I was married twenty-four years ago. My friends came from far and wide and near. Because everyone was so spread out – especially just a year after graduating from college – it was the first time I really ever had my high school and college friends together. What was so wonderful was to see how well they got along with one another – they acted as if they’d known each other for years and it was really heart-warming.
I was given a green-themed wedding shower – my favorite color. I was unaware that paper wedding bells and other wedding items came in green – but they were found! A really fun thing was that they all brought recipes to write for me – family ones, ones they loved – and put them all in a recipe box.
There are a few that I have never tried for some reason or another. In part, as newlyweds, funds were tight. My husband was a US Coast Guard lieutenant at the time and we were stationed in New Orleans – which while less expensive then New England still made shopping at the Piggly Wiggly and Winn-Dixie difficult so some recipes were not indulged upon. Weirdly, I never made the recipe for pizza margherita that one of my best high school friends included – her mother’s recipe. I was pretty afraid of yeast – I still am which makes no sense as I make my Mother’s “Holey Bread” ̶ a story for another day. But faced with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic, I’m finding ways to use up what’s in the pantry and finding ways to stretch things. So, Mrs. Perfetti’s recipe came out – and boy! What was I waiting for? It was delicious (if I do say so myself). I have, embarrassingly, never made pizza dough from scratch – some (50%) Italian I am!
It’s times like these – even with cooking – that I think of what Maria Mitchell and all women went through when faced with shortages on food – and cooking from the very basics with no processed food to rely on as a back-up. In particular, when the harbor would freeze over for days and weeks on end so that ships and steamers could not bring in supplies from the mainland. I know you do not think of Maria as a cook but she did and she had to – especially when her mother was ill and she became her main caretaker.