COOKING

17 10 2012

I married very young. In fact, I had only been 18 a month when I married for better or worse, etc. And I meant every single word of it.  So did he.  It has lasted a long, long time.

But when I was first married, I was determined to learn to cook and cook really good.  Everyone else seemed to know how, so I would too. I had some new cookbooks and so I spent a lot of time reading through them picking out what I thought sounded really good.  And easy.  And impressive.  Of course.  I worked full time and didn’t have a lot of time for cooking, but I was definitely determined.

On this day, I had read about blanched spaghetti.  Now that sounded truly marvelous since I had never even heard of it. So I decided I would have that for supper.  Didn’t sound hard to fix either.  I just put a pan of water on the stove and cooked the spaghetti.  Then it said in order to blanche it, all you had to do was pour cold water over it  Even I could manage that one!

So I prepared all the rest of the dinner for my new husband and I and then prepared the blanched spaghetti.  We sat down, smiling at one another as usual.  I was so proud of everything new that I did.  We ate in silence.  But we both enjoyed the meal.  Then he got up from the table and said, ‘I never ate cold spaghetti before.’  I said, ‘I didn’t either.  But I don’t think I will fix that one again.’  He smiled and agreed and we both went on about our business.  It was awhile before I understood what I had prepared. Just spaghetti that had been washed so it wouldn’t stick together after cooking.

I don’t recommend fixing blanched spaghetti for your supper tonight. But it sounded good back then.  Life was wonderful and  I wouldn’t have missed those times for anything in the world.

Since then, I have learned a lot about cooking and how to feed all those hungry kids and make them think it is a really good meal.  But I never tried blanched spaghetti again.  Don’t think I could sell any of them on that.

I have a really good cookbook out now.  It’s called Bet’s Cookbook and has a lot of original recipes and some not so original in it.  It tells exactly how to put together really good meals that don’t cost much and are easy to prepare.  My kids loved all my cooking and that is the best recommendation I could ever have.   If you might be interested in buying one of my cookbooks, please send $12 including postage to BET, P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018.  I have other really great books, too.  Look me up on Amazon sometime.

But don’t fix blanched spaghetti.

 





THINGS I AM SICK AND TIRED OF

1 10 2012

There are a lot of things going on these days that I just simply am  sick and tired of.  I noticed that we now have a shortage or an upcoming or at least they think we will have a shortage of bacon.  Well, so what!  We can live without bacon if we have to, you know.

In 1957, there was a shortage of a lot of things.  I know because I had just had a new baby and could not buy some of the groceries I really needed and had to drive all over the place to find them.   First, we had a shortage of coffee.  Oh my!  The world just about flipped over that one.  We all heard about how in Columbia, there was a shortage of something and this made us all have a shortage of coffee.  Well, people were hanging onto their coffee cups and whining a lot over that one.

Next, we had a shortage of sugar.  Of course this made the price go sky high.   And did I mention that by now, coffee was about tripled in price?  Well, sugar soon was, too.  No one could run their household in those years without that five pound bag of sugar.  Had to have that just to get up in the morning.  There were no sugar substitutes to lean on and no one ever considered just doing without it.  Absolutely no way we could exist without sugar.

There were a lot more shortages, in fact about 5 or 6  really standard items that we all depended on and that suddenly went short.  Meat was another one, if I remember correctly.  But I really don’t remember all the rest of them.  The result was that prices went up.  Isn’t that the intended result anyway?  Higher grocery prices and then everyone can explain why. Suddenly coffee went up and then sugar and then the meat.  Well, we all just had to adjust and lower our standard of living in order to buy groceries.  That was the intended plan all along anyway.

Now we have a shortage of gasoline for our cars.  Shame on us for having a car anyway.   We should all be out hoofing it everywhere and riding that bus that is never on time or the subway or the streetcar or thumbing a ride to WalMart.  Of course the prices on gasoline have been going up quite a lot.  But no one really explains why we have a shortage in the first place.  Could it just happen to be so that they – whoever they are – can raise the prices?  And then when the election gets closer, the prices begin to come down so that those in charge, whoever they are, can now say – Oh Lookie, the price of gasoline has gone down.  And those in charge take full credit.  How convenient.

