Fifty Years Too Soon

I took my old recipe box out of the cupboard and began rifling through the cards. My daughter Tammie said, “Mom, what are you looking for?”

Without looking up, I answered, “There’s an old recipe for spiced carrots in here. It would go well with our meal tonight if I could just find it.”

“Oh!” My daughter exclaimed excitedly, “I was in Pinterest the other night and I saw a fantastic carrot recipe.” Whipping out her smart phone, she asked, “How about I pull that recipe up for you?”

Surprised, I looked up at her to ask, “What in the world is Pinterest?”

Tammie explained, “It’s a website on the Internet. It’s like a bulletin board where you can pin pictures and information about crafts, cooking, sewing or anything else of interest. I like visiting this site to find ideas for crafts. The ideas I like or try, I pin on my personal Pinterest board. Other people on the Internet can see what I have on my board. If they like the type of things I post, they can ‘follow’ me by copying ideas from me.”

Trying to wrap my mind around the idea of an electronic bulletin board, I said, “Oh.” and went back to looking through my recipe file. Finally, pulling up a card, I said, “Let’s just make the creamy bean with French fried onions casserole. Mom found this recipe in a magazine in the 1970’s and it’s good.”

My older daughter Niki arrived with her family soon after this conversation. She immediately began to prepare her contribution to our meal, some new and interesting hors d’oeuvres. Helping her, Tammie said, “I saw on Pinterest the other night an hors d’oeuvre that was made with cheese, olives and bacon.” Niki didn’t seem to know what to say.

As we all worked on preparing the big family meal, we chattered about many different things. Tammie frequently said what she’d seen done on Pinterest. Finally Niki said with exasperation, “I keep hearing about Pinterest this and Pinterest that! I don’t even know what that is.”

Tammie said, “It’s an interesting website.” Niki shrugged indifferently.

A few minutes later while I took the meat out of the oven, Tammie said, “On the website…that shall not be named…it said that for moist, juicy meat, cooks should let a roast sit for ten or fifteen minutes in its own juices before serving.” Her Harry Potterism made us all laugh. She quickly explained more about Pinterest to Niki.

The memory of Tammie teaching Niki and me about Pinterest popped into my mind last week as I was cleaning the farmhouse where I had grown up. On the basement shelves were stacks and stacks of old magazines dating back to 1953. Mom had loved her magazines! Each time we went shopping, she’d scan the racks and pick one before checking out.

When her day’s work was done, Mom would sit in her upholstered rocking chair poring over her newest magazine. She hunted for enjoyable stories, interesting advertisements and best of all, recipes, party ideas and information on the latest fashions. She and her neighbor Bernice loved to try out some of these ideas.

Reminiscing, I commented to my daughter Tammie, “Seeing those magazines reminded me of the time Bernice made banana-peanut-butter-walnut sandwiches for my neighborhood cousins and me when we were playing. Who ever had heard of such a combination? The idea to make them came from a magazine article.”

Tammie said, “Magazines must have been pre-digital Pinterest!”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking!” I said excitedly. “One fall Mom read a magazine on how to put on a Ben Casey themed Halloween party. It was totally clever! My cousins and I loved it.”

Sounding amazed, my daughter said, “Who knew? Grammie and her friend Bernice were Pinterest followers before it went cyber!”

Nodding, I said, “They did what they could with what they had. They were born fifty years too soon.”



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