4.8 million cookies later, Elyria City Schools to retire 'Miss Cookie Machine'

45-year-old cookie machine to end duty 2014

ELYRIA, Ohio - She's cranky; described as temperamental by some. She's not looking as attractive as she once was these days, drifting through her mid-forties, breaking down often.

She's the epitome of the "high maintenance" moniker given her by those whom are forced to work side-by-side with her own worn sides.

She's "Miss Cookie Machine" and she's punched out cookie dough into perfectly round cookies for Elyria City School students for 45 years. But, she's finally getting her cap and gown at the end of 2014. Miss Cookie Machine is being graduated to her final resting spot in Elyria High School's cafeteria at the end of this school year.

"It was made in Illinois by the Champion Machine Company," said Elyria City School Food Service Director and chef, Scott Teaman. "They are still in business. We tried to get parts for it and they didn't have anything for it."

It's not to say that the school district isn't thankful for getting their money's worth out of her.

"She's probably made around 4.8 million, and that's on the conservative side. But if you really add in all the different special functions and catering's that she's done, it's probably upwards of 6 to 7 million," said Teaman.

Consistently dealing broken parts to those mixing pounds and pounds of cookie ingredients each morning to pack into Miss Cookie Machine's hopper to then be pressed into cookies, 600-700 each day, have been one of the main reasons the decision was made by the district to buy a new cookie machine.

The school's kitchen staff not only makes the cookies for the schools, but they cook and bake for outside-sourced catering jobs.

"I love my job, I really do," said Dee Dee Shullick. Shullick has been baking for years with Miss Cookie Machine. Shullick is patient, but the machine has tested her in the school's hot kitchen.

"I know when some of the parts are broken I've made them by hand," laughed Shullick. "She's a good piece of equipment. She's tired, though. She's very tired and I can tell by when I put the cookie dough in the hopper, when I'm starting to press them out, they don't all come out even.They're all different sizes. She's a little temperamental, a little bit."

Shullick said she may go out and talk to her in the cafeteria after Miss Cookie Machine has gone to its cafeteria location outside of the kitchen. Just in case the new one acts up with its own attitude.

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