With its 62-year history in Danville, it doesn’t come as a surprise that so many people remember the Colonial Parkway.
I guess I was remiss in last month’s column when I didn’t mention that some people called the restaurant, which used to be at 840 E. Main St., Greenie’s.
Tom Major said, “Colonial Parkway’s nickname was Greenie’s, which is what all of us called it when we were in high school.”
Dick Cheney — not the former vice president of the United States, but rather the longtime Danville Area Community College trustee — said he, too, remembers it being called Greenie’s when he was in high school in the late 1940s.
The Danville High School Class of 1949 graduate recalled that the restaurant was nicknamed Greenie’s after owner Clarence Green.
When I looked in the Danville city directories between 1944 and 1949, however, I didn’t see any listings for Colonial Parkway or for any business located at 840 E. Main St.
The 1941 and 1942 city directories list Leo C. Smith as the owner of the Colonial Parkway, and the 1953 directory names Henry Schroeder as the restaurant’s owner. So, was the eatery closed for a while in the mid- to late 1940s?
Betty (Cline) Bushue of Rankin said she worked at the Colonial Parkway as a carhop when Schroeder owned it.
“Back in 1954, I worked that summer to earn money to go to Gale Airline Institute in Minneapolis,” she said. “At that time, Hank Schroeder worked there; I think he was the owner. He was a wonderful boss. Also, John Downing was the inside guy for us curb hops.”
Bushue also shared a vivid memory of working as a carhop.
“I remember the time I put a tray on the car and as I reached for the money, it slipped, filling my apron pockets with a milkshake!” she said.
When Bob Jones took over ownership of the Colonial Parkway in October 1970, he added plate lunches, daily specials and his famous bread pudding, which he still prepares and serves at the annual Lions Club chili supper in early March.
In the late 1990s, the former Danville mayor shared his (and his Aunt Irene Golden’s) bread pudding recipe, which we published in the Backyard Beat column of the Commercial-News.
I saved a copy of the recipe, folded-up and tucked inside my grandmother’s cookbook — the 1953 Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book — which offers recipes for such delicacies as fried rabbit and fried squirrel, tongue with cherry sauce, liver loaf and Welsh rabbit (which I thought was referred to as rarebit) that called for American or Nippy spreading cheese served hot over toast or crackers. Did people really eat these back in the 1950s?
Anyway, here is the bread pudding recipe:
8-10 slices white bread
1 quart milk
2/3 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon or more to taste
Break up bread. Sprinkle raisins over the bread.
Beat eggs, add cinnamon, salt and sugar, and beat well. Add milk; beat again.
Pour over the bread and raisins. Let soak 5 minutes.
Bake in a covered 8-by-8-inch Corning Ware dish at 325-350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Check the bread pudding as it cooks. Do not let it dry up.
The dish will be moist like custard but will not be runny in consistency.
Pour white sauce over the pudding before serving (the recipe follows).
1 stick butter (has to be real butter)
1 cup sugar
¾ cup water
Dash of salt
Heat the butter, sugar and water until almost boiling. Take the pan off the burner to add the following thickener.
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Heat the water and cornstarch mixture before adding to the white sauce ingredients.
Stir until you reach the thickness you like. Add 1½ to 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Spoon the white sauce on the baked bread pudding.
This dessert is best served warm.
Carol Roehm is the education reporter. Contact her at 477-5174 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.