Category Archives: Rabbit Remembers

Great Green Tomatoes!

At the end of each summer, those of us who attempt every year to grow vegies in the Pacific Northwest are usually left with an abundance of green tomatoes. Our lettuces grow longer than anyone in the country before they give up from heat, our green beans are to die for and our kale is amazing, but our tomatoes are always a bet hedger.  Anually my thrifty gardener’s soul seems to be left with green tomatoes.

Although you aren’t likely to find them for sale a the market, there is no shortage of green tomatoes or green tomato recipes.

Luckily, I have my grandmother’s green tomato relish recipe to fall back on. About the time we have either eaten or given away the last jar, its time to make a new batch. My Grandma Groves was from Indiana, a farmer’s wife, and man could she cook! Of course everything she cooked was fattening as hell–chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, pies from scratch, you name it. Besides the butterscotch pies she made for me especially, I loved her relishes best.

My grandparents on a visit to California. Granma loved feeding the birds at San Juan Capistrano and Grandad always had a cigar in his hand.

I was about 8 the first time I stood on a chair  to reach the counter and helped her make watermelon pickles. They were so beautiful, pink, white and green, who knew watermelon could become a pickle?  I still like the Green Tomato Relish best, she called it Piccallili and watched us pack it on top of everything but jello. Granma’s recipe calls for 5 cups of sugar, but I have cut it to 3 and it still works nicely.

Granny’s Green Tomato Piccalli

24 large green tomatoes-or the equivalent in smaller tomatoes

3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded

3 green bell peppers, halved and seeded

if you like heat, throw in a jalapeno or two, (just be careful when handling the seeds to not get them near your mouth or eyes)

12 yellow onions

2 tablespoons celery seed

3 tablespoons mustard seed

1 tablespoon salt

3-5 cups of sugar

2 cups cider vinegar

Your  food processor makes this job easy–in batches, coarsely grind tomatoes, all the peppers and the  onions. You don’t want soup, you want small chunks, think about how you like your relish to look.

Line a colander with cheesecloth, place in sink or in a large bowl, and pour in tomato mixture to drain for 1 hour.  ( If you don’t have cheesecloth, an everyday clean tea towel works just fine.)

In a big (non aluminum) stockpot, combine the drained mixture, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

FOLLOW THE CANNING DIRECTIONS THAT CAME WITH YOUR JARS! Sterilize enough lids for your batch of relish. This recipe makes 12 one-pint jars, or 6 one-quart jars. Put relish into your freshly washed and clean jars, use a spatula to make sure there are no spaces or air pocket in your jars. Fill jars all the way to top. Wipe the edge of each jar with a clean wet to make sure there is nothing that will be sitting on the rim. Put on the lids and the rings.

In the old days, everyone sterilized their jars, but the school of thought generally followed now is that a 30 minute boil will kill what’s on the glass and in the relish.  Personally, I wash my jars thoroughly and rinse them out and air dry them and then fill the clean jars without sterilizing first.

If you have a canning kettle, you can use that rather handily. If you don’t, place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring it to a boil and carefully lower jars into pot using tongs. Leave a 2 inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to make sure the tops of the jars are covered by 2 inches of water.

Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process (this means boil) for 30 minutes.  Make sure the water stays over the top of the jars by two inches.

When your 30-35 minutes is up, get your tongs and carefully remove the jars from the hot pot. Put them on a wood or cloth covered surface several inches apart to cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Generally you’ll hear the lids make a funny popping sound as the vacuum seal kicks in when they cool.

Relish will keep nicely for a year in a cool location and makes a great gift. Try it with Triscuits topped with cream cheese and a dollop of relish, yummy.  And here is a killer web location for all things tomato too!



heading home in the snowhed

St Nicholas and My Shoes

Once upon a time…

This is where we came from, 1955. Easter in the desert, home.

in November 1956, as an eight-year-old California kid, moved to Germany with her family for her Air Force dad’s three-year tour of duty.

We were posted to Bad Kreuznach where there was a huge army base. My dad was Air Force and did not work on the base. He did something arcane and secret with codes, working in a locked facility close enough to the Rhine River to toss a rock into it from his window. My mother was having none of living on an army base with THOSE people.

To her way of thinking the vast herd of army people (in the 1050s) were small town culture-free morons.  For my family it was total immersion in the European community for which I will always be grateful.

