My Great Aunt Florene Decker, who died last week at age 101, was a longtime farm wife renowned for both the quality and quantity of her cooking. (She’d also once worked at the Dutch Mill, a landmark Bluffton restaurant that burned down in the ‘90s, though I hadn’t realized this until I saw her obituary.)
After one particularly memorable meal Florene served in October 1985, my late grandmother, Virginia Decker, felt compelled to record the menu that struck her as a “thresher’s feast” — though it was served to a party of 8:
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Macaroni and cheese
Peach cream pie
Angel food cake
Biscuits and whole wheat bread
Though it wasn’t served at this particular dinner, Florene was especially known for her chocolate cake with icing so thick and dense it was almost like a layer of fudge candy. My Uncle Dan* likes to tell a story about how, as a boy, he carefully removed the hardened icing from his cake and set it aside so he could enjoy it last — only to have his Uncle Herman, Florene’s husband, come along and scoop it up.
“Don’t like the frosting, eh?” said Herman, as he popped Dan’s carefully saved treat in his mouth.
Dan was too thunderstruck to reply.