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  Tuesday January 27th, 2015    

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Al Owne in the kitchen (09/08/2013)
Just like that, overnight, there are yellow buses running all over the streets in the morning picking up small children waiting anxiously along with their parents who are waiting more anxiously. I guess the papers weren’t kidding about the back to school ads. Autumn reality has set in.

I had a “best if used by” tragedy last Sunday. Who knew that Bisquick would spoil? The box said “Best if used by April 2010.” I thought that wasn’t really too old. What’s three years among friends? Anyway I didn’t really think a flour product would spoil. We have a family tradition of keeping baking flour in the freezer and I know some of that flour has been in there longer than three years and it’s OK.

There was this box of Bisquick pancake/waffle mix in the pullout pantry that I’ve kind of avoided because it took eggs and all that mysterious stuff. Well, now that I’m an experienced breakfast chef, I decided to give it a try. I read the little info label: “Bisquick is a pre-mixed baking product sold by General Mills under their Betty Crocker brand, consisting of flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder.” The key word that I missed in there was “shortening.” Shortening is basically lard and lard does spoil or go rancid, and now that I remember, the different smell when I opened the box could have been rancid lard.

As I mixed it, I thought the whole mess of batter was kind of thick and tired, but I figured that it had to rest five minutes anyway so I’ll just let it rest 10 minutes because it’s senior flour.

To make a long story a little shorter, I whipped up two handsome looking cakes in the frying pan, but looks can be deceiving: they were awful! I put them in a tray bird feeder in the front yard where they were devoured by the crows that wait out there every Sunday morning. I had French Toast instead. That was eggy but I used the greased frying pan at least. I would say, “Waste not, want not,” but there were two eggs and one and a half cups of milk in that batter.

One of the things I miss most about living with my late wife is teamwork. I’m not going to say that “Our marriage was made in Heaven,” because that would be a falsehood. We were both blessed(?) with an Irish temper and stubbornness as well and, as you can imagine, those are not traits that lead to a perfect relationship. However when life threw us a curve, we stuck together to work it out. This was especially true later in our lives when we faced some of the medical problems of those “Golden Years.” I’ve gotten somewhat used to making my own medical appointments now, but I miss the sympathy and care after the resulting procedures. Fortunately I have a child nearby who reduces the pain and worry for me.

If you are a widow or widower, don’t become a hermit. I know it’s easy to do; I tried it. Get out of the house especially for meals; talk to others in the same situation. It will be good for your mental health; I know.

I’m Al Owne, really, but you can reach me at alnada2704@gmail.com.  


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