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An Ice Cream Soda Day

Oh, how well I remember them, Dear Readers—those special Friday afternoon treats at my family’s favorite soda fountain in Capital City, ND. Shiny metal single-pedestal-supported, twirling-soda-fountain stools whose circular seats were covered in sparkly red vinyl lined up in a precise straighter-than-straight row on the front side of the bar. Do you remember them? Walls shielded in […]

The Dutch Girl Cookie Jar

A cookie jar. It was customary kitchen décor in the days of my youth. The ceramic blue-skirted Dutch girl cookie jar that sat on our kitchen counter never turned away a family member’s outstretched hand. The hand may have been large or small, clean as new-fallen snow or dirt-kissed from a hard afternoon at play. […]

Celebrating Mom

It was made of construction paper—8-1/2 x 11 inches in size—folded in half—carnation pink in color. Using my grass green Crayola crayon, I carefully drew simple outlines of rudimentary posies. Drawing was not my talent as a first grader and still is not. However, even those many years ago, a floral bouquet of such paper-made […]

Reaping Mighty Rewards

“Wholeheartedly.” “Do it with all your heart.” “With deep sincerity.” Clearly, as a small business owner, inspiration from those words forms the woof and warp threads of dessert-baking passion for Miss NiNi. Even as a child, my family’s farming heritage stamped “entrepreneur” on my heart. It was as if stepping stones to a life of […]

The Story of a Kitchen Heirloom

I walk in front of it multiple times daily. I am aware of the story of its journey…and yet, missing pieces of the saga are surely unknown. It’s an heirloom that even when taken out of intended service still touched the heart of a shy little country girl. The setting was during the 1950s when […]

Love In a Jar

How well I remember the shiny aluminum pan that lay tucked away behind closed doors in our farm kitchen! It was not a work horse by any means. Basically, it slept away the sands of time. “Used Only For A Few Special Occasions” could have been its future epitaph. This while-away-the-time pan was part of […]

For the Love of 50

It was the era of chiffon pies, angel food cake, and baked Alaska. Little tart-sized, double-crusted pies that replicated their big sister pies were new to the dessert scene. And, Dear Readers, let us not forget the ying and yang colors of dessertdom–chocolate cake with white icing. That yummy dessert debutante had its initiation into […]

A Cake’s Supporting Cast

416 was the count!  I know. I inspected the final tally, Dear Readers! Within that count, my two hands individually cradled 300 of them during another Miss NiNi Team dessert-baking marathon! As the recipient of a golden Academy award faces a sea of silver-screen idols, I, too, gratefully give thanks–to a one-of-a-kind group of little ladies. […]

And To Think It All Started with Muffins

Once upon a time, there was a timid little girl who grew up on the prairie. She lived in a rural environment and was surrounded by her family’s love. Farm animals of various sizes and shapes were her playmates. A reciprocated tenderness of heart with these animals grew by leaps and bounds day after windy […]

Are Roses Blooming in the Bakery?

Miss NiNi is rarely in the throes of such bounteous beauty. But I was a few days ago! Thousands of “mouthwatering” flowers of magnificent size, color, and grandeur graced the speaker’s platform at the Cass County Master Gardeners’ 20th Annual Spring Garden Seminar. A bouquet of floral fragrance in the venue was comforting and certainly reflected […]