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  Friday February 27th, 2015    

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Al Owne in the kitchen (11/17/2013)
By Al Owne
Well, Veteranís Day was just as miserable as usual. Windy and cold seems to be normal weather for the day and once in a while we can throw in a little rain and/or snow. Yet we have the same dedicated people at Veteransí Park standing and participating in the programs. We are fortunate as a community to have such a group to honor our veterans.

Iím getting back in to preparing various dishes and moving away from prepared food. Sort of leaving Marie Callender and Lean Cuisine (that must be a French name) and getting back to Betty Crocker.

I bought some various types of hamburger and mixed it together, fried it, chopped it into small chunks, seasoned it, and mixed some pasta sauces in it and had a nice macaroni dish. Then I added rice to the sauce and went a little oriental. That didnít turn out as well. Something tells me that rice doesnít keep as well as pasta. Could this be? Iíve been using pasta from 2009 and it seems OK, but the rice wasnít that old and it turned out a little hard. It was sort of tomato rice al dente.

Not to worry; I just added some small cans of tomato sauce to the mixture, cooked some more pasta and went from Asian to Italian as I stirred. I also threw in a small can of mushrooms dated í04. I know the purchase dates of these can foods because we had the bright idea of dating the cans when we bought them so we used the oldest first. Seemed like a good idea until I decided to give some of my excess food to the food drives. I mean, I know itís good, but Iíd be a little embarrassed to donate three- or four-year-old food. The best laid plans ofÖetc. But itís good to get back in the saddle so to speak; maybe back in the skillet is more appropriate.

I read a couple of disturbing stories in the advice column world that relate to our situation. One was from a man who was completely lost when his wife died. He didnít know how to write a check, had no idea what account numbers his wife used, and didnít know any of the passwords on the computer. That seemed a little extreme to me, but there were lessons there to be learned. When I retired, my wife told me I could do some of the bill paying and banking. She told me that she needed help and I should learn anyway, but I can see she was just being logically prepared.

I took over some of the banking chores and kind of enjoyed it. I was not at a total loss when it was all up to me. Taking over the taxes was the biggest challenge for me even though we had started having an accountant do the final version. My wife, a numbers person, liked doing the taxes. She called the IRS daily with questions. However it seems that they became less and less consumer friendly and she became less interested.

So hereís the deal. If you are a couple and not in the widowed state, keep in mind that some day you will be, and you are going to have to survive in the cruel world of bill paying or auto repair. Now is the time to help your partner prepare for this eventuality. Men, you might even ask your wife to help you. I know this might cause heart attacks, but believe me, itís worth it.

Al hangs out on Facebook and e-mail as alnada2704@gmail.com  


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