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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)

TITLE: The Failure -- The Success
By Beth LaBuff
01/09/07


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It really wasn’t her fault that she never learned how to cook or bake. Her mother’s idea of letting her help in the kitchen was sending her to retrieve items that she, the mother, needed while cooking. Now the decade of the 1920’s finds Ila, a newlywed. She dreamed of delicious dinners that her farmer husband, Merritt, would praise.

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Additional places were needed, so the desk was folded out with seating for ten more. Ila and Merritt’s five children and their families, were all at the homeplace. The daughters and daughters-in-law all helped in the small farm kitchen. Ila had a proven system for dishing up food, putting the pans to soak, and setting food on the table.

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On this July day, Ila planed to make rolls for dinner. In the mid 1920’s there was no quick-rising yeast. Ila put her little square of yeast foam to soak overnight. The next morning she mixed up her sponge. It would rise and have to be punched down. Ila’s sponge didn’t seem to rise but time was running short, so she baked it anyway. The rolls were hard as a rock. Could the sponge have soured because of the summer’s heat.? Ila took the baked “rock” and buried it in the garden without telling Merritt.

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Ila, Merritt, their children and grandchildren were all seated around the tables. After giving thanks, the dishes were passed. There was roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, cabbage slaw, home-canned pickles and beets, and Grandma’s famous dinner rolls.


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This article has been read 1158 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jason Fusek01/12/07
I understood what you were trying to convey by this article -- showing episodes from Ila's life and her progression as a cook. Very clever way to write a story. You gave me a new idea on how to write!! This read like an outline and could have been more developed. But I think you writing has lots of potential.
Donna Emery01/14/07
I agree. Each episode in itself was a great beginning/part of a story. If these parts were woven together you would have a very enjoyable piece. Keep writing!
D. Phenes01/15/07
I liked that it was an easy read and gave us a behind the seen look, Thanks for sharing.
Jacquelyn Horne07/16/07
It took me awhile to see what you were getting at here, but it finally sank in. This is a very good illustration.