Priegerpromenade, where we moved and lived for three wonderful years, in the snow. (Thank you for this marvelous picture. It has not changed at all).

I wasn’t so grateful in November when we moved from California sunshine and the 70s to snow and frigid temperatures.  We arrived at night and were driven to our temporary housing, which was an apartment on the fourth floor of an eight apartment building, until our house was ready for us.

It was like falling down a snowy rabbit hole, everything was different. I remember vividly dragging up and down the stairs with a coal scuttle to the basement to get coal from the bin several times a day.  It was terrifying to go down into that dark place, but facing my mother’s wrath by resisting her orders to fetch the coal to fill our wonderful old ceramic stove was worse. over the course of the next few weeks my little brother and I met all our neighbors coming and going  on the stairs with our coal buckets.

We spoke no German at that time, and that was terrifying too. To see smiling faces chattering down at us in a completely unknown language, to see signs I could not read, to always be cold was scary, my whole life was scary and I lived in terror of getting lost and not being able to find my family.

We made good friends among the American air force families. Our best friends and our parents were musicians. My dad is in the foreground and Jim Fahey is in the background with the Clark Gable stash. Mom is in the front on the right and Arlene Fahey is in the bark. The four of us kids who should have been in bed were probably hiding under the table where we couldn't be seen.

The fear passed with the enchantment of getting out of our apartment and discovering I lived in a fairytale. The houses were old and looked like something in my books. There was a river, the Nahe, and a bridge with little shops on it stretching over the river. The streets were cobblestones and people shopped with  string bags at bakeries, butcher shops, and the open market. There were no grocery stores and I loved it.

The bridge houses, medieval and marvelous on the bridge over the Nahe river.

Downtown there was a wonderful department store that smelled amazing inside, and just outside the store there was a pretzel vendor with warm pretzels in a basket and next to him was a lady selling hot chestnuts. Chestnuts and hot pretzels are still two of my favorite things in the wintertime.

The Corn Markt, where we bought our produce twice a week.

The first place my mother took us and her dictionary was to that store. I got furry silvery reindeer hide boots with silver metal zips and red trim, long woolly stockings fastened by garters that were part of warm pink silk undershirts, and warm woolly sweaters and a thick coat and hat. The American kids in their Mary Jane shoes and anklets laughed at me–for about five minutes, until they realized I was warm and their bare legs were turning blue.

The summer I turned 9, Me on the left, my brother in the middle and our cleaning lady Annie and her daughter on a picnic on Kuburg hill.

To this day, the smell of burning coal in the evening air makes me happy. I associate it with those magical holidays long ago and it brings back so many memories. My very happiest Christmas memory was made even more intense because I was still a lost little American kid figuring out my new world.

We got to Germany just before Christmas and somehow, the other apartment dwellers  got it across to my parents that we should put our shoes outside the door on December 6th because Saint Nicholas would come and leave presents in our shoes, and if we were bad we would get a switch (rute) instead of treats.

Saint NIck, who comes on December 6th

In trepidation, my reindoor boots and my brother’s reindeer boots went out on the landing to wait for St Nick. In the morning, we ran to yank open the French doors that led to the landing outside our apartment. Our boots were full of oranges and chocolate! We were dancing around and squealing with glee at our bounty. My mother shushed us when we started hearing the neighbors doors click open, echoing up the open stairwell.

When she turned to shoo us inside and shut the doors we saw it. There was a giant green wreath with a huge red ribbon hanging on our door. We had pushed open both doors to rush out to the landing and see what was in our shoes and the open door on the left had hidden the wreath.  It wasn’t until we turned to go inside that we saw the wreath.

It must have been three feet across and it had a red ribbon bow across the top. It smelled like Christmas, but even better were the toys and candies and cookies and fruit fastened all over that wreath. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

He made a believer out of me. The good in people is everywhere!

We were the only kids in the building, just two noisy little American kids clattering up and down the marble stairs, tracking in snow and mud and spilling coal. We were lost and lonely and completely confused in our new life  and our neighbors knew that. They had gotten together and purchased that wreath and the toys and cookies and candy tied all over it to surprise us. It was 1956 and there were still ruins from the war everywhere, bombed out buildings and broken hearts. No one had a lot of money and I know that filling our wreath was a sacrifice for each of those people. To us it was St Nicholas who made the magic and it wasn’t until many years later my mom told me it was our neighbors who wanted us to be happy that cold winter morning in our new home.

