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Dreaming of Ferster family recipes

Sister remembered for love of animals and favorite recipes

June 4, 2008
By Jane Cannon Mort, Sentinel Lifestyle Editor,
RICHFIELD —The dog on the cover of a newly-published family cookbook dreams of the yummy recipes inside, and offers a clue about Evelyn Ferster Heeter, who was the cookbook’s inspiration.

Written by the Ferster family, of the Richfield area, in memory of Heeter, the cookbook, “Dreaming of Ferster Family Recipes,” was created to pay tribute to Heeter, who died Jan. 9 of colon cancer.

She owned and operated Jack’s Mountain Kennel, and also worked at Millerstown Veterinary Associates. She was married to Jeff Heeter, from Troxelville. They had two children, Jeremy Ricker, of Hummelstown, and Miranda.

Her sister, Flo Hummel, of Selinsgrove, explained that Evelyn was the middle sister of the family that also included herself, Dianna Colyer, of McAlisterville, John Ferster, of Harrisburg, and Wanda Weachter, of Lititz.

“Evelyn also had many uncles and aunts, who all live in the area,” Hummel said. Two special aunts, Wilma Ferster and Betty Peters, both of Richfield, gave of their time to help create the cookbook, which contains many of their special recipes.

“All those who know Wilma and Betty know what great cooks and bakers they are. Wilma used to make many wedding cakes in her time, and Betty is known for her great pies. Many ask for her pies and will buy no one else’s pies at her annual Heister Valley Yard Sale.

“Many of their famous recipes were put into the cookbook,” Hummel said.

More than 430 family recipes in several categories are included in the spiral-bound cookbook. Recipes also were contributed by Heeter’s grandmother, Lena Ferster, her mother, Ruth Leister, all her sisters, her brother, aunts and cousins.

There also are recipes from Heeter, which her sisters discovered while looking through some of her books.

“The family made sure there were a lot of Evelyn’s favorite recipes put into the book,” Hummel said. “These include dandelion, homemade sauerkraut, whoopie pies, apple dumplings and corn mush. These were some of the things Evelyn would ask for when the family had get-togethers.

“You will find everything from how to make homemade sauerkraut, wine, pickled eggs, chow chow and play dough, to how to make red velvet whoopie pies, ice cream, candy, and Evelyn’s special ice cream punch that she would make at every Christmas.”

Hummel also explained the cookbook’s cover: “Because of Evelyn’s love of animals, the cover shows a dog dreaming of food, made, of course, from the recipes in the book.” The cover was designed by the family’s youngest sister, Weachter.

“God gave Evelyn a special grace to go through this most difficult trial,” Hummel said. “We, as sisters sitting by her side, never heard her complain or ask why. So now, we want to send our love somehow by making this cookbook in memory of her, and all proceeds from the book sales will be used toward her expenses.”

The cookbooks are available at: Best Way Pizza, Christ Church, Middle Creek Area Community Center, Rayauda’s Restaurant, in Beaver Springs; Loft-T’s Family Restaurant in Troxelville; County Line Restaurant in Richfield; Kramer Freeze in Middleburg; Family Traditions Restaurant in Mount Pleasant Mills; St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Selinsgrove; and Millerstown Veterinary Associates in Millerstown. For more information, call 694-3554.


Here is a sampling of the recipes in the cookbook:

Scalloped Pineapple

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup margarine

3 eggs

1 can crushed pineapple

1/2 cup milk

4 cups bread cubes

Cream sugar and margarine; beat in the eggs. Add milk, crushed pineapple (including juice) and bread cubes. Pour into greased casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Flo Ferster Hummel


1 gallon red punch

1 (16-oz.) can orange juice concentrate, thawed (do not add water)

2-liter bottle of line soda or ginger ale

Mix ingredients together and serve in a punch bowl.

Evelyn Ferster Heeter

7 Layer Salad

1/2 medium head of lettuce, cut into pieces

1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

3 sticks celery, chopped

1/2 small onion, diced

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 pint mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sugar

1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated

In a bowl or 9x13-inch glass cake pan, layer lettuce, bacon, celery, onion, hard-boiled eggs and peas. Mix in a separate bowl the mayonnaise and sugar; then spread on top. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.

Ruth Varner Ferster

Spaghetti Sauce

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

2 small cloves garlic (I have also used garlic powder)

1/3 cup oil

7 cups tomatoes, peeled and mashed

1/2 to 3/4 cup green peppers

24 ounces tomato paste

2 cups water

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

2 bay leaves

Scald tomatoes with boiling water. Remove tomatoes when skin starts to crack and peel. Blend all ingredients in pot and cook until it starts to thicken. Remove bay leaves before freezing or canning. If freezing, boil for 30 to 45 minutes. When canning, keep sauce hot throughout process.

Wanda Ferster Weachter

Brown Sugar Drop Cookies

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pinch salt

Combine brown sugar, shortening and eggs in a large bowl. Add milk with baking soda and vanilla added. Add mixture of baking powder, salt and flour. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Makes 4 dozen.

Caramel Frosting:

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup 10X sugar

Combine butter and brown sugar in pan. Boil 2 minutes; stir in milk. Bring to a boil and set aside. When almost cooked, stir in 10X sugar, enough for desired consistency.

Dianna Ferster Colyer

Article Photos

Dreaming of Ferster Family Recipes



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