The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 21, 2014

Don’t be stubborn when it comes to change

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News & Eagle

— Do you resist changes? Think about it.

I would say that I don’t, except when I truly think about it, I guess I do, because I resent changes in televisions, cellphones, phones in general, and all these new computers and electronic things. Even stoves are now computerized. And cars. And heating/cooling systems.  

As soon as something is purchased and learned, it is out of date. I finally, at the urging or my daughter, got a new, wonderful up-to-date cellphone that does everything. It does, but I don’t know how to make it do all the things it is supposed to do.  

The phone is so much smarter than I am that I am embarrassed to even ask questions about it. Luckily, Randy, my computer helper, knows everything there is to know about electronics of every kind. He fixes everything for me and answers all my questions and shows me what to do and how and when and where.  

I have found that “new and improved” does not necessarily mean better. If the older soaps and things were advertised as perfect, why do the companies constantly change them? I can see why the pods are great for doing laundry, especially for college kids, but I still like to measure my own detergent for specific fabrics and load sizes.  

Several years ago, we purchased wonderful crackers called “sea biscuits.” They were large, chewy crackers that went with every soup and salad and snacks in between. We just loved them. Suddenly, they disappeared from grocery shelves. We surmised the stores quit ordering them because they couldn’t keep them on the shelves. Why else would they be discontinued? Once we find something we really like and become accustomed to their taste and convenience, they are no longer available. We don’t like changes like that.

I gave up on Facebook because so much of the “stuff” on it was just that ... “stuff.” People wrote everything that was happening to them whether it was of interest or not. I will admit, some of the information was wonderful, but much of it was not. I have more important things to do with my time than listen to their hour by hour happenings.  

Travel has changed so much since I was little. One can fly across country now in the time it used to take us to drive a team of horses six miles to town. Back then, getting there was half the fun. Now it is such a hassle to be checked through the airports and be into place to fly. I am glad everyone is checked, but it is still time consuming and a hassle.

The changes my grandparents saw when they came to this virgin country must have been overwhelming. They never dreamed it would be so fertile, but as barren as it was. Their neighbors were few and far between. Their accommodations were pretty sparse. Grandma lived in the covered wagon set off of the wagon wheels and just put on the ground, the first winter here. It was more like a tent, and I am sure was cold and windy.

Their food was sparser. Yet they accepted and enjoyed this change because of the goals they had set for themselves. What a heritage!  

It must have been a shock to Jim’s mother’s family, who came by boat to America from Scotland. They brought everything they owned in one large trunk. There were four children and the parents, and they must have seen many, many changes from the homeland. However, it was their dream to have a better life for their family, so they readily accepted changes and adapted to this new land and a new life. I am grateful they did. Again, what a heritage!

I often think if our ancestors could adapt to the many changes they were forced to, then why am I so stuck in my ways? Why do I question all the electronic things available now? Why do I care if cursive is taught in schools now? Why do I still think math is being downplayed when it is so important to teach it? Is reading so important when one can see the movie in two hours and it would take several nights to read the book? Is it just because things have changed so much that I resent them? Am I an old fuddy-duddy? Maybe it truly is progress and I just need to get with the programs.

Recipes are almost obsolete now. It is easier to make a cake from a mix than it is to make it from scratch. I have said, and I will say it again, one doesn’t have to learn to cook to put a pretty good meal on the table now because everything can be bought already made or practically prepared for us. All we have to do is heat it up and set the table. Do you detect that I even resent that change? Maybe because I love to cook and spend time in the kitchen that I don’t see why others don’t share the same joy.

Last week, a dear friend was telling me that her grandmother made English teacakes when she was a little girl. Another said her grandma did, too. I dug out an old recipe and made them. Nothing compares with the butter and sugar and flour combination and the love that goes into them. They brought back so many memories I am sharing the recipe with you now.  

English Teacakes

1 cup butter, softened

1⁄2 cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Gradually stir in sifted flour. Fill greased muffin tins about half full. Flatten slightly. Press walnut half or pecan in top, or leave plain. Bake in 350-degree oven about 10 to 12 minutes until slightly brown. Cool two minutes, then remove and cool completely. One friend said her grandma simply dropped them on the cookie sheet and did not use the muffin tin.

Don’t change just to be changing. However, don’t resist change just to be stubborn. Think about it.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.