Yoder gets one of her best published

Published 7:54 am Wednesday, December 1, 2004

By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
Holidays always means lots of cooking. Some dishes have been tried, tested and handed down from generation to generation, while some are new recipes that are being cooked for the very first time.
Monika Yoder is one of those who does both kinds of cooking. She has the old stand-by recipes that have been cooked over and over, but she is always ready to try something new.
All of her years of cooking have paid off, not in money, but in recognition. She has twice had the honor of having her recipes chosen to be included in a cookbook printed by Wal-Mart.
According to a Wal-Mart press release, many of life's moments, both big and small, are celebrated with foods lovingly prepared for family and friends. Sharing memories and family recipes are still some of the favorite ways of passing traditions on to a new generation. Realizing how valued these traditions are to so many cultures, Wal-Mart asked their associates from across the nation to think back to those most special times in their lives and share their most treasured recipes.
Thousands of associates responded by sending in their favorite recipes to be showcased in the cookbook. They varied from appetizers, main dishes, holiday specialties, desserts and much more. Judges were called upon to pick the winning recipes. The keepsake result, Wal-Mart Family Cookbook, is a compilation of the winning recipes and can be purchased at the local Wal-Mart.
This is not the first time Yoder has been featured in an edition of the annual cook-book. She entered last year and her recipe of Broccoli and Raisin Salad was selected. This year her recipe of Cucumber and Macaroni Salad, which was handed down from her mother, was selected to be included in the annual cookbook. It has proven to be a traditional favorite on the table at most family gatherings.
Yoder was born in Kansas to a military man and his German -born wife. She was raised in the small community of Bethel near Dixonville. She graduated from W.S. Neal High School in 1975 and got married at the young age of 16. She had her first daughter. Barbara, when she was 17, and about six years later she had her second daughter, Christy.
She had grown up in a home where her mother worked as a surgical nurse and her father worked on the pipeline. She, her sisters and brother, all had chores around the house. She learned to cook at an early age and found that she loved it.
She worked at various jobs after her marriage. She worked at Mr. B's, a fast food place on Hwy. 29, at Dollar General, Pants Plus and then went to Judy Bond for 10 years where she sewed samples to show to buyers in New York.
She went to work at Wal-Mart about two years ago, first as part of the stocking crew and then as department manager over infants and little girls' wear. Six months later she became the head of the women's wear department where she remains today.
That enjoyment came into play on Friday after Thanksgiving when the store opened early to be ready for the busiest shopping day of the year.
When she is not working at Wal-Mart or cooking some favorite food, Yoder stays busy at her home near Damascus. Her daughter and grandchildren, ages one and five, live with her and she says they keep her pretty busy.
The holidays are among her favorite times. She looks for new things to cook along with the family favorites.
She is also a co-captain for the Relay-for-Life fundraiser for Wal-Mart. That means that she is always trying to come up with ideas to raise money for the annual event. Her latest idea is to put together a gift wrapping package to be given away.