• Last modified 584 days ago (Nov. 17, 2022)


FRESH PERSPECTIVE: Allow yourself to be mesmerized

Staff writer

Scents of freshly baked casseroles and pasta fagioli soup enveloped me as I walked into Mama C’s Take and Bake in Hillsboro last week.

I knew I was sold.

I had a hankerin’ for a salad and absolutely no interest in my packed peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sorry, PB&J.

It wasn’t you.

It was me.

I’d heard from our office manager, Cheri Bentz, that the salad bar at Mama C’s was worth a stop. She was right.

Awaiting my craving were at least three choices of lettuce — iceberg, Romaine, and spring mix — as well as spinach. All the offerings are served in small containers to keep them as fresh as possible. And let me tell you, everything was fresh when I stopped by Mama C’s.

I helped myself to Romaine, spring mix, spinach, shredded chicken, frozen peas, shredded carrots, black olives, croutons, and a hard-boiled egg. The salad, sold by weight, cost me $5.20.

While there, I perused a selection of take-and-bake options. My husband does the shopping and cooking at our house. He enjoys cooking. I don’t. I told Carla Hamm — Mama C herself — that I would come back to pick up a casserole sometime soon.

I mentioned how people tell me all the time how lucky I am to be married to a man who shops for groceries and cooks. I’ve yet to hear a man get told “Oh, you’re so lucky to be married to a woman who shops for groceries and cooks.”

Mama C knew exactly what I was talking about.

A good salad bar is hard to find. A superb salad bar is rare — especially in a town the size of Hillsboro.

Side note: Smash the patriarchy!

Some people covet Louis Vuitton purses. I covet dilapidated barns, abandoned limestone homes, and the like.

When I was a wee one, my dad and his best friend spent months — if not years — sourcing red barn wood for a bar they built in the basement of our Iowa home. Maybe that’s what got me started on this obsession of mine.

Marion County has provided me barn and limestone delight in spades.

I took the photo in this column while getting a closer look at progress on a wind farm going in just off of Sunflower Rd., which I travel weekdays.

Here’s what I want to know about this old farm home:

  • When was she born?
  • How many children — if any — did she help raise?
  • Which winter was the worst?
  • When was she abandoned?
  • Does any of her family ever visit her?

If you know the answers, please email me at or call me at (620) 382-2165. As always, if you have a story to tell, I’m listening.

Last modified Nov. 17, 2022