The first telephone call, as in the first ever, was made one hundred and forty-four years ago today. Alexander Graham Bell picked up the phone and gave us the immortal words, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.” Things haven’t been the same since.
Now, my grandparents didn’t have telephones in their homes when they were little. They were all born on one side of 1900 or the other. At the turn of the last century, less than one percent of American’s could phone home.
Telephones were more commonplace during my parents’ childhoods. By the end of World War II, the ratio of phones to people was one to five. Dad is quite proud that he can still remember his first phone number, as well as his grandfather’s. Or is it Grandpa’s license plate number he remembers?
Growing up, everyone in our neighborhood had a phone. Very early on, they were black with rotary dials and sat on a special table in the front hall. Those tables had a shelf for the phonebook and a not-at-all comfortable seat to discourage long chats. Although I don’t know what you’d do with it, those tables still pop up at the occasional yard sale.
It didn’t take long for wall phones to take over. Telephones, in an array of coordinating colors, moved out of the hall and into the kitchen. I don’t know it for a fact but I suspect it was so mothers could monitor teenage calls. Telephone cords grew exponentially as kids tried to escape prying ears.
Maybe there’s a connection, maybe not, but at about the same time, push buttons replaced rotary dials. In addition, many families installed a second phone, often in the parental bedroom. Meant for urgent, middle of the night calls, my sister and I used ours to escape eavesdroppers.
A few, make that very few, of our more affluent friends had their own telephone. Or at least, they shared it with their brothers or sisters. Right there in the phonebook, you’d see their last name and Children’s Phone. At sixteen, every girl’s dream was to have her own, personal number and a pink princess phone. The only girl I knew who had one was Barbie and she wasn’t even a person.
At college, our dorms were not limited to a single pay phone in the basement. That was the generation before me. Each room had a phone. On Sundays, I called home collect and asked for Susie. She was never home. A few minutes later, Mom or Dad called back to hear the news of the week. Only the most homesick students called home more often and they dropped out by Christmas.
Moving to Switzerland was a telephone flash back. Although beige instead of black, the phone in my first apartment had a rotary dial and weighed a ton. I eventually donated it to a local theater group.
From clunker to cell phone, it wasn’t long before I found myself asking, “Can you hear me now?” My first cell phone was hugely expensive but, thankfully, the company paid for it. Battery life was short, there was no texting or internet connection and reception was spotty. It didn’t matter. Only the cool kids had company phones. Traveling one hundred and fifty days or more a year had its perks.
I now juggle a smart phone, a landline and an office number. As handy as they are, telephones are not high on my list of favorite things. How is that the phone always interrupts at the most inopportune times but refuses to ring when I’d like nothing better than a diversion?
Call someone you love this week just to say hello and bon appétit!
Morning Glory Muffins
Whether you invite friends over for a healthy brunch or brown bag your breakfast to the office, these muffins will be a great addition to your morning. Enjoy!
Makes about 2 dozen muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick cook oatmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, preferably homemade but store-bought is okay
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Put the flour, oatmeal, baking soda and powder, salt and spices in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Put the carrots, coconut, walnuts and raisins in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
Put the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add the applesauce, sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the carrots, coconut, walnuts and raisins.
Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- One Year Ago – Chocolate-Raspberry Cupcakes
- Two Years Ago – Pork Stew with Beans & Greens
- Three Years Ago – Shrimp Curry with Spinach
- Four Years Ago – Mini Tarte Tatin
- Five Years Ago – Lemon Roasted Chicken
- Six Years Ago – Panna Cotta with Strawberries
- Seven Years Ago – Decadent Mac & Cheese
- Eight Years Ago – Seared Scallops with Roasted Pepper Sauce
- Nine Years Ago – Creole Shrimp with Creamy Grits
- Ten Years Ago – Wild Mushroom Risotto
- Eleven Years Ago – Swimming Pool Jello
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
If you could call anyone – living or dead – who would it be and what would you want to ask and/or tell them? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020