Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

This Hospital Volunteer Has a Soft Spot for Scratch Baking

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

This Hospital Volunteer Has a Soft Spot for Scratch Baking

Article excerpt

WHEN AUDREY Waddell arrives at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield every Monday, she often comes bearing gifts: homemade goodies she has baked to share with fellow volunteers and hospital staff.

When the hospital's auxiliary has a fund-raising bake sale, Waddell is always a happy contributor.

And when the auxiliary put together a fund-raising cookbook last year, Waddell not only offered to help on the committee, she contributed a dozen of her favorite recipes to the project.

Thus, when Phyllis Oppliger, the cookbook committee's chairwoman, was asked to nominate a cook to be featured in What's Cooking, Waddell came immediately to mind.

Waddell, however, would have been happy to remain anonymous. Only the thought that her appearance on these pages might spark sales of the already successful cookbook made her agree to be in the spotlight.

"But I really don't cook much anymore," she insisted, noting that her husband died several years ago and that her two daughters now have families of their own. She often opts for things that are quick and easy, which sometimes means TV dinners, she says.

But when it comes to baking, Waddell wouldn't think of making something that came from a box. Rich cakes, creamy pies, fruit-filled breads, soft, chewy cookies - she makes them often, and she makes them from scratch.

A sweet tooth has nothing to do with it. "I don't have one," she said. "I just enjoy baking."

Her friends at the hospital and in the other groups she belongs to are among the lucky recipients of her efforts. So is her 5-year-old granddaughter, Secca Farber, the only one of her three grandchildren who lives in the area. Sometimes Secca even helps her grandmother with the baking - especially when Grandma is baking chocolate chip cookies.

Entertaining her granddaughter is one of Waddell's favorite pastimes. Golf used to be, until she hurt her back a few years ago. So to help stay in shape, she goes to the gym in her apartment complex in Ballwin and works "like the dickens."

Waddell also loves to travel, and membership in a local travel club keeps her on the go.

Although she may not enjoy cooking for one, she still enjoys clipping recipes to add to her bulging recipe file. …

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