“She made the best doughnuts!” is the comment I have most often heard about my Great-Grandma Ida Adam. Her grandchildren and neighbors living in the Balcones Community have commented about those donuts on many occasions. They are always wishing they could have just one more. Sunday afternoon coffee klatch was her usual time to share this tasty treat. Bob Clines, the youngest grandchild, describes them as, “wonderful confections that would rise out of the bubbling lard in a roasting pan so light they seemed to me to float above the grease. Turned at the right time and placed at the side of the roasting pan on cookie racks to be dusted with granulated sugar. First, she made the regular doughnuts and then the final miracle the jelly-filled ones, always last because you could ruin the grease if the jelly leaked out of its doughy cover. Then they sat above the cooking surface of the wood stove in the two warming ovens.” All the family passed through the house on Sunday afternoons and neighbors would frequently find their way there. Allan Stahl said as a young boy, he couldn’t get enough of those donuts and would just happen to stop by when she was making them. My father, Jimmie, said the kids ate the donut holes first and then the donut. I wonder how many dozens she made and if I ever ate one.
Ida and Julius Adam
Jimmie said she made delicious food and if the wind was blowing in the right direction you could smell what she was cooking. As a young boy, he would run to her house when the smell of baking cookies was in the air. Another of her specialties was Koch Kase. Bob Clines said, “She made Koch Kase by separating the whey from the milk and drying it for a week in cheesecloth then heating the dry curd with a little salt and baking soda. It would spread on bread like butter” She canned fruit, made sauerkraut, baked bread, pies, cobblers, and cakes. Cousin Bob remembers she made German Coffee Cake with strudel on top at Thanksgiving and her devil’s food cake was out of this world. The family agreed she always had something delicious to eat when they came to visit.
Ida was the eighth child out of thirteen children born to Johann Gottfried and Louise Magers Haufler. She liked to tell stories and unfortunately, I was too young to remember them. Her stories were about growing up in Kendall County and her family. One story has stayed in my memory. She said she was out with one of her sisters near their family home. There was a snake and her sister didn’t see it until it was too late. It bit her. Grandma Ida acting quickly sucked out the poison and got her back to the house as fast as she could. Their father immediately put her on a horse and they rode to the nearest doctor. Ida said the horse was ridden so hard and fast that it collapsed at the doctor’s house. Her sister survived.
After she married Julius Adam in 1890 and moved to the Balcones Community, she wrote letters to keep in touch with her brothers and sisters who lived in other parts of Kendall County. They regularly corresponded with each other and always wrote in German.
She moved from the family home in 1959 to the Golden Age Nursing Home in Boerne. She remained there until her death on Mother’s Day, 10 May 1964.
Adam, Jimmie, Personal Interview, 2012.
Clines, Robert “Bob.” Letter dated 17 Feb 2012.