Maybe if we could just drill for our own oil and provide for our own gasoline, maybe we could have a decent price on our gas.  But then, those in charge could not take credit for that one.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am with Robin Williams who recently said we should offer all those oil producing nations $10 a barrel for oil and then they can like it or lump it.  If they decide to lump it, they can sell their oil to someone else in the world.  Meanwhile, we’ll just produce all our own products.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Wouldn’t that be normal once again?  Maybe, just maybe if we vote for the right people this time around, we can see our country begin to progress once again.   Maybe we can drill for our own oil and run our own pipe lines and quit protecting those overpopulated bears and wolves and spiders and whatever else those environmentalists can come up with.  Wouldn’t that be nice, though.

I remember a normal time with no one trying to run everything their way.  I do remember that. Maybe we can have it again.  Sure hope so.

 





WOULD LIKE TO GO HOME

4 09 2012

I sure would like to go home today.  Not to a house particularly, but to home in my heart.  I think of my parents and our life in their home and how happy we all were most days.  I sure would like to go back there sometime.  It was wonderful.

And I think of the little house we lived in as a young couple with 1, 2, and then 3 children.  That was a wonderful place, too.  Just those toddlers and their smiles and their cries and their learning, always learning.  Would like to see all that again, too.

And then next was the horrible place where everything went wrong all the time.  No money, a sick baby, run down house, lost everything.  Don’t want to ever go there again.  And hope I never do.

Next was a terrible rent house full of dirt and trouble also.  Still no money and an alcoholic lifestyle and trouble, trouble, trouble. Don’t miss that one, either.

Then when things got better, there was the house with all the children under my feet and the recovery of the alcoholic and the constant teaching of the damaged child.  It was a hard time, but not too bad.

And then we finally made it back to sanity and lived in a wonderful house with all those wonderful kids growing up and growing up way too fast.  The many carpools and meals to be prepared and washing to be done and vacuuming constantly.  Would love to go back and just visit there for an afternoon with all my children in the kitchen and lots and lots of noise and listening to all their conversations at once.  Absolutely wonderful.

Next was another really nice place but some of the children were gone now. Still miss them to this day, not for now, but for then.  Back to the times when they were growing up and stretching their long legs and big feet   under the table and learning to drive and write checks and learning everything.

And then to this big empty place where I am lost sometimes, looking for everyone.  I just wish I could go home, back where I belong, back to those places from before with all the children at home and all that noise and commotion and much too busy days.  I sure would like to go home.

If you would like to go home,too, then look at my books.  #2503 is the one about my parents and their home; In The 1940’s tells of those times growing up during the World War II years and loving every minute of it; The Wonderful 1950’s is all about those years before the troubles began when those toddlers were filling my days; and then The Real Story tells about those alcoholic years and the recovery and success afterwards.  It also tells of earlier years when my father was growing up and the tremendous success he obtained in his life, going from abject poverty to being a very successful individual.

All my books are $12 each including postage.  Or you can buy any 3 for $30 including postage.  Just send check or money order to BET, P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR   72018.     Thanks.

Think I’ll go dream about going home now.   Sure would like to.





WELL, I DO

1 09 2012

Do you remember when nobody ever used shampoo to wash their hair?  Well, I do.  We were all perfectly happy just washing our hair with a bar of soap, rinsing it really good, and then pouring a small amount of vinegar and water over it, rinsing that out and then having beautiful, lustrous, thick, lovely hair. Or at least we thought it was.

And then the Halo girl came on the radio.  She was the one who sang, ‘Halo everybody, Halo’   And we were all crowded around our radio listening to the Sunday evening shows and also to the Halo girl.  So,  we all went out and bought a bottle of Halo.  But that was an unnecessary expense to us, so we didn’t buy it again.  Instead, we went right back to washing our hair with the bar of soap.  Suited us just fine anyway.  My mother never wasted money on anything, so to buy a bottle of unnecessary shampoo was downright disgusting.  But we girls had tried it once and that was all that was necessary anyway.

