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A post from five years ago – memories of VJ Day.

Lillian's Cupboard

In August of 1945, I was 12 years old, enjoying the last month of vacation before entering the 8th grade at old Highland School in the East End neighborhood of Cincinnati.

I was obsessed with the Cincinnati Reds who were just terrible that year, but I followed them on the radio, listening to Waite Hoyt’s expert calls interspersed with his stories about the 1927 Yankees where he had been a star pitcher and teammate of Babe Ruth.

V-E Day (the end of the war in Europe) had occurred in May and everyone was hoping and praying for the end of the war in Japan.  I remember seeing pictures in magazines of how things would be once the war was over.  I was particularly impressed with a picture of a candy store display that actually had chocolate bars along with the Chuckles gum drops, taffy and hard candy we were used…

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My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in blue and in parenthesis by Lillian

My mother’s family was pretty ordinary when compared to the overly exciting Applegates.

Episode 8

mothercarMartha Evelyn Mount, ca 1918

My family wasn’t very exciting.  My mother was only 4 years old when her mother died and left quite a lot of children.

Emily Creager ConoverEmily Creager Conover, ca 1869

My mother’s mother married real well – married a rich farmer (Emily E. Creager and William Henry Conover) and they always had black people working for them – had ex-slaves working for them.  But she died when my mother was only 4 years old and there was quite a lot of them in the family. She was very proud, my mother’s mother was.  When she was a young lady she would ride the fox hunts side-saddle, a very proud lady.   (Although Grandma and all of her sisters told this story, we have not found anything to prove this prosperity in her family.)

How she come to die so young was one of the girls was taking piano lessons and she wanted to go through the room and she wouldn’t go through the room because she was pregnant.  She went through a window – jumped out of a little window – and caused her to lose the baby and she died in childbirth.

All of Mom’s brothers and sisters were well to do but Mom didn’t have very good luck – she had lost her husband so young and always had to work, but she was a very proud lady, too, and she was very strict in her way but very good to us children.  She never spanked us – I never got a spanking in my life.  But you knew when she said to do something, you done it – you knew you had to do it.  She was a little Dutch lady to begin with – her real name was Wilhelmina.  When she went to work the conductor on the railroad train when he took her ticket asked her what her name was and she said Wilhelmina Conover and he said, “Oh, go to hell and meet me Conover” and it made her so mad she changed her name to Helen.   Every time he’d see her, he’d say, “Go to hell and meet me Conover”.

Gr Helen 2
Wilhelmina Conover, ca 1906

Mom was very strict – she talked a lot of that Pennsylvania Dutch kind of talk but you didn’t dare make fun of her, she’d say, “You know what I mean” and you didn’t dare laugh at her.  I remember when Johnny, my husband, and I just got married she’d say to people, “Martha’s husband wants to make a race horse out of himself”.  What she meant was he wanted to make a race horse driver, but she’d say he wanted to make a race horse out of himself.  We always thought it was funny but we didn’t dare laugh.

Her husband, my father (George Dale Mount), died when he was only 28 – I was only 2 – I don’t have any memory of him at all but my sister (Alice Mae Mount) always said he liked her the best so I guess it’s good I don’t have any memory of him except he give me my name and I was always proud of that.  On Thanksgiving Day he come downstairs and he told my mother, he said, “I dreamed we had a little girl and we named her Martha” and she said, “Well, you better go get the doctor because I think your dream’s going to come true” and he went for the doctor and I was born before the doctor got there.  He went running down and said, “Hurry up, hurry up, doctor, the baby’s already here” and old Doc said, “There’s no use hurrying if your baby’s already here”.

George-derbyGeorge Dale Mount, ca 1909

My father (George Dale Mount) died of the flu during World War I and I always wondered where I got my love of dancing and Aunt Mabel (Mabel Conover) said I got it from him.  He loved to dance and he would dance as long as anybody would play music and he was quite a singer, too.  He died young.

My mother told me when I was little I always woke up and cried – I would cry for an hour.  Nothing they would do would stop me from crying so they just let me cry until I cried it out.  One day her and her sister, my Aunt Mabel (Conover), were sitting in the kitchen and I woke up from my nap and, of course, I sat at the top of the stairs and I cried.  They said, “Come on, Martha” and usually I would just come down one step at a time crying all the way down.  But this time I just kept crying and crying.  They said, “Come on, Martha – come on, Martha” and I’d just keep crying.  So, finally they come to look and see what I was doing and here I was, I was hanging by my heel on the carpeted steps that they had in those days and I was hanging upside-down and to this day I’m afraid to take that first step – I’m scared to death to go down stairs.

Mother Storyb (2)
Martha Evelyn Mount, ca 1918

I remember my first little boy friend – we called them “beaux” in those days – his name was Homer Bailey.  He was the prettiest little thing – he had blonde curly hair and blue eyes – the prettiest blue eyes.  There was only one thing – every day in school he’d wet his pants – we were just in the first grade.  And he used to walk me home from school every night and his house was beyond mine.  One day he wanted to stop and play and Mom said, “No, no!” and I never could figure out why she didn’t want me to play with that pretty little boy.

