With Thanksgiving swiftly approaching, I’m spending an outrageous amount of time on Pinterest. If you’re unfamiliar with this enormously popular app, google it and have a look. It’s sort’ve a modern-day version of the “Quilting Bee,” harkening back to a time when women used to sit around advising other women on how to run their lives and homes, with efficiency and creativity.
Pinterest is like your Mom, both of your Grandmothers and all your Aunts got together and threw a gigantic Family Reunion in Cyberspace. There are recipes, decorating ideas, and tips on what to eat and how to exercise. You can log on to Pinterest if you need to tie a pretty bow on a package, lattice a pie crust, organize your linen cabinet or whip up a vegetable smoothie. Lost for what to wear? You can even click onto the fashion section for a style to emulate.
The ideas on things to do with a leftover Mason Jar, is reason alone to get lost on this website. Thanks to Pinterest, the humble Mason jar isn’t just for Vegetables and Moonshine anymore!! (For the record, I really don’t believe these “pinteresters” have all these empty Mason jars lying around their cozy-country homes; they’re out buying them by the crate-load at Walmart…) Undoubtedly, the “Mason Jar Craze – 2014” has caused the sales of Mason jars to skyrocket, triggering a surge in Mason Jar stock on Wall Street, ensuring a very Merry Mason Christmas this year, for a host of wealthy Jar-Makers and their heirs!
But, back when I was growing up, we didn’t have Pinterest, we just had our Moms…
My Mom, Doris, was a (p)interesting woman, way back when the Internet was just a twinkle in some Nerd’s eye. She was the End-All/Be-All Arbiter of creativity and pizazz in her considerable sphere of influence. Admittedly, without the help of social media, her range was limited to her friends, offspring and acquaintances, but she was quick with the advice and managed to get her ideas out there, nonetheless.
Doris: NEED A QUICK, HEALTHY, ECONOMICAL MEAL?
“Brown 1 pound of ground beef, while you simultaneously follow the directions on a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Then, when no one is looking, mix the two together! The kids will wolf this down and come back for seconds!”
(I actually get physically ill just thinking about this Meal Prep Tip. Not because I was so culinarily sophisticated that I didn’t appreciate this dinner, but, because some chic named Betty Crocker, poached this idea and called it “Hamburger Helper,” making millions off of my own mother’s brilliance. We knew intuitively, even back then, that Doris was far too generous in sharing her ideas with everyone and their cousin. Something like this was bound to happen. Kiss my Trust Fund goodbye)
Doris: HATE TO TOSS OUT ALL THOSE GREETING CARDS?
“Who wants to throw away all those beautiful Birthday and Christmas cards we receive in the mail? Just cut around the lovely design on the front of the card, in whatever shape works, punch a hole in it and VOILA! You have a darling gift tag – you can now write your message on the back and attach to a package!”
(This was years before anyone ever used the word “re-cycle” and decades before the term “re-purpose”! The Depression-era generation did stuff like this, because they quite literally couldn’t bear to throw anything away..)
Doris: QUICK SALAD DRESSING?
“Who doesn’t have ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise on hand? Just mix those all together! Add a little pickle relish if you have some, but that step is optional. This dressing never fails to please the family, when generously ladled over a head of Iceberg!”
(No need to make the Kraft family any richer by buying their Thousand Island Dressing, for Pete’s sake-We are already buying their Macaroni.)
Doris: LAST MINUTE SNACK FOR GIRL A SCOUT MEETING?
“Take one container of Cool Whip and divide into 3 bowls. Add a few tablespoons of liqueurs (left over from your own Adult Christmas Party) to each bowl. Creme de Menthe makes a festive green mint dip! Creme de Cacao will turn your Cool Whip into a Chocolate Sensation! And who doesn’t love Kahlua mixed with cream? Serve these as “dips” with Vanilla Wafers!!”
(This actually happened. She forgot to bake/buy something, when it was my turn to furnish snacks for my Brownie meeting one January afternoon, and “improvised” by serving Alcohol to Minors… I couldn’t have been prouder of my innovative and creative ‘Cookie Dips’. It was the 70s – no one thought a thing of it…)
And that’s just the things I readily recall, but certainly not all….
-My friends would come over to our house, before dances, to have my mother tie the bows on backs of their dresses.
– She made a Fruit Topiary for a Christmas party out of a styrofoam tree form, covered in foil, long before anyone ever heard of Martha Stewart.
-She could turn a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup into a casserole faster than you could say, “Hand me the can opener!”
Reminiscing about how talented my mother was in the pre-Pinterest era, has left me inspired for Thanksgiving… I now have all the motivation that I need to go spray paint some Mason Jars, to use as candles for my Thanksgiving Tablescape, and assemble that tiresome Cream of Mushroom Green Bean Casserole!
I’m sure somewhere in this country, next week, some families by the name of Kraft, Crocker and Campbell will all join hands, bow their heads and Give Thanks for Doris and all the other Pinteresting Pioneers who made them the Macaroni Millionaires they are today…