As a child, when I was sick, my mom pampered my every need. This included an endless supply of popsicles, which I got to eat in her bed. And, she soothed every earache with a red rubber hot water bottle. As a young mother, I wanted to give my sons the same coddling, especially when they were sick. But 1977, the year our family moved to Kearney, Nebraska, was a rough one. Money was tight. Sometimes not even there. That was the case the day I kept my son Richie home from school. He had a sore throat and was running a fever the night before. I froze some raspberry Kool-aid, his favorite flavor, in an aluminum ice cube tray so he'd have a soothing treat the next day.
Come morning, Richie was hacking and feverish. But he didn't want a popsicle; he wanted a donut. We had no donuts. His dad had already left for work, and I couldn't leave the boys alone for a donut run. Besides, I had no money. But I did have my mom's old recipe for homemade donuts! Problem was, I didn't have most of the ingredients - only the milk, one egg, salt, a few spoonfuls of flour, and a drizzling of oil. I substituted the sugar with raspberry jam and ended up with something like scrambled donut dough. Richie took one look at the concoction and chose a popsicle. Jason, however, sat in his high chair and finger-spooned the raspberry scramble up like it was heaven on a platter.