I’ve been baking cookies this week and remembering who taught me how.
I grew up in a little town in the middle of Kansas in the 50’s – those were the radio days – no TV or computers, no hand held games. 4-H was one of the things we did for fun and while having fun we also we learned how to judge cattle and make cookies. Farm women took the time to teach giggley groups of 12 and 13 year old girls the rudiments of baking. They did this, remember, in kitchens that often had a hand pump and bucket for cold water ( most farms had their own well), the hot water was heated on the stove which was generally gas, generally in the heat of a Kansas summer, in houses with no air conditioning.
We all wore aprons – who remembers aprons- and pulled our hair back in pony tails and washed our hands – repeatedly. Those kitchens were spotlessly clean, full of sunshine and love. These ladies taught us how to sift flour, to measure and level off our cups and teaspoons, to measure shortning in a cup with water, how to crack and separate eggs and how to cream butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon (no mixers ) until it was light and fluffy.
They taught us organization – assemble all your ingredients first and how to clean up our mess and leave our space as clean as it was when we first started. It was in those kitchens that I first experienced that exquisite joy that comes from being a woman, working productively in the company of other women, accomplishing something useful. Ladies you know what I’m talking about, right? I seldom bake a cookie without remembering those women and their kitchens.
So today I just wanted to say, Mrs. Anderson. Mrs. Lehman and Mrs Olson, Cheers to you!