We were.




ben franklin grave

My 9/11: Coming Home

Everyone has a 9/11 story. We all remember where we were and
what we were doing that day.  Our memories are like a quilt stitched together from our shared history of the event that changed this country in a lot of ways, forever.

My experience was a strange one. The events of the week arched
over me like a black rainbow and changed parts of me forever, in a good way.

I flew to southern California on September 10th,meeting Steve R., flying in from North Carolina. We were planning to spend a week visiting the long list of the California universities and colleges that were our clients.

Our hotel was right across the street from the Orange County Airport, AKA, John Wayne Airport.  That location put us smack dab in the middle of Southern California and located us  where we could get to all our schools easily. The rental car company gave us a baby blue Lincoln Continental. I was horrified and all for returning it, but they were having a run on cars and the Stinkin’ Lincoln was the only game in town, so we would be making our calls in the rich old lady Sun City Special all week.

After the car shock, it was nice to find the hotel rooms were great.  My room faced the airport and I was up high enough to get a great view of the planes coming and going. Steve
and I dumped our luggage off and met for dinner to finalize our schedules for
September 11th.

I woke up to the sun shining in my windows and staggered off to put the tiny hotel coffee pot to work. Half asleep, I sat on the foot of the bed and flipped on the television to the Today Show. I thought I had gotten the wrong channel, and for a few seconds I thought I was watching a horror movie. I remember clearly being really confused.  Yes, that was Katie Couric on the screen but that couldn’t be real.  When I finally came to grips with the
unreality of what I was seeing, it felt like I had stumbled into War of the Worlds.
Was this Armageddon? What was happening? Was it everywhere?

I called Steve’s room. We didn’t know what to do. We were in California at an airport and this seemed to involve unknown numbers of airplanes with unknown destinations. We simply carried on. It was all there was to do. The universities were open for business, but I remember our first visit at Cal Tech was like going to a ghost town with everyone in the office clustered around a television set.

By that afternoon, there were no planes or helicopters in the sky and the police presence was high. Police cars and security were everywhere we looked.  When we got back to the hotel and climbed out of the Lincoln that evening, I went up to my room and walked
out on the balcony. Across the road at the airport there were airplanes parked all over on the runways. Not pulled up at terminals, just parked everywhere and abandoned .They looked like children’s toys scattered up and down the runways.

We talked to our families and wondered how we would get home. No planes were flying for who knew how long? Businessmen in the lobby of the hotel were talking about trying to find cars or any form of transportation to head east.  Suddenly, that blue Lincoln
looked really good to me. We coped, we made our calls, we got through the week
and we decided we would set a company record for the most clients called on in
one week. It was a way to stay focused and stop worrying about home and what
happened next?

By Friday, Steve was working the phones to get home. He was a platinum frequent flyer with a zillion miles, so the first plane out had him on it headed east.  The guys in the hotel
lobby had actually rented a bus. They sold seats on it and it left full of people in suits with briefcases, everyone wanted to go home.

I still had the Lincoln and I wasn’t giving it back. I called Hertz and explained I would be returning it in Washington State instead of Orange County.  I was terrified. I had
never driven that far all by myself but it was the only way to get home to my family.

I filled the gas guzzling rocking chair with an engine and headed out on a sunny afternoon. I discovered that at some point in my life I had actually driven almost every mile in that route. just not all strung together at once and all alone.  I found that my comfort zone travels with me.  You don’t drive all those miles at once; you drive them one at a time surrounded by people who are mostly local. Everyone on the road  is not flying south, or in this case north, like homing pigeons.

I relaxed and began to enjoy the drive and I discovered something else. I like traveling alone. I can play any music I want as loud as I want and sing along annoying no one. If I see something interesting, I can go look at it without asking anyone.  I can
eat what I want and stop when I want. That trip was the beginning of my love of
long solo trips.

I’m not saying it wasn’t grueling.  18 hours home, two very long days with a stop
in Redding for some sleep before I headed home with a car so covered with bugs
it was no longer blue.

The most important thing I discovered on that trip was that it was okay to be an American and proud of it. After Vietnam, being patriotic felt wrong and most people were not overtly patriotic because of the politics of the preceding years.  The one place I saw
patriotism in action was in of all things, local parades in my town of Olympia.

