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"My Tea Ring" – Gee

Each holiday morning, it was a tradition for the Tretter-Hope family to have Gee’s Tea Ring for breakfast. Try out their recipe:

My Tea Ring – Gee

2-pkg. active dry yeast

½ cup water

½ cup milk, scalded

¼ cup butter

2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 beaten eggs


Soften active dry yeast in warm water. Combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt; cool to lukewarm. Add 1 cup flour. Beat well. Stir in softened yeast and eggs; add enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth; 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased ring bowl, turning once to a greased surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1½ hours.

Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.

Shape and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size; about 45 minutes.

Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes until light brown.

MEET: The Tretter-Hope Family

Maria Tretter, Mom

When we talk about Erin’s House, we acknowledge it as a safe, loving place to heal. My sons, Grayson, Trenton, and Dalton, each needed a different direction of healing and were met with just that after my mom died. Mary Jo Tretter, or Gee as the kids called her, passed away at the age of 74 and it deeply affected my kids as they just adored her. We celebrated Easter and Christmas morning together, and she’d come over whenever the kids needed a hair trim.


As a professional hairdresser, my mom owned and operated Be-Love-Lee Beauty Shop in Ferdinand, Indiana for 27 years! She was the strongest person I have ever known and an inspiration to her family. Even though most of her grandchildren were young when she died, her love made such an impact on them that they continuously tell stories about her, pray for her, and miss her. She was also a seamstress, and before she passed away, she made "lovey" blankets for each of the grandchildren and me that we have slept with every night since.


I did not realize how much mom's death affected the boys, especially the young ones. The boys think of Erin's House as a place to celebrate her and be able to talk openly about their grief without upsetting me or making me sad. Through all the grief we experienced as a family, Erin's House offered open ears and hearts for us to recall our precious memories. I appreciate the patience that they have with my boys, especially since two of them have autism. Erin's House accepted their challenges and understood each person’s desire to grieve without judgment. I cherish the family crafts we have done at program in memory of my mom, which are now displayed proudly in our home.


One of the biggest lessons we learned while at Erin’s House was that going on with life and having fun is okay, even though Gee is no longer here with us.

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