The title of this thread is straight up Americana. Our version: the house in which I began life was...spartan. Ok, perhaps ranchy. Ok, a half dozen government agencies would put parents in jail if a glass of water would freeze on the night stand over night. But we had real running water and no path out back for us - provided we remembered to crack the water at night. Got a tip for the government arbiters that would harshly judge our abode: mom playing piano out of the Methodist hymnal at bedtime more impacted fitness than their "standards." Sorry, I can't write about mom's cooking without aspersing our overlordes - sure sigh of old age. So, we had a cold house, and my mom is about the worst cold weather pansie of all time. Of course the only remedy is "to use the oven to warm up the house." Sure, roast beef will warm the house, but if you really want to get warm, you gotta have homemade bread with everything. And apple pie that never saw a can for anything. Today, mom lives in town, has a little meter on the wall that makes the house a sweat lodge, and cooks with the phone (carryout).