Along with everyone else, I stood and cried and cheered when our rag tag band of Vietnam vets proudly marched by carrying an American flag.  It was finally okay for them to come home all these years later.  I had friends returning from Vietnam in the 60’s and 70’s who went into airport bathrooms and changed into civilian clothes. They didn’t want anyone to know they had served in Vietnam; most of them did not volunteer either. We still had the draft.

I thought of those soldiers when I headed up the California freeways and discovered almost every overpass had an American flag draped over it. In a lot of cases, people stood with their flags and waved to the cars below. It felt like it was finally okay for all of us to come home and be proud again of this amazing country.

As for me, I discovered with that trip that I am stronger and more independent than I knew and it felt so good to be home in America, even if it was just for a little while. Sadly now, I believe Congress and the people we have elected to represent us are taking that pride away again, leaving dissension and fear in their wake, another black rainbow over us

The Woman Behind the Veil, I Remember Hamda

Amazing smelling rose from my garden, blooms endlessly, smells heavenly

Driving home from the grocery store yesterday I saw a Muslim woman, dressed head to toe in black. She wore a long skirt, a long sleeved blouse and a black scarf covering every inch of her hair. I noticed that it was an expensive scarf, trimmed with silver bugle beads and bullion. It made me think of my time at Pacific American Institute as Program Director in the late 80’s.

Those years were my personal introduction to the world of the Middle East. PAI was an English prep school located on the top floor of Saint Martin’s College; the institute specialized in preparing people who spoke English as a second language for their try at entering American colleges. At that time, Japan was rich, just rolling in money, and any kids who didn’t fit into the usual Japanese mold were shipped off to go to school in America. 

We also got a smattering of South American students, like Claudia from Colombia who introduced me to South American jazz and pop which I still love. We got a few Russians who desperately wanted to assimilate, and a few Chinese kids who were watched like hawks because China expected them to defect and disappear into the USA after they completed their educations.

We were the lodestone for Middle Eastern males who wanted to go to SMC’s engineering school but couldn’t until they passed their TOEFL test. The TOEFL is the ESL (English as a second language) SAT, and a passing score was the Holy Grail.  I came as a shock to those spoiled boys, as did all our female teachers. The boys, even if they were full grown men they acted like boys, were mostly rich spoiled brats who had been coddled their entire lives by their mommies.  Those mommies lived in purdah and ruled the roost from behind the scenes with an iron hand in a silken glove.

I despise generalities so I must say there were exceptions, like the amazing kid who was Palestinian and had a head of hair like a black Brillo pad. He was so curious about everything; we took him with us on trips to Seattle several times, delighted to watch him suck up the world like a curious easy-going sponge and loving it.  But, then there were the over-perfumed spoiled brats who thought the world owed them everything. Most of them doused themselves in very expensive colognes and you could smell them coming for miles.  I could have happily hung a few of them upside down in the corner as Airwick solid air fresheners, but I digress.

One morning, into this hotbed of testosterone dropped a beautiful Muslim woman who had her husband’s permission to learn English. She wanted to go home to Qatar and teach children and she was so hungry to learn. We became friends, Nancy, Linda, Diane, and me. Taro was a guy so he was out of this particular picture as was Mike, our Director.

Her name was Hamda Al Thani.  Hamda’s husband was a member of the ruling family of Qatar, as in a bona fide prince.  I think his name was Khalid and he was an engineering student at SMC at that time. He was older than Hamda and shorter than her willowy 5’10”. He was chubby and wore glasses and he personally dropped her off and picked her up after classes on a regular basis. They owned a car and rented a modest tract home a few miles from school.

Hamda's favorite store, funny, the Qatari royal family bought it last year.

The family, including two children, went home for a few months every year. On the way home and on the way back to America they stopped in London and shopped. This was my introduction to a lifestyle that was completely fascinating and alien. Hermes head scarves, hugely expensive couturier ankle length skirts and long sleeved tops and the shoes? Oh my God, the shoes she wore! High heels to kill for modestly covered by her long skirts of course.  She brought us back small gifts one year and I still have the silver tray-, yes real silver, the upscale chocolates came on.

Hamda invited us to dinner at her home one evening and we all accepted with delight. When we got to the house, her husband had been banished somewhere else and it was all girls, with the exception of her son.  Insight number one, mama may be kept out of sight but mama is the power behind the throne which is wielded delicately because the hubs  is technically in charge.

