PLATTSBURGH — I never met Louise Hazlehurst Knust, but it appears that her daughter, Kathleen Hazlehurst Knust, and I squared off in field hockey in the 1970s.

She played left wing for the Country School in Talbot County, and I played right wing for Colonel Richardson High School in Caroline County.

The mighty Choptank River divided our counties on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

 

FASHION ILLUSTRATOR

Louise was a former fashion illustrator, homemaker and cookbook author, according to her 2010 Baltimore Sun obituary written by Frederick N. Rasmussen.

The daughter of an import-exporter, Louise was raised in Bolton Hill and attended Notre Dame Preparatory School.

“She went to the Maryland Institute (College) of Art, and she did fashion illustrations when it was done in that time period,” Kathleen, a Washington College alum, said.

“She was in New York for one year.”

Then, the Baltimore native returned home to work at Hutzler's and Stewart's department stores, according to her obituary.

Her engagement to Karl Barnes Knust Jr., a University of Virginia alum, was announced in the Jan. 7, 1957 edition of the New York Times.

“They met in Baltimore,” Kathleen said.

“He went to prep school. His father was head of South America 20th Century Fox.”

Karl, a technical writer, wrote “Contemporary Supernatural Stories of the Baltimore Area,” which was published by Wayside Press in 1966.

“She did the cover of that book, too,” Kathleen said.

 

EXCELLENT OXFORD

The Knusts lived in Charlottesville, Va., Baltimore and Talbot County, the latter which led to my stick encounters with Kathleen, a watercolorist like her mother.

Oxford was the location of my fav childhood swimming hole on the Tred Avon River, and it was there Louise and Doris Fortenbaugh penned “The Flea Market Cook Book,” which was published by Karl in 1971 with artwork by Louise.

Doris owned an antiques shop in Oxford, which may or may not be depicted on the cookbook's cover.

“My mother was friends with her, and that's how they got together,” Kathleen said.

The antiques shop, no longer there, was across the street from the Sail Loft, a former 1899 schoolhouse for African-Americans during segregation.

It was operated by renowned by-hand-by-sight sail makers/brothers, Downes and Albert Curtis, whose clientele included the Clan Kennedy of Hyannis Port, Mass. 

“The Sail Loft is gone,” Kathleen said.

“The people that had been there did international sails. They did it for people all over the world. Did you meet any of them? They were wonderful old gentlemen. They were so kind and everything.”

The Flea Market Cook book is filled with recipes such as “Chop Suey A La Easton,” “Diamond-Back Chicken” and “Oysters a la Strand,” which recall the culinary inventiveness of my home place where my father, James Kellum, and his brother, George Kellum, trained as chefs at the Tidewater Inn in Easton.

 

SENSORY MEMORY

I cannot remember where or when I acquired the cookbook, but it led me to Louise's obituary and then to Kathleen.

When I read Louise's recipe for “Turkey Dressing From Scratch,” it rang similar to the tasty recipe of my dear, late maternal grandmother, Lula Annie Butler.

So, I called Kathleen to get permission to reprint her late mother's recipe.

When asked about her childhood Thanksgivings, Kathleen said it was lovely.

“She had linen tablecloths and sterling,” she said.

“You know, that was the norm. She had a glass thing with celery and olives. You put that on the table. Sweet potatoes in orange cups.”

 

BALTIMORE DEBUTANTE

When I asked how Louise learned to cook, her only child laughed.

“She was a debutante,” Kathleen said.

“She didn't know how to cook. They had a cook. No one cooked in her family. The person who helped my grandparents out and took care of me was Amy. And, I think Amy taught her how to cook. She put Amy's recipe, (Amy's Fish, Wonderful Amy) in the cookbook.”

The Flea Market Cook Book is out of print.

“I got somebody to reprint my father's book though,” Kathleen said.

 

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

Twitter:@RobinCaudell

 

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