grandson Lance Sandlin in photo — 4 years old
ELIDA — Cherie Sandlin’s sign out front says it all: Cherie’s Home Baked Goodies.
The Elida native said she’s always enjoyed baking, even baking bread without being taught by her mother. As a young adult she worked at a bakery called The Homestead and found her niche.
“So that got me into baking then,” she said.
After she married, they moved to Maryland for few years. When they returned, they ran the IGA store for a time, a natural outlet for her homemade goods. Her husband, Dennis, also worked in construction by trade but would help her with baking. He continued doing so even while fighting melanoma for six years and eventually succumbing in 2000.
“He was just never discouraged,” she said, remembering how much she appreciated his optimism during those times. The memories are precious to her and their four children, and she dedicated a family cookbook to his memory.
After her husband died, Sandlin gave her full attention to baking and cooking. She began catering for large events, and now is comfortable with meals for groups up to 500. She prepares meals for events at Elida schools often, and she prepares food for weddings. She’s not afraid of a challenge. One wedding was for 460 guests.
“And would you believe I did flan? I had to do 60 of them,” she said, laughing. But she had her sister’s recipe straight from Puerto Rico, and she knew it would work out fine. After all, she has a 30-quart industrial stand mixer in her kitchen. She has perfected her art. With her two ovens, she said she can bake 6 dozen cookies every 10 minutes.
“And I can do that myself,” Sandlin said. “I can put out the cookies. … Once you’re used to doing it for years and years and years, it really goes.”
She also has booths at craft shows and neighborhood sales in the area. Her next sale is the craft show at Wapakoneta High School in October. In the meantime, place an order at 419-303-6624. She also offers pie-baking classes at her home and will bake cookies for fundraisers. Call to inquire about the details.
Sandlin enjoys making food for others.
“When it’s just me, I’ll just eat cereal,” she said, laughing. “But to do it for a catering job, I love it.”
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1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, with juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
Mix, drop onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.
Editor’s notes: A general rule of baking is to mix the fat, sugar and eggs together first until light and fluffy and then add the dry ingredients. To make a perfectly uniform cookie, use a measured scoop with trigger release.