, this cookie comes forth in glory, showcasing the tranquil beauty of a light and tasty homemade cookie.