Archive for Motherhood

Mother’s Day

I love this article so much I decided to post it again. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day

Since Mother’s Day is this Sunday I thought I would share these thoughts my Grandma had about the day from May 10, 1984.

Mother’s Day is almost here and all the little and not so little children are trying to find just the right gift to give Mother.

I remember the years when a plaster hand print or a crayoned picture or a crumpled bunch of violets were my gifts. I remember the year the whole bunch of kids pooled their money and bought a rose- colored, footed dish of Fenton glass. After buying the dish there was a bit of money left so they bought one bunch of purple grapes and draped it rakishly down the side.

The grapes are gone, but the rose colored dish reflects the afternoon sun from the shelf where it sits; reminding me of the thoughtfulness of little children, long grown but still dear as ever.

From a 6 or 7 year old kid’s point of view the best of all gifts is to serve Mom breakfast in bed.

For a Mom to stay in bed during the preparation of this Mother’s Day breakfast is the supreme test of motherhood.

The house may be disintegrating around you, the odor of burning bacon rising up the stairway, and the sound of pottery crashing to the floor, but you must stay in bed, steel yourself to the voices of children squabbling.

“Careful, Jimmy, you’re stepping in the egg I dropped on the floor.”

“Gee, this coffee looks funny.”

“I get to carry the tray.”

“Oh, no, you don’t, you got to carry it last year.”

Mothers, clutch the headboard and hang on. You must not, I repeat, must not rush to the kitchen threatening mayhem. It is essential to stay in bed- to pass the test that entitles you to be called a Mother’s Day Veteran.

Stay right there among your bitten- off fingernails and smile lovingly when the burnt offering appears at your bedside.

The kids will stand with beaming smiles as you look at the tray with its dandelion centerpiece.

“Mommie, try some of the scrambled eggs. I broke the eggs myself and only let a few pieces of shell get in.”

“How do you like the orange juice? I made it all by myself?”

“Did you have a good sleep while we fixed your breakfast? Oh, Mommy, we love you so much.”

Forget about the pains in your fingers from gripping the headboard to keep from leaping out of the bed in panic at the commotion in the kitchen.

Forget about the two hours you’ll have to spend cleaning up the horrible mess the kids made on the stove and floor. Savor the moment.

You have just been given the greatest gift in the world. Pure, unadulterated, shining love masquerading in the guise of burned bacon and scrambled eggs.

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Spring Time

May 14, 1987

With spring settling in and the lawn growing like mad, a garden to plant, the asparagus to pick and freeze, and the social life of a small community to keep up with, May is a month full of activity for most of us.

But I’m going to find time to go quietly outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and the balmy southern breezes. People who aren’t in awe with Kansas call those same breezes hot winds, but I prefer to give them a nice name and enjoy the fresh air they bring in as they blow by.

Here are some recipes that can be made up fairly quick and then reheated in the microwave as you linger outside past the time to start supper.

Rye Bread

1 cup rye flour

1 cup unbleached flour

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caraway seed

6 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup raisins

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Stir in milk and raisins. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing.

You can also add a half cup of sunflower seeds to this recipe.

I made up a double recipe and had a little trouble adjusting the taste. I’m pretty sure I’ll leave out the raisins next time. It is good served with cheese and also good as toast. After eating it for three days I’m growing more fond of it. Nutritionally, this bread is a good deal.

Several of asked for the recipe for the Spanish Rice thaw was at the Sedgwick-Halstead UMW luncheon meeting. Here it is, but it is one of those recipes that can be varied for individuals taste preferences.

Spanish Rice

1 cup raw rice

1 pound hamburger

1 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons Worcestshire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

5 cups tomato sauce

1 cup cooked cracked wheat

6 cheese slices

Cook rice according to package directions. Cook peppers and onions in the hot oil until translucent. Remove from skillet. Lightly brown hamburger. Drain well. Add rest of ingredients, but just add 2 cups of the tomato sauce. Simmer for 2 hours adding the rest of sauce as needed. After 1 1/2 hours add the cooked cracked wheat.

When sauce is thick add the rice and simmer until blended. Top with cheese and serve.

Bitki

3 slices bread

1 pound hamburger

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups small cooked potatoes

1 cup commercial sour cream

Soak bread in water for five minutes. Drain and mix with hamburger, onion, salt and black pepper. Shape into patties and saute in hot butter. Remove patties to a small casserole and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Enjoy the Holidays

Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy Christmas.

 

December 1982

 

Have a happy holiday. Relax and enjoy yourself. If all the handcrafted Christmas gifts you were making aren’t completed toss them in a closet and bring them out to finish next year. This takes a strong will, but it is better than going without sleep in order to get done and then being grouchy on the best day of the whole year.

I wish I’d followed this advice when our children were little. Joy says she always remembers me being cross on important days. Even though I remember staying up half the night to finish a doll’s wardrobe, from swimming suit to pajamas to coat, my daughter’s memory is of a cross momma instead of the gift I worked so hard over.

