Found on the Back: True Crime

While scanning recipes, I found this picture: Scan_0170 (3)

Who in the world is Edna Ruth Bullock and what does it mean “Told Her Husband”?  I decided to play Google detective and find out.  I had no idea that I was about to embark on a very dark journey down a rabbit hole.

I didn’t do a lot of in depth research into this, but at 25, Edna was accused of killing her 27 year old husband, James in 1958.  There was no evidence connecting her to the murder and she was not charged.  However, she had been previously married a dentist named Dr Glennon Engleman.  Engleman was eventually charged with at least 7 murders.  Some things I read said that he seduced women, got them to marry men, and then killed the men for a share of the life insurance.  Others said he was more of a hitman and just killed for profit.  Regardless, I think I might be happy that I’ve got 5 months until my next dental appointment.

Wikipedia Article on Glennon Engleman

Murderpedia Article

Article about the Movie “The Dentist”

Found on the Back

In which I reveal the back of a recipe.

As I paged through the recipe books and the loose recipes, I realized that me scouring over the recipes had the potential to damage them.  In order to preserve the books in their current states, I started to scan every single recipe into my computer.  Besides being better for the books, it also allows me to sort recipes by category and keep better track of which recipes I’ve used and which ones I haven’t.

And right now, I have the time.

For the first time in my life, I am a stay-at-home parent.  I have been a parent for over 12 years and this is the first time that I have actually been at home all day, every day with my kids.  I’ve gotten to get a lot of organization done around the house, really had a chance to assess the needs and figure out some systems, get the gardens figured out a little bit, you know, just stuff.  I can see the need for a routine.  I can see where I could’ve done better in the past.  It’s a very different sort of challenge for me.

When I hang out with adults, I find myself downloading information onto them.  I crave conversations where I’m not breaking up stupid fights, or teaching someone manners.  I need to talk to people that have fully developed frontal lobes and have had a little life experience.  I need to feel like I went to college for a reason and that my brain is being used.  When I have a chance, I need to do something for me (like make old recipes and write about them)  Which brings me to this.

As I scan recipes into the computer, I often read the backs of the newspapers and magazines and try to place the recipes in their proper place in history.  Often it’s just snippets of things.  I found a recipe with the showtimes at a theater for Aristocats.  Quick check on IMDB told me that the movie came out in 1970.  Suddenly the recipe meant a lot more.  I have one recipe whose back discusses the funeral for an astronaut, another that mentions the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  These recipes all have roots.

Anyway, back to the original point of this whole thing.  I found this on the back of one of the recipes.  Right now it speaks to me.  No idea when this was published or which newspaper.  I could hazard a guess, but that’s not the point.  Just take a second and read what is written, even in its incompleteness.


It would be easy to talk about sexism here.  It would be easy to talk about wasted potential.  I don’t have to do that because you already know.  Being an actual housewife where you raise the children, where you clean the house and have supper on the table is a hard job.  And this applies to men that do the job also.

Not to be ignored, however is the little blub in the second column.  Were you aware that over half of vacuum cleaner attachments are not being used?  I’m guessing that’s true even today.  Maybe this is the sort of experiment the first column suggests we do?

Food Memory (and a little ask)

Having grown up in a family of cooks, most of my memories are tied up in what we were eating at the time.  I have a distinct memory of driving up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in my first car.  I was on my way home from college, it was a hot, hot day, I didn’t have A/C and was pretty gross feeling by the time I finished the 2 hour trip.  I got to grandma’s and was welcomed with a hug.  She called Grandpa up from the basement and we sat down for lunch.  A nice steaming bowl of bean soup.  It’s one of those things that would’ve been unremarkable except for that simple thing.  A bowl of bean soup on a hot day.

I have memories of bowls of sweet pickles, and pickled watermelon rind (those posts will be coming later).  Memories of candy sticks in jars waiting for grandkids to dig in and suck those things down to sharp points, cuts on the tongue as the candy split where the stripes used to be.  Bowls of nuts and nutcrackers set out for snacks while watching TV.  Kringla, of course.  Chocolate chip cookies.

From my mom, I remember family dinners.  Bowls of salad while we waited for the main course to finish cooking.  Fantastic meals.  Grilled steak, omelets made to order, pancakes, sweet potato rolls, crock pots full of the best mashed potatoes.  I remember a single meal of lasagna that probably would’ve been forgotten if it hadn’t been for a little incident involving a fork and my elbow.

Then there are the not so good food memories. The terrible hot dish eaten for dinner in southern Minnesota at a boyfriend’s dad’s house before seeing his dad in his underwear.  I just didn’t know anyone could ruin a simple macaroni, ground beef, and tomato casserole.  The time I took a big portion of what I thought was chocolate pudding off a salad bar, only to discover that it was liver pate.  So many more.

Ok, so here’s the ask.  Knowing that I have some of great-grandma’s recipes, is there a recipe in particular that I should be sure to make sooner instead of later?  Do you have a specific food memory that I need to revisit for you?  Please comment and let me know.  I may not have the recipe you are thinking of, but I want to try.


In which I find something on the back.

Marriage of the Year

Found on the back of one of the recipes.  Not to be too cheesy, but my husband is a heck of a guy.  He puts up with an amazing amount of silliness from me, really bad jokes, and a whole lot of cooking since I got laid off.  He eats everything I make, sometimes more than once.  He’s kind of an amazing guy and I’m a very lucky woman.

Choose your Own Adventure

Remember reading those books, or trying to read them to your kids?

I was never satisfied until I had read through every possible ending.  Sometimes I would start at an ending and work my way back to see how the story developed and sometimes I would read the book in the way a normal book is read just to make sure that I had explored all alternatives. I’m not sure anyone that knows me would be surprised at this.

Anyway, this is possibly your chance to go on a similar adventure.  Each of these posts will happen at some point, so don’t worry if your favorite isn’t chosen.  We’ll get there.