A Story and a Recipe

By Dorothy Johnson


In January of 1986, I took a Sabbatical from teaching at Woodland High School to earn my Master’s Degree in Counselor Education. I left Woodland with the belongings that I would need for a spring semester and a summer semester at Orono.  I had been traveling to Orono two times a week during the fall semester and was set in traveling by way of Route 1 to Route 6 and then going south on 95 to Orono. I had figured that if I went off the road in bad weather on those roads, I would just wait in the snow banks until help came along.  On the other hand, I had decided that going off the road on Route 9 might just get me killed by one of the many trucks traveling that road day and night.

I had been assigned to Esterbrook Hall, which historically was for upper class students, many of whom were from other countries.  When I arrived on campus, I had several surprises.  The first surprise was that there was not a parking place near Esterbrook Hall and the second surprise was that any parking places available were deep in snow. The first thing I did was shovel a parking place big enough to get the car parked and the doors opened. I spent the next few hours carrying what I really needed to begin my program to the top floor of the dorm from a parking space quite a distance away.  

My next surprise was that the room set up was nice for most people, but problematic for me. The “suite” was actually two rooms, which would have been great except that if I had the outside room near the door, my roommate had to go past my bed and belongings to get to her room; if I had the inside room, I would have to go through her bed and belongings to get out. Since I made several trips in the night even then, I was not comfortable with the arrangement.

I continued to drag my necessities, a few each day, to my room and then I discovered a special place, Chadbourne Hall.  This office building/dorm was reserved for non-traditional students.  Many of them had been in the military and were taking care of their education with the help of the government.  They were a really fun bunch although I would not call them serious students.

I visited with the person in charge of the residents in Chadbourne Hall and convinced her I was too old and too fat to live in Esterbrook Hall and she let me move into Chadbourne…in a room on the top floor.  Then I had to carry everything out or Esterbrook Hall, load the car, find a snow-filled parking space at Chadbourne, shovel the snow and then carry everything up the Chadbourne stairs.  (I think we had a scary elevator in Chadbourne, but it was on the opposite end of the building from my room.)

I was happy to have a room by myself and stayed there until the May classes began and then I schlepped everything out of Chadbourne Hall and back into Esterbrook Hall (no snow to shovel) and this time a room to myself.

The very best thing about being at Chadbourne Hall was that I had a sense of belonging. The first time I went to the dining room for Chadbourne Hall, I found a seat off by myself.  The person in charge of the residents at Chadbourne Hall came over and said, “All of us Chadbournians eat together.”  From then on I had a place to belong, a place to eat and ready-made buddies.  I had to pass up the parties, which began on Thursday and lasted until early Monday morning.  I certainly was too old for that kind of schedule.  I did, however, attend the Chadbournians’s Super Bowl party and found out how non-traditional students celebrate…whether they have anything to celebrate or not.

This week’s muffin recipe is for apple streusel muffins. These are coffee cake-like muffins and may be used as a quick breakfast or a snack on the run.  Again this recipe was found in the February/March 2006 issue of the “Taste of Home” magazine.  This is the third in a series of muffin recipes for your Valentine.


Apple Streusel Muffins


Two cups all-purpose flour

One cup sugar

One teaspoon baking powder

One-half teaspoon baking soda

One-half teaspoon salt

Two eggs

One-half cup butter, melted

One and one-quarter teaspoons vanilla extract

One and one-half cups shopped peeled tart apples

Streusel Topping:

One-third packed brown sugar

One tablespoon all-purpose flour

One-eighth teaspoon ground cinnamon

One tablespoon cold butter


One and one-half cups confectioners’ sugar

One to two tablespoons milk

One teaspoon butter, melted

One-fourth teaspoon vanilla extract

One-eighth teaspoon salt

Method: In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be stiff). Fold in apples.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.  In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and 

cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over 

batter.Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for five minutes before 

removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.  Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over muffins.  

Yield 1 dozen.