I was the baby of the family. I had a lot of chores to do, but learning to cook had sort of passed me by.
My mother was in her 40’s when I was born, and by the time I was old enough to learn to cook, her nerves were shot, and she chose to do that job on her own, while I set the table and other minor things.
At fourteen, the time had come for me to learn to cook in my Home Economics class. The first thing that we actually made from scratch was muffins.
Since baking anything, was not my forte, it was with fear and trembling that I began trying to mix up my batch of muffins.
We were to be graded on these, of course, and many in the class had previous experience. I was sure that I would flunk “muffins.”
To my surprise, the muffins rose to a high, smooth crest, and browned perfectly, and an “A” was given for the project! Only 2 of us girls received an “A,” and I was in seventh heaven.
I took that recipe home with me that night, determined that I would make the muffins for our breakfast in the morning.
My mother was very dubious about the whole thing, but reluctantly consented to allow me in her kitchen.
Morning came, and I was up at the crack of dawn, to bless the whole family with my culinary arts.
As the measuring and sifting began, my mother stood at my elbow, asking such questions as, “Are you sure you cut the shortening in good enough?” Are you sure you measured the flour properly?” “Did you get the baking powder measured correctly?”
Sorry to say, I began to cry, and tell my mother that I got an “A” in school, and I knew what I was doing.
At that moment, my father came in from milking the cows. He took one look at the scene before him and exploded. “Mabel, leave her alone” “But what if she wastes all of this flour and other ingredients?’ My father replied, “No matter how they turn out, we’ll eat them.” “Hmph,” replied my Mother, and walked off.
Well, the muffins did turn out okay, but not as beautiful as the ones in class. After all, the school had an oven that could be set and held at a specific temperature. The stove that I had to use was an old cooking range. The temperature depended on the accuracy of feeding it the proper amount of wood.
Eventually, I learned to perform that task when I was married, and had a similar old cook stove to cook with.
Well, I must say that my pride was deflated, and I never offered to make breakfast again. I think my mother was secretly very relieved.
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