When I got married and was on my own later, I did buy myself some Halo shampoo, but when it was gone, that was it.  I used that bar of soap again and it worked fine. In fact, I used a bar of soap most of my life to wash my hair.  And I was always satisfied with my way.  People who could save rainwater (like those who lived in the country and had a rain barrel outside their  house,) those people washed their hair in rainwater because it was supposed to be softer water.  If you lived in a hard water area, the soap would not suds and it made washing anything difficult.  Fortunately, in our town, we had soft water so didn’t have to be concerned about any of that.

Now you can go in any big box store or grocery store or drug store and see rows and rows of shampoo for sale.  And not a single bar of soap is on that aisle.  But still, I sometimes wash my hair with a bar of soap and rinse it with that vinegar and water mixture.  Keeps my hair dark and easy to manage and thick and all those good things.

Just shut your eyes and imagine a world without shampoo.  I can.  Just wondered if you remember all that.  Well, I do.

If you would like to know more about how things really were during the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, then you need to buy my books.

#2503 was my address when I was growing up.  #2503 tells the stories of a normal family during those earlier years and how it really was.  A lot of fun and happiness and humor and living history.

IN THE 1940’S  tells all about the world as we knew it during the World War II years  and all the things remembered such as rationing of shoes and foods.  Another good dose of history and humor as well as the many differences  in our lives.  A good dose of patriotism is there also.

THE WONDERFUL 1950’S  tells of the changes, changes and more changes in our lives during this exciting time.  The world was really moving on with new things  including the changes in communications such as the new fangled television sets and again, lots of happiness and humor .

These three books make wonderful gifts for Christmas.  Seniors love them because they can relate to everything in the books.  Even young children love them because it tells of a time they do not know.  Teachers read them to their students and tell me the children ask for more.  If you want a good dose of happiness, humor, and history, just purchase these books.  You will definitely enjoy them.

Each book is $12 including postage.  Or you can buy all three for a grand total of $30 including all postage.  Give them a try.  You will be glad you did.

Just send check or money order to BET   P.O. Box 2249  Benton, AR   72018    and I will get them right out to you.  Thanks!

 

 





A WIFE

24 08 2012

Sometimes a wife just has to step in and change things.  My husband was 21 years old and already a great salesman.  He was working downtown as the floor salesman and loved his job.  He enjoyed meeting all the new people who came into the store and loved the learning part of the business.

Every day I prepared his lunch.  Most of the other men went out for lunch to nearby restaurants.  I thought to myself that it was time for him to do that too.  I knew he would resent it if I mentioned it to him, so I just made some really awful lunches.  He hated ground up meat sandwiches so that was what I fixed for a few days.  Didn’t take long until he came in one afternoon and said, ‘I didn’t eat my lunch that you fixed today.  I threw it in the wastebasket instead.  Then I went out to eat with the other guys’. I asked him why and he said he didn’t like those sandwiches I had been fixing in his lunch and he wasn’t going to eat that anymore.  I acted like it sort of upset me, but inside I was grinning all over.

After that, he never even mentioned taking his lunch again. I was glad because I didn’t have to fix it anyway, but I was especially glad that he had taken that upward step to be one of the guys and go out for lunch.  He couldn’t progress in his job if he had to always be in the office to eat his prepared lunch.  Hooray!  A step forward in his young life.

He went on to become a traveling salesman for many years and was a very successful young man.  I was always very proud and still am today.  And I will be forever glad that I fixed those awful lunches!





STUFF

17 08 2012

When I was raising all my children and there were a bunch, my mother in law grew vegetables in her garden and gave them to me.  So I was obligated whether I liked it or not to can or preserve or do whatever I could to save all those vegetables for my family to eat.  I always wondered if I saved any money doing that, but I still had to do it anyway.

