Memories of Cooking in the Old Hospital By Norma Berg

I wish to share my memories when I cooked at the hospital in the early 1960’s. One year we were able to get fresh oysters to serve the staff. We rolled them in flour and fried them. At first, people were uncertain if they would like them. The next time, they looked forward to them. We had beef steak at least once a week.  I made pies several times a month for the staff and for the patients who were on a regular diet. I had a very good recipe for the lemon pie filling. There were no packages of lemon pie filling in those days. You squeezed the juice of the lemons, etc.

On of the patients, Fin Martin from Clandonald, enjoyed the pie and wanted to know who made it and sent her thanks. Many years later, when my husband and I celebrated our 60th anniversary, she sent us a card with her greetings and in the corner of the card she wrote “Lemon Pie” - after all those years, she never forgot!

I made buns several times a month. Mrs. Olsen, our dietician, always enjoyed the buns and sometimes ate more than her share. One evening, about eleven o’clock, she went to the nursing station and asked for something for indigestion. The next morning, she was found dead in her suite. Everyone said to me, “Norma, it is your fault - she ate so many of your buns”. 

On a lighter note, I have many memories of the annual hospital balls held at the Elks Hall. Staff members board members, doctors, and their invited guests attended. I was on the planning committee and, as hostess, I welcomed everyone to an “Evening in Paris” theme. Mr. Ron Barwick, who was on the decorating committee, transformed the stage with black and gold wallpaper and concealed lighting, blue carpet, and a black wrought iron railing — a perfect setting for his orchestra “We Three” in their handsome uniforms - they provided the music. At midnight, a supper of southern fried chicken was served. The dancing continued with novelty dances and draws for door prizes.

Thursday Cookies (Ice Box Cookies)

Donna (Holliday) Babcock’s Mom (Ma Holliday) made these cookies for the staff on Thursday - hence the name. It is not known if the patients were treated to them.

1 lb. margarine 

2 cups white sugar

3 eggs

2 tbsp, molasses

1 cup raisins

1 cup nuts

2/3 cups chopped dates

1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

4 cups rolled oats

3 cups flour

Vi tsp. salt

Cream margarine with sugar and molasses. Beat in eggs. Break up oats a bit with your hands. Mix in flour and soda mixture. Form into rolls, wrap in saran wrap, and chill in fridge. Slice and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.


The entire hospital staff in 1940 including kitchen staff:

1940 Hospital Staff


L-R  Molly Tchir Waltze, Iryne Kozak Buck, Buzzy Pelechosky, Betty Kopp Millar, Freda Vaughn Bowtell, Dagne Wilson, Miss Henry, Miss Trudy Caskey, Dell Beebe 


A more recent Staff picture:

Recent Hospital Staff


Loretta Paquette,Lise Bussiere, Donna Fakely, Jackie Whiffen-Peters, Sandra Oester, Charlene Bintz, Roseann Dutchak, Lucille Robinson, Linda Dorey, Ann Ucbman, Polly Fontaine,

Jerome Keichinger, Carolyn Onusko, Debbie Hahn