Mothers Diary
It says here in the paper that, 'Eating problems are perpetual causes of tension in the home.' This is true.
The article goes on to say that 'And ceremony which takes place three times a day allows for dissension and conflict just that often.'

I will admit that this was in a column about child problems, and dealt with youngsters under five or so who won't eat properly. I've had my share of that type of difficulty, too, of course, but that's not what came to mind as I glimpsed those sentences while skimming through the paper.
My biggest problem now a day is getting enough food together in a hurry to satisfy my hungry horde.

I very seldom, anymore, have to urge any of my family to eat. It's the reverse, usually. I just hope they get filled up before I have to tell them that there aren't any more pork chops, or that they just finished the last quart of milk.
And if that isn't 'tension in the home,' I don't know what is.

It is also unnerving when Steve takes a look at the table simple covered with bread, butter, sandwich meat, and other sandwich makings, and says glumly, "Well, at least I'll get meals in South Dakota."
This was Monday noon just before he took off to visit relatives and I had been working at the office all morning. I didn't bother to explain to him that it is difficult to cook a roast, boil potatoes, and make gravy in between 12 noon when I get home and 12:01, when they all want to eat.
They all know this just as well as I do. They just can't get reconciled to it.

So I just said mildly "Well, I tell you, Steve, I don't want to feed you too well and have you gain weight when you're so nice and slender."
But he was not amused.
"I can gain weight a lot faster," he said, "on sandwiches and potato chips than I can eating meals."
Which is true, of course, but you can get tired of sandwiches and not eat them which is a good way not to gain weight. As a matter of fact, it's a good way to lose weight. I know because I did.

The bologna and lettuce and salad dressing sandwiches that the rest of the family made and ate with enthusiasm to and from the coast, lost their charm for me in a hurry. I never did care much for bologna anyway.
So I often sat amid the bread and the bologna and the paper plates, slicing a tomato or a peach and eating cottage cheese if I had remembered to buy any.

If we ever start out on a trip again, I know what I'm going to take along. I'm going to have a sharp paring knife, a frying pan, and a toaster with me.
I could have taken them this time, but we had no idea that we would prepare so many of our own meals. We began innocently enough the first day with some buns and cold meat, and then began to get the idea of preparing more meals with the first motel that provided a kitchen with all dishes and pans necessary.
We had fried chicken one night, and corn on the cob another, and started out several mornings with bacon and eggs. It was interesting to note, also, that the girls didn't mind the dishes so much in a different kitchen every day.
We discovered in a hurry, that it was more convenient and a lot cheaper to buy and cook our own food. And there is absolutely nothing more wonderful than plugging in your own coffee pot somewhere after a long day of driving!

Picnicking along the way was a new and satisfying experience - at least it was when picnic spots were plentiful. There are places where there are many miles between roadside parks and picnic tables. One morning after a motel with no kitchen, we drove until eleven o’clock before we found a place to eat our rolls and fruit.

But usually we had good luck. We ate on the beach while we watched the ocean. We ate beside creeks and in shady city parks, and once in a camping ground in the rain. We ate beside the road in Yellowstone park while we kept a guarded outlook for bears. At least, I did, because I didn't believe for a minute what I had just told Becky when she expressed concern about a bear coming along.
"Why they wouldn't dare," I told her stoutly. "There's a ranger station right over there." And she relaxed, but I was still nervous.

We ate broasted chicken at the Coronado park in the dark the first day Steve was with us, and nearly froze. It gets cold near the ocean after sundown.
But breakfast the next morning made up for it. My husband found a bakery with booths where coffee or milk was served with whatever you wanted from the fresh baked assortments of rolls and doughnuts and cookies. The only difficulty there was in making up your mind what to have. The children had a wonderful time but I gave up the struggle early and ordered toast.

I suggested this addition to the Hansens when we got back. They looked interested but Randall was too practical.
"And who would do the serving?" he asked, "We're too busy in here, now."

Well - anyway - it was nice to get home to my own pots and pans and stove. That first week at home we had ham and pork roast and lots of potatoes and gravy until suddenly I was working at the office again and we were back to sandwiches. I had promised myself that we wouldn't have cold meat for months, but it's awfully handy during a rush noon hour.

