Peg Bracken Quotations

I found a copy of the book ‘A Window Over the Sink’ by Peg Bracken at our local book barn this summer. I had read and enjoyed it many years ago – it didn’t disappoint the second time around. The part I liked best was the story about her aunt, Liz Noah, who had been deposited in an ‘old folks’ home when she could no longer meet the standards of nourishment and housekeeping that her concerned relatives thought adequate. The last time Peg visited Liz in the seniors home, Peg prayed, “Get her out of there – though I knew there was only one way she’d ever leave… it was no place for Aunt Liz Noah, no place at all.”

Three months later, Liz Noah chose the other way to leave that place. She packed a small bag, walked out of the seniors home, strolled down the street to the local Hotel, and checked herself in.

Having had three close relatives in Senior’s Homes, I think, now and then, about when and where I will be ‘deposited’ some day. I hope I will be able to follow in the footsteps of one of our neighbours up the road who was still living in the country, on her own, when she was 85…

Short Bio: Ruth Eleanor “Peg” Bracken (1918-2007) was an American author of humorous books on cooking, housekeeping, etiquette, travel and aging. Here are some quotes from her various books:

Still, it is a happy thing that a window over the sink can serve as a window on a world now gone. For truly, the loved and long-ago people and places in your memory can be visited only in your imagination; and perhaps the things that you ate and loved then can be tasted again only in your imagination too.
– From “A Window Over the Sink” –

Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink.

Always be sure it’s coarse-ground, because a lot of people feel that anything that’s peppered should look as though it had been fished out of a gravel pit.

Everything takes longer than you think it should, except for some things that don’t take as long.

In the past few years I have unintentionally made some culinary discoveries, mainly involving prepared foods and easier ways to do things … I am well aware that to skilled and ardent cooks my innocent pride in these findings will resemble that of the little man who showed up at the Patent Office last year with his new invention, designed for talking across distances, which he had named “the telephone.”

It’s easier to find a traveling companion than to get rid of one.

Facts must be faced. Vegetables simply don’t taste as good as most other things do.

Life is so very simple when you have no facts to confuse you.

Many people choose, early on, their own truths from the large smorgasbord available. And once they’ve chosen them, for good reason or no reason, they then proceed rather selectively, wisely gathering whatever will bolster them or at least carry out the color scheme.

(Newton’s Law of the Ever-level Suitcase) At the same time an object is lost, used up, given away, thrown out, or otherwise disposed of, another object of equal size and weight rushes in to fill the vacuum.

One of the loveliest things about being grown up is the knowledge that never again will I have to go through the miserable business of performing in Mrs. Smedley’s Annual Piano Recital at McKinleyville’s First Presbyterian Church.

Travel never made a bore interesting; it only makes for a well-traveled bore, in the same way coffee makes for a wide-awake drunk. In fact, the more a bore travels, the worse he gets. The only advantage in it for his friends and family is that he isn’t home as much.

What most of us are after, when we have a picture taken, is a good natural-looking picture that doesn’t resemble us.