On her 90th birthday in January, Edith Mason’s family gave her a surprise party. Her daughter, Ann Palmer, not only planned the celebration, but also put together a small recipe booklet of some of her mother’s best recipes. “I couldn’t believe it!” Edith exclaims. “They had to really work hard to keep it all a secret.”

These recipes have been part of a long family history for Edith. “My grandparents were both cooks. My grandmother was a dessert cook and my step-grandfather did all the main meals. When my mom was sick with asthma and couldn’t get out of bed, she would tell me how to make cakes and other recipes.” As Edith got older, she became well known for her baked treats.

“My filled cookies are something that people really seem to love,” she said. “I had people from New York asking me about them all the time.” Edith is still giving out her cookies, pies and other items to visitors and those who stop by to give her a hand with errands or other chores. (This writer was honored to receive a wonderful chocolate cream pie.)

Some of Edith’s most cherished memories are when she and her husband, Roy, who passed away 11 years ago, would host barbecues at their Lewiston home. “We would have homemade ice cream, large watermelons, almost everything you can think of. Roy built a large picnic table and we’d have dozens of folks over to the house. We’d do that a lot.”

When Edith wasn’t cooking, she was busy sharing her skills at arts and crafts. “I was a Brownie troop leader, and we did all kinds of projects. Of course, I also shared the food I made with the kids. Their parents would enjoy the treats, too.”

Edith is a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities. Born in Auburn, she graduated from Edward Little High School. She lives in Lewiston with her German shepherd, Royal, who’s named after her husband. Edith’s daughter, Ann, and her husband, Owen, are her next-door neighbors.

Edith has two grandchildren: Christopher Palmer of Lewiston and Betsy Shivers of Fryeburg. Edith is also the proud great-grandmother of three: Nicole Joy, Benjamin Zachary and Elizabeth Joy Shivers.

Ma Mason’s Irresistible Filled Cookies
1 cup butter flavored Crisco

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

5 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons maple walnut flavoring
Cream Crisco and sugar. Add eggs. Sift flour, baking power, salt. Add to other ingredients. Add milk. Mix well. Add flavoring and nuts.

Chill dough for several hours. Roll out a ball of dough. Cut circles (can use top of glass). Place on greased cookie sheet. Place heaping teaspoon of jam or your preferred fruit-filling on each circle.

Roll out another ball of dough. Cut out doughnut shapes using doughnut cutter. Place on top of filling. Press around edges.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Place on racks or waxed paper until cool. Indulge!
Grammie’s Famous Chocolate Cream Pie
1 3-ounce package Royal dark-n-sweet “cook and serve” pudding.

1 3-ounce package Royal vanilla “cook and serve” pudding.

1¾ cups warm water
1 cup evaporated milk.
Mix two boxes of pudding into warm water in saucepan. Add evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly until bubbles appear. Pour into graham cracker crust. Cover top of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent skimming. Refrigerate. Add whipped cream or Cool Whip. Decorate with maraschino cherries. Enjoy!
Edith’s Seven Layer Salad
Head of lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces.

1 cup diced green peppers.

1 cup diced celery

1 cup sliced onion rings.
1 package frozen green peas.
Layer all ingredients in a large bowl.

Add 4 packages Equal, sugar or sugar substitute to 1½ cups mayonnaise. Add 1 teaspoon salt to mixture. Spread over top of layered vegetables. Sprinkle top with 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese and Bac-Os to taste. Refrigerate overnight and serve. Note: When Edith Mason makes her seven-layer salad, she layers it in a plastic dish that has its own lid.

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