I'll tell you what I did last Saturday though, which was more exciting than a sandwich.
I made a blueberry pie.
This may not sound terribly important to women who make pies as easily and often as I make a box cake, but it was a real adventure for me.

Nancy came home from Early for the Labor Day week-end, bringing along her teacher friend, Erma Halweg, and a big bag of frozen blueberries. I welcomed Erma almost as enthusiastically as I welcomed the blueberries.
The only thing was - I knew what to do with Erma - but I wasn't sure about the blueberries, much as I love them. Never have I had fresh blueberries to use. It was an embarrassment of riches!
Ella Engler, Nancy and Erma's landlady, had picked them in Canada and had sent me some of her treasured store, and for a while there I wished she had come along with them because Nancy and Erma said a pie would be the thing to make.
A pie!!??

Well, I sent up town for some pie mix and then I looked through a few magazines because I had read something just recently about blueberries and pies, but I didn't find the article. So I called Martha and asked her to look up the recipe in the Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Garden cook books at the office.
So then, I had two recipes and didn't know which to use. It was then that Nancy found the blueberry article in the Saturday Evening Post and directions for making a real old fashioned pie. The directions were the kind I could understand like "sifting of flour" and a cup of sugar, so you could taste the blueberries and have real fruit juice instead of goop "all dinged up with topics or cornstarch".

I made a blueberry pie with a great deal of flurry and anxiety, pain and pleasure and some of the precious juice boiled over in spite of my precautions.
But it was luscious. And it must have been right because as the article warned, we had to use our spoons as well as our forks. When Ella goes back to Canada, I hope she picks some more blueberries.

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Mothers Diary
Everybody is busy these days. Teachers are planning homework and children are doing it. Clubs are swinging back into action and farmers, salesmen and storekeepers are caught up in the accelerated fall season.
It’s a nice secure feeling to know that most everybody is back on the job and that the wheels of industry are turning briskly.

I tell you, I feel a lot easier in my mind than I did while we were on vacation because the farther we went, the more I got the feeling that everyone else in the world was on vacation, too.
I think it was at the San Diego Zoo, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of men, women and children all milling around enjoying themselves that I began to wonder, who’s minding the store?
Every where we went - Disneyland, Marine Land, Knott's Berry Farm, Yellowstone Park, Rushmore, the zoo and the beaches - everywhere people intent on seeing and eating and playing. And every day the same, everywhere. So who was left to do the work in the world?

We found one man, though, who was still holding the fort in the midst of all the holiday gaiety. That was Ray Johnson - greeting his restaurant guests in the lobby of the Arnold's Farmhouse he manages, standing behind the counter, serving roast beef, visiting at the tables, conferring in the kitchen concerning the shortage of chicken breasts and the roasting of more meat - and escorting out-of-town guests - us - on a tour of the restaurant and out to his home.

The restaurant is a cafeteria, but a cafeteria with a difference. True, you wait in line if there are a lot of customers (and there usually are) and you choose your food as you walk by the counters. But you carry only your salad plate, because a waitress takes your main course to your table for you - a table that is all set and your coffee, rolls and dessert are served to you there.
The meat is excellent but I would go again and again for the salads - all kinds of salads and it’s terribly hard to decide even when you may choose three. One kind I had was little cold balls of cooked carrots in Thousand Island dressing. Can you imagine? But good!!

The dining rooms are pretty interesting, too, furnished with lots of old fashioned things like coffee grinders, pepper mills and irons, cigar lighters - and an organ in the lobby. Ray said people often ask to play the organ and it is always allowed.

What we all wanted to bring home with us was the dish washing system, where trays of dishes slid in one side of the washer and came out the other so gleaming clean and terribly scalded that they didn't need wiping. That was the way to do dishes.

Ray seemed very busy and very happy in his work and his family also glowed with contentment. They said they still missed their friends in Manson, but showed not the slightest interest in returning either to athletic coaching or the Midwest.

However, I am glad to be back in Manson - or at least I will be when the warm, muggy weather is over for another year. But Manson is nice - where all the churches work together to have a more successful teachers reception every year - where the citizens vote for new schoolhouses and new swimming pools without batting an eyelash - and where you practically never have to stand in line for anything or are jostled by a crowd.
Or if you are - you’re jostled by a friend!

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