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Al Owne in the kitchen (08/29/2012)
By Al Owne
I did it! I baked a cake all by myself. There was this cake mix sitting on a shelf in my pull-out pantry and I kept moving it. Finally I said, “That’s it; you’re getting baked.” It was a little old; it expired in (best if used by) 2007. That’s only five years, which is a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to time.

I sat the box in front of me while I ate breakfast and read the directions carefully. I’m finding that is somewhat important in the kitchen. My haphazard method of doing things doesn’t work too well in there. It looked simple, but then I’d been fooled before. Cooking fish looked simple too, I remembered.

I got the ingredients and got to work. This is a fairly simple mix; just mix three eggs, water, and oil together, then either use your mixer or a whisk for two minutes to whip it into shape for the oven. Since I’m still leery of the big mixer that is taking up space on the counter, I opted for my Rachel Ray whisk. Man, that stuff was heavy to whisk around for two minutes. I threw in a few seconds because I didn’t think it was mixed up enough to start. It was kind of amazing; as I mixed, it became a moist, heavenly smooth, velvety, substance that looked good enough to eat. I poured it into a 13X9 pan, making sure it was even, and popped it in the pre-heated oven for 31 minutes.

When I opened the oven after the allotted time (I didn’t look in before time because I believe in the old adage, “If you’re lookin’, it ain’t cookin’”), stuck the required toothpick in the center, and it came out clean. Wow!

I let it cool and tried a piece. It isn’t bad. I mean it isn’t like County Fair Blue Ribbon good, but it’s good enough for me, and that’s what counts. So for all you timid chefs, and cheftesses, out there; don’t be afraid; if I can do it, anyone can.

I’m still pondering last week’s social problem. Remember I’m having a little trouble dealing with today’s woman. I had some words of wisdom from readers that I’ll share with you. “Quit whining, you big stoop. Men have been treating women like that for centuries. Now it’s our turn!” That was from my daughter.

“Hey, don’t let those women push you around; stand up to them!” That was from someone named “Butch.”

I guess I have to remember that the last time I was dealing with women outside of the workplace was in 1956. The social scene is a little different now, I think. Perhaps if I tiptoe in, I’ll learn. The trouble is that it’s like tiptoeing into Lake Superior. Tiptoe, tiptoe, whoosh; you get hit by a big cold wave. I’ll keep trying and, of course, keep you informed.

The students are back. So are the skateboards. I think I’ll get a skateboard. I can see the headline now: “Elderly man knocked off skateboard by woman at fast food drive-up.” Alnada2704@gmail.com



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