Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

January 6, 2012

Christmas season comes to an end today

By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
Daily Iowegian

EXLINE — Here we are in another new year. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday that ends one year and begins another.

That was unbelievable that we had a temperature in the 50s on New Year’s Eve Day. That was really nice at this time of the year.

Did you know it snowed for a while early on New Year’s morning around 1 a.m.? It was like a blizzard outside. There must have been about three inches of snow on the ground with the wind blowing the snow sideways. It made driving very difficult late that night.

It looked like we were in for quite a snow storm during the time the snow was rapidly falling and the wind was really blowing. Then on Sunday morning, there was not a speck of snow to be found anywhere. That was strange.

If a person went to bed early and woke up the next morning, they never knew for a time during the night that there was a snow storm that occurred. I have talked to a few people who also saw the snow that morning.

For this time of year in January, the weather is still not too bad though.

The recipe for this week is one we had on New Year’s Eve. Denise and I went to my cousin Karen and her husband Rodger Maletta’s house in Centerville to play cards for the evening to ring in the New Year. Karen is a good cook and a lot of recipes that appear in this column are the ones she has tried. So, she is kind of the test kitchen for a lot of recipes that appear each week. She served us these unique cookie bars during the evening on New Year’s Eve.

Yum Yum Bars

Bar Ingredients:

2 c. dark brown sugar

1 c. butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

3 c. quick oatmeal

2 1/2 c. flour

Icing Ingredients

1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk

1 12 oz. pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips

3 Tb. margarine


Mix the dark brown sugar, butter and eggs together in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, blend the oatmeal, baking soda and the flour together and mix well. Then, slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and blend until everything is mixed together.

Spread dough mixture onto a 15x9 inch baking pan. You may need to flour your finger tips to get the dough to fill out the entire pan. Save 1/4 of the dough back and set aside.

To make the icing, mix the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and butter together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it has all melted.

While the icing mixture is still hot, pour and spread evenly on top of the entire cookie bar.

Take the remainder of the cookie dough that you saved and make small dolops of dough every few inches on top of the icing all over the cookie bar.

Bake the cookie bar in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

Since today is Jan. 6, it is actually the 12th day of Christmas. The old Christmas song, “The 12 Days of Christmas” is based on he actual 12 days of the holiday, which begins on Dec. 25. The night before Jan. 6 is known as 12th Night.

There are some religions that still celebrate Christmas on the 12th day of Christmas, which would be today. That is when the three wise men are supposed to have arrived in Bethlehem.

The song itself is believed to have been composed in England in 1780, although some think it may have been French in origin.

Some people say the song refers to certain passages in the Bible with each stanza and celebrates each day of the Christmas season, beginning on Christmas Day. Others think it may refer to an old game called Twelfth Day Night, where each person added a verse as they went around the room. Still there are some who think the verses have no real meaning and can not be explained as to their real origin.

The famous song came to the United States in 1910 when Emily Brown, a member of the Downer’s Teacher’s College of Milwaukee, Wis., brought it with her. She came upon the song in a music store in England. She was known for organizing an annual Christmas pageant and thought the song could be used in that production.

The song itself is older than the verse. An English composer named Frederic Austin wrote the song which became associated with the famous verses and he copyrighted it in 1909. Today the company of Novello and Company Limited, still own and maintain the copyright to “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” So, every time that song is played publically, or on the radio and televised, they receive a royalty payment.

The 12 days of Christmas run from Christmas Day and end on the Feast of the Epiphany, which is Jan. 6, that marks the end of the celebrating and merrymaking of the Christmas season.

Some people even leave their Christmas decorations up through the entire Christmas season and do not take them down until after Jan. 6 of the new year.

The Tuesday before Christmas, which would have been Dec. 20, Mary Ann Hurley hosted the Wednesday Group for a Christmas get together at her house. There were 16 people there who enjoyed homemade chili, potato and tomato soup along with a Christmas cookie and candy tray.

Then on Tuesday, Dec. 27, Mary Ann had her grandson, Ethan, come and stay with her for four days. They celebrated Christmas together and also took a road trip to Fairfield to see the Taxidermist and Turtle farm, which had a lot of mounted animals to look at.

A New Year’s celebration was held at the home of John and Ruth Matheny. Mary Ann Hurley said she was invited to that gathering. They served a delicious steak dinner with baked potatoes and vegetables for eight people. She said everyone had a nice time visiting.

Tuesday evening of this week, was the first Exline City Council meeting of the new year. The Exline city clerk, Connie Foster, swore in the incumbent mayor, Jim Casteel, and the city council members, Mary Ann Hurley, Gary Hull, John Matheny, Jim Burns and Terry Hand.

The Exline mayor, city council and the city clerk meet on the first Tuesday of each month to hold their regular monthly meeting at the community center.

Congratulations to Jordan McCoy, the son of Scott and Jodie McCoy and the grandson of Jim and Pam Oden, all of Exline.

Jordan was recently signed to continue his baseball career to play in the Division I program at Houston Baptist College in Houston, Texas. He currently has played baseball with the Tigers at the Marshalltown, Iowa Community College. Jordan is looking forward to this change in his life-long pursuit to play baseball.

The monthly birthday get together was held at the Exline Old County Store this past Wednesday. Those people celebrating were: John Golden on Jan. 3, Idalee McClurg on Jan. 4, Curt Oden on Jan. 5, Nyle Cox on Jan. 16, Deloris Foster on Jan. 20, Susan Bragga on Jan. 24 and Duane Exline on Jan. 30 of the month.

On Monday, Jan. 9, the Exline Royal Neighbors of America, Chapter 3000, will have their monthly meeting at the community center in town for the group’s members. The current president, Jean Leach, will preside at the meeting. The hostesses for the meeting will be Dorothy Haines and Joy Golden and refreshments will be served to those attending.

A soup supper is going to be held at the community center in February, but the date has not been set yet. When the information and further details become available, I will let you know.