Former nurse relocates to marry her sweetheart

Sue Ridlbauer moved from Utah where she lived near one of her three children to marry her college sweetheart. She knew after arriving in Alabama that their feelings for each other were still strong.

Sue Ridlbauer was born in Quincy, Ill., and was raised by Carl and Ruth Johann, both of whom attended Eureka College with President Ronald Reagan.

Ruth was on the swim and debate teams with him; Carl, the same football team.

Ruth’s birthday was close to the President’s; and, twice during his Presidency, he mailed her a card.

As a young mother, Sue used several dairy products from her grandparents’ dairy farm in her recipes.

Her grandmother was known for creating the pumpkin pie recipe on the label of Libby’s canned pumpkin.  

Sue graduated from The Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Peoria, Ill. She married and worked parttime as a nurse during the years that she raised two sons and a daughter before concentrating on her nursing career. For many years, she was an obstetric nurse.

Sue’s hobby, in addition to being a grandmother, is cooking, and she said John hasn’t turned down anything she cooked during the five years they have been married.

Her favorite foods to prepare are those made in crock pots, such as dried beans, pot roast, and soup.


2 cans whole cranberry sauce, mashed

1 6-oz. page of red gelatin

2 cups boiling water

2 cups cold lemon-lime soda

1 can crushed pineapple, drained (save juice)

1 package miniature marshmallows

    Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add in all other ingredients and refrigerate. Then frost with recipe below.

Frosting for gelatin:

Leftover pineapple juice from above recipe

1 egg beaten

½ cup sugar

2 T butter

2 heaping tablespoons of flour

1 8-oz. carton of whipped topping

Combine first five ingredients. Cook on low to medium until thick. Cool. Mix thickened mixture with whipped topping. Spread over gelatin when it is set.


2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups plain flour

2 t baking powder

¾ t salt

Extra whipping cream for topping.

Mix first four ingredients and set aside. Stir last three ingredients together and add into egg mixture gradually.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.

Do not overcook. Serve with whipped cream sweetened with sugar and serve atop cake and favorite fruit, such as strawberries.


1 8-oz. package cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 can cream of celery soup

1 cup green onions, chopped, tops and all

12 oz. of imitation crab meat

Mix all ingredients. Let stand several hours or overnight. Good with crackers or raw vegetables.


2 cans asparagus, drained (save juice)

2 cans mushroom soup

4-5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 cups soft cheddar cheese, such as Velveeta, cubed


Cracker crumbs

Mix first four ingredients together. Mix asparagus juice mixed with milk to fill one empty soup can. Pour into the mixture.

Add in cracker crumbs to make mixture the same consistency as cornbread dressing.

Pour into a buttered casserole dish or a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.


8 cups pared and sliced Granny Smith apples

1 cup sugar

3 T rounded plain flour

Dash of salt

1 ½ t cinnamon

Generous dash nutmeg

1 T raisins

¼ cup butter

Favorite crust recipe for only a top crust

Toss first 7 ingredients except. Dot with tiny cubes of butter.

Cover with a top crust and pierce. Cover edge of crust with a 2-inch strip of aluminum foil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes then cut down to 325 degrees for one hour.

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