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In Polly's kitchen
Old Hinesville
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My grandmother Hendry was a step-grandmother. Her first name was Ethel, as was that of the deceased wife whose place she took.  
My mother was also Ethel. There were just too many “Ethels” and since she didn’t want to be called “grandmother” my brother and I called her Polly.
Polly was not a born cook. She was a made-to cook. From 1924 when she married my grandfather, until Depression-era 1933, she didn’t have to cook. My grandfather had a houseman named Dock who came and did the cooking and cleaning as well as driving grandfather to his bank. After that came to an end and grandfather lost his worldly possessions, Polly pitched in and became a good cook.  
When we visited them in Tifton, I always had a special place in the kitchen; a white metal stool-chair (I painted the chair yellow and have it in my kitchen today). It probably dates back to the 1930s. It became my personal vantage point from which to watch Polly cook.
Upon arriving in Tifton, Marvin and I would go immediately to the sideboard in the dining room. Invariably we would find a plate (always the same plate) of homemade cookies. We delighted in sneaking as many of the sugar cookies as we could.
My dad, with an eye to the future, saw to it I stayed in the kitchen with Polly while she made the cookies. At first, I just watched, but then she began trusting me to do part of the work, such as creaming the butter. But she always did the final mixing and wrapping of the cylinders of dough in wax paper to be carefully placed in the refrigerator until they were ready to be sliced and baked.
I’m not sure where she found the recipe. When mother and I cleared out her house in 1980 (she died at 93) we found many cookbooks, and reams of recipes written out by hand on scraps of paper. We found the recipe several times, so it is hard to tell which was the original.
Here is her recipe:  
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 egg
1-1/2 sticks margarine
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter, then add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and other ingredients, mixing well. Roll dough into cylinders, cover with wax paper and place in refrigerator overnight. Then cut slices with knife and cook in preheated oven at 400.  (Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes until light brown and take up immediately.
I am happy to say I still have the cookie plate she used, though I don’t always keep it filled with cookies.
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