First, she would call me and tell me she had a basket of tomatoes or peaches or whatever else there was.  Of course I was most grateful for all this, but I hated getting the phone call.  First of all, I’d better get myself over there in a hurry because she had no patience for my not coming right now.  Those tomatoes might just spoil before I got there.  Well, of course I had a few dozen other things going at the time but that didn’t count.  Like, maybe I was running a load of wash and wanted to put them in the dryer or maybe I had to take some of the kids to the pool or to the barbershop or whatever.  No matter, hurry up and get that basket full of tomatoes.  So I did of course.  Makes for better family relations if I do it right.

Then after picking up the vegetables, I still have to take those kids wherever or whenever they are going.  Then get home and make all the preparations for canning.  Do you know what that means?  Takes a lot to can tomatoes.  Lots of washing and getting ready and setting up.  By this time, the children are ready for lunch so have to stop and do that.  Then it is time to put someone down for a nap.  Have to do that.  By this time, that load of clothes is through in the dryer so have to do that.  Finally, with a couple of hours before time to start dinner, I start canning.  And I canned and canned and canned fast as I could.

If you have time, read my blog entitled Jars.  You will really enjoy it if you have ever been faced with any of the above.  Just pure fun.  Might just as well laugh over it all.  But, I’ll tell you for sure, I was glad when she quit giving me those vegetables.  I was about canned out.  And I still wonder if I saved any money in the deal.  Guess I did, though.  It is in the papers now that the price of groceries is going to go up because of the drought.  If this is true, you might want to get a few jars and think about canning yourself.  Never know.  Those tomatoes are hard to beat.  Glad I had them lots and lots of times.  Read Jars and laugh!





A TIP FOR YOU

19 07 2012

Are you just sick and tired of running the dishwasher and then finding that your dishes are still dirty?  Aren’t you just sick to the bitter end of all the so-called helpful innovations that those creeps have fixed for us?  I know I sure am.  I don’t remember God coming to earth and appointing any of them as fixer-uppers.  They must think God made mistakes when He made this world.  I think He did it just right.  So why do we need  them to fix up everything for us.  God knows what goes on here.  He knows all about the phosphates in the dishwashing soap and I don’t remember reading in the local newspaper where He appointed any of those creeps to fix it.  But then you know how they are.  They have been cramming this stuff down our throats for a long time now.  So far, no one has stopped them.

Well, I have a great tip for you today.  If you want clean, spot free, stain free dishes, just put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher when you are ready to run it.  And guess what!  All the dishes get clean.  My cups were all stained almost brown from the tea stains.  And most of the glasses had seen their last shine a long time ago. But I ran the dishwasher with the vinegar in it one time and my dishes were much, much cleaner.  May take longer than one load with some dishwashers and some water supplies.  But at least there is hope here.  And it is cheap, too.  Yay!  About time. Don’t put the vinegar in the little container where the rinse aid is.  Then your dishes will taste like vinegar and that is not the point.  Just pour into bottom of dishwasher so it can work with the tampered with soaps they sell us today. 

I haven’t noticed that the world is much better since they started fixing everything.  They fixed the wolf population and the bear population and the deer population.  Just ask those people who live where those populations have been fixed.  Now there are way too many wolves and bears and deer.  And they are all hungry.  That is why it is so cute to see the bear swimming in the pool of a home and the wolves chasing the sheep all over the place and the deer eating the gardens and grass of some residents.  Oh great.  Wonder what they will fix next. Again, God had all that fixed just fine.  The animal populations were fixing themselves just great.  They didn’t need any outside help.   Just leave this world alone!!

We have had wonderful cars for generations now.  But they are going to fix those just as soon as they figure out what to do.  We aren’t going to have enough gasoline so that means it will cost more. And then we aren’t going to have cars that run very far or very fast.  Then what will our teenagers do in their spare time.  All of mine drove all over town, visiting with their friends and running errands for me.  Oh dear!  Must have been something bad wrong with that.  And then our highways will be empty of automobiles and trucks because those people are going to just have to fix that.  And of course they always know best.

