I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I was a kid. But fortunately my mother did—though I always showed up to scrape the remains from the cookie or cake bowl.
Don’t Needle Me
I didn’t sew either. Or knit, or crochet, or needlepoint. I read books and played baseball. Though my grandmother often engaged me to thread a needle on the Singer, pedal-powered sewing machine. She always prefaced her request with, “Your eyes are better than mine.”
Tales to Tell
I recently visited with a couple of friends, who shared tales of the 1940s housewife. One mentioned that her mother (of seven kids) kept every wrapper, sack and jar. Every drop of bacon grease. Nothing was wasted. Long before re-cycling was encouraged, she had her own system in place.
Her recollections triggered memories of my own childhood kitchen. I was expected to clean my plate, scrape any table leftovers into Pyrex containers (before the advent of Tupperware) and find room for them in the icebox. They would be retrieved again for the next meal or for soups, stews, or sandwiches.
Neighborhood Haute Couture
Women in those days made their own housedresses and aprons, often featuring petite flowers scattered about the design. There must have only been one pattern to choose from, because all the housewives in the neighborhood dressed alike.
I have a quilt that my grandmother made from the scraps of her old garments and, surprisingly, I still recall her wearing dresses made from the fabric.
While I refused to become a seamstress, I did enjoy playing with the vast array of buttons kept in a repurposed cake tin with a flower design on the lid. There must have been hundreds of buttons in the tin, very few alike. It was fun to scoot them about the table and make colorful shapes.
I’m sure you have some kitchen, sewing, or housewife memories to share as well. Drop a line here or on Facebook.