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Oma Rinderknecht


I’m Charlotte, or as my grandchildren call me, Oma. I grew up with wonderful memories of my Oma in Germany. I was two when I arrived in New York and while I never was able to see her again, she would always send us wonderful packages full of goodies and other special surprises.

I also had a grandmother, Lyra Cleland, who I adored and she was an amazing cook. When I became a grandmother, I wanted to remember my German heritage so I became an Oma but I also want to remember my grandma Lyra, because, like her, I am a pretty good cook.

My passion for cooking began when I was 10. I was the oldest child from a big family and having a mother who wasn’t the best cook (she’s improved over the years), I learned to cook at an early age and LOVED it. My very first experience was baking an apple pie from scratch with a recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. Imagine a 10-year-old, picking apples in the orchard, gathering all the ingredients and creating a pie that everyone loved. I was hooked. I found a way to get positive attention and for a sickly little girl, it was a place I could retreat. I’ve lived all over the United States and enjoy numerous cuisines and am always trying to recreate recipes from restaurants my husband and I visit.

Bill and I now live in Michigan and love it here. Winter’s give me the chance to experiment with soups, so bring on the snow, we can handle it.

My Oma

I didn’t get to know my mother’s mother since she was in Germany and we never got to see her. However, for many years, we would get packages from Oma. There would be sweet treats, craft projects, and other special gifts.

My Grandmother’s

Lyra Cleland

Lyra was my stepfather’s mother but she loved me unconditionally. She was a staunch supporter of me and taught me a great deal about cooking. You will find some of her recipes amoung my favorites. One of the things she did for each of us granddaughters was give us some of her recipes, hand written in a small notebook.