Last updated: August 24. 2013 7:18PM - 158 Views

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TTAWA — Mary Thompson thinks she must have clipped the recipe for the dish she shares today from a magazine some 35 years ago. The clipping, which looks like it may have come from an advertisement for Red Star yeast, is taped ever so carefully onto an index card and has made itself at home in her recipe box.

She laughed, explaining the exact memories of when she first saw the recipe are fuzzy. She admitted she doesn’t even use Red Star brand, often reaching for Fleischmann’s.

But regardless, the recipe has been a go-to for her and her family through the years.

“It’s easy to make,” said Thompson, who is 86.

Her one change is the substitution of ground turkey for beef.

“I like the taste of it,” she said. “I use it more than I do hamburger.”

Thompson grew up on a farm near Leipsic. She always had an interest in food, she said. Sometimes she would go out in the field, track down a cow and retrieve just enough milk to make rice pudding. Thompson, the oldest, would often help cook but she helped her father, too.

“Dad didn’t have any boys, so I was the gopher,” she said with a smile.

She continues to value hard work, continuing to mow her own grass and keep a garden. Now that her husband of 64 1/2 years has died, Thompson makes time to visit area nursing homes. She plays autoharp and sings. She is also active at her church, St. Peter & Paul, often volunteering to bake angel food cakes for its fall festival.

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