Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The dressing that went south for the winter

When you have a recipe for Thanksgiving dressing that is passed down from one generation to the next, a recipe that is so revered that people from miles around would probably come by and have a taste of it if it weren't for the fact they had their own get-togethers to attend, the last thing you want to do is mess it up.

Well, mess it up I did.

It all began the day before Thanksgiving when I couldn't find the recipe. I looked everywhere. The bedroom, the bathroom, underneath the couch. It's written on a notecard my mother gave me several years ago, and I vaguely remember putting it on top of my dresser with all the other important things I'll someday lose before I put them in their rightful places, but it wasn't there. Sure, I could've looked for it in the kitchen, but I KNEW it wouldn't be there because that's where it's SUPPOSED to be.

Cornbread. I remembered that cornbread was a major component.

Knowing that I was making dressing for a crowd, I decided to make three batches of cornbread. Lots of cornmeal, lots of milk, lots of eggs, divide the whole thing into two cast iron skillets, and bake the goodness into it. Cornbread I can do. I've got it down to an art form. Crumble it all up in a big baking pan, and then...and then...

Toast. Crumble up some toast into the crumbled cornbread. Number of slices? Well, eight would probably be okay.

Before I go any farther, I must say that this recipe was never originally written down. It was more of a spoken-word baking performance from grandma to ma. It went something like this:

MA: So, how much cornbread?

GRANDMA: Enough.

MA: How about the toast?

GRANDMA: Not too much.

MA: And the spices.

GRANDMA: This and that, to taste.

MA: What about eggs?


MA: And how long do you bake it?

GRANDMA: Until it's done.

MA: But how will I know?

GRANDMA: Is that your kid I hear crying? You might wanna go check on him.

My notecard version of the recipe was just a translation, not to be taken too literal, and "don't be surprised if it works sometimes but not others depending on the humidity and a full moon."

Cornbread, bread, onions, celery, poultry seasoning, sage, broth, mix it all up, taste it, add something it needs, taste it again, have someone else taste it, add some more, and then stir some beaten eggs on top and bake it for who knows how long, but not so long that the smoke detectors start chirping.

Several hours later, the dressing came out of the oven and it was a masterpiece. Grandma would've given me high-fives if she hadn't've been dead.

And then I messed it up.

Knowing that I was going to be taking it on a two-hour car ride over the river and through the woods, I put some aluminum foil over the pan. A couple of hours later when I dramatically uncovered the dish in front of a group of hungry dressing lovers, condensation had turned grandma's pride and joy into a spongy cornbread mud puddle.

Sure, everybody said it was okay, or they said, "I actually do like mine really moist," but I knew it was a flop.

A total mud pie flop.

But next year; boy, I'm gonna make it great.

I'll make Grandma proud.

You just wait and see.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Early to bed, early to rise

makes this old cowboy realize,
life's too short for sleeping late;
and ne'er forget, love trumps hate.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

In the market for...

... the modern equivalent of a Rebel X-Wing Fighter. High mileage is ok as long as the laser cannons are top-notch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm not so sure anymore

Maybe the trash doesn't want to be taken out.

What if dishes hate taking a bath?

Is it possible the commode doesn't flush on purpose?

Could it be a skylight leaks because it just can't wait?

Maybe lightbulbs go out only because they're bored at home.

Shouldn't the dust fight for its rights instead of settling?

Surely the bed, knowing it won't be leaving the house, looks forward to not having to get all made up.

Two weeks ago I was sure about everything.

I was younger then.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

When the cows get out

don't blame the cows.
It just don't make no sense.
It's best to lay the blame upon
the man who built the fence.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I always wanted to be a good cowboy:

quiet, honest, respectful to women, a hard worker, and "best friend" to any dog that would have me.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Watching meteors

shower over my homestead.
Streak, flash, and then gone.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

When I'm gone...

... I hope you'll tell my story -- that I stood up for love and stood against hate.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Lazy-day cookin'

red beans and cornbread lookin'
like my kind of grub.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I hate Thursdays

We spend 1/7th of our lives struggling through the Thursday doldrums, knowing tomorrow (the smug little bastard) will be a better day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I voted early

I voted early, which wasn't nearly as amazing as the fact that I even voted at all.

It was my second time.

In my whole life.

My sons have voted more times than I have.

This was my daughter's second time to vote too, but she's only been eligible to vote twice, so she's batting 1,000.

I could've voted for Reagan back in 1980. He seemed like a good enough guy, but it was my first year of college, and, well, it was my first year of college.

I probably would've voted for Reagan in '84, even though Geraldine Ferraro was making history as the first woman vice president nominee, but I had just graduated college, was heavy into my first job, and, well, I was so apathetic about the whole process, I was too apathetic to even think I was apathetic.

I definitely would have voted for Bush 41 in 1988 because Dukakis looked plain silly trying to command a tank. I was in the Air Force at the time and glad to serve under Bush. The mission was straightforward -- kick the Iraqis out of Kuwait. We did, and that was that.

I would've voted for Clinton in 1992 just because he could play the saxophone, but I was just out of the military and didn't really care. Anybody was okay just as long as it wasn't Ross Perot.

I thought about voting for Clinton in 1996, but blah, blah, blah.

I wanted Al Gore to win in 2000, but I guess not enough to go vote. Sometimes I wonder if I HAD voted for him, would that have made the difference? Would we not have gone back to Iraq? Would thousands of American soldiers still be alive today? Would we be doing serious battle against global warming?

Silly, I know. But....

Being a Texan in 2004, there's no way my vote would have kept Bush 43 out of office. So why vote?

I voted for Obama in 2008. Texas didn't swing his way, but I voted anyways.

I would've voted for Obama in 2012, but I didn't. Don't remember why I didn't go vote. Laziness? Probably.

So, that brings us back to 2016.

Not only did I vote, but I voted early!

And just between you and me, I voted for the winner.

Not the whiner.