Except that they don’t know anything at all and have messed up everything they have touched.  Maybe they can fix the weather this year.  And the weather patterns are NOT because of global warming.  These are the same weather patterns I have lived with in all the years of my life. Some summers are hotter and drier than others.  Some are not.  Some winters are colder and more miserable than others.  But none of this is because of global warming.  This is because the world turns and hopefully, in spite of all those do-gooders, it will keep right on turning.  At God’s behest and at God’s perfect speed.

Thank You, Dear God!





THE WAY IT WAS – PART TWO

1 07 2012

I brought up some things yesterday that had been the norm during the 1950’s. Earlier than that, very few people owned their own homes.  Almost everyone had to rent.  And what they rented was not all that great.  I know my in-laws lived in what I would have described as real dumps.  They laid their own linoleum floors and were always moving around trying to find a better place.  Not a good way to live.

My parents had rented for many years, but then they were finally able to buy their own house.  I remember going to look at the houses for sale.  One was really nice, but it cost $2,200. and they could not afford that one.  They settled on one that was not quite as nice, but still was o.k.  It only cost $2,000.  Payments were $16 a month.  My daddy borrowed the money from the group he worked with because I remember going by to make the payment every month.  He had a good job and was a good man.  Trustworthy, stable, and always taking good care of everyone.  There were my parents and three of us children.  Besides that, he had always taken good care of his mother.  As he said to me one time, she had no one else to take care of her so it was his job.  And he had done that since the age of 5 or 6.  His father had walked out and found someone else and my daddy was hung with providing for his mother.  If you would like to read more of that story, then order my book,  The Real Story for $10 plus $2 postage from Bet at P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018.   Enjoyment, pure enjoyment.

All us kids were expected to do well in school.  We were not straight A students but pretty close.  We did not get scholarships or anything like that, but we had a very good public school education.  That was back when they taught the necessary three R’s, if you remember, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.  And we learned well.  All of us went to work upon graduation from high school.  I already had a job before I graduated.  Friday night was graduation and I went to work at 8 on Monday morning and was thrilled.  Was a great secretary.  Had a lot to learn, but learned well.  Worked for several years before starting a family.

My brother had worked from the time he was 14 or so.  He stuffed papers at the local newspaper office and delivered items and worked at general stuff.  Then he also had a full time sales job when he graduated from high school.  By that time, he had been working in sales for a local company for several years.  Now, it was just full time instead of part time.  

My sister also went to work early.  In fact, when I was 14, my brother took me to a friend who was hiring for a candidate’s run for governor.  He hired me on the spot thinking I was 16 and I made enough money that year to pay for my own school clothes.  Then my sister, cousin and other friends and myself all got a job during the next governor’s race and had a really great summer.  At that time, everything that went out of the office had to be typed individually, so they needed lots of typists.  We all learned typing in school and were very good on those manual typewriters, so we were well paid and again, bought all our own school clothes.  Life was a lot of fun.  Challenging, full of education, and happiness.  Because we made it that way.

No one in my home argued a lot or had a lot of problems.  We just simply got along because we had to.  There were too many of us not to. We had chickens in the back yard and only one car, and rode the bus everywhere we went.  Wouldn’t have traded that life for anything.

I also have another book entitled #2503 which was our address.  My brother and sister wanted me to write about our growing up years and that was the title I chose.  Probably not a good one, but we all like it.  Same price and same address if you want that book also.  In fact, if you would like 3 books, they are only 3 for $25 plus the postage.  A third book is about the 1940’s and all the changes due to the World War II years.  Exciting, scary, and educational once again.  You will definitely enjoy all these books.  Thanks,  Bet





THE WAY IT WAS

30 06 2012

Everyone seems to be so surprised when we talk of how things really were back then.  And I don’t mean a long time ago.  Did you know that in the early 1950’s most people had never used a shampoo?  Or a hair brush?  We washed our hair with soap and rinsed with vinegar or sometimes coal oil and used a comb.  I was so glad to have a hair brush because I had terribly tangled hair and that comb just about did me in.  When the tv came along, people could see those commercials and began to buy those things they saw.  The radio had been an opener for a lot of things, but the television made it even more so.

