Letter to the Editor

Cooking lessons bring back memories

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dear Editor:

I was so happy to read of the cooking classes being offered to children through the University of Missouri Extension. When I was a child growing up in the 1950s in Fort Scott, Kan., our extension office also offered these classes.

My summer was filled with free swimming lessons, free band instrument lessons, and free tennis lessons. When I learned of the cooking lessons, I begged my mother to let me attend.

I could toast bread and pour milk on cereal, so she allowed me to enroll. It was so much fun!

One thing we learned to make was pigs in a blanket. You remember, you cut a hotdog down the middle, put sliced cheese in it, wrap it in bacon, secure with toothpicks and put them in the broiler to cook.

Mine were delectable, if I do say so myself. After eating, I hopped on my bicycle to ride the 12 blocks or so to my swimming lesson.

When I came home, there was a fire truck in front of our house and the smoke was pouring out of every open window and door. I was horrified. My mother worked outside the home and had been called.

What fate would await me? Do you know to this day I don't remember? Our stove was a gas one, therefore the broiler was gas. Apparently I had forgotten to turn off the broiler, the grease caught fire and the rest was up in smoke.

Smoke only, thank goodness, there was no fire damage. There was one casualty. Our canary succumbed to the smoke. Don't tell my mother but I don't remember the poor thing's name. It was an accident!

Our house smelled faintly of burned hotdogs, bacon and smoke for a while, I carried on with the cooking lessons and even received a certificate.

Now boys and girls, let this be a lesson to you. Don't have a canary in the house when you are cooking, especially pigs in a blanket, but cook on!

Sonja Holsti-Wells


P.S. The reason I referenced the 1950s comes from a phone experience I had. I was on the phone with a very young sounding lady who asked me my birthdate. I replied 2-3-47. She asked me if that was 1947. I had a very good laugh!