Peg Bracken quotes:

  • Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.

  • Molded salads are best served in situations where they have little or no competition ... Like television, gelatin is too often a vehicle for limp leftovers that couldn't make it anywhere else.

  • People will admit to arson and mayhem sooner than no sense of humor.

  • Quotations can be valuable, like raisins in the rice pudding, for adding iron as well as eye appeal.

  • There was something immensely comforting, I found, about a crumpet - so comforting that I've never forgotten about them and have even learned to make them myself against those times when I have no other source of supply.

  • This wild emaciated look appeals to some women, though not to many men, who are seldom seen pinning up a Vogue illustration in a machine shop.

  • Kitchens were different then, too - not only what came out of them, but their smells and sounds. A hot pie cooling smells different from a frozen pie thawing.

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

  • I recently adopted for my own a good motto I saw somewhere, on a barroom mirror or possibly a washroom wall: 'The time you enjoyed wasting wasn't wasted.' I think I'll have that printed some day on a T-shirt or the bedroom ceiling.

  • Drinking: something to do while getting drunk.

  • The fact is, the cocktail party has much in its favor. Going to one is a good way of indicating that you're still alive and about, if such is the case, and that you're glad other people are, without having to spend an entire evening proving it.

  • The same fire that hardens the egg will melt the butter; and much depends on the personality type, whether you customarily rise to a challenge or whether you sink. For as long as I can remember, I have been a sinker. One challenge, and I drop like a rock.

  • ... you're not supposed to cuss when you're an old lady, and just when there's so much more to cuss about ...

  • Cheese for dessert is rather like Paradise Lost in that everyone thinks he ought to like it, but still you don't notice too many people actually curling up with it.

  • It is a rare expert who clearly realizes how inexpert someone else can be.

  • It is always a taut moment in a foreign country waiting to see if your English-speaking guide speaks English ...

  • It is important to remember that these are your Declining Years, in which you can jolly well decline to do what you don't feel like doing, unless not doing it would make you feel worse than doing it.

  • It isn't surprising that many children consider their parents to be a little dim, and that they sometimes try to update them. The fact that they don't usually try too hard is just as well; a thoroughly updated parent is an unappetizing sight.

  • ... I've never found anything whatsoever that is as easy to do the right way as the wrong way, and if there is such a thing I would like to know about it.

  • ... parents embarrass their children probably more than the other way around. I don't know why we should blush so hard for our parents -- we didn't rear them -- and yet we do.

  • a celebrity is someone who no longer does the things that made him a celebrity.

  • As millions of women have done before me, I pulled domesticity over my head like a blanket and found I was still cold.

  • But let me say this about learning experiences: they're weird. Or put it this way: what you learn from a learning experience is generally something else.

  • Every idea is my last. I feel sure of it. So, I try to do the best with each as it comes and that's where my responsibility ends. But I just don't wait for ideas. I look for them. Constantly. And if I don't use the ideas that I find, they're going to quit showing up.

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

  • forgetting things is what gives old age a bad name, that and old age.

  • How to Comfort Yourself When You Have Acted Like a Jackass Everyone does this occasionally, and you shouldn't feel too upset about it unless it happens quite often, such as three times a day, in which case you must simply get used to it. Remember, other people like you as well or better for it, because it makes them feel so superior; so you've spread a little sunshine. And at the very least, you've served as a bad example.

  • I believe that one's basic financial attitudes are - like a tendency toward fat knees - probably formed in utero, or, at the very latest, in cribbo.

  • I didn't learn for years that you generally find your Self after you quit looking for it.

  • it isn't true, by the way, that nothing is as bad as you think it's going to be. Some things are exactly as bad as you thought they were going to be, and some things are worse.

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

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

  • Like a chastity belt, the package tour keeps you out of mischief but a bit restive for wondering what you missed.

  • Many a restaurant seems to employ more copy writers than cooks.

  • 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.

  • Mothers always think you are working either too hard or not hard enough.

  • On their return from a trip, it is wise to see friends promptly, before they've had time to get their pictures developed.

  • 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.

  • one's travel life is basically as incommunicable as his sex life is ...

  • Peas went with carrots as infallibly as ham went with eggs. For years I thought carrots and peas grew on the same vine.

  • People would have more leisure time if it weren't for all the leisure-time activities that use it up.

  • Some people collect paperweights, or pre-Columbian figures, or old masters, or young mistresses, or tombstone rubbings, or five-minute recipes, or any of a thousand other things ... My own collection is sunrises; and I find that they have their advantages. Sunrises are usually handsome, they can't possibly be dusted, and they take only a little room, so long as it has a window to see them from.

  • the most all-around, practical, long-wearing illusions are the ones that you weave yourself.

  • The subject of men and women is absolutely fraught with sex, which is as it should be.

  • There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don't cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind...The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from many countries ardently competing. But we who hate to cook have had our own Olympics for years, seeing who can get out of the kitchen the fastest and stay out the longest.

  • This is your dividing line, by the way, between child and nonchild - when the first trouble happens that Mama can't fix.

  • 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.

  • When people say it's a funny thing about them, you will probably be able to control your hysterics. They are only getting ready to announce the shattering fact that they don't like something. And it's not going to be something that's really quite awful, like suttee or apartheid; it's going to be something small.

  • When there's a lot of it around, you never want it very much.

  • When you're little, time stretches obligingly, and vacation is forever.

  • Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?

  • You don't get over hating to cook, any more than you get over having big feet.

  • You may have noticed, as I have, that if ever you find yourself declaring emphatically and unequivocally that you will never do some one particular thing, chances are good that this is precisely what you will one day find yourself doing.

  • There are worse things than being fat, and one of them is worrying about it all the time.