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Dawn O'Hara Edna Ferber

Mostly Eggs

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"Me!" I exploded--"A real writer lady! No more interviews with actresses! No more slushy Sunday specials! No more teary tales! Oh, my! When may I begin? To-morrow? You know I brought my typewriter with me. I've almost forgotten where the letters are on the keyboard."

"Wait, wait; not so fast! In a month or two, perhaps. But first must come other things outdoor things. Also housework."

"Housework!" I echoed, feebly.

"Naturlich. A little dusting, a little scrubbing, a little sweeping, a little cooking. The finest kind of indoor exercise. Later you may write a little--but very little. Run and play out of doors with the children. When I see you again you will have roses in your cheeks like the German girls, yes?"

"Yes," I echoed, meekly, "I wonder how Frieda will like my elephantine efforts at assisting with the housework. If she gives notice, Norah will be lost to you."

But Frieda did not give notice. After I had helped her clean the kitchen and the pantry I noticed an expression of deepest pity overspreading her lumpy features. The expression became almost one of agony as she watched me roll out some noodles for soup, and delve into the sticky mysteries of a new kind of cake.

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Max says that for a poor working girl who hasn't had time to cultivate the domestic graces, my cakes are a distinct triumph. Sis sniffs at that, and mutters something about cups of raisins and nuts and citron hiding a multitude of batter sins. She never allows the Spalpeens to eat my cakes, and on my baking days they are usually sent from the table howling. Norah declares, severely, that she is going to hide the Green Cook Book. The Green Cook Book is a German one. Norah bought it in deference to Max's love of German cookery. It is called Aunt Julchen's cook book, and the author, between hints as to flour and butter, gets delightfully chummy with her pupil. Her cakes are proud, rich cakes. She orders grandly:

"Now throw in the yolks of twelve eggs; one-fourth of a pound of almonds; two pounds of raisins; a pound of citron; a pound of orange-peel."

As if that were not enough, there follow minor instructions as to trifles like ounces of walnut meats, pounds of confectioner's sugar, and pints of very rich cream. When cold, to be frosted with an icing made up of more eggs, more nuts, more cream, more everything.

The children have appointed themselves official lickers and scrapers of the spoons and icing pans, also official guides on their auntie's walks. They regard their Aunt Dawn as a quite ridiculous but altogether delightful old thing.

And Norah--bless her! looks up when I come in from a romp with the Spalpeens and says: "Your cheeks are pink! Actually! And you're losing a puff there at the back of your ear, and your hat's on crooked. Oh, you are beginning to look your old self, Dawn dear!"

At which doubtful compliment I retort, recklessly: "Pooh! What's a puff more or less, in a worthy cause? And if you think my cheeks are pink now, just wait until your mighty Von Gerhard comes again. By that time they shall be so red and bursting that Frieda's, on wash day, will look anemic by comparison. Say, Norah, how red are German red cheeks, anyway?"

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Dawn O'Hara
Edna Ferber

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