"The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied, "mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico...."
Eugene FieldOnly two more days until the Give Away! On October 27th the completed "goodie" box will be revealed and the assigned names and numbers will be posted. The winner will be announced on October 28th so tune in to see if you win! ( See details here.)
The little book box is fairly bursting at the seams, actually it is overflowing, but so is my joy at recalling all these book memories and at being able to share them. There are yet a few more memories to share and the "goodie" box will be complete.
When I saw the next "goodie" a nursery rhyme instantly popped into my mind and I knew it just had to be included. This adorable gingham and calico tea cup with its patchwork of gourmet teas is the next "goodie" item.
Nursery rhymes were my very first exposure to poetry and rhyme. They were easy to remember because of the sing-song way they were written and they were often funny in content. I was particularly fascinated by The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, who side by side on the table sat.
I remember my Grandmother reciting this one to me. She had the most wonderful memory and knew all kinds of stories, songs, poems, and rhymes. Her home was about thirty-five minutes from ours and going from our house to hers seemed an eternity to a small girl. To occupy me and to pass the time she would tell me stories, we would sing songs, and recite poetry and rhymes. This is where I learned The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.
Often she would pick me up on a Friday night and I would stay with her until Sunday night. There was always an adventure to be had when going to her house. She not only passed on her love of reading and recitation to me but her gift of creativity. She taught me how to wrap gifts and embellish them but not with just an ordinary bow, she believed that the outside should make one anticipate what is inside. She taught me about gardening, although I did not inherit her green thumb. She taught me to bake cookies and I had my own special cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls, at her house where she indulged me by taking me shopping for ingredients for any recipe I desired to make and then I would make the biggest mess in her kitchen and she never cared. We would laugh as she wrapped me in a large calico print apron and lift me onto a chair for cleanup duty.
We often dined on Raggedy Ann or Bunny Salad and ate Good Kid Cookies for dessert.
I loved the breakfast foods such as Pig in a Poke cereal, (it's the one with the pear, apple slices, and raisins, not sure why it is called a pig in a poke but I thought it quite tasty and the name made me giggle), Eggs in a frame, and Initial Pancakes. I tried every recipe in this little volume and some of them I still use today.
My own children benefited from the gifts my Grandmother passed on to me as her tradition of story telling, singing, and recitation was something I did with them every time we got into the car. As soon as my son was old enough to talk he would pipe up from the back seat, "Wets sing mom!", (his L's sounded like W's when he was small) and sing we did, all the songs I sang with my Grandmother. We recited nursery rhymes, counted, and told knock knock jokes. I baked with them and let them make messes in my kitchen and served them Raggedy Ann Salad and Turtle Pancakes and taught them, yes, even my son, how to set a festive table and to give gifts with a flourish. Sadly this tradition and the stories I have to tell them about her are the only connection they will ever have with this wonderful woman. I was only blessed to have in my life for twelve years before she passed away at an early age. Her legacy lives on in my patchwork memories of gingham and calico.
Photos: The Gindham Dog and the Calico Cat illustrated by Eulalie, from the cover of The Bumper Book; Give Away "goodie" tea cup & tea; Poem by Eugene Field from The Bumper Book; Cover of my childhood cookbook; Raggedy Ann Salad, Good Kid Cookies, Eggs in a Frame, Initial Pancakes, and Pig in a Poke Cereal, all photos are from the cookbook.