If it were not for the actual pictures of Betty Crocker on her cookbooks, I would swear my mother was her. When I read, and laugh, at many of the fine suggestions in the Betty Crocker cookbooks(I’m talking the original ones here) it explains a lot to me about my mother. Always suggestions about alternating housework where you sit and stand, you should harbor “happy thoughts” throughout the day, and always greet your your husband at the door(properly groomed) with drink and snack in hand….for he has had a hard day at the office. Don’t get me started about the section on having a husband is your greatest assest.
Growing up my mother worked very little after she had me, in the “workplace” that is. When she did work it was for my father or cleaning houses so that she could walk us kids to the bus stop in the morning and be there when we got home. My mother was always put together with her hair done and everthing just so. Homebaked goods were everywhere and I cringe now at the thought at how we begged her to buy store bought cookies and such(damn advertising). She did buy us our Circus Animals(because who is going to make those from scratch?) but always there were homemade goodies. The house was always clean and our laundry was always done and folded neatly. If she had extra time she would rearrange our rooms. I never knew if she was bored or if it was some cleaning stategy. My mother always had people over, for pretty much any excuse she could think of… go Groundhog day! Now in their retirement years, entertaining is her favorite thing to do, taking in the strays that have no where to go. I mean my mother entertains so much that two days after she had chemotheropy(my mother is a breast cancer survivor) I called and she was cooking a lasagana for a couple of people who were coming over… “nothing big” she said. She is truly a dying breed.
I know this because of all of my friends and others I am by far the closest to being Betty Crocker as it gets and well, I am pretty far off. Oh sure, I have become a stay at home wife(early-retired school teacher) and I cook a lot but it ends about there. I have been up since 6am and it is going on 9am and I am still in my pj’s and don’t intend on changing until I have to go to the pet store to buy the dog some food. Yes, I have done the laundry and cleaned the kitchen, but all in my pj’s. I’ve made brownie cupcakes and a casserole is in the oven as we speak but again in my pj’s. As far as cooking goes I am a rare breed. The thirty-something women of America don’t cook anymore. Not really due to time in my opinion, but they just don’t like it. They will gladly spend $15 on chicken at a restaurant instead of making it at home for $4. I don’t understand it and no matter how I try to spread my love of cooking to them, the only part they will have to do with it is eating what I make. So for this I am extremely thankful for my mother. Over time I have slowly become her(not really a bad thing like people think becoming their mother would be). I love to entertain. I love to send goodies to work wtih my husband and he almost always has goodies himself. The laundry is usually done and the apartment clean. But no one will ever be the 1950’s housewife again…maybe Bree from Desperate Housewives.
That being said I am off to buy dog food in a track suit and my hair in a baseball hat….sorry Betty… I can only do so much.