Taste of the Peninsula: Lucille Downer to begin recipe column for Observer

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo</I><BR>Lucille Downer knows her way around a kitchen and a grocery store. She'll be sharing her knowledge with Chinook Observer readers.

OCEAN PARK-"I just love to cook," Lucille Downer says as she is about to embark upon a new career as an 86-year young writer for the Chinook Observer. Mrs. Downer will begin a column of featured recipes called "Your Recipe of the Week."

A friend suggested Downer begin the recipe column and Lucille agreed. Her first masterpiece recipe is oatmeal pancakes that her niece Bea Albrecht shared. Mrs. Downer has been cooking since her days as a young girl in Hillsboro. Recipe of the WeekOatmeal pancakes

Mix together:

1 c. flour

1 c. quick oatmeal

2 T. sugar

1 tsp. soda

2 tsp.baking powder

1 tsp.salt

Add 1 1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. oil

2 beaten eggs

Spoon into hot oiled pan. .... the size you want. When the bubbles on top begin to break, flip, and brown on second side. Top with butter and syrup. Extra good with berry syrup.

This recipe may be doubled. Always light and fluffy.

-Given to me by my niece, Bea Albrecht.

"I was in a family with 16 people and I was the oldest who wasn't working away from the home, so I was the cook," she explains. "I had to bake a cake every day from scratch on a wood stove for everyone's lunches. Pretty soon I began to get creative with my recipes out of boredom."

Mrs. Downer says she enjoys desserts the most to this day, and she likes to "make food look pretty." She admits she has lots of favorites and makes the "Downer Special" for each of her four son's birthdays.

"It takes me about three days to prepare filled cookies with my home-made white frosting and topped with ground walnuts," she admits.

The grandkids each get skillet cookies, another family tradition. Lucille and husband Jack Downer came to Ocean Park 35 years ago. "Jack had worked for Weyerhaeuser for 22 years and one time we came here for a vacation. We found out that Henrichson's store was for sale, so we decided to buy it."

Henrichson's was located on the corner of Bay Avenue and Highway 103 in Ocean Park. The name changed to Jack's Country Store and the inventory burgeoned from the $9,000 price tag the Downers paid in 1969. When asked what the inventory may be worth now, she says, "I give up." The store's motto has been that they have everything, and that isn't far from the truth.

Mrs. Downer says with a smile, "I never found out if I was a good cook or not. My four sons and Jack seemed to eat anything." Lucille, who also volunteers at the food bank, is as modest about her delightful recipes as she is energetic.

Mrs. Downer is inviting the public to share their recipes so she can put one per week in the Observer for all to enjoy. Please send your favorites to:

Lucille Downer

P.O. Box 710

Ocean Park, WA 98641

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