"HOME at last!" sighed Bettina happily as the hot and dusty travelers left the train. "Why that contented sigh?" asked Bob. "Because our wedding trip is over? Well, anyhow, Bettina, it's after five. Shall we have dinner at the hotel?"
"Hotel? Why, Bob! with our house and our dishes and our silver just waiting for us? I'm ashamed of you! We'll take the first car for home—a street-car, not a taxi! Our extravagant days are over, and the time has come to show you that Bettina knows how to keep house. You think that you love me now, Bobby, but just wait till you sit down to a real strawberry shortcake made by a real cook in a real home!"
Half an hour later Bob was unlocking the door of the new brown bungalow. "Isn't it a dear?" cried Bettina proudly. "When we've had time to give it grass and shrubs and flowers and a vegetable garden, no place in town will equal it! And as for porch furniture, how I'd like to get at Mother's attic and transform some of her discarded things!"
"Just now I'd rather get at some of Mother's cooking!" grinned Bob.
"Oh, dear, I forgot! I'll have supper ready in ten minutes. Do you remember my emergency shelf? Why, Bob—Bob, they must have known we were coming! Here's ice—and milk—and cream—and butter—and bread—and rolls, and even a grape fruit! They knew, and didn't meet the train because they thought we would prefer to have our first meal alone! Wasn't that dear of them? And this will save you a trip to the corner grocery!"
Bettina fastened a trim percale bungalow apron over her traveling suit, and swiftly and surely assembled the little meal.
"I like that apron," said Bob. "It reminds me of the rainy day when we fixed the emergency shelf. That was fun."
"Yes, and work too," said Bettina, "but I'm glad we did it. Do you remember how much I saved by getting things in dozen and half dozen lots? And Mother showed me how much better it was to buy the larger sizes in bottled things, because in buying the smaller bottles you spend most of your money for the glass. Now that you have to pay my bills, Bob, you'll be glad that I know those things!"
"I think you know a great deal," said Bob admiringly. "Lots of girls can cook, but mighty few know how to be economical at the same time! It's great to be your——"
"Dinner is served," Bettina interrupted. "It's a 'pick-up meal,' but I'm hungry, aren't you? And after this, sir, no more canned things!"
And Bob sat down to:
Creamed Tuna on Toast Strips Canned Peas with Butter Sauce Rolls and Butter Strawberry Preserves Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
(All measurements are level)
Creamed Tuna on Toast Strips (Two portions)
½ slice pimento
3 slices of bread
Melt the butter, add the flour, salt and pimento. Mix well. Gradually pour in the milk. Allow the mixture to boil one minute. Stir constantly. Add the fish, cook one minute and pour over toasted strips of bread.
Hot Chocolate (Three cups)
1 square of chocolate
Cook chocolate, sugar and water until a thin custard is formed. Add milk gradually and bring to a boil. Whip with an egg beater, as this breaks up the albumin found in chocolate, and prevents the coating from forming over the top. Add vanilla and marshmallows. Allow to stand a moment and pour into the cups.
Strawberry Preserves (Six one-half pt. glasses)
4 lbs. berries
3 lbs. sugar
Pick over, wash and hull the berries. Make a syrup by boiling the sugar and water fifteen minutes. Fill sterilized jars with the berries. Cover with syrup and let stand fifteen minutes to settle. Add more berries. Adjust rubbers and covers. Place on a folded cloth in a kettle of cold water. Heat water to boiling point and cook slowly one hour. Screw on covers securely.
On Bettina's Emergency Shelf
6 cans pimentos (small size)
6 cans tuna (small size)
6 cans salmon (small size)
6 jars dried beef [modern day packaged beef jerky]
12 cans corn
12 cans peas
6 cans string beans
6 cans lima beans
6 cans devilled ham (small size) [Spam?]
6 cans tomatoes
6 pt. jars pickles
6 pt. jars olives
6 small cans condensed milk
6 boxes sweet wafers
1 pound box salted codfish
3 pkg. marshmallows
3 cans mushrooms
2 pkg. macaroni