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COOKING 101 FOR NEWLYWEDS
Best Chocolate Pie Ever
ODE TO HOME HEALTH NURSES
A SALUTE TO HOME HEALTH PATIENTS
Creamy Pecan Pralines
Microwave Peanut Brittle
Pineapple Brownie Cheesecake
COMMITTEE ON AGING
Texas Sheet Cake
Until she married me, my wife Betty had never thought much about writing for publication. Shucks, I didn't realize what a way she had with words myself until I read the letter she wrote to the folks back home, describing vacations in Bangkok and Damascus we took while working in Saudi Arabia back in 1979. She has a wonderfully descriptive way of narrating scenes and settings such as those we encountered in those cities. Then once back home, she went into Home Health Nursing, moving from Intensive Care and Medical Wards where she had been working since becoming a graduate R.N. in her early forties. She is such a good nurse that she quickly rose in the ranksuntil she was near the top management of the Home Health firms she worked for.
One day when things were kind of slow, she was sitting at her desk and musing over her experiences and those of others when she was still out in the field and visiting homes. The memories inspired her to write a beautiful article describing the Home Health Nurse experience. It was promptly published in a nursing journal on her first try at submitting anything for publication, a quick success few writers ever achieve.
A few years later we lost a great grandson to SIDS and Betty wrote a beautiful memorial for him. It was so touching that I included both it and her "Ode To Home Health Nurses" in my first collection of short fiction, Around The Bend.
Then, so far as I knew, that ended her writing career. However, many years later, in 2006, to be exact, I discovered several other pieces she had written, along with the old letters from Saudi Arabia, buried in the bottom drawer of the desk I bought her one year for Christmas (which incidentally, became the subject of a humorous piece I wrote about it in Life On Santa Claus Lane). Most, but not all, of those short pieces have all been published individually in e-book form but have never been collected under the cover of one book.
Besides being a superlative writer, Betty is also a fabulous cook, as I discovered soon after our marriage, and she's only gotten better over the years. It's a wonder we don't both resemble blimps. Recently, Betty put together a number of her favorite high calorie dessert recipes and got me to type them up on parchment. She then presented them in an attractive binder as a dessert cookbook to our granddaughter Robyn for a bridal shower gift. It was an immediate hit with Robyn and everyone else at the shower. It got passed around like no other gift there.
All this meandered around in my mind for a while and gradually an idea formed. Why not present these recipes, along with all the rest of Betty's writing, in the form of a cookbook, interspersed with her articles and musings? I thought about it some more and finally asked one of my publishers what he thought of the idea. He said fine, go with it!
I should note here that the recipes in this book come from various sources. They came from magazines, family and friends, were handed down from parents and grandparents and so on. Betty says that she and other people have tweaked and changed them so much over the years as they were tried, corrected, written and re-written that it's impossible to give credit to any one source now, so I won't attempt to try. Suffice to say that I've personally tasted them all and wouldn't have included them if they weren't really superlative desserts.
So here, dear reader, is the absolute best of Betty Bain, both her writing and her sweet recipes. We hope you enjoy them and don't shed too many tears or gain too much weight from reading this book!