Make It Mother’s Day

Decorate a block of ice cream and give mother “the supreme luxury of taking things easy.”

This was from a package of material that was apparently syndicated on May 8, 1952. Most mentions include another sentence that was cropped out of this one–here it is in the May 8, 1952 edition of The (Walla Walla, Washington) Union-Bulletin:

[…] Don’t be concerned if your family is too small for the half-gallon, because pre-packaged pints come in blocks, too, and you can achieve the same effect.

Good news, mom! For the next twenty-four hours you don’t have to make dessert! So basically, you’re royalty.

Here it is in the May 8, 1952 edition of the San Antonio Express:


It’s possible–although far from clear–that Hattie Lewellyn originated this content; I haven’t found it credited anywhere, but it does have her voice. As far as I can tell, she wasn’t a mother, herself.

Hattie Cox married Charles Roden Lewellyn in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1920. In 1926, they moved to San Antonio; Hattie started at the Express as a steno girl that same year. The 1930 census shows Charles as a tractor salesman and Hattie still in the steno pool:


But in 1932, the 33-year-old Charles succumbed to an illness that had apparently hospitalized him on and off for months. Hattie kept working, and by 1940 was officially the first food editor in the history of the Express (a paper published since 1865, and as a daily since 1868):

Here she is in the 1940 census:


Hattie retired in 1966 after 40 years, though she still wrote articles and remained active in charity work until her death in 1989.

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the 26th page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...
In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.

Later addendum:

[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

Make It Mother’s Day

[Photo] Large “gift package” of ice cream and small square cakes.

Ice cream says “Happy Mother’s Day” in the nicest way, because it is a dessert the children can prepare, giving mother the supreme luxury of taking things easy. If your dinner party is large, serve the economical 1/2 gallon of pre-packaged ice cream which makes 12-16 helpings. Keep it cold in your freezer or the freezing compartment of your refrigerator until the last minute. For a ribbon decoration (see picture above), add food coloring to whipped cream and squeeze it through a pastry tube. The cakes are pink frosted squares made to look like little gift packages decorated with white frosting to resemble ribbon and bow.

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