So if you need more Christmas cookies try some of these easy recipes. The peanut butter ones can made in 30 minutes. The others take less than an hour.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies (Flourless)

 

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon soda

 

Mix all the ingredients. Roll the mixture into small balls. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

 

Cookie Pralines

 

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg, separated

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans

 

Cream butter, sugar, and egg yolk. In larger bowl beat egg whites stiff. Add first mixture. Sift in flour and salt. Add pecans. Gently fold in all these additions.

Drop by a teaspoon into high mounds on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown.

A cookie praline is a cross between a cookie and a candy. Store in airtight container.

 

Easy Frosted Cookies

 

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Topping:

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup whipping cream

 

Cream first four ingredients. Sift dry ingredients. Mix together. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on greased baking sheet. Make a depressions in center of each cookie.

Mix topping. Put a teaspoonful in the depression. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until a golden brown.

 

Date Bars

 

1 cup sugar

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 8-ounce package dates

1/4 cup sour cream – This sour cream is not cultured sour cream. Take plain whipping cream and add a 1/2 a teaspoon vinegar to sour it to produce the sour cream for this recipe.

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

3 egg whites, well beaten

Powdered sugar

 

Mix ingredients in order given. Add egg whites last. Bake at 350 degrees in an 8 x 8 inch pan for 30 minutes. Cut while warm and roll in powdered sugar.

 

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Brotherly Love

I feel so lucky to have my brother’s reaction to my birth written down to be read and laughed about years later.

October 17, 1984

The October sun filtered down on the streets of Putnam, Connecticut. In the white two story house set high above the busy street the phone rang.

“Hello,” followed by expectant silence.

“Hello. The baby was born just five minutes ago. A girl and everyone is fine. Will you tell Chris?”

“Oh that’s wonderful,” I responded. “I’m so happy and I’ll tell Chris right away. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

Christopher, playing with Castle Grayscull in his bedroom, looked up when I sat down on the bed.

“Chris, Daddy just called and you have a baby sister.”

Christopher’s brown eyes looked right through me and he didn’t bother to answer. Secure in his four- year tenure as top kid in Mom and Dad’s heart his attitude reflected his thought.

“Well, what did you expect? I’ve heard too much about that baby already. Now she’s here. No big deal!” and he went back to his play. That evening when Daddy came home from the hospital Chris didn’t ask about the baby or show any interest in her at all.

The next day, dressed in brown corduroy overalls and matching striped shirt, Christopher went with his Daddy and me to the hospital in Massachusetts. Feeling very independent he scrambled in the car, climbed into his car seat, snapped his seat belt with a brisk click, and rode away, king of all he surveyed. The Interstate stretched through the wooded hills rioting with deep yellow, rusty oranges and brilliant scarlets.

After Daddy parked the car Chris hopped out and holding Daddy’s hand firmly, he trudged up the long steps heading to the tall red brick hospital. He maintained his best man of the world attitude in the elevator and down the hall to Momma’s room.

She, dark curly hair tousled, lay among the pillows in a pink satin negligee.

“Hi, Mom.”

“Hi, Honey. How’s my boy?” Momma reached out and smoothed Chris’ hair.

“Fine.”

“Climb up on the bed so I can hug you,” Momma said as she reached to help him up.

“What’s that?” Chris asked pointing toward the bedside table.

“A thermometer, dear. Daddy has gone to get the baby now so you can see her. Won’t you like that? We’ve named her Carolyn.” And Momma gave him a big hug.

“Daddy bought me a new Gobot. It turns into a submarine. Want to see it?” Chris dug down into his pants pocket to produce the treasured toy.

Just then Daddy and Carolyn came in. “Oh, look, Chris, here’s your baby sister.”

Tenderly his parents showed Carolyn to him and waited expectantly for Chris to melt at her winsome charm and become a proud and protective big brother.

Chris did not melt. He glanced casually at her and began to organize his resources for a complete exploration of the hospital room. He climbed down to the floor, smelled the roses and chrysanthemums on the window ledge, drank out of the water pitcher, turned on the call light and peeked under the curtain at the patient in the next bed.

Room investigation completed, Chris scaled the bed for a two minute cuddle with Momma, slid down to the floor and made ready to move on to bigger challenges. At this point Daddy interceded.

“Chris, would you like to hold Carolyn?”

“No, I’m going to the bathroom,” he said as he turned the knob on the door.

When he came out Daddy tried again. “Carolyn would like for her big brother to kiss her.”

“I want to go home now and watch ‘Masters of the Universe.’” He reached for his coat.

So the visit ended with a brief kiss for Momma and none for Carolyn.

 

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Eat Fresh

This article from July 1982 discusses the dangers of eating processed food. Eat fresh whenever possible.

July 1982

“Eat, drink and be wary” summarized the nutritionist on the last segment of Channel 10’s series on food additives that was aired last month. “I wouldn’t panic if my child ate a weiner now and then, but I wouldn’t give him wieners everyday,” was another piece of her advice.

Perhaps it is time to re- evaluate what is in the food we serve our families. Since 1972 we have been buying more processed foods than fresh foods. We spend more than 60 billion dollars annually for convenience foods including TV dinners, snack foods and pop.

