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Al Owne in the Kitchen (05/23/2012)
By Al Owne
Maybe I don’t have enough patience to cook. That would sound strange to people who know me because everyone always says, “He sure has a lot of patience.” Could it be that they mistake laziness for patience? No, really I am a very patient person, but when food is cooking, I want to eat it! I noticed this on my weekend pancake morning. I usually make four relatively small pancakes two at a time because of frying space. The first two are often a little underdone, but the second two are usually perfect. Why, I wondered, is that? When I’m eating the first two, I’m busy with other things and I often forget the others are in the pan so they have time to finish.

Last Sunday I decided to change this so when I flipped the pancakes over, (no, not in the air, I have enough to clean up now) I went and made myself busy. I read the papers and drank coffee ignoring the stove until I gave them time to finish. Oh, it was hard to leave those ovals steaming away; once I had to get up and go look out the window to see what the neighbors were up to – not much; most weren’t even up at that time. The pancakes turned out good. I don’t know what the difference is. My late wife said I just used the flapjacks as a vehicle to carry the syrup anyway.

I’m still confused in the kitchen. I was sifting through some of the many cookbooks left on shelves in and around the kitchen when I spotted one that looked useful. It was a paperback-sized book entitled Make It Now – Bake It Later #2, by Barbara Goodfellow. This sounded like something that would fit my lifestyle. I started leafing through it when I came across a list of ingredients. One of the first items was “slightly bruised peppercorns.” I put the book back!

Come on; how in the world am I going to know if a peppercorn is slightly bruised? I know quite a bit about peppercorns. One of my kitchen jobs in my previous life was to fill the pepper grinders. This put me in contact with lots of peppercorns, but I can’t say I ever saw one that was bruised. I wouldn’t have known if I did. Well, the book was written in 1961. Maybe they had bruised peppercorns then; it was a different time.

I think I’m still lost. You know that feeling that you get once in a while that things are back the way they were: your mate will be there when you get home and you’ll just keep going the way it was. Then you wake up! Darn; nothing has changed. I don’t think that will ever go away.

In 2005 I met with four Army buddies I hadn’t seen for 54 years. Since that time three of our wives have died. What’s the deal? What are the odds? In every group there’s always 5 to 1 widows to widowers. There’s something weird going on here.

You can contact me at alnada2704@gmail.com



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