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A Modern Day Betty Crocker

How did my grandmother do it? How did she raise 8 children and make her own bread, can vegetables from the garden, volunteer at church, and keep her house free of dirt and cobwebs?

Yesterday, I had guests for dinner. Preparing was an all-day affair. Although I multi-tasked and did plenty of other things, I was amazed by how much time a woman can spend in the kitchen if she makes a meal from scratch. Here's how the time-absorbing vortex of home cooking can suck up a woman's time:

In the morning, I set out a roast from the freezer to thaw and by noon, I popped it in the crock pot. Before the Today show went off air for the morning, I had already picked apples off the tree in the back yard, cut them up, put them on the stove to boil for applesauce.

While that was simmering, I ran out to the garden and picked some fresh tomatoes and basil to go with the cucumbers I'd scored from my mom's garden. I diced those up and made a salad. After I strained the applesauce and sweetened it, I ran out to the tree to pick some more apples for a pie. My son picked 8 ears of corn and shucked them for me and I boiled those and cut the kernals from the cob.
As I pulled my grandmother Betty's falling-apart Betty Crocker cookbook from the shelf to hunt for the pie crust recipe, I felt very Betty Crocker-esque. The mess on the counters proved it. I had traces of corn kernals here and there, apple peelings spilling over the sides of a bowl, pans piled up by the sink, and the aroma of beef roast wafted from the crock pot.
In the afternoon, I tidied up the house and started setting the table for our dinner. I peeled the potatoes and put them in water on the stove, ready to boil when the time came. Just before the guests arrived, I whipped off my red and white striped apron (which makes me feel more like Betty Crocker). I dashed to the bedroom to check my hair and added a beaded necklace to my outfit.

Back in the kitchen, as I gave the pots one more stir, I thought of my grandmother again. I glanced down at my jeans and flip-flops. I guess I've given the Betty Crocker thing a modern twist.
All I can say is, this is why we have frozen pizza and convenience foods. I'd never be able to do this every day. But my grandmother did. And I wish she'd still been around to see me do it yesterday. I think I did her proud.



Free Kindle Books - August 25

Gone to Green by Judy Christie (Abingdon Press)

Back on the list:
A Time to Love (Quilts of Lancaster County Series) by Barbara Cameron (Abingdon Press)
Medical Error by Richard Mabry (Abingdon Press)
Gone to Green (Green (Abingdon Press)) A Time to Love (Quilts of Lancaster County Series #1) Medical Error


Free Kindle Books - August 22

I'm speaking at a writer's conference and I've had limited internet access. I finally got to check for some freebies this morning, and I found these from Christian publishers. The third one is an independent publisher that I haven't heard of, however the author's bio and the book description lead me to believe it's "safe" to add as a Christian book publisher.

Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer by Kurt Bjorklund (Moody Publishers)
The Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible by Eugene Peterson (NavPress)
Steppin' Into the Good Life by Tia McCollors (Lift Every Voice)
Prayers for Today Sampler: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer The Invitation: A Simple Guide to the Bible Steppin' into the Good Life


Free Kindle Books - August 17

Free Kindle books from Christian publishers for a limited time:
Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth Jones (Tyndale House)
The Edge of Grace by Christa Allen (Abingdon Press)
More Than Me by  Petersen, McMahan, and Russ (NavPress)

Plus, a few more for writers:
Robert's Rules of Writing by Robert Masselo (Writer's Digest Books)
The Portable MFA in Writing by New York Writer's Workshop (Writer's Digest Books)


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