It’s about the cookies and so much more

By Jessie Reestman
Staff writer
It was 1981, and the annual Niewohner Christmas party was just around the corner. For Marilee Niewohner, mother of five and wife of the late Delbert Niewohner, head of Niewohner Farms, this meant it was time to begin baking cookies to share at the upcoming yearly event. Unfortunately, these tasty Christmas treats had always been a weakness of Marilee’s and being alone in a kitchen with all these delectable goods was not exactly ideal for a person who was trying to watch her weight. She decided to ask her family for help. Marilee reached out to her daughter Linda and her daughter-in-law, Jane, hoping that their presence may help her avoid such temptations. Unbeknownst to her, this would be the start of an annual family baking tradition.
It is now forty years later, and this holiday baking tradition continues. In a quest to learn more about it, I arrived at Marilee’s beautiful home in Albion at about 9:30 Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving. The circular driveway was filled with cars belonging to her children, grandchildren, and their spouses representing Boone, Antelope, Platte and Douglas counties.
Inside the home was a mixture of adults and children already in full swing of cookie production. Several of Marilee’s great-grandchildren gathered around a long dining table were busy rolling out the sugar cookies. All dressed in black and white buffalo plaid pajamas, they smiled and laughed while they worked. Each smiling face slightly covered in flour showcased evidence of their hard work and possibly a small flour fight. To read the whole story turn to this week’s Elgin Review.