My mother usually viewed the world from a black and white perspective. She had a lot of guidelines for how to live a productive and “good” life. Neighbors and friends saw her as a “good” woman who cared for and did “good” in the rural community in which we lived. Above all she was a good cook!!
I rarely think about her “rules” for life. Suddenly I realize I actually “follow” a substantial number of these rules and have passed many on to my own daughter:
This is how you make butter with an electric mixer.
This is how you make a cake:
-grease and flour the cake pan(s)
-cut our circles of waxed paper to put on top of the greased and floured surface–you
do not want the cake to stick
-sift the flour
-soften the butter
-mix the ingredients in exactly this order.
This is what you wear. You want to look presentable!!
-clean underwear in case you are in a car wreck
-purse and shoes that match
-no white anything before May 1 or after September 1.
This is how you present yourself to the world:
-nice, but not too nice
This is how you wash your clothes:
-separate whites and colored items–you want the whites to stay white.
This is how you ride your pony:
-keep your heels down
-don’t lean too far back.
This is how you neck rein.
This is how you hold the reins.
This is how you get your pony to trot.
This is how you get your pony to canter.
This is how you get your pony to stop.
This is how you clean the house:
-vacuum first, dust second
-if you don’t do it right the first time, you will have to do it over.
This is how you work:
-persistent–never ever give up
This is how you breathe to sing
This is how you practice well.
My mom could barely sew and only could play the piano by ear–two lifelong regrets. I had to learn these things no matter what. I do not like to sew much, but still play the piano and I love, love, love to sing!
She could cook, especially pie. Her crusts were tasty works of art. At potlucks people would get her pie first to make sure they got some. At potlucks now, people get my pie first to make sure they get some. My daughter does not even eat pie, but people love her pie and get a piece to make sure they get some.
Raisin Walnut Pie
This is not my mother’s recipe. She mostly made black raspberry and other fruit pies and coconut chiffon pies. This is the pie I make every time there is a potluck. If I do not make it, people ask me about it so I gave up and just usually bring this pie.
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup raisins, golden or dark
3/4 cup walnuts, broken
1 unbaked pie shell
Stir corn syrup and brown sugar into melted butter. Beat eggs slightly and stir into the butter/sugar mixture. Add vanilla. Mix raisins and walnuts and sprinkle into the pie shell. Pour the butter/sugar mixture over the walnuts and raisins. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until pie crust is golden and mixture is set. Cool.
If you goof and do not have vanilla, stir in 1 tsp. of cinnamon instead.