This son, about seven, was the most spoiled rotten brat I have run into in a long time, and mama Hamda?  Completely indulged him and petted him, treating him completely unlike her adorable daughter. Insight two: someone is creating Muslim fanatic men in the Middle East, and I believe we have been not been looking in the right place. There is an old saying, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, and until Muslim mommies stop raising sons who believe they can own women, nothing is going to change.

I can’t really blame them because Muslim women know their only power is to manipulate in the background, and like cloaked spiders they desperately spin webs about those sons and tie them to mama with sticky strings of love and adoration. When the sons marry, Mom goes on the back burner unless she is tough and strong and rules the daughter-in-law too.

 In a tribal-based society, families live in groups or compounds with many generations a large part of the time, so unfortunately the only out for the daughter-in-law is to wait for Granma to croak and then step into her shoes. Of course, she could easily be sharing those shoes with several wives which makes it even harder.

Back to dinner at Hamda’s house:  we were welcomed in and shock of shocks, Hamda was a freaking peacock!  Gorgeous black hair hung down to her butt, she had on some kind of designer label house pajamas, beautiful jewelry and make up that made her look like something straight off a tomb fresco in Egypt. Breathtaking, especially after seeing her covered up like an Italian granny every day.  No wonder her husband indulged her, he lucked out with a beauty queen in this particular arranged marriage, and I’ll bet he knew it too.

I was shocked, and I still am, that she had an indentured servant who cooked dinner and served it to us. This is common, servants from other poorer countries, are brought with the family to care for children, do the housework and be a general dog’s body. Their papers are taken away from them so they cannot escape even if they are treated badly and from the way Hamda talked to her servant/slave, I’m betting this woman was no exception.  It was one of those odd situations where one doesn’t quite know what to do and it was politically fraught, so I left it alone but I have never forgotten it.

We were served sweetened mint tea in tiny cups when we arrived and chatted until dinner was served. I absolutely adore Middle Eastern food, and I still treasure the bottle of sumac Hamda gave me. Sumac was something you couldn’t find in the USA at that time, it’s a spice that is agreeably sour and sharp and it replaces lemons in some recipes. It’s not the same as our poison sumac which I assume is inedible.

My bottle of sumac

The dinner was lovely and completely authentic, we stuffed ourselves and afterwards we retired to the living room couches to talk and drink more tea or tiny cups of coffee. Hamda left the room and returned with a huge tray of perfumes. I mean PERFUMES, if you can think of a perfume which costs an arm and two legs, it was on that tray. It seems a regular after dinner ritual among the ladies is perfuming oneself. I love that idea and so did everyone else, we sniffed every single bottle and dabbed on the ones that were most appealing.  We smelt like a garden in full bloom within five minutes.

I found a nondescript little bottle and opened it. It smelled like a summer night slipped out of the bottle when I sniffed it. I think I was probably stuttering when I asked what it was.  She dabbed some on my hair just above the back of my ears, telling me that was the best place to wear perfume oils because they release their secrets and unfold slowly that way.  It was roses. If you could put a million roses in one place and distill them into the absolute pentacle of rose-ness that was the fragrance Hamda dabbed behind my ears that night.

She told me every summer when she went home she and her mother distilled their own rose oil and bottled it. Can you even imagine what that undertaking is like? I can’t but I like picturing it and imagining how it smelled. By the time I was home that evening the rose oil had taken on a life of its own, the scent just kept changing and getting richer.

I planted a new white rose two years ago and it is so beautiful, it blooms all summer and has the most haunting scent, especially right at sundown on a warm day. I call it the Hamda rose because of the scent and I wonder sometimes how she is faring? Did she get to teach children? What is her life like now?

So here’s my last thought on the subject: Our sisters on the other side of the world are so hidden from us we cannot really know them or their lives so I risk generalizing again. Still from everything I have extensively and compulsively read, until mothers understand they must teach their sons to respect women and not fear them I don’t believe anything will change in the Middle East.  Perhaps they have the key to their prisons in their arms, maybe not this generation, maybe not the next, but I want to believe it can happen simply because the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Think about it, were fanatical jihad-inclined Muslims born or made?

Rabbit Remembers Ironing

Tor doing a Clark Gable imitation in the kitchen at Hunger

Last night on the way to Seattle to deliver my handsome GQ subscribing son home to his apartment, the subject of ironing came up. The kid is a clothes horse and likes looking sharp. He is now lobbying for a new steam iron and ironing board for himself. “There is no sound I like more the hiss of a steam iron when you start ironing your clothes. I really want to get an iron because so much of my stuff is natural fabrics that only look really good if they’ve been pressed.” Wow…this is my child…the one who dressed in whatever was first in the pile on the floor in junior high school. I’m happy to report times have changed, in a lot of ways actually.

