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.

 

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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.

 





OLD TIMES AGAIN

10 09 2012

Old times were not necessarily any better than now, just different. Did you know that it was not common practice to use a hair brush to brush your hair?  We all used combs.  And the latest thing was the rat tail comb.  I very well remember those!  I had this frizzy, fine hair that after combing just frizzed right back up again. When I was in grammar school and before, my grandmother combed my hair every morning.  And then she braided it, although we called it plaiting it.  I hated that!

She would comb through my hair and of course it bounced right back into tangles again.  And she combed and combed until I was crying every morning and hitting her on the knees.  I sat in a small chair at her knee height and had to endure this torture every day.  She did the best she could as she was always, always a very kind sweet woman. But it still hurt.  My head ached from the pulling of my hair.  But it had to be combed and so that is what she did.  

Hair brushes came into popularity much later than that. After I was at least 15 or older.  Of course we always got a machine permanent before we started school each year.  This was a big deal, too.  Another day of enduring sheer torture while my hair was washed, combed, rolled up on machine rollers, and then cooked. Afterwards my hair was even more frizzed.  In fact, I looked like Orphan Annie and that was definitely not the look I was wishing for.  Hated that!  I wanted to look beautiful like the movie stars with their pageboy long sleek hair.  And mine was a frizzed mop standing straight up on top of my head.  

Then it was combed and combed again so I looked even worse.  But everyone in the know talked about how beautiful I was.  Bull!  I didn’t think so at all.  But getting back to the hairbrushes:  Every time I see a rat tail comb, I want to scream at someone for the many times that comb hurt my head. But somehow I survived and I got a new hairbrush when I was old enough to warrant one and after that, I never, ever had to endure that torture of having my hair combed by anyone.  

In fact, If you want to know a cure for all that, just fix up a spray bottle of half apple cider vinegar and half water and spray your hair before combing or brushing.  It makes all the tangles come right out and the hair will be nice and smooth.  Also, it will keep your hair in its natural color and not let it turn gray.  And that is real plus.  

You can read all about those old times in my books, you know.  Just order from BET  P.O. Box 2249, Benton,AR  72018.  They are all well worth the cost of $10 each plus $2 postage.   Or you can buy any 3 for $25 including postage.  Really great books and full of humor and living history.

#2503 is all about the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  In The 1940’s is obviously all about the 1940’s and the World War II years and how different our life was.  The Wonderful 1950’s is about the changing times during those truly wonderful years.  And then I have a great cookbook that leads you through cooking for a family.  If you want good, nutritious, crowd pleasing recipes, they are in this book.  They are also quick and very easy with lots of tips to help you along the way. And I also have a newer book entitled The Real Story which tells of my father who was born into terrible poverty and his rise to be quite successful.  My husband’s story is also there about how he conquered his alcoholism and became very successful.  Give any of my books a try.  

The books also make wonderful gifts for ages 8 through 85.  Anyone on your Christmas list would love one!





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!

 

 





28 08 2012

Finally figured out what is wrong with me.  Have not been feeling very well for awhile and yet nothing really wrong.  Finally went to the doctor and asked for a steroid shot thinking that would make me feel better but it did not.  And then I realized that I had dehydrated myself.  That is it!  That is what has been ruining my life.  Just simple as that.

I always drink  tea.  Have been doing that for years and never noticed that it bothered me in particular.  But I had added another cup per day in the last year.  And then I have been eating a piece of chocolate candy after lunch and another piece of chocolate candy at bedtime.  Between the two, that has been enough caffeine to dehydrate me.  

Some of the problems I have had are worse eyesight, worse hearing, very forgetful, weight loss of about 10 pounds, no muscle tone anywhere at all, wrinkled like an old tree, indigestion a lot of the time, off balance at times, very tired at times and shortness of breath after climbing stairs and messed up blood pressure, rising at night mostly.   Now, I did not have any of those problems until about the last six or eight  months.  About the same time I added the chocolate to my daily diet.  Then it has been a gradual increase in some of these over the months.  Feeling really old when I did not feel that way before.

Makes me wonder about some of this. Is this what is wrong with a lot of older people?  Could it be remedied by just simply drinking more water?  Sure makes me think about it all.  

I filled a two quart pitcher with water today and will drink that full every day no matter what.  Should be o.k. in a matter of a few more months.  Am looking forward to that.  Especially if my hearing and sight and memory all get better.

May feel really young again and that would be fun. Maybe. Don’t want to be young again anyway. Once around that block is enough for me!

 

 

 





THANK YOU DEAR GOD FOR BEING SO GOOD TO ME!

27 08 2012

Had 20 children and families here yesterday for July, August and September birthdays.  We celebrate every 3 to 4 months depending upon how many there are.  We had 11 birthdays to celebrate yesterday.   It was fun for all.  Always is.  We sing Happy Birthday to Everybody and enjoy the ice cream and cake.  It is a great time for visiting and enjoying the special company.

Almost all the cake was gone by the time the party ended.  And everyone had a sack of fun presents to take home.  We do not give expensive nor special presents.  Just items from the Dollar Store and fun things.  For instance, yesterday, everyone got a fireman’s hat fit for a 3 year old.  And they were all proud of them.  Some of them were wearing them for the afternoon.  Such things are just pure fun. And what is wrong with that.  Everything doesn’t have to be serious and grim.  Laughter is the best part anyway.

There were 4 different families here yesterday plus some who are not official families yet, but will be this year.  And then another generation will be coming along.  What fun!  I am so glad I have this big family and glad everyone gets along and is happy in their own lives.  God has truly been good to me and I appreciate that more than anything.  

Happy Birthday to All!!!





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!