Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Kicking off 2012 edition

It’s 2012! I’ve joined a gym – yes, cliche, I know – and started more carefully watching what I eat. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. On a more introspective note, I found this neat way to take a look forward and back as we start the new year, and I’m looking forward to sitting down and going through it.

What’s inside

1. How to cook the sauerkraut
2. Following up on Lil’s hangout
3. Kohler’s, Keller’s near Red Lion

1. I put the kraut in the crockpot on low; when do I add the apple/applesauce, onion, or any other ingredient?
– Sally Starko

Sally emailed me on New Year’s Day, and I was glad to be able to get back to her quickly with some advice. I asked an expert – my mom – and she said “put it all in” whenever. Mind you, she and I aren’t big kraut fans, but in general, when you’re cooking in your Crockpot, that should be fine. The apple especially will give more flavor the longer it cooks!

This time of year, of course, is a good time to share sauerkraut recipes, so if anyone has any specific directions for Sally, I’m sure she and many others would love to hear them; please leave a comment with your top kraut thoughts! And check back Wednesday, when I’ll share more on this local New Year’s tradition, along with its companion pork.

2. Back in November, Jack Bupp asked if anyone remembered a hangout called Lil’s at Sherman and Market streets (on your left as you head east on Market Street, right before you cross Sherman).

Terry Parr was kind enough to share some memories, though with some question about whether it was, in fact, Lil’s! Terry writes, “That deli was right next to my dad’s barber shop, The Comfort Barber Shop at 749 East Market St. I am not sure the name of it was Lil’s. I seem to remember it being called Elsie’s but I could be wrong. The barber shop, the deli, and the drug store were owned by a man with the name of Shultz, hence Shultz’s drug store. On the other side of the barber shop was a bar but I cannot remember the name of it. I used to shine shoes at the barber shop and eat lunch at the deli. They had the best vanilla ice cream sodas.”

Donald Hartman shared his own memories of the area, saying, “Lil’s was a small lunch counter located in the third building west of Sherman St on the North Side of Market St. In 1953 I began working at Reynolds and Whitcomb, an auto parts store located just around the corner at 18 N. Sherman St. and used the lunch counter for morning coffee breaks and sometimes lunch numerous times over the next 25 years. It consisted of just one room with a lunch counter with fixed stools and I think two or three booths. The original owner/operator was ‘Lil’, whose last name I no longer remember if I ever did know it. By the 1960s the business had been purchased by Robert Noel who later opened his own hearing aid business.”

Jack had remembered someone named Helen running Lil’s, and Donald was able to give more info on her as well. He says, “Helen worked for Robert Noel and took over the business after Robert left. I did know her last name but don’t remember it. I know she was still operating the business in 1973-74 but can’t say when it closed.”

Thanks for that information! I am sure Jack would love even more Lil’s memories, so please feel free to keep them coming!

3. I was wondering if any readers recall Kohler’s Drive-In just outside of Red Lion on Rt. 24 South (Winterstown Road)? It was a teenage hang out in late 40’s, early 50’s. It burned to the ground and they never rebuilt it. Also Harry Keller’s Ice Cream Store in Freysville?
– Skipper

I thought that after talking about Lil’s as a hangout, it might be fun to hear about a hangout in another part of the county. So if you have any memories to share with Skipper – and all of Ask Joan’s readers – please comment and share! For my part – one general issue I have is that when people ask about “drive-ins” in York County’s past, I’m never quite sure whether to start looking in my collection of restaurant info or my collection of movie-theater info. So, if anyone can clear that up, it’s a great start!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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