Clara Holthusen, Wagner College's first "first lady" on Staten Island from 1918 to 1925, was also the young college's unofficial cook and chief comforter. Clara's granddaughter, Cynthia Holthusen Sanford '65, says her "Oma" prepared many meals for students in her own kitchen — including these cookie recipes that were passed down through the generations. Read more about Clara Holthusen and her Wagner College home.

Oma's Christmas Ginger Cookies

1 cup sugar (white or brown)

1 cup molasses

1 cup lard

3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 tablespoon ginger

Flour to consistency for rolling, about 4 1/2 cups.

375º, 10–12 minutes

Oma's Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup lard

2 1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)

2 1/2 cup flour

1 egg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons milk

I do not put all the flour in at once; keep some to add when rolling out. Roll quite thin & bake in moderate oven. Makes about 60 cookies.

Image below: Recipes in Clara Holthusen's handwriting, passed down to her granddaughter, Cynthia Holthusen Sanford '65.

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