As the door opened, it was like traveling back in time.
There in front of me stood Miss Feditk. She was a business teacher while I was in high school. You know that it was over 45 years ago and she hardly changed at all. The years have been very good to her. I am sure that she was very young, most likely just out of college and I was 16 or 17 at the time. But, looking at her and then at myself, it looks like I could have been her - a teacher. I remember her that she always wore beautiful dresses to school. She really doesn't remember me, as I was only one of many. Isn't it amazing we remember all of our teachers? But, so many students pass in front of a teacher it is hard for them to remember all of their students.
She became Lillian Neborak when she married Paul Neborak right around the same time. They have two daughters, Lisa and Cindy. Lisa has twins, Beth and Paul, and Cindy lives in Royersford and also has two children, Amy and Jennifer. Now that they are retired, Lillian and Paul spend two days a week baby-sitting the twins that live in Schuylkill Township. They are a real handful, but they both love being hands on grandparents.
Lillian went back to school to get her master's degree and moved on to become a guidance counselor at the vocational technical school for many years. Paul was always a financial mathematical buff. Before he retired, he was in the financial department of the Phoenixville Hospital. They describe retirement as wonderful and very nice.
Paul and I recalled our relationship to Mr. Joseph Barefoot way back when. Mr. Barefoot was a teacher in the Phoenixville School System. Actually, he was the audio-visual teacher, which boiled down to he would travel from school to school and showed movies. If I recall correctly, they were boring, but we loved them as they got us out of class for 15 to 30 minutes. Mr. Barefoot had a tax preparation business as well. Both Paul and I worked with him. Paul for quite a few years and I for one tax season. Tax preparation was not my cup of tea; after working all day, I didn't want to work on taxes until midnight.
But, Paul was a tax person. He had his own tax business for many years. He did taxes at the Senior Center free of charge for years.
Since retirement, both Lillian and Paul volunteer a good deal of time at their church, St. Michael's in Mont Clare. Both are involved in the seasonal baking the church does, such as nut rolls like grandmom used to make. Paul has been involved in the painting of the church building both interior and exterior which has taken quite some time.
They moved into their lovely house 23 years ago. Paul no longer mows the large lawn. He does like to tend the flowers and does a wonderful job, driving by their house in the warmer months I have noticed.
Lillian recalls not so long ago there was a storm in the area. When she got up in the morning and opened the curtains in her den, all that she could see were green leaves and tree branches. It seemed that a large tree on Anderson Avenue blew over and landed on their front lawn. This incident made The Phoenix front page.
With retirement came the opportunity to travel more. Lillian and Paul have traveled all over the United States and Europe. They have many favorite places; the one they mentioned was Argue National Park.
There is a family tradition called "Get Well Soup." The job of making this falls mostly to Paul. When someone is not feeling well in the family they ask for this soup based on chicken soup. There is absolutely no recipe for this soup or one that Paul would share. He just knows how to make it and the sick person knows how to get well. Just a thought but wouldn't it be great to start a tradition based on "Get Well Soup" for your family and friends.
The following recipes are ones that they make for family dinners and outings. Daughters Lisa and Cindy prepare them these days.
Lisa's Pineapple Stuffing
1 stick butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
20 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
6 slices of white bread, cut in cubes
Blend butter, sugar and eggs. Add pineapple and juice. Add white bread cubes. Do not trim crust. Blend everything evenly. Pour into two-quart greased casserole dish. Bake for 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes with no lid.
Cindy's Mandarin Orange Salad
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 head lettuce, torn
1/4 bundle Romaine lettuce, torn
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
Sweet & Sour dressing*
11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
Cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. Cool and break apart, store at room temperature. Place lettuce and Romaine in plastic bag, add celery and onions. Pour dressing* into bag; add oranges. Close bag and shake until everything is well coated. Add almonds and shake.
Note: This plastic bag method should work when making most salads
*Sweet & Sour Dressing
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sniped parsley
1/3 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
Shake in tightly covered jar. Refrigerate.
Write to me at Neighborhood Kitchen, P.O. Box 1660, Norristown. PA 19404.
Life is like a celebration, enjoy it!