Mom was making cookies with the kids that year. They had ingredients all over the big kitchen table, bowls, baking sheets, cookie cutters. They were making several different kinds, one, everyone’s favorite, the frosted shapes. The older kids, Bobbie and Russell, had helped before and were excited to be able to do a fair amount on their own this time. Three-year-old Janet was mostly an observer, but she had been around the process enough to know full well that the results would be yummy. She especially loved the frosted shapes. She hovered around the table in eager anticipation of the finished products, sneaking any ingredients she liked, and could reach, while waiting.
The chocolate chips and raisins had to, eventually, be moved out of Janet’s reach. Mom, seeing that she was not as fond of the dried fruit, just watched to make sure she didn’t sneak too many.
Mom would measure out the ingredients ahead for each batch, so she could let the kids add them and didn’t need to worry about too much or too little. Each item was in a bowl or cup on the table. One of the ingredients was shortening. Shortening, if you don’t know, is white and creamy, people use it as a replacement for butter.
As little Janet went around the table she spotted the clear bowl of creamy, white shortening. As quick as a wink, in went a finger and out it popped right into Janet’s mouth. Mom saw, but before she could react, Janet spewed the shortening back out of her mouth squinting her face at the yukky, greasy feel.
Nobody knows what she was thinking, nor does Janet, however, throughout her entire childhood, she never tasted frosting again unless it was actually attached to a cookie or a cake.