Written By: Shelby Hubbard, NALJA Secretary
Hi! For those of you that don’t know me, I am Shelby Hubbard from Miami, Oklahoma. I am currently a freshman at NEO A&M College, and I am loving every minute of it.
Growing up, my mom cooked all the time; breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes dessert were always on the table, and let me tell you Mother Hubbard can cook some good food. Some of my favorites are her lasagna, biscuits and gravy and I can’t forget her apple pie. With her being such a good cook there has never been a time where I felt the need to go into the kitchen to “help” her. I can remember a specific instance where she called me and asked to get dinner started because her and my dad were checking cows. She told me to get out the boxed rice and just follow the simple directions. I am thinking to myself, surely a fifteen-year-old girl can fix boxed rice. Well, I get all the ingredients out, and when the water finally started boiling, I poured the rice noodles in. This is where everything went haywire. Who knew that cooking boxed rice on high heat the whole time would result in a big mess? That night my family decided that I do not belong in the kitchen quite yet.
Throughout high school my mom kept hinting at the fact that I needed to learn how to cook. It wasn’t until the fall of my senior year during thanksgiving break that I made my debut in the kitchen. However, it wasn’t regular meals that I decided to start off making. With the holiday nearing, I decided to start with making pies (why? I have no idea). A pumpkin pie was first up, so I went to Walmart with my mom to buy the ingredients. I found the canned pumpkin, then I went to the frozen section to find a frozen pie crust (easy way), but my mom quickly insisted that I was going to do it the right way and make a homemade pie crust. So, I did. My mom assisted me in making it and wow did I learn a lot. So, I continued making pies. I was almost to the point where when I had a free Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I would make one. Soon I got creative and made designs in them and I was finally confident enough to make them without my mom’s assistance.
Fast forward to Christmas break of my freshman year of college. My mom asked me to make an apple pie for a family get together. I got all the ingredients out and started by making the crust, but for some reason I struggled. A lot. I threw away the first crust because it was terrible. I went to my mom and told her that it would be best if she just made it herself because I couldn’t figure it out. I wanted to give up, but my mom made me go to the kitchen and help her. I tell you all this humorous story that is now a joke in the Hubbard house, because in life it is so easy to just give up. That day I wanted to give up over making an apple pie.
I challenge all of you young people to never give up. Whether it be in school, the show ring, and most importantly, in this beautiful life. Parents, push your kids and teach them to never give up because life is all too short to give up when times become hard.
You will never achieve your dreams by giving up or taking the easy way out. Be passionate and persistent in all you do and pursue your dreams with a dedicated attitude.