Pioneer Potluck: About the first day of highschool

Timnath High School, Timnath, Colorado



There are no words to this day to convey how terrified I was to get on a school bus for the first time, and go off to high school in a town I had no clue where it was located. All Dad told me was it’s not as far as Fort Collins. We never ventured anywhere while growing up, because Dad was very busy farming and later acquiring herds of cattle that required his attention most of the time. Mom was content to stay at home and bake, cook and sew. The only place we ever got to go was with Mom once or twice a month to the grocery store in Fort Collins. We went shopping that summer for clothes for me for high school at Montgomery Wards and State Dry Goods in Fort Collins. My wardrobe consisted of two new dresses, “under skirts” underwear and socks and one pair of “Saddle Oxfords,” a black and white shoe with white laces – that in Mom’s words, should last me through the school year. We also shopped the same day for grade school clothes for John, Ginger and Elaine. Remember “Buster Brown Shoes”? Yes, that is what my sisters and brother wore — because they would last all through the year.

We had old shoes at home and the minute we came in the door from school we had to change our clothes and our shoes, do our homework and then go do our chores. The dresses and shirts were hung up in the closet for the next day. Our clothes were worn three days and then put in the hamper for Mom to wash on Monday and iron on Tuesday. We HAD to change our socks and underwear everyday! We wore the same old clothes all during the week, doing chores. Saturday night was bath night — wash hair and curl hair, shine our shoes so we all could go to Sunday School and Church on Sunday morning. We were all shinny clean, all the way in to Fort Collins 14 miles from the farm. It was a big trip for all of us because we got to have an ice cream cone at Poudre Valley Creamery after church.

But back to my first day in high school, the ninth grade, being referred to as a freshman was very confusing to me in my farmer-daughter, simple mind, Fresh – Men? We were never pre-registered in school nor did we visit the school the year before, like they do nowadays to “pre-warn” you on the great changes that were about to happen in your life.

To make matters worse I did not know a soul when I got on the bus or when we filed into school. I just barely knew three or four girls that we played baseball with in grade school from Box Elder grade school. Thinking they knew what they were doing I followed them around looking for our assigned lockers and ending up in our first class which I believe was English or history. From then on it got tougher.

When the hall bell rang everyone filed out into the hall — not knowing what to do I followed the three girls again to the lockers and to the next class. During roll call in each class, I learned their names and some of the boys’ names. When the hall bell rang it was lunch time — one hour. The food was made right in the school kitchen by the best old fashioned German/Russian cooks that were hired from surrounding farms to do the cooking during the year. We had wonderful school lunches. Chicken and noodles, turkey and dressing, Cabbage Patches (Kraut burgers) and great big cinnamon rolls, warm from the big ovens, then frosted with thick white icing.

By that time the boys were scoping out the girls and the girls were sneaking peeks at the boys. It was my first encounter of girls giggling and boys making remarks to packs of girls. And because I grew up with boys, it was easier to make friends with them than it was giggly girls. We had Math and Science and Gym in the afternoon. Then time to climb back on the bus for the long ride home and to digest the whole new high school world. I was going to like it!   


Next week, school vacations, holidays, beet harvest, corn picking and haying and a big blizzard. 


These are so good-and not as rich as regular brownies

Cream in mixer bowl

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

Beat until light in creamy and add

2 tablespoons Cocoa

1 teaspoons soda

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups flour

2 cups applesauce

Mix and add 1 cup a chocolate chips and 1 cup of chopped walnuts... This is optional

Depending on how thick you want this, I used a 9 x 9 glass baking dish, but you could also put in a 9 x 13 for thinner brownie. Bake at 350° for about 45 min. in a 9 x 9 and about 30 to 35 min. in a 9 x 13.  You will have to check the middle to see if it’s done-my oven varies from time to time.  So good warm with whipped cream.  


1 1/4 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and salt

1 cup butter softened

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3 cups old-fashioned oats or the quick cooking kind

1 2/3 cups butterscotch flavored morsels-this is an 11-oz pkg.

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, both sugars, eggs and vanilla in a larger mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and butterscotch morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoons on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 7 to 8 min. for chewy cookies and 9 to 10 min. for crispy cookie. Cool on baking sheet 2 min. and remove to wire racks to cool. 


1/2 cup butter softened

3/4 cups sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups flour

Garnishing could be sliced almonds or sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl on high speed until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients except flour until well blended. On low speed beat in flour just until blended. Drop by rounded teaspoons 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with almonds or sugar or both... Bake 10 to 12 min. until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 1 min. before removing to wire rack to cool completely.


This has always been a hit at most holiday functions.

8 tablespoons butter

8 ounces semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate squares, chopped

1 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

3 large eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

25 small peppermint patties

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8 in.8 baking pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang on all sides. Butter the foil. Set aside.


Place chocolate and butter in medium heat proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan with gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until just melted, 3 or 4 min. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar salt until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa powder just until smooth but do not over mix.


Spread one third of batter into prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties on batter in a single layer leaving a narrow border on all sides. Top with remaining batter and smooth surface. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached about 45 to 55 min. Cool completely in pan. Use overlapping foil to live from pan peel off foil and discard. Cut into 16 squares, 4 rows by 4 rows.

Decorate top if desired by drizzling vanilla frosting and a few shakes of cocoa powder.