Cookie Lady - CycleBlaze

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Cookie Lady

Jeff Lee

I thought of the late June Curry (the "Cookie Lady") recently. She would have been 100 years old this February, according to Wikipedia.

That means she would have been 85 when I met her in 2006. She already seemed a little frail then, but was still friendly and hospitable.

I'd heard for years that she was featured in a segment on the old Charles Kuralt "On the Road" CBS TV program. I looked for this several years ago without success, but I just searched again, and here it is!


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1 month ago
Leo WoodlandTo Jeff Lee

I'd never heard of her.

"Let's go see the Cookie Lady!", enthused our noticeably exuberant leader.

The Americans whooped, as Americans tend to. We Europeans were puzzled. Who could this woman be?

We puffed to the top of the hill and she came out to meet us, shaking hands, asking names (but not offering cookies/biscuits, which was all that separated us from slow death at the moment).

She was a lovely old woman, gloriously eccentric, determined to ask everyone's name, forgetting it moments afterwards. A delightful moment and truly a remarkable house, full of things that cyclists had brought or sent, none of which she had ever thrown away or put in order.

She was at the same time humble yet keen to be recognised. And she talked and talked.

Taking advantage of being a foreigner, my friend Jacques turned, raised his eyebrows and said: "Mon dieu, quel moulin à mots!" [My god, what a word-mill - which sounds better in French than in English].

It was a remarkable encounter with a remarkable woman. But no biscuits.

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1 month ago
Jeff LeeTo Leo Woodland

Well, not all of us "whoop", although I will admit that I occasionally get inordinately excited about things, at least compared to you jaded Europeans :)

I've read that she lived her entire life in that house and never married or traveled anywhere. I felt a little sorry for her, but also was impressed that she'd sort of accidentally created this large community of cyclists who knew her and visited her.

I hope someone is taking care of the "Bike House" and all the stuff there. It should be a museum.

By the way: If you call cookies "biscuits", what's your name for actual "biscuits" (you know, the kind you put butter on, or serve with gravy)?

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4 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Jeff Lee

"biscuit" In the rest of the English speaking world we call them scones and have them with jam and cream, rather than gravy.

There is a dish called Yorkshire pudding which is served with roast beef and gravy.

Mike 

 

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4 weeks ago
Jeff LeeTo Mike Ayling

I met several European cyclists when I did the TransAmerica Trail, and they were all repulsed by the "biscuits and gravy" served at American restaurants.

I thought scones were more like pastries - To me, the "southern "biscuits (that I grew up eating, and that I still occasionally make from scratch) are usually made with buttermilk and use a suitable flour, like the White Lily brand so that they are flaky. Maybe there's no equivalent of those outside of the USA.

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4 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Jeff Lee

Hi Jeff

I agree with the European cyclists, biscuit and gravy is definitely an acquired taste, like Vegemite!

Our scones are crumbly, not flaky and the cream that we put on them is thick not runny as I imagine the stuff that you put in coffee would be.

More translations

ROTW                           USA

Jam                                jelly

Jelly                                  jell0

Cheers

Mike

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4 weeks ago
Karen CookTo Jeff Lee

That is a fantastic video!  Not only because of The Cookie Lady but to see all the cyclists from years past.  Thanks for posting.

I met her in 2010 while riding cross-country.  She looked pretty frail but I did get cookies.  Maybe Leo didn't have a look about him like he wanted a cookie?  Or maybe he asked for a biscuit and confused everyone?  Or maybe she just couldn't understand his strange accent?   We may never know the real answer...

I have only had biscuits and gravy once, in Kansas on that same trip, and I was not impressed.

The biscuits used in biscuits and gravy taste, to me, like scones without the sugar, though the consistency is different (I think the flakiness is accomplished through the use of lard?).  When mixed with the right foods a well made American biscuit can be tasty, but not slathered in gloppy, canned, gravy (IMHO).

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4 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Jeff Lee

I have to say, as a Canadian, that we are also repulsed by American biscuits and gravy. Probably the single most inedible meal ever was somewhere in the Midwest in 2011. Open face roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes,  all smothered in a gelatinous brown goo optimistically called gravy. Dodie was ravenous, and yet could not bring herself to swallow the stuff.

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4 weeks ago
Karen CookTo Steve Miller/Grampies

Open face roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes,  all smothered in a gelatinous brown goo optimistically called gravy.

I have a memory of my dad (or someone when I was small) calling that "shit on a shingle".  An army term perhaps?

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4 weeks ago
Leo WoodlandTo Jeff Lee

Americans do many things and consider them normal. Eating "biscuits" with gravy is one. Mixing peanut butter and jam is another. So is ending every third sentence with a grunt, as in "You're a cyclist. Ugh?"

Oh, and saying "Higher dawn" when inquiring after someone's health.

But, yes, we jaded Europeans concede that Americans have been put on earth to amuse the rest of us. And we are grateful.

happy days

léo

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4 weeks ago