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‘Sharing Our Best’

[MAY 16, 2001]   Sharing Our Best: Carroll Catholic School Celebrating 40 Years Of Good Taste." Carroll Catholic School, Cookbooks by Morris Press, 2000, 166-plus pages.

One of the perennial favorites in public library collections is the cookbook. People always enjoy different recipes, improving some family favorites or experiencing new cuisines. When the cookbook is a local publication featuring some of the community’s best recipes, it’s only a matter of time before you’re enjoying some authentic Midwest dishes.


In this case that book is "Sharing Our Best," a compilation of recipes, stories and remembrances from graduates of and families related to Carroll Catholic School in Lincoln. The cookbook is composed of a variety of local favorites, some homespun advice and several inspirational vignettes.

"Appetizers & Beverages" contains recipes for refreshments served before dinner, including Debbie Pettit’s "Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts" and Sherry Schonauer’s "Crab Meat Dip" (flake style, please). A helpful hint for serving beverages: Never boil coffee; it brings out the acid and causes a bitter taste.

"Soups, Salads, & Vegetables" offers a wide choice of side dishes that compliment any entrée. Heat up a cool day with Tub and Sharon Baker’s "White Chilli" or cool off with Vicki Ludolph’s "Cherry Frozen Salad." A reminder: When cooking with onions, use lemon juice to remove the scent from your hands.

"Main Dishes & Casseroles" has a nice selection of one-dish, easy-to-prepare meals for the entire family. For something different try Christa Ross’ "Chicken Books" or Reneé Newton’s "Grandma’s Grocchi." Remember that when cooking stews, instant potatoes are a good thickener.


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The heart of the book’s recipes is found in "Meat, Poultry, & Seafood." There is a wonderful selection of entrees certain to satisfy any palate. Mary Williams’ "Polk-A-Dot Meat Loaf’ and Cindy McCullough Singleton’s "Scalloped Oysters" can be real crowd-pleasers. Got a recipe that calls for scalding fish? Try rubbing vinegar on the scales first.

No dinner is complete without "Breads & Rolls." If you’re looking for a new Christmas treat, try Frances Edwards’ "Egg Nog Bread."

The remaining chapters offer recipes on the sweetest part of any meal: the dessert. Cakes, cookies, candy, pies and pastries are included. To indulge your sweet tooth try Phyllis Janssen’s "Chocolate Ecstasy," Ruth Freesmeier’s "Carrot Cake In A Jar" or the school’s very own "After School Puppy Chow." Want to add candles to a special cake? Marshmallows can be used for the candleholders.

The final chapter, "This & That," is a collection of past memories, recipes for playtime and thoughts for a better life. Advice for a good day from Kathy Buse’s grandmother Ellen Bode: "If your day is hemmed with prayer, it is less likely to unravel."

"Sharing Our Best" is a wonderful throwback to the cookbooks of yesteryear used by our mothers and grandmothers. More than just food recipes, it contains directions for creating playthings for children as well as dispensing bits of time-honored wisdom.

The book comes with a handy chart of cooking tips, instructions for folding napkins, food quantities for large servings and a glossary of cooking terms.

This book is highly recommended for everyone to loves to cook, entertain or collect books of local history interest.

For more information, visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217) 732-8878.

[Richard Sumrall, Lincoln Public Library District]

‘The Contender’

Released on video Tuesday, March 6, 2001

Rated R     Approx 127 Minutes     DreamWorks Home Entertainment -2000

Written and directed by Rod Lurie


Jeff Bridges

Christian Slater

Sam Elliot

Joan Allen

Gary Oldman (also the executive producer)


This movie uses graphic language to describe sexual scenes and presents some nudity.

[MARCH 10, 2001]  The box said “two thumbs up” and “Thriller!”

In recent years, the "two thumbs up" endorsement has meant that I probably was going to find the movie to be a loser. "Thriller" usually means I may endure it but I’m probably not going to be thrilled with it.

However, in the case of "The Contender," both my thumbs are up too, and I am indeed thrilled.

"The Contender" is a gritty movie, a political "action" film of sorts. It is a thriller because you don’t have a clear shot at the plot until it is finally revealed for you. At the end, you look back on the film and say, "Yeah, I should’ve seen that coming."

"The Contender" is gritty because it focuses on a dirty fight between political rivals to appoint a new vice president of the United States. The president (played very aptly by Jeff Bridges) selects a woman, Sen. Lane Hanson of Ohio (Joan Allen), for the job, against the advice of party officials and his own advisers. The previous vice president died somehow in office — but "The Contender" never tries to explain his passing.

The whole plot is wrapped up in the confirmation hearings and the process of bringing an appointee to office or sending ’em off packing.

Gary Oldman plays Sheldon Runyon, the Republican chairman of the selection committee. The highly respected, powerful senator seems bent on not only denying the president his day in the sun but also destroying the very career of Sen. Hanson.


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Two things about this movie made a good impression on me.

First, the acting was excellent. Oldman plays a perfect bad guy in this film (he seems to have the bad-guy act down pat). Jeff Bridges, who I thought incapable of playing a convincing president, stepped up to the plate and delivered. Christian Slater played the part of a freshman congressman who was seeking to do the right thing on principle, and was perfectly cast for the part. Finally, Joan Allen was wonderful in her portrayal of the contender under siege.

Second, the plot was dynamite. This movie seems to make you move away from certain characters and make certain assumptions, but you find yourself making a couple of 90 degree turns before it’s done. In the spirit of "The West Wing," it is full of political intrigue and the power of the Washington scene. "The Contender" is a film about respect and dignity and the rocky road to realizing those two values.

