Forest City Courier, Jan. 26, 1939
By the fourth week in January we have time to look back and check up on those resolutions we made at the beginning of the year. We have kept some of them, others we have broken despite the fact that we tried hard not to. You promised yourself that you would go through that stack of cook books, recipes and pages torn out of magazines, and limit your cook book shelf to a neat orderly stack of the newest cook books, those that you can get for the price of a stamp and a wrapper or top of a cereal box with your name on it. They contain such appetizing pictures of dishes, and they sound so easy to cook. You decide that you will stop having those commonplace meals and give your family a break with those classy, delectable looking salads, etc. You begin going through the books. Here is that old cook book that you have had since you started housekeeping. You have marked certain recipes that were good and the pages are curled at their corners and some of them spattered with grease. Here is the recipe for that first cake you ever baked. You spent half an afternoon getting it mixed, and when you took it from the oven you were very proud of your work. As you turn through the pages you find the recipe for those ginger cookies the children always liked, and the butterscotch pie that you could never master. Then there is that recipe to tell you just how to fry steak, as if it could possible he better than the way mother told you how to cook it. You wasted many a cup of sugar and a few dozen eggs trying to make your meals taste like the book said they would. You put the book aside to keep, for the sentiment mostly. Here is a heap of loose pages from magazines. You never had time to try them, but kept thinking you would. Maybe you had better keep them too. Then you come across a scrap book of recipes collected from neighbors and friends. At every gathering you would come home with numerous ones scribbled on bits of paper. Mrs. Smith or Mrs. Jones would feel hurt to know that you had discarded those recipes for meat loaf and an economical pound cake that they gave you, so you put that box back on the shelf too. As you near the bottom of the pile you realize that it would seem like throwing away precious memories, so you put them lovingly back on the shelf. The attractive pictures of all those dishes in the new cook books fade away as you hustle to set the table and make those fried fruit pies that dad and son are so fond of.
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Contrary to the saying that this time of year is the middle of winter, we see signs every day that “spring is just around the corner.” When you drop in to see your neighbor, you find her studying a new seed catalog, or maybe a new spring style book. If you look closely you can find little specks of green by the edge of the walk. They are the tops of those daffodils that bloom in March. Those birds that herald the approach of spring will soon be flying around. Already there is a red bird sitting nearly every day in a peach tree near our house. He gives a cheery note of color to the otherwise bleak view from my dining room window. He is very conspicuously red and has a haughty air as if he thought he was a F. F. V. among birds. He must have forgotten to migrate with the other birds, or else he has made a very previous return north. At any rate I hope he will stay on in his peach tree.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Courier. Copyright owned by The Daily Courier.