When Did You Eat?
by Nancey Spaith
My mother met my father
before WWII and was eight years older than he. The first time she made
dinner for him, the biscuits (cooked in a wood stove) were so hard,
the dog wouldn't even eat them. The next time they were together, he
brought her a cookbook (and she still married him).
When they were married
after the war, she became a homemaker and mother and he owned the corner
grocery store. In all the time they were married, she never had to shop
for groceries. After he retired, that became one of his chores.My earliest memories
of my mother are at Christmas time. She made cut-out sugar cookies from
the 1950 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook and decorated them with
colored sugar. I can remember being a very small child and my sister
and I would sit on one end of the table with the colored sugar and do
the decorating while she was at the other end cutting out the cookies.
She had dozens of cutters and made all kinds of shapes. When we got
to be older, my dad provided the materials from his store and she and
my sister and I would make cookies by the bushel basket for him to give
as presents to his customers at Christmas time. Although both my mother
and father are gone, I still make Christmas cookies and pass them out
to anyone who may need a little bit of cheer and I'm sure she's right
there with me when I do. I was so thoroughly
trained with the Betty Crocker Cookbook that I wanted one of my own.
When I bought one in the '60's, I found that the recipes (to my dismay)
had been changed. I did not get my mother's copy when her kitchen was
dismantled, so I searched for a 1950 edition, but was unable to find
one. Several years ago, browsing on eBay, I finally found my own copy
of the original book.The thing I most remember
about my mother and the kitchen is the fact that it didn't matter when
you came in, the first thing she would say was, "When did you eat?
Can I fix you something?" It didn't matter who you were, she was
going to make sure that you were comfortable in her kitchen and her
Nancey: Nancey's greatest
pleasure is volunteer work, and she has offered her talents to groups
from the 4H to the ballet to Mid-America Mensa. Currently, she is president
of the Kansas City St. Andrew Society, whose purpose is to preserve
and foster Scottish heritage in the Kansas City area.
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