Also, in this awful hot weather, be thankful for that air conditioner, no matter how well it works.  We grew up in the 40’s and 50’s with a fan if we were lucky.  Most people just spent a lot of time on the porch fanning with a funeral home fan or wiping their face with a handkerchief.  And this, again, is not that long ago.  Oscillating fans had been on the market only a short time and a family usually only had one or perhaps two.  They moved the fans from one room to another, depending upon the need.  For instance if my mother was cooking, she had the fan to blow  in the kitchen.  Same way with washing dishes.  Then when the children were put to bed at night, they had the fan until they dropped off to sleep and then the parents would have it the rest of the night.  And by the way, due to the hot weather, all children had what was called heat rash and cried a lot over that.  I don’t ever want to see that one again. 

After that, the window fan and the attic fan came along and that was a real change for the better.  I remember the men putting the attic fan in our house and the breeze blowing in the window all night long.  That was truly wonderful.  Why, you could plan on being able to sleep the whole night through.  And the window fan was great for the kitchen area or the room where mother ironed.  It helped a great deal in the hot, humid weather. Of course the windows were always open to allow for that cool breeze.  How wonderful it was! 

I don’t want to live like that again.  I really like the way I live now.  I like the air conditioning and the being able to sleep and the sitting in my chair reading the paper without sweating like a hog.  I really like all this.   Do you?  If you don’t want to go back to living like that again, be sure and DO NOT vote for Mr. Obama because he will put us right back there.   With his monetary policies, we are moving backwards every day. 

If you enjoy the things you have in this country, vote for the Republican, whoever it might be.  And be sure you VOTE!!!  It is very important. Remember that every time you turn on that air conditioner.  Make that vote count this time.  





I STILL WANT IT BACK!!!

16 06 2012

I wrote yesterday about things I wanted back in my world.  And then I remembered I also want my food left alone.  I want my tomatoes back!  I used to just love those wonderful tasting fresh tomatoes we got from the backyard every year.  And everyone I knew grew a few of those in their backyard or bought them at the farmer’s market.  Sometimes even a neighbor would give you one or two of those huge, almost split in half tomatoes from their garden.  My mother-in-law grew the most wonderful tomatoes ever.  She would throw her coffee grounds on the tomato plants every day and they grew like mad.

Well, anyway, I want my tomatoes back!  These things they sell nowadays have no taste except sour sometimes.  They are not pretty.  They have no good smell anymore.  And do you know why?  Because someone messed around with the seeds and they took all the acid out of the tomatoes. Now I don’t know how that was supposed to help the environment or whatever it was they were helping. Probably something weird like all that other stuff is.  But they ruined the tomatoes. You cannot buy the old type seeds anymore and so we are all stuck with this made-up tomato that isn’t worth eating.  Even a BLT doesn’t taste like it used to.  And I used to just love them.

I used to can a lot of tomatoes every year, too.  But if you want to can tomatoes nowadays, you have to add acid to them in the form of lemon juice or some such thing. Absolutely and positively ridiculous!  Over and over again.  Ridiculous!

I still want my food back.  Quit messing with the food in this country.  Leave it alone.  If I choose to be unhealthy, that is my choice.  If I choose to be fat and ugly, that is my choice.  If I choose to be healthy, then that is also my choice.  But leave the food alone.  Quit fixing everything for everyone. It is my responsibility to care for myself.  Not someone else’s.

God made the food. God provided just exactly what He wanted us to have and He didn’t need for it to be fixed or altered or changed in any way.  This is His world.  This is His plan for us.  Everything was provided for us, period.  He had his reasons for putting the acid in the tomatoes.  He had his reasons for doing each and everything regarding the foods.  So quit fixing everything for us.  Leave it alone.

Thank You, Dear God for everything you have provided for us forever.  Please take care of us.