The Cookies That Won Ed Over
Have you ever heard the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” Well ladies, listen closely as I have a story that just might prove this phrase right.
About a month ago, I visited Woodlands Creek Senior Living Center to meet with a few residents and introduced Sweet Stories to them. I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear as a few of them walked in prepared with old recipes and cookbooks. I was amazed with how open everyone was, handing me recipes left and right, and ready to tell me all about their favorite family treat. One of the individuals introduced herself, “Hi, I’m Lynn.” Handing over a worn and wrinkled piece of paper, “This is the cookie recipe that won my husband over,” she said. I looked at Lynn and smiled, “Now, this is a story I need to hear.”
A couple of weeks passed before I met with Lynn again to hear the full story of her magical cookies. I’m greeted by Lynn in the lobby and follow her to our meeting spot in the back of the community dining room. There are cookies and coffee laid out on the table. Lynn sees me staring, “Oh yes, we’re spoiled here. Cookies and coffee are always available, so help yourself!” Don’t mind if I do, Lynn!
We settle in and I startup my laptop. “Lynn, why don’t you start from the beginning. Tell me, how did you and your husband first meet?”
She smiles and sighs, “Oh boy...it all began the fall of ‘69…”
Born and raised on a farm just outside of North Liberty, Iowa, Lynn would spend much of her time helping around the house, especially in the kitchen. Both of her grandparents lived just a few blocks away and would make frequent trips to drop off treats for the kids. Her Grandma Novy was notorious for being the cook in the family. Lynn picked up on a few of her grandma’s culinary skills throughout the years, which prepared her for when she was off on her own. It was never a question of whether or not Lynn would attend college, but more where she would attend. Though this was not a hard decision for her either, as both her parents, grandparents, uncles and sister all attended Iowa State University.
So in the fall of 1969, Lynn continued the family legacy, bracing herself for a new adventure as she stepped foot onto Iowa State’s campus. Back then the dorms were called houses and each floor wings, Lynn’s house was hosting one of the first socials of the year at Ledges State Park, and she decided to attend as she figured a social event would be a great way to meet some new people, and boy was she was right. Lynn didn't know it at the time, but this was where she would meet her future husband, Ed.
Ed instantly took a liking to Lynn. He mustered up the courage and asked her if she would accompany him to a concert later that night. Charmed by Ed, Lynn quickly said yes. They had a great time at the concert and it didn’t take long for both Ed and Lynn to fall for each other. Ed was a senior and Lynn was a Freshman. She began to worry that once Ed graduated he would move off and forget about their college romance. She knew she needed to do something that would keep him coming back. She asked her mom, “what can I do to not lose him?” Her mom replied, “cook for him!”
Ed was working in Des Moines at the time and every weekend he would drive to Ames and pick up Lynn so they could spend a few days together. Lynn would make a quadruple batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for Ed. Every morning, Ed and his roommate would grab a handful for breakfast. They justified that the oatmeal in the cookie made it an acceptable and healthy breakfast!
On September 6, 1970, Ed got down on one knee and asked Lynn to marry him. He told Lynn that it was her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that won him over.