Amendment

I’m fighting waste and ageism wherever I find it and have realized an amendment is in order. 

I think everyone is familiar with the five-second rule. To ensure we’re addressing the same rule, the five-second rule states that food items dropped on the floor can still be consumed if they can be retrieved before five seconds expire.

This discriminates against older people. Our elders can often encounter problems bending over and picking things up. Hell, just noticing that they dropped something can take several seconds.

Therefore, I’m proposing an amendment to the five-second rule. Individuals over fifty-five years of age will be allotted one extra second to the five-second-rule.

Examples: a person of sixty years of age will have an additional five seconds. That gives them ten seconds to notice they dropped food, find it, pick it up, and eat it. Someone who is seventy will have an extra fifteen seconds (twenty in total).

Of course, if you’re over one hundred, you can take all the time you want, sugar.

The floor is open for discussion.

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Imprint 2

After moving out of Mom’s house when I was fourteen and moving in with Dad, I missed my old home and Mom’s cooking.

Dad, a bachelor, was in the military. He’d just returned from an assignment in Germany. Besides his military day job, he had a second job running the small base’s all-ranks club, so I rarely saw him. That lasted three months. Then he retired and we moved to southern WV.

I’d mentioned missing Mom’s cooking to her on one of our phone conversations. Mom bought me Betty Crocker Cook Book as a present so I could make the stuff she had.

It was a humbling lesson. Mom usually used a recipe in her head. I had to plod their detailed instructions. Whereas her measuring skills were fast and effortlessly, I labored through cups, tsp, tbs, and their incremental differences.

But I weathered it, making myself stuffed green peppers, meat loaf, pot roast, spaghetti and meatballs, along with side dishes, and eventually baked cakes, cookies, pies, and other desserts. I never made fried chicken, odd in retrospect. I preferred roasting or grilling my chicken. In fact, my favorite meal became over-roasted thighs with buttered red potatoes and broccoli.

Don’t know why I never made the fried chicken. Maybe I was lazy, or maybe, subconsciously, I knew that some things couldn’t be duplicated.

Imprinted

We heard a story…

Everyone had grown up and left the home, nurturing their lives, careers, and dreams. Somehow, though, they began having Sunday dinner together every week. Mom was so overjoyed that she made their favorite every week, which was southern fried chicken.

I immediately recalled watching Mom go through her fried-chicken process in our little ranch style home in the mid 1960s. Starting with a whole chicken, she would wash it and rub it down with cold water and then burn the remains of the feathers off over the gas burner. Truthfully, I never saw any feathers. I don’t know if Mom saw any, either, but this was her process.

Next, she washed the chicken again, and then dried it, and cut it into pieces. The pieces were dipped in egg, and then rolled in white flour with salt and pepper. She fried it in grease from her drippings collection in a big electric skillet. (Crisco later replaced the drippings.) The chicken was vigilantly watched and turned. When judged ready, they were removed and put on paper towels so excess grease could drip off.

I know her process well, and know how her fried chicken tasted as well. Nothing like grabbing a cold piece of fried chicken out of the refrigerator for a late-evening snack. Like many things she made for us to eat in those years, it ruined things for me later. I’ve always been looking for something that tastes as good as Mom’s. When you’ve had the best, it’s imprinted.

You Don’t Say

My wife made something really delicious for dinner this evening. Actually, we had it for lunch. We ate loads of it, along with bread, and then had big salads for dinner.

It’s the third time that she made it. I really can’t say more about it than that, except also that it smells fantastic. You can smell all the ____ and ____ ____. It’s incredible.

That’s really all I can say. She has this thing about me not bragging to other people about the food that she makes. She says that it builds up too much anticipation for it and then she worries that it won’t be good as people expect it to be because I bragged about it so much.

Like, for instance, take her __________ as an example. I loved it, and begged her to make it all the time. And she did. I had her make it for an office pot luck because I thought it was sooo goood. The people there agreed, so much so that they asked me to ask her to make it for several subsequent pot luck lunches. When we had guests, I always suggested that she make her__________. She often did, but then got angry because I’d ask the others, “Isn’t this great?”

That was just the one. There was also her ______, _______ ______, and her ____ _______ with ____. They’re all tasty AND healthy. ____, too. She doesn’t make those things any more, either, because I bragged about them too much. At least, it’s been a long time since she’s made them.

So, I don’t want to jinx this by telling everything how great this thing is that she made, because I really like it, and I want to have it again in the future. But if you ever visit my house, maybe she’ll make it for dinner for you. Then you can see how good it is. Maybe she’ll make her ______ for dessert, too.

I’m sure you’d love them both. Just don’t tell her that I told you about them.

The Latest

In the 1960s, as far as I know, we came in America to have T.V. dinners. I remember the first time Mom brought a few home. She looked at the shiny, foil trays and asked, “Can this be any good?”

Thirty years ago, it was Tofu. Tofu was in everything or they were making it out of tofu. “What is it?” “It’s the miracle food, tofu!”

Tofu didn’t always lend itself to everything in the early days. I experienced some nasty, funky tofurkey on one ghastly Thanksgiving. But progress was made. Textures, appearance, and flavoring improved. Tofu came a looong way.

We shifted from white rice to brown rice. Fat-free and non-fat became the cry, but then people asked for a little fat. “Please, sir, may I have a little fat for flavor?” A little fat was added and pronounced low-fat. Sprouts and sprouted breads arose in favor. My wife, a vegan, then a vegetarian, and now a pescatarian, despises the sprouts, grumbling about them whenever they’re served to her on a salad or sandwich. Look out if it’s sprouted bread.

We’ve processed through other phases in the quest to be healthier. Plant-based and dairy-free cheeses arrived. Organic arose in favor. GMO free. Gluten-free. Kale jumped in there, making a brief splash on salads and as chips, and then, non-diary milks arose. They’d been around for a while, but suddenly things were being made of coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk. Soon the ice cream aisle exploded with non-diary frozen desserts. Then —

Greek yogurt!

Now we’ve come to the latest. Gentle people, I give you the cauliflower.

Yes, it’s the miracle food, cauliflower. Eat it raw. Roast it in the oven and eat it instead of french fries (or roasted brussies, or roasted kale chips.) It’s great as a pizza crust or a creamy soup. Why should potatoes have all the glory? Have mashed cauliflowers instead of mashed potatoes.

I’m sure someone somewhere is working on cauliflower wine and cauliflower ice cream. What comes next? will it be the beets?

No, too obvious. Plant-based meats are making a run, but I think something else is on the way.

Solyent green, anyone?

Peas

He doesn’t like peas, and turns them down — of course. Who eats food that they don’t like, except children being forced to do so by parents, guardians, and caretakers? Or sick people being forced to eat something cuz it’s good for them? Or starving people who can’t be choosers? Okay, we’ll stipulate that exemptions exist. 

People often try to force them on them, as if some loop will suddenly change. He admits, only to himself, that, yes, it’s possible some loop will suddenly change, but to get to that point, he must eat peas, and he doesn’t wanna.

Others ask, why don’t you like peas? As if every decision stand on foundations of logic. As if he has a choice about everything. As if he fully understands the logic of why he doesn’t like peas, or he knows the fulcrum of the moment when he and peas parted ways — if they’d ever been together in the first place.

When asked about his refusal to eat peas, peas said, “Who?” And laughed.

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