Whisked away

Betty gets a new ideaBetty Crocker came to me in a dream last night. Her hair was ash blonde, swept neatly back and contained in an animal print headband.

“Nice touch, Betty,” I said, pointing to the headband. “Wild, but not endangered.”

“Thanks,” she said, briskly. Betty did everything briskly, ready to file all the details away alphabetically in a 3×5 index card holder.

“What are we making today?” I asked.

“Gingerbread,” she said. “Ginger is the spice that gives us strength” – this she illustrated with a small barbell, “encourages rhythm and speed” – she flipped on a synthesizer and started up a rumba beat – “and surprises the mouth by being both sweet and hot.” She shimmied a bit, a beautiful sight in her snug knee-length straight skirt, twin set and narrow taupe pumps.

Gingerbread woman shimmying


“I’ve always liked latin music,” she told me. “Gives me a sense of freedom.” She swept the headband away and shook her hair loose, making a bright golden Breck-girl halo all around her. She swiveled her hips and smiled. I saw that she had a martini – very dry, I assumed – in her left hand.

“Betty!” I said, shocked. Around her, the gingerbread was assembling as if by magic: flour, eggs, fresh ginger (not dried), nutmeg, allspice. In her right hand she held a nutcracker, wooden, carved into the shape of a goat’s head.

“You’ve got to honor the right gods to make a decent gingerbread,” she said. She winked at me and began cracking nuts. No nonsense in that Betty Crocker body – dancing, mixing, drinking, arms spinning around her  Shiva me timberslike an Indiana Shiva; she’s juggling the eggs, nuts, a cup of oil, a jigger of gin, and not missing a beat. This was pure Betty but with a difference  – a soupçon of something richer – a dollop of heavy cream, a pepper grinder, a cookie sheet slick and gleaming with Wessonality.

The drums accelerated to a bembe beat with Brazilian overtones; Betty’s apron fell away and I saw her, domestic goddess, high priestess of sex and baked goods, spread eagle brand on the kitchen table.

“Preheat your oven,” she said, briskly, and handed me a whisk.


6 Responses to “Whisked away”

  1. 1 truce January 2, 2007 at 3:48 am

    This could almost be a description of my sister-in-law! Perfect, zesty domestic goddess!

  2. 2 ellie January 2, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    It’s like hot-food-love-sex-goddess-allspice-toasty fun. Tasty.


  3. 3 Teresa January 3, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Happy New Year! Truce and Ellie, glad you liked my domestic goddess — and I, too, have a sister-in-law and assorted friends who are both perfectly domestic and perfectly sexy too! (Hi Kate, Hi Martha — Betty is a hibrid of the two, I believe.) and Ellie, re the upcoming publication — I’ve still got to send them my bio — been very distracted by the snow and all. Now it’s back to work and back to the drawing board. I will emulate the goddess and do it with good cheer. Briskly.

  4. 4 loren January 3, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Anyone who can cook like Betty Crocker would seem “hot” to me.

    Perhaps that’s because that photo reminds me of the picture of my mother at twenty.

  5. 5 Teresa January 9, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Hi Loren – I love those old cookbooks – the pictures were priceless and the pretty blonde ladies have held up very well. These two remind me a little of the Nancy Drew girls; I may have to go detecting to find some in second-hand and antique stores.

  6. 6 Laurie April 14, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Still one of my favorites.

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