"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

October 2004



Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is odd with its twists and turns,

As everyone of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When you might have won had you stuck it out;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow - You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out - The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit - It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Edgar A. Guest

Three Generations of the Kester Family Share Their Favorite Recipes

The Kester family was known in West Valley for the bake stand they ran for 12 years on the weekends on Route 219 (now 240), a road which ran from West Valley to Springville, New York.  People would drive out from Buffalo (45-mile trip) to sample their baked goods.  One Thursday night a car with people in it from Buffalo stopped at the Kester's house hoping that they could get some fresh baked sweet rolls.  They surmised that Thursday was bake night.  Their hunch paid off.  The people purchased the sweet rolls and were happily eating them as they drove away.  The rolls and pies were the most popular at the bake stand, as well as the Snickerdoodles.

Jane made all of the pies.  She said the most she made was 23 in one day.  Flour, sugar, nuts, and chocolate chips were purchased in bulk in Buffalo.  The bake stand got started one year when Jane and her husband Harland were planning on going to Arizona for Jane's parents' anniversary.  Usually the Kester's had a garden and the children (Allisan, Ada, Gordon, Linda, Miles, and Aaron) had a produce stand.  That year, Linda was in and out of the hospital, the trip to Arizona was canceled, and no garden was planted.  The children were bored and wanted to know what they could do.  Jane suggested that Allisan and Ada start a bake stand.  They did and then later Linda and her friend Cheryl Creeley  took over.  The bake stand closed when Linda was a senior.  After the first year of the bake stand, the Kester's ran a combination vegetable and bake stand.  At first Jane and Harland matched the profit the children made to put toward college.  After awhile, the business was so successful that they discontinued that practice.

Women from three generations of the Kester family (Jane Kester, Jane's daughter Linda Hamblin, and Linda's daughter Kelly Benzel) have provided me with 14 of their favorite recipes to share with you.  I have tried them all in the past month.  My favorite is the Bisque Cake.  I've made it twice already and can't wait to make it again.  You can read more about that recipe and others when you click on the recipe links below.  

I spent two enjoyable hours talking about recipes with Jane and her daughter Linda.  Jane said she encouraged her daughters to make their own 3-ring recipe binder of their favorite recipes.  Jane and her daughter Linda both showed me the ones they had made.  Kelly had recently started a scrapbook cookbook.  

When I asked Jane who taught her to cook, she said that she pretty much learned on her own out of cookbooks that her mother, Jessie Handforth (b. 1897 in Montana) had.  One was a western church cook book and one of Jane's favorites dating 1940, and the other one was a Fanny Farmer cookbook.   

Jane showed me one of her favorite old cookbooks, "Kitchen Winners," published in 1948 and illustrated by her friend from Cornell University.  It was handwritten in longhand and the recipes were from the Women and Friends of the Union Church of Bay Ridge, compiled by The World Service Guild 1948.  Jane said that maybe sometime she would loan it to me.  

Kelly stopped by my house and dropped off her recipes.  She said that she wasn't into cooking very much.  She relied on her mother (Linda) and grandmother (Jane) to do the cooking.  I asked her how her husband liked that.  She said he didn't, but that he loved it when there were leftovers from family gatherings that he could take home.  Kelly provided us with three meat dishes that are easy to prepare.

Jane Kester's Favorite Recipes

Apple Crunch

Bisque Cake

Brownie Pudding


Fluffy White Icing

Rich Dinner Rolls

Linda Hamblin's Favorite Recipes


Fudge Nut Bars

Lemon Cake

Plantation Pralines


Kelly Benzel's Favorite Recipes

Beef Rollup

Chicken Parmesan

Hamburger Pie

Click on the following link to find out how you can order my favorite recipe book "Cella's Cookbook.  http://cellascookbook.com.  Visit my web site above for more great recipes.  

"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood" - Marcella