Remember When? - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 240105

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Remember When? 
Jun. 16, 2011 11:08 pm 
Updated: Jun. 18, 2011 2:52 pm
Such a lifetime ago, it would seem...  Wonder if I can make a little sense of the changes during my life...

Grandpa's  house had a hand pump in the kitchen for water from the well.  In the winter, you melted snow on the grate from the wood burning furnace (the only vent in the old farmhouse, by the way) since the pipes to the well would freeze - AND the well?

When we got a SECOND black and white tv, we were fortunate... despite the older one looking like what the Ricardo's would watch!  (for you young uns, I refer to "I Love Lucy... find it archived somewhere!)

Our parents owned one car, which was most likely at work with dad...  Mom had to shop on his days off!

All meals were cooked ON THE STOVE, as there were no toaster ovens, microwaves or such!

Soda pop came only in returnable bottles... with a 2cent deposit (or was it a nickel?) 

I drank Radar's favorite soda... grape NeHi... but liked the cream soda best!

There were no cell phones... the only phone in our 4 bedroom house was in the kitchen - we were on a PARTY LINE! and the cord on the phone was all of about 2 feet long!

I remember the first time I ever ate GROUND BEEF, and I remember mom hand cranking a cast iron meat grinder, to make her own after that!

Coffee was brewed on the stove top, unless you were "wealthy" and had AN ELECTRIC PERCULATOR.  At some point, "instant" came along, but still had to boil water on the stove top!

In Britain, mid 60's to early 70's,
I remember visiting Aunt Flo who still lived in the house my mom's family lived in before, and during WW2.  Outside toilet (WITH plumbing) running cold water in the kitchen, coal in the fire for heat in the "living" room.  Only two bedrooms, matchbox sized, for 7 children and their parents.  Original gas lights on the staircase wall, which had at some time been converted to the "newer, and better, ELECTRICITY" running the wires through the gas pipes... 

One of my teachers had a car that had to be "cranked" to start it...  I'm talking in the late 1960's here folks... and DEAD serious!  The car had no battery!  I believe it was a "Morris 1000."

Singing in the choir at school, which I believe helped me appreciate music.

I remember being in AWE that my girlfriend's parents had a microwave (early 70's now...)

Cell phones were introduced, and were as big as a brick!

Drip coffee makers became available for the home, no longer just the restaurants.  Mrs. Olsen became spokesperson for "Folger's Coffee... TM" 

Gasoline was less than $1 per gallon, and when the gas shortage hit us here in the US, you'd have to line up in the street a block away just to top off your tank (if you didn't run out while waiting!)

My family bought the first Color TV.

A computer filled an entire room... not just a table!  Homes didn't HAVE computers...

I remember when great times involved family and friends... potlucks, reunions, or Sunday visits.  I remember when "family" could be my worst nightmare, during the dreaded DIVORCE. 

When I married, and much later, when I divorced...  Though we remained "best" friends, I remember when Sally succombed to cancer...

Becoming a hairstylist at the ripe old age of 30, and the MANY, MANY lives I've "touched" since then.  Many only in passing, but some who over 20 years became more like family, than "clients."  Those days are behind me now, also... but oh so fondly remembered!

Most of all, I remember a very fortunate lifetime, travelling across the Atlantic 14 times... once even on the Queen Elizabeth (not a typo, QE-2 didn't exist then!) 

I remember sooo many friends who have come and gone...  Some whom I simply lost touch with... and  sadly all too many who have moved on, to wherever that is...  How can that be?  I'm only 54!

I remember joining the AllRecipes website, and developing a passion for cooking...  "Meeting" some of you, and being thankful that you're in my life now...  Starting my blog, and enjoying these times when I sit at my computer (what? I HAVE ONE?) and babbling on about any and all - mostly food tho' I would hope!

I remember the GOOD times of the past decades... and I'm thankful that the "not so good times" only surface occasionally...  I call myself "crazy," but I really should call myself FORTUNATE to have done the things I've done, and known the wonderful people I know and have known! 

Be HAPPY all, the rest should just follow and unfold...  Despite the trying times, there's always the scent of a flower on the air, a bird to sing for you, a sky painted beyond description...  There will ALWAYS be beauty if you take time to look... and while you do... REMEMBER WHEN!

Jun. 17, 2011 3:55 am
Steve: AMEN!...AMEN!...Your blog is a demonstration of great talent as a writer! LIFE then was indeed less "convenient", but nothing can't replace the "intimacy" and warmth of a family gathering around a coal stove and great food!..
Jun. 17, 2011 4:22 am
good morning Stevie,this is all so true, things change so much every day, now you have made me cry....i know where you are, just looking back at life, been there done that a lot lately, thanks for letting me know everyone looks back from time to time...later friend...judy
Jun. 17, 2011 6:58 am
I'm so glad I checked in this morning and read your blog Stevie. You have so captured something special in your writing...more than just remembering the way things were and the changes in our lives but to appreciate the past...appreciate the nature of change and to find the good and happiness in life. Thank you...I am constantly walking down memory lane myself....p.s. you helped me remember some things I hadn't thought of in years...the cranking ground beef...the party ring was our neighbour...2 short rings meant the call was for us....oh and I LOVED Lucy....
Jun. 17, 2011 8:02 am
Stevie Thank you Thank you, somedays you need a gentle nudge to remember how lucky we are. I remember all of those things. Sometimes life gets us down and we forget all the good and happy things in life. Thank you again.
Jun. 17, 2011 12:08 pm
Thank you, all... in case you hadn't noticed, I do so enjoy writing... I don't know just what moved me to take this direction... watching the "idiot box" last night. Something gave me a nugde in this direction... although I don't have a clue just what! I was in hopes that the whole thing hadn't snowballed into a fiasco, so thanks for the support:o)
Jun. 17, 2011 5:28 pm
Stevie, So glad I checked in on your blog. I always enjoy reading what you write and this one was especially enjoyable! I, too, can remember life "back then" and what good times there were gathered around the old wood stove, eating popcorn and being with family. We shared a party line also and our ring was 3 longs and 3 short rings! We water from the well and had an "out-house" that was so cold in winter!! My parents did not have a TV until I was 16 years old, no electricity until I was 10. Ah, memories!!
Jun. 17, 2011 8:46 pm
great to hear from you as always, gigi... Too many memories to recall lots of the time! Maguy, Judy, Ellie & Beverly, thanks again for stopping by! Never know just what CrazyCook might chat about... Be well, all!
Jun. 17, 2011 11:28 pm
Thanks for the shared memories. I recall similar ones, including the party-line phone, etc. Growing up in the country was a good thing, teaching me to appreciate much. We could learn much about the way values are passed on by returning to the more neighborly and family-sharing lifestyle of yesteryear. Good job, continue writing.
Jun. 18, 2011 2:52 pm
be well, Mamaw!
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Stevie crazycook

Home Town
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

Cooking Level

Quilting, Gardening, Music

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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