The Bakery Chef Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls, NY
I could sit here for hours and talk about my wonderful growing-up years in Glens Falls. It brings back very happy and nostalgic memories for me.
My grandfather, Charles W. Wilson, was the baker/pastry chef at the Queensbury Hotel all during the 50’s. I am not sure of the year he started working there and I am not sure of his retirement year, could even have been early 60’s. I lived with my grandparents until I graduated from GFHS (’56) and I went on to work as a civilian for the Navy Department in Washington, D. C.
My grandmother was adamant about my attending choir practice (which I did, but wasn’t happy about) and attending church and Sunday School. It didn’t take me long to figure out a scheme for getting out of Sunday school. I attended Christ Church Methodist, and the first part of the service included the children’s choir. Once it was time for the sermon, we marched out to attend Sunday School. I would quickly take off my choir robe and sneak out the door and head for the Queensbury Hotel. My grandfather was always happy to see me, and he would save little chores for me to help him out.
Helped ice cross buns
I got to fill pastry tubes, put the icing on hot cross buns in the shape of a cross, eat a few goodies and more or less just waste time until I knew Sunday school was over. My grandfather never told on me – it was quality time for us since his long hours of baking took up much of his time. We always had dinner early, and he was usually in bed by 7:30 or 8:00 pm, only to get up at 2:30 am to go to work.
He loved his job. He was the kindest and most gentle man I’ve ever met, and I loved him dearly. He was raising a couple of pigs on the Jacobie Road in South Glens Falls, and he would have the hotel hold all the leftovers and garbage for him so he could fatten up those pigs. Boy times have changed.
I would win the prize
When it was time to sell Girl Scout Cookies, he would solicit everyone at the hotel, get orders for me and I would win the prize for selling the most cookies. Not exactly a fair deal by today’s standards, but he wanted me to win and did all he could to see me succeed.
Many people remarked especially about his sweet rolls, which he called “lovers knots,” and the wonderful hot cross buns he made in the spring. He would even get calls at home on his day off, people asking him to make his famous rolls for a special party or reception. He didn’t like to refuse, but he only had one day off a week – Tuesday, if I remember correctly. His special cakes, wedding cakes and petits fours were beautiful and done with as much pride. He could turn out delicious pies, too!
I had to put something down in writing since he was part of those 75 years and was such a wonderful grandfather. He was well liked by everyone who knew him. My grandparents were married nearly 68 years. He died in October 1975.
Have you heard excessive brain labor causes baldness or the cure for wrinkles is a tepid bath in bran?
Do you want to know Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for Vinegar of the Four Thieves or how to make Ox Tail Soup?
Have you ever had ‘blueberry pickles’, ‘batallia pie’ or ‘snow birds’? You will learn all this and more in “Vinegar of the Four Thieves.”
Our ancestors had to be resilient when they faced obstacles in daily life, from dealing with pests, medical emergencies, caring for clothing and cleaning shortcuts. Almost everything they used in daily life was homemade. Some ideas were great but some were very strange.
This book is a collection of household tips, medical cures, clothing care and old recipes from the 1800’s and 1900’s. Many of the tips, such as the household cleaners, cooking tips and ways to control pests, still work and are helpful in today’s ‘green’ environment while others such as ‘how to cure a dog of eating eggs’ will make you laugh. Either way, this book will help you appreciate the difficult life your grandparents endured.
With Bonus: First two chapters of novel Ribbon of Love
Check out all books by Donna R. Causey