Mamma Hazel’s Hoosier Cabinet

When I was growing up, my (pronounced mam-maw) Mamma Hazel always had this cabinet in her kitchen. She kept all sorts of things in it. I remember there were cookie jars, and one was always filled with those Keebler Elf fudge stripe cookies. My cousins and I were allowed to eat as many of those as we wanted! We didn’t even have to ask! 

I still have that cookie jar, chipped edge and all.

She kept lots of little bits and scraps of paper in the drawers such as receipts, old bills, etc. Almost all of them had her writing on them somewhere. I have no idea what she wrote on those or why they were important, but I distinctly remember being little and drawing on one of them. She taped it to the front of the refrigerator, and years later when I got in the drawer, there it was. She had kept it practically forever. I’m not sure if she kept it because I drew on it or because it was actually something important that I drew on the back of. LOL

She wound up getting new cabinets when Ted and I were living on Crete in Greece when he was in the Air Force. I didn’t know it until we got back home. I asked her where the Hoosier cabinet went, and she said she gave it to my Uncle Eddie to store things in his garage. A couple of years later, Uncle Eddie called me and told me if I wanted that cabinet that I could have it because it was just taking up room in his garage. I remember hauling that thing home in two pieces in my little navy blue Ford Escort station wagon. I sat it in the middle of the kitchen floor on garbage bags and started cleaning it and painting it. I remember leaving to go visit Mamma while I was waiting on one of the coats of paint to dry, and I came home to little blue kitty cat paw prints all over the kitchen floor because the cat we had at the time walked through a puddle of paint on the garbage bag and then tracked it everywhere. Those painted paw prints wound up staying on the kitchen floor until we eventually replaced the kitchen floor years after that. LOL

For many years, this Hoosier cabinet has been in my laundry room. I had little knick-knacks and pictures all over it. Unfortunately, it was covered in dust and wasn’t really a focal point in that room. Today, I had Isaiah, someone who helps us on our farm sometimes, and two of his friends come over to move some furniture. I had them move Mamma’s Hoosier cabinet to my kitchen, and I spent the afternoon cleaning it and setting it up so I could use it in my kitchen as well.  

I even have the cookie jars! There aren’t any Keebler Elf fudge stripe cookies in them yet, but there will be once I get to the grocery store this week. I miss Mamma Hazel, and I really wish she was here. Since she can’t be, at least a piece of her will always be here now right in my kitchen, front and center, and I will make sure that any future grandkids get the same cookie jar experience with her old Hoosier cabinet and cookie jars!

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