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Agnes Kershaw’s “Nut” Crisps

Agnes Kershaw’s “Nut” Crisps

2 ½ cups rolled oats 2 eggs 1 tbsp. butter 1 tsp. baking power 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup sugar

Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix with fingers. Form balls and put them on a greased cookie sheet. Press with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

These are crispy and taste nutty, but no nuts. A good cookie for kids to make. Almost like an oatmeal cookie without all the fuss. Not sweet so would pair well with some hot chocolate.

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An Enigma – or Hints Where you Might Purchase Oatmeal 1930s Saginaw

Although this week’s recipe is delicious, it is an enigma. Our team has been unable to find any listings for Agnes Kershaw and we really are uncertain of where Jean Beach and Pat Shek obtained the recipe when they wrote Savoring Saginaw. Although it is possible that the enigmatic Agnes Kershaw developed the recipe on her own, it seems to have some relationship to recipes for oatmeal bars published by the Quaker Company. (The Quaker Company claims that in 1891 they became the first brand to feature a recipe on a box - it was for Oatmeal Bread.)

With the rise of prepackaged groceries, companies were frequently featuring recipes and other promotional devices. Actually, some companies became more known for the promotions than their products. At the same time that consumer packaging was changing, large chain grocery stores were becoming common.

Early twentieth-century city directories indicate that the people of Saginaw had numerous grocery shopping options – the listing in the 1927 directory is almost two pages long. They ranged from well-established Saginaw firms to small neighborhood stores that may not have been much more than a little addition to an enterprising grocer’s home. A careful reading of the list indicates that by the mid-20s large chains with names we recognize today were already thriving in Saginaw. By 1905, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company had a footing in Saginaw. The c. 1930 view that accompanies this post is of the firm’s store at 410 West Genesee Avenue.

By the late 20s, the Kroger Grocery and Baking Company already had numerous branches in Saginaw. The 1929 directory lists 10 stores affiliated with the chain. In 1936, the retailer announced the construction of a new store at 414 Federal Avenue. The store, designed by Saginaw architect J. Fred Beckbissinger, was constructed by Spence Brothers. The 50 x 80-foot store featured a front covered in enameled steel panels in a striking Art Deco pattern. Developed by the Germain family, the building was leased to the Kroger Company. When Kroger’s lease expired in 1954, it with not renewed and the Saginaw News noted, “Rumors have been current for some time of a major mercantile development” for this site. The rumors were true and the store that would be constructed on the site was Jacobson’s.

To learn more about the career of the architect of the Federal Avenue Kroger Grocery & Baking Company Store:

If you have information about Agnes Kershaw, please contact Tom Trombley at


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