My Story, by Lena Florio Peacock

As a young girl growing up on a farm, there were more than enough chores to keep everyone in the family busy.  I, however, for a lot of the time, found myself helping mother (as she liked to be called) in the kitchen.  Consequently, she named me her “Josephine,” i.e., her little worker bee.  And so I washed the dishes as she used them, scrubbed the pots when she was through with them, and cleaned up after her until the kitchen was cleaned.  And through it all, I managed to learn a lot from her and still love to cook and bake.

Speaking of baking, I practiced baking cakes only when mother left to go downtown to shop.  No sooner was she on the bus, I busied myself, found a recipe, and even at eight years old turned out some pretty decent cakes.  However, when mother returned, she was more than unhappy with me.  I believe she was quite possessive of her kitchen and perhaps did not approve of my intrusions.  However, as I grew older, I learned how to make her wonderful pizza, even adding my own special touches.  She then complimented me on my creative ability and loved the variations I concocted.

Mother loved to hear me play the piano.  She would invite our company upstairs to the den and ask me to play (by air, of course) all the old songs.  Cousin claire sang along and everyone was pleasantly entertained.