Lake City, Lohrville inspire Coleen's kitchen touch
Monday, April 18, 2011
Coleen Myers in a photo taken in March while on a family vacation in Hawaii with her husband, children, their spouses, and grandchildren. Coleen and her family are giving the “hang ten” hand gesture typically used as a greeting between surfers. Back row (from left): Alex DeVries, Max DeVries, Mike Myers (Coleen’s husband), Ben DeVries, Bret DeVries, Bart DeVries. Front row (from left): Jami Bowen (Alex’s girlfriend), Hannah DeVries, Coleen Myers, Sue DeVries, Joni DeVries, Nick DeVries.
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WILLIAMSBURG — Coleen Myers, of Williamsburg, left west-central Iowa in 1986, but still considers it to be “home.”
She grew up between Lohrville and Lake City in the house where her father, Eldon “Curly” Hildreth, was born. She graduated from Lake City High School and both of her sons, Bart DeVries and Bret DeVries were born in Lake City. She and her family later moved to Glidden.
Coleen considers both towns to be excellent places to raise a family. She says she misses the people there the most and describes them as “kind, gracious, and helpful.” Coleen returns to the area for graduations, weddings, funerals, etc. and always enjoys visiting family and friends.
Coleen warm-heartedly remembers her time in Lake City and Glidden to be filled with precious memories.
As a child, she especially looked forward to the big church picnics. For many years, Woodlawn Christian Church in Lake City would have its annual picnic in Carroll in the park by the old swimming pool. Coleen loved eating lots of good food and then swimming with friends. The First Presbyterian Church in Glidden held its big picnic at Swan Lake. Coleen recalls happily riding around the lake on bicycles with friends and camping at Swan Lake as a girl.
Growing up, Coleen watched her mother, Lenore (Blair) Hildreth, prepare many meals. Early on, she was given the responsibility of putting dinner in the oven or peeling potatoes as her mother was often busy helping her father with farm work.
As a child, Coleen was involved in a 4-H club, the Lake Creek Go-Getters of Calhoun County, and took Home Economics class in high school and she has been cooking ever since. Her family is open to trying new things, so she enjoys collecting recipes and inviting family and friends over for meals. She admits she hates to clean house, so all her energy goes into cooking instead.
Coleen has had many jobs over the years including working third-shift at General Electric in the 1970s in Carroll, correspondence work for the Carroll Daily Times Herald and the Fort Dodge Messenger, and bookkeeping at Boomsma’s Egg Plant in Glidden.
In 1984, she began taking classes at Iowa State University to earn her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. After she earned her degree, she has written proposals, monthly magazines and newsletters, and worked as a photographer, newsroom assistant and an administrative assistant. She now considers herself retired and thoroughly enjoys spending time with her husband, two sons, their spouses, and five grandchildren.
Coleen’s husband, Mike Myers, is a design engineer at Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. in Williamsburg. His passion is bicycle riding, but he also enjoys working on stained glass projects and woodworking. Since their marriage in 1987, Mike and Coleen have lived in many places including Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, and all over Iowa, and have done a major remodel to every house in which they’ve lived.
Oldest son, Bart DeVries, and his wife, Joni (Soyer) both graduated from Glidden-Ralston in 1982, have three sons and live in Des Moines. Bart works at Sortino Transportation Inc. along with their oldest son, Alex. Bart’s wife, Joni, is vice president of the Trust Department at Wells Fargo. Nick is in customer service at Nationwide Insurance and Ben will graduate from Lincoln High School in May.
Bret DeVries, (a 1983 Glidden-Ralston graduate) and his wife, Susan, also live in Des Moines with their two children. Bret is account executive at Commodity & Ingredient Hedging and Susan is a kindergarten teacher at Cattell Elementary School in Des Moines.
Hannah, a junior, and Max, a sophomore, both attend Lincoln High School. Hannah has been taking a Culinary Arts class through Des Moines Public Schools and has discovered her love of cooking.
Since her retirement, Coleen stays very busy with her family and hobbies. She completed the Master Gardener program and also enjoys exercise, photography and church activities including mission trips to Guatemala and teaching and leading small groups.
Last month, Coleen treated her family to a trip to Hawaii to celebrate her 65th birthday (one year late as she turned 66 in January). Her husband, two sons and their wives, and five grandchildren stayed at the Sheraton Resort in Maui. The entire family zip-lined, went to the top of the mountain to watch the sun rise and rode 30 miles down on bicycles, went whale watching, and ended the weeklong trip with a luau.
That night was also very special as it was also Bret and Sue’s 22nd wedding anniversary.
Coleen’s five grandchildren are very special to her and she devotes a lot of time to them. Since she loves to travel she came up with the unique idea of Mike and her taking each grandchild on a vacation at age 11.
She thought 11 was a good age when kids aren’t embarrassed to be with their grandparents and they are old enough to be away from their parents. She allowed each grandchild to select their vacation based on their interests. For all five grandchildren, it was their first airplane ride.
Oldest grandchild, Alex, planned a trip to the Northwest to see the ocean and mountains for the first time. They visited Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier and hiked all over Silver Falls State Park to see seven waterfalls. Coleen and Mike took grandson, Nick, to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks to hike and see Old Faithful, and they drove into Canada, as well.