Grandma school photoMorrow School, ca 1929

Martha Mount, 2nd row, 3rd from right

Alice Mae Mount, 2nd row, 3rd from left

Grandma school closeMartha Mount, closeup

martha report card

In the next installment, Mother describes the joys of playing in and around small-town Morrow, Ohio, with her young sister, Mabel, in tow.






It’s been five years since I posted these good St. Patrick’s Day treats.  I thought it was time for a replay.


Lillian's Cupboard

I have a very slim Irish line in my ancestry, but I married a man who was was fiercely proud of his Irish lineage.  Frank used to take off work on St. Patrick’s Day so he could grab his green derby and head for the nearest pub to spend the day.  One St. Patrick’s Day, he showed up on the evening news coverage at Hap’s Irish Pub with his derby slightly askew,  surrounded by his cronies, waving a big mug of beer and bellowing out, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”.  His mother said, “Jesus, Joseph and Mary, I’m mortified to death” that her friends saw him in such a state, but this is the woman who was doing the Irish jig for her grandchildren well into her 80s and who said her grandmother washed her clothes on the banks of the river Shannon.

So, I raised four mostly-Irish children and…

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ClemPudding (1)

It’s that time of year again when we often find a few remaining Clementines and we’re tired of eating them out of hand.  This is a good way to use Clementines and enjoy a bright, orange flavored dessert.

First, to prepare the Clementines:

Wash and dry three Clementines, remove stems and place in a microwave-safe dish.  Cover Clementines with cold water, put a lid on the dish and microwave on high for approximately 10 minutes.  Clementines should be quite soft and look something like fresh, ripe apricots.  Let cool in microwave – be careful, they get very hot.

Cut the Clementines in half and process as finely as possible in a food processor or blender (remove seeds if necessary but, yes, process both rind and flesh).



Makes about ½ cup.  Set aside.

Note:  Clementines can also be covered with water and boiled on the stove top for two hours.  Clementine puree can be frozen.


¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt

1 egg
1 cup cold milk
1 cup hot milk
1/2 cup Clementine puree (See instructions above)
1 Tblsp. undiluted orange juice concentrate

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, salt, egg and cold milk.  Slowly whisk in hot milk and cook over medium high heat until mixture begins to boil. Lower heat to medium and continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add Clementine puree and orange juice concentrate.  Stir and allow to cool in the pan, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top.

Pour into six dessert dishes.  Good at room temperature or chilled.  Refrigerate leftovers.

ClemPudding (2)



Now, that Christmas is over, I can share some of my holiday quilting projects.  I have a large stash of orphan blocks, saved over the years from various projects or sometimes made as a single, difficult block that I would not want to use for a big quilt.  I decided to put some of them together as lap quilts for my son in St. Louis, his wife, two daughters and their dog.

In each case the quilts were 36×48 inches (except for the one for the dog) since that’s about as big as I can handle on a domestic sewing machine any more.  Also, the quilts were all backed with fleece and included  hand-embroidered labels.  My son’s quilt was made up of black/white blocks, which included several Judy Martin blocks, an Eleanor Burns block and a 70s style appliqued turkey.

jblap (2)

I used sashing and some lively polka-dot fabric as borders to complete the project.

jblap (1)

My daughter-in-law’s quilt had a large medallion block in the center that was made as part of Jacquelynne Steves’ Sew Sweet Simplicity quilt-along.

dd cudd chr

The older granddaughter’s quilt was made using a block I saw on the internet.  I added an embroidered panel at the top.

vicki full


The younger granddaughter’s quilt centered around a block I found online plus three hand-embroidered panels at the top.



The dog’s quilt was made using blocks from a Barbara Brackman Civil War quilt-along and one block I made for a swap about 12 years ago.

cocoa full

cocoa c u

The family sent me a picture of Cocoa with her quilt.  I’ve never met Cocoa and think the next time I’ll need to add a few more blocks for a bigger quilt.

12422134_10100906250494021_1716239658_oClick on photos to enlarge.

TurkeyCran (1)

My daughter-in-law in St. Louis sent me a recipe for using up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey and we all loved it.  This salad combines sweetened, orange-flavored fresh cranberries and crisp almonds to dress up some leftover turkey.

Since I used up all the turkey to make the salad right after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d make another batch for dinner today using chicken breast.  It was delicious.  It’s a very easy recipe to put together and makes wonderful sandwiches.  Her recipe called for wheat bread slices, but I had some good bakery dinner rolls on hand and they worked well, too.

Make up the cranberry mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours ahead of time to get the best flavor.

Dee-Dee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries

½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. orange juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken breast), chopped
2 Tblsp. parsley, chopped
2 green onions, tops and tender green parts, sliced
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 wheat bread slices, dinner rolls or bread of your choice
4 large red-leaf lettuce leaves

In a food processor with metal blade, process cranberries with sugar, orange juice and orange zest, using on-off pulses until coarsely chopped.  Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, parsley, green onions, mayonnaise and salt/pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.  At serving time, stir the cranberry mixture and almonds into the turkey/chicken mixture and spoon onto bread slices.  Top with lettuce.  Makes 4-6 servings.

TurkeyCran (2)