by Virginia Duncan
I am the proud owner of two potholders handmade by Lynne Rae Perkins. One of them is quilted; the other, woven. I adore them. They are the kind of potholders that beg to be used — both beautiful and utilitarian. But I can’t cook. I was one of those people you hear about; I used my Manhattan apartment’s oven only for storage. Now I live in a house, and more than one person can fit in my kitchen. And I am becoming an expert at making corn bread — Jiffy corn bread, four boxes for one dollar (on sale). As I pull the corn bread from the oven with my potholders, I feel protected and skilled and efficient. And as I plop the loaf on the cooling rack, I always think of Lynne Rae. I imagine her in her house, making dinner for her family. Her dog is curled on the kitchen floor, just as mine are. I imagine the potholders saying, “You can do it. We are here to help you.” You might not think that Lynne Rae Perkins is teaching me to cook. But I do.