Ben wanted to see the Rocky Mountains and tour the stadium of his favorite team, the Denver Broncos. While in Colorado, they also white-water rafted and swung over the Royal Gorge. Coleen’s only granddaughter, Hannah, requested the most exotic location, Hawaii.
There they enjoyed the beach, the Polynesian culture and hiked through lava fields at Volcanoes National Park. Youngest grandson, Max, selected San Francisco as his destination and they rode bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge, hiked to the top of a mountain at Yosemite National Park and spent time on a sailboat with a marine biologist.
Coleen and Mike always tried to include National Parks on these vacations to show their grandchildren the beauty and preservation of the United States. After each vacation, Coleen compiled a very special scrapbook with photos of their trip for each grandchild. She enjoys watching them look through their scrapbooks and remember the memories they created together.
Perfect Macaroni Salad
This salad is well liked by Coleen’s family. It is an old family recipe given to her by her friend, Saundra Shadle, of Carroll.
Cook 12 oz of pasta (macaroni, tri-color rotini, shells, whatever you have on hand) according to directions, rinse and drain; then place in large bowl.
Sprinkle the following on the pasta:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1-1/2 cup mayonnaise (more or less depending on the dryness of the salad)
Mix everything together, then stir in four boiled eggs that have been chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Chinese Cabbage Salad
Coleen’s family loves this recipe given to her by a friend in Omaha. It is often served at family gatherings. Coleen chops up the cabbage and onion ahead of time and when it’s almost time to eat, she adds the almonds, noodles, and dressing so it is sure to stay fresh and crunchy.
1/2 to 2/3 head of cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (you can toast the almonds and sesame seeds if you like, but it works well without toasting them)
4 green onions, chopped (or substitute regular onion,2 Tablespoons, diced)
1 package chicken flavored Ramen noodles (do not cook), save flavoring packet for the dressing
In large bowl, add the shredded cabbage, almonds and onions. Break the ramen noodles into small pieces and add to salad. About a half hour before serving, toss with dressing.
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
contents of flavor packet from the Ramen noodles
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cranberry Marshmallow Cream Salad
This is an old recipe from Coleen’s mother, Lenore Hildreth. Coleen admits not everyone in her family is a fan of cranberries, but her grandson, Nick, loves this salad. He always takes home a big bowl of leftover cranberry salad after family get-togethers.
1 lb fresh cranberries, ground
1 - 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sugar
1 10-1/2 oz bag of miniature marshmallows
16 oz container of whipped topping (use light or non-fat)
After grinding the cranberries, add the sugar and pineapple and refrigerate until serving. Right before serving, stir in the marshmallows and whipped topping.
Coleen remembers making this cake when she was a child in 4-H. It was one of her very first things she learned how to make. Her mother was given the recipe by a neighbor before Coleen was born. Coleen doesn’t bake cakes very often, but she says this is just as fast as a mix and it is a very moist cake with the perfect chocolatey taste.
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water
In a mixing bowl, sift in sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and whipping cream. Mix well then stir in the boiling water. When it is well mixed, pour into a greased and floured 9x13 cake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes (until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean). Frost with your favorite frosting or serve topped with whipped cream.
Crunchy Jumble Cookies
Coleen says everyone likes these cookies. She always has a batch stored in a plastic bag in the freezer so her sons and grandchildren know where to find a treat when they come to visit. The recipe came from a box of Rice Krispies in the early 1970s.
2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 - 12 ounce pkg. chocolate chips
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups Rice Krispies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the sugar and margarine, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. When well mixed stir in the chocolate chips. Then sift in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix. Finally stir in the Rice Krispies. The batter will be stiff. Drop by teaspoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Nine minutes for a chewier cookie and up to 11 minutes for a crispier cookie. Cool. These cookies need to be eaten in a day or two or freeze them and just get out however many cookies you need.
Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies
In the 1990s, Coleen worked as an administrative assistant in the buying office of Younkers in downtown Des Moines. One of the Home Department vendors would bring in these cookies as a treat. According to Coleen, they would be gone in minutes! Luckily, she was able to get the recipe from the vendor. Coleen admits they do take a little more effort, but her family is very appreciative when she takes the time to make them for special occasions.
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon pure almond extract
Combine sugars with margarine and oil, beating until light and fluffy. Then add eggs and almond extract. When they are well mixed add the remaining dry ingredients. Chill the dough until you can handle it easily (at least an hour). Roll dough into one inch balls, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and gently mash with the bottom of a glass drinking glass. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and allow cookies to cool on racks.
Frost cookies with almond frosting (recipe below). Coleen likes to frost the cookies depending on the season. She uses red and green frosting during the Christmas holiday and uses pink and purple around Easter time. She buys the unusual colors of food coloring wherever cake decorating supplies are sold.
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon pure almond extract
3 Tablespoons melted margarine
3 drops food coloring
3 - 4 Tablespoons water
Mix all ingredients until it is creamy and can be spread on the cooled cookies.