Terry was driving so we could have the Mom-Delivers-Ironing-Tips-and Things-Have-Changed conversation from the front seat to the back. Things like, if you press wool, either turn it inside out or use a pressing cloth, remember those? I started remembering my childhood and the saga of ironing clothes.  I actually remember as a really little kid, like around four years old, when we still had a wringer washer.

I remember this washer, ours was green and scary looking to a kid who couldn't see over the edge

I was fascinated by that and always told to STAY AWAY from it because it could squash fingers or other body parts. Which brings to mind the old saying that anyone under 50 would probably not get, “Haven’t had so much fun since Aunt Bessie’s t** got caught in the wringer.” If you had a braless and broad grandma like I did you could certainly understand the significance of this particular “folk saying,” although I still don’t get the humor of it…

Modern science brought us the Maytag. We had one of the first ones in Perris, along with a television set. Living large...

I digress. We got a new top loader when I was about six years old and while it was much better it wasn’t exactly a rocket ship. Clothes got clean mostly, wrung out sort of, piled in a wicker basket and hung on the line to dry with clothespins that were kept in a bag made for the purpose. When they dried back in the day clothes were stiff, like clothes cardboard. This was way before anybody had thought up fabric softener and soaps and bleaches were pretty harsh in their chemical make up. I remember my thrifty mom insisting we hang the clothes out until I was out of high school. Of course, she had slave labor, me, to wash, hang up, take in and fold the clothes. I used the time to dawdle and daydream and the smell of clean air dried clothes is still one of my favorite smells.

The joy of not heating an iron on the stove-and the advent of iron on patches.

Once the cardboard was snapped out of the clothes they had to be ironed, no polyester or blends at the time. Rayon and nylon were around in primitive forms but were strictly dry cleanable and undies had to be hand washed, There was lots of silk still around for lingerie but most of our clothes were wool in the winter and cotton in its many forms for the rest of the year. All that cotton had to be ironed. Some ladies carried it to insane heights, even ironing their hubby’s underwear, my mom drew the line at that and just made me me iron the damned sheets.

This is an example of a mangle, hot, scary and fast way to iron from sheets to shirts

Somewhere my parents found a mangle, which is a commercial iron. A big padded wheel that turns inside a hot metal sleeve. Nasty, evil, hot, but it did stuff fast. I figured out to mangle everything because I was stuck as the designated laundress and spending a sunny Saturday ironing was not my idea of fun. Mangling my dad’s shirts took about three minutes versus over five ironing it.  Before one could mangle, iron or otherwise flatten fabrics they had to be sprinkled. I remember big baskets of clean wrinkled laundry in the corner.

The chore was to get them out, take a Seven up bottle with a sprinkler top attached and sprinkle the clothes with water. When they were damp they got rolled up in a ball and put in a basket like so many clothes cabbages. The whole thing was covered with a damp sheet and then the ironing began. We didn’t have steam irons in the early 60’s and late 50’s. Heck, an iron that plugged in with a thermostat you could control was a big step forward.

this is what my grandmother ironed with, nasty job, heated on the stove and held with a hot pad.

I saw what my grandma had to use! Sad irons, you heated them on a stove top and ironed fast until they cooled off and did it again. I actually have one of hers on my hearth. I really, truly appreciate my steam iron after trying that out once.

We had a lady that came in once a week to help with the house. I have since come to the conclusion that my mom was not a domestic goddess, she knew what needed to be done but she didn’t want to do it. My brother and I were the household lackeys, and boy did we like having Modess come in  to do some of the mountains of ironing. Modess. Yes, just like the feminine product brand name, I’m just glad her name wasn’t Kotex, what the hell was her mother thinking? I digress…

At any rate, steam irons are wonders of nature and so are spray water bottles instead of the sprinkling kind. We take so much of this for granted, I can’t remember when I didn’t have spray bottles but now I’m curious about when they were invented and who first figured out that empty glass windex bottle would be perfect to fill with water. Bottles were always glass and cans were always tin, somehow we’ve moved away from that ecological soundness now, and my mission is to eradicate plastic from my life whenever I can, but that’s another story.