The first hour of the movie has a single weakness: The lack of actors on the set portraying political operatives, appointees, devotees and those holding office makes you believe the story less. They needed a fuller cast to make it seem like Washington and government.

This is not a partisan film about the usual struggle between Republicans and Democrats. Instead it is a story about the dynamics of power, accusation and truth.

So, I recommend this film to you if you enjoy a good thriller, if you enjoy stories about the political struggles of this nation and if you like a good fiction about how truth prevails.

I give it 3½ stars (out of five).


Time for ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ auditions

[MAY 12, 2001]  Lincoln Community Theatre will conduct auditions for its production of the comedy "Moon Over Buffalo" on Friday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 19, at 9 a.m.

Auditions will be at St. John United Church of Christ, 204 Seventh St. in Lincoln, and will consist of cold readings from the scripts. A copy of the script is available at the main desk at the Lincoln Public Library. The script may not be checked out or copied.

Rehearsals for the show begin May 21 with the actual performances July 13 through 21. Jerry Dellinger of Lincoln is directing the production.

For more information, call 732-3285 or visit the LCT website at


39 get roles in LCT’s ‘Tom Sawyer’

[MAY 4, 2001]  Sixty-seven young people from second through 12th grades auditioned for Lincoln Community Theatre's upcoming children’s play. Thirty-nine have been cast in what promises to be a delightful rendition of "Tom Sawyer." Performances will be at 7 p.m. June 28 and 29 and at 2 p.m. June 30 and July 1 at the Johnston Center on the Lincoln College campus.

Cast / Characters

Alison Maske of Mount Pulaski — Susan Harper, school girl

Gracie Wood of Lincoln — Gracie Miller, school girl

Brian Welter of Lincoln — Muff Potter, town derelict

Joe Allspach of Mount Pulaski — Sheriff

Anthony Jones of Hartsburg — Injun Joe (dangerous)

Tom Swanson of Lincoln — Doc Robinson, young surgeon

Kaitlyn Przykopanski of Mount Pulaski — Mrs. Walters, Sunday School superintendent

Holly Phillips of Lincoln — Widow Douglas, Aunt Polly's friend 

Julie Wood of Lincoln — Mrs. Harper, Joe's mother 


Brianna Skaggs of Mason City — Amy Lawrence, school girl 

Kelly Dowling of Lincoln — Aunt Polly, Tom's aunt 

Ben Herrington-Gilmore of Lincoln — Tom Sawyer (always in trouble)

Spencer Harris of Lincoln — Huck Finn, Tom's friend (a free spirit)

Alison Kessinger of Lincoln — Cousin Mary, Tom's relative 

Doug Rohrer of Lincoln — Judge Thatcher (new in town) 

Emili Moneyhun of Lincoln — Mrs. Thatcher, the judge’s wife 


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Molly Mathewson of Athens — Becky Thatcher, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Thatcher

Shelby Voyles of Lincoln — Sally, school girl

Payton McVey of Atlanta — Ben Rogers, town boy 

Max Pozsque of Lincoln — Joe Harper, town boy

Corey Moynahan of Sherman — Alfred Temple, town boy 

Nate King of Lincoln — Mr. Dobbins, schoolmaster 

Patrick Perry of Lincoln — Reverend Sprague, minister 


Emily Berglin, Taylor Berglin, Tony Curcuru, Kelsey Dallas, Nettie Duncan, Stephen Duncan, Greg Gandenberger, Luke Hanger, Katy Reynolds, Moses Rogers and Todd Schumacher, all of Lincoln; Joel Rankin of Mount Pulaski; Jillian Nichole Dowell of Kenney; Darci Dixon of Athens; Tanner Milan of Sherman; and Emma Jo Schumacher of Springfield

Coleen McLaughlin-Moore is the director, Miranda Stone is technical director, and Rachel Washam is audiovisual technician.

The local production of "Tom Sawyer," by Tim Kelly, is presented by special arrangement with publisher IE Clark.

For more information see the LCT website,


LCT’s ‘Charlie Brown’ cast announced

[APRIL 23, 2001]  Lincoln Community Theatre’s cast for the first performance of the summer season, "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown," is set to begin rehearsals. This popular musical was the very first production ever staged by LCT in 1972 and will kick off Lincoln Community Theatre’s 30th season.

Cast as the ever-suffering Charlie Brown is Sean Edward Hall of Springfield. Hall has directed several LCT productions, but this will mark his debut performance on the Lincoln stage.

Appearing as Linus will be Jeff Kindred of Atlanta, a familiar face on the local stage.

Two of the leading performers from last summer’s popular show "Annie" will also be appearing in "Charlie Brown." Jill Nessler of Sherman ("Annie’s" Miss Hannigan) and Carrie Schreiber of Lincoln ("Annie’s" Grace Farrell) will appear as Lucy and Patty.


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Rounding out the cast will be LCT newcomers Josh Twente of Lincoln as Schroeder and Tony Crawford of Clinton as Snoopy.

Season tickets for the entire season are still available by contacting LCT, Box 374, Lincoln 62656 or by calling (217) 732-2640.

Further information regarding season memberships, auditions and cast lists is available at the LCT website located at

[LCT news release]

Lincoln Community Theatre website

Lincoln Community Theatre’s (LCT) website is up and available. The site serves a number of functions, from providing information on becoming a season ticket holder to showing what new productions are being planned. Pictures from last season's productions are also posted.

If you are interested in joining a performance or just going to see one, visit LCT’s website at, e-mail LCT at, or write to Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656.


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