Category Archives: Friends

Lunch after ‘the’ call

Today I had lunch with my friend Jennifer here at my house.

Green Salad with French dressing and a bowl of Lentil and artichoke soup.

Jennifer brought the vegetarian soup and salad. I provided hot tea and fresh bread.

We ate and we talked.

It was a lovely afternoon. Much a relief after a call I had with Social Security concerning Bob’s death and the necessary paperwork.

The call made me nervous. It started out with something like, “…what you say is true and correct under penalty of perjury.” Of course, I was going to tell the truth, but the woman’s statement made me mentally question myself. It didn’t help me that I had a hard time hearing her questions and had to ask her to repeat.

At least the SS call is over and I was able to calm myself with a nice visit with my friend. Thanks, Jennifer.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Kolacky by the lazy baker…me

My friend Joyce sent me a copy of her Kolacky recipe. Here it is:

Ingredients: 1 cup room temperature butter, 1 – 8-ounce package cream cheese also at room temperature, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, thick jam or canned fruit filling, such as apricot or prune and a little powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.
  2. Combine flour and salt; add in a fourth at a time to butter mixture, blending well after each addition. Chill dough until easy to handle.
  3. Roll dough to 3/8 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut 2-inch circles or other shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Make a ‘thumbprint’ about 1/4 inch deep in each cookie. Fill with jam.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until delicately browned on edges.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar

Joyce said, “I roll the dough very thin, and cut out squares. Put just a dab of filling in the middle. Pinch opposite sides together (looks like a bow tie). I bake my Kolacky at 375 for 10 minutes, more or less.”

I followed Joyce’s directions until it came time to roll out the dough.

The beginning — softened butter and cream cheese

Instead, I used a melon scooper to make balls of dough. I flattened them a bit by hand and made a thumbprint in the center before filling with jelly.

My jelly bubbled all over the pan. I had put too much in. You only need a dab. Luckily I used parchment paper on the pan. The dried jelly looked messy but pealed off the paper and tasted like a fruit rollup.

The filling on the parchment was a yummy treat for this baker.

Joyce’s Kolacky looked more like the ones my Grandma Jo made. Mine didn’t, but they did taste good if a little messy.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Meeting author Michael Perry

Snow last night almost kept me home. If it wasn’t for two good friends (Jennifer and Doris) I wouldn’t have gone to Green Bay to hear Michael Perry speak.

GreenStone’s Ladies Day Out is always around Valentine’s Day. I hesitated to be among all the hearts and flowers. Yet, I really wanted to hear Michael speak again.

Bob and I were both fans of Michael’s writings, enjoying his wit and wisdom. We really liked listening to his recorded books together.

It took a lot to force myself out of the house this morning, but I’m happy I did.

Michael Perry entertained for an hour
Doris, Susan, and Jennifer
Two writers, Michael Perry and Susan

It wasn’t until the end of the morning that I had tears when two of my column readers came to me to give me hugs and send their sympathy about Bob. They were sweet ladies. I guess the hearts and flowers finally got to me.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

The last two Kolacky

I just took out the last Kolacky my friend Joyce made for my family last week. Only a few survived but I ate them sparingly.

Since they tasted so good, I looked up a simple recipe I had in a notebook. I’m sharing it here. It probably isn’t as good as Joyce’s, but you have an idea of how these cookies are made.


  • Ingredients
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup any flavor fruit jam
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration


  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour slowly until well blended. Shape into a ball and chill overnight or for several hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  3. Roll dough out 1/8 inch thick on a floured pastry board. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares and place about 1/2 teaspoon jam or preserves in the center. Overlap opposite corners and pinch together. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on wire racks. Sprinkle kolacky lightly with confectioner’s sugar.

Since I haven’t made this in years, I can’t vouch for their taste. This is very basic and the jam can be replaced with soaked prunes.

These last two are gone now as I ate them.

Let me know if you make Kolacky.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Picture Perfect Day

Today I joined a group of women from the Outagamie County University of Wisconsin Extension – Association for Home and Community Education at their fall Picture Perfect program.

The people there were dedicated to repurposing cards and calendars.

Some of the women were taking old cards, cutting and pasting them together to form new cards.

I worked across from Lois Schwister. We and others were taking old calendar photos, putting them into plastic sleeves, and making flipbooks. These would eventually be used by people with dimension.

The repurposed cards are given to other people to use as they wish.

It was a good day to work with industrious, talented ladies who also made a great pot luck lunch.

Copyright © 2019 Susan Manzke, All rights reserved