With these foods Americans consume on the average 4 pounds of chemicals, preservatives, stabilizers, colorings, flavorings, and other additives each year. Their use has doubled in the last 15 years. Today, more than 3,000 chemicals are deliberately added to our food.

How much do we know about the hazards to human health from these chemicals? They may be affecting our health but, even more scary, they may affect the health of future generations. Presently, more than a thousand of these chemicals have never been tested for chance of causing cancer, genetic damage, or birth defects.

The FDA is in charge of the purity of our food. In 1960 the “Generally Regarded as Safe” or GRAs list of substances was formulated. There were 674 substances on this list. They had been in use for some time and were generally regarded as safe. They were exempted from the Delaney Amendment passed in 1958 which said, “no additive shall be deemed safe if it is found to produce cancer when ingested into man or animal or if it is found, after tests which are appropriate for the evaluation of the safety of food additives, to induce cancer in man or animal.”

At the present time no tests are required for the mutagenic testing of food additives.

Because of testing, several of the substances on the original GRAs list have had to be removed. It is difficult to know what to do about the problem of food additives.

What is a mother to do to insure food as safe as possible is on her family table? Remember, you are in charge in your own home. You are the expert. Do not allow TV commercials to determine what your children eat. It is up to you to teach your children what to eat.

They are growing and need to eat more often than adults. They should be given nutritious snacks such as vegetables, fruits, popcorn, or bread and butter.

For the main meals serve simple, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Grow your own vegetables and fruits. Save some wheat and grind your own cereal. Make your own bread using whole wheat flour. Cook your own soup and make your own granola. Grow your own beef and pork and have them butchered, cut and wrapped the way you want them. Make your own jams and jellies, pickles and relishes.

When shopping for groceries at the store, select unprocessed items such as beef, pork, fish, lamb, chicken, turkey, simple cheeses, milk, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, dry milk powder, plain breads, soda crackers, oatmeal, shredded wheat, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, fresh fruit and vegetables, and frozen juices.

As much as you possibly can, avoid buying foods such as: fish sticks, wieners, lunch meat, potted meat, pot pies, frozen dinners, and other entree type food, chocolate milk, breakfast supplements, ready made topping, canned puddings, nondairy creamer, snack crackers, colored or sweet cereals, toaster tarts, sweet rolls, pizzas, cakes, cookies, 20% fruit chunks, Tang, Kool- Aid, jams and jellies, prepared salads, maraschino cherries, potato chips, snack crackers, pickles, sauced frozen foods, most salad dressings, sandwich spread, canned or frozen fried soups, seasoned salts, curing salts, jello, pop, MSG, pies, and candy.

If, as mothers we could have one wish for our children we would probably choose a good life. Teaching them what to eat can help them have a full, active, healthy life.

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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

Since Mother’s Day is this Sunday I thought I would share these thoughts my Grandma had about the day from May 10, 1984.

Mother’s Day is almost here and all the little and not so little children are trying to find just the right gift to give Mother.

I remember the years when a plaster hand print or a crayoned picture or a crumpled bunch of violets were my gifts. I remember the year the whole bunch of kids pooled their money and bought a rose- colored, footed dish of Fenton glass. After buying the dish there was a bit of money left so they bought one bunch of purple grapes and draped it rakishly down the side.

The grapes are gone, but the rose colored dish reflects the afternoon sun from the shelf where it sits; reminding me of the thoughtfulness of little children, long grown but still dear as ever.

From a 6 or 7 year old kid’s point of view the best of all gifts is to serve Mom breakfast in bed.

For a Mom to stay in bed during the preparation of this Mother’s Day breakfast is the supreme test of motherhood.

The house may be disintegrating around you, the odor of burning bacon rising up the stairway, and the sound of pottery crashing to the floor, but you must stay in bed, steel yourself to the voices of children squabbling.

“Careful, Jimmy, you’re stepping in the egg I dropped on the floor.”

“Gee, this coffee looks funny.”

“I get to carry the tray.”

“Oh, no, you don’t, you got to carry it last year.”

Mothers, clutch the headboard and hang on. You must not, I repeat, must not rush to the kitchen threatening mayhem. It is essential to stay in bed- to pass the test that entitles you to be called a Mother’s Day Veteran.

Stay right there among your bitten- off fingernails and smile lovingly when the burnt offering appears at your bedside.

The kids will stand with beaming smiles as you look at the tray with its dandelion centerpiece.

“Mommie, try some of the scrambled eggs. I broke the eggs myself and only let a few pieces of shell get in.”

“How do you like the orange juice? I made it all by myself?”

“Did you have a good sleep while we fixed your breakfast? Oh, Mommy, we love you so much.”

Forget about the pains in your fingers from gripping the headboard to keep from leaping out of the bed in panic at the commotion in the kitchen.

Forget about the two hours you’ll have to spend cleaning up the horrible mess the kids made on the stove and floor. Savor the moment.

You have just been given the greatest gift in the world. Pure, unadulterated, shining love masquerading in the guise of burned bacon and scrambled eggs.

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