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  Saturday January 31st, 2015    

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Al Owne in the kitchen (02/24/2013)
“If I would have known you were coming….” Yes, I successfully baked a chocolate cake the other day. It turned out so well it was surprising. I think the reason for my success was that I just did it on the spur of the moment. No big planning went into the process; in other words, I didn’t have time to worry about it.

It was a mix of course. I’d had it since fall. I was walking down the aisle of one of my favorite local groceries and I saw it there-on sale of course. I picked up the box and the directions looked simple enough; it even had pictures, and I like directions with pictures. So I bought it and stuck it on a shelf and forgot about it.

One good thing about it was that I didn’t have to count the number of beats; I was able to use my handy hand mixer. So it turned out to be a happy occasion.

Prior to that I whipped up a batch of cookies. I was telling one of my children that I was really pooped after that. I said, “I was so tired that I had to take a break in my faithful recliner.” Then I went on to ask how the heck Mom could just be working in the kitchen and say, “I think I’ll make a batch of cookies,” and make the cookies as sort of a side event without even breathing hard. I baked a batch of cookies and I’m wiped out for a couple of hours even though I cheated by making the cookies bigger so I wouldn’t have so many to take care of. She answered very quickly, “She knew what she was doing!”

I think that’s part of the secret to kitchen work. Where I have to analyze and fret over each step, experienced kitchen folks just do it automatically. After a while it becomes easier although not “easy.” Also, I don’t ever remember the women around here experimenting like I do to try to find an easier way. I’ve found that doesn’t work too well in the kitchen. My last batch of cookies proved that. I thought, “Why should I stand here beating this thick batter when I could use my handy antique hand mixer?” Do you know how long it takes to clean the cookie batter off those little beater blades? I know I lost two or three cookies to frustration.

I read that more people die in the winter time than other seasons of the year. I guess I’ve noticed that in reading obituaries. (I check the ages to see what my chances are with the averages.) I thought that it had something to do with the weather; you know, the cold and snow, but it happens in all climates apparently. Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight or just the dreariness of winter weather. I know that when it gets dark, I’m done! I’ll be sitting by the fireplace thinking, “If it were summertime, I’d be outside fooling around in the garden and now here I am hibernating in my recliner.”

If I get snowed in, I think I’ll whip up a batch of cookies. If I follow the directions, it’ll be a piece of cake. Take in some of the local fish fries next week. Alnada2704@gmail.com, or P.O. Box 27, Winona, MN 55987. 


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