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Essays




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A Page From Betty Crocker’S Cookbook
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TITLE (EDIT)
A Page From Betty Crocker’S Cookbook
DESCRIPTION
Recently, while sitting in my chair drinking the last of my breakfast coffee, a thought staggered into my mind. I must confess most thoughts are quite lonely once they enter my mind, but this one had a nagging element to it.

[860 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Humor
AUTHOR
James Snyder
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living with his wife, Martha, in Ocala, Florida and can be contacted at jamessnyder2@att.net.
[October 2009]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
jamessnyder2@att.net
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (15)
A Cup Of Joe Says A Lot About Us (Short Stories) This week I came face-to-face with a genuine dilemma. I had several meetings across town and for some reason I miscalculated and ended up with a 2-1/2 hour gap between meetings. I hate to waste time, ... [902 words]
A Silent Night — Not At My House (Essays) People say, as they get older their hearing is not what it used to be. I have found this to be true for myself. The older I get, and I plan to get as old as I can, the more I hear noises in the middle... [895 words] [Humor]
Be Happy, Join The Wednesday Worry Club (Essays) Of all the people who know me, no one would say I am afflicted with worryitis. They may say other things about me, which may or may not be true, but that's another story. [918 words] [Humor]
Dead-To-The-World Man Walking (Essays) One morning this week, I woke up with a black eye. How I got it still baffles me. I have my suspicions, of course, but some things are better left to themselves no matter how lonely they may get. [891 words] [Humor]
How To Cash In On Your ‘Ailment Capital' (Essays) Right after the president won his re-election bid for the White House, he made an interesting comment. He said he was going to spend his "political capital" wisely. At first, I did not understand wha... [926 words] [Humor]
If All Things Are Possible,” Why Can't I Balance My Checkbook? (Short Stories) For me, the most terrible time of each month is the day our bank statement comes. We commonly call it BSS (Bank Statement Syndrome). I don't know why it is, but I have trouble getting the parsonage ch... [904 words] [Humor]
In My House, If It's Broken I Bought It (Essays) Often a store has a sign with the warning, "You break it, you bought it." This is to keep people from carelessly handling the merchandise. I'm thinking of another sign, which should be posted all thr... [907 words] [Humor]
Malice In “I Wonder Who I Am” Land (Essays) For many years I maintained confidence in my personal identity. I knew exactly who I was and was quite comfortable in my skin. Although, I must confess my skin used to fit me better than it does these... [885 words]
Now That I'm Older, I'm Still Not Wiser (Essays) Now that summer is over and the children are back in school I found myself indulging in a little bit of retrospective thinking. It took some doing but I was able to think all the back to when I was a ... [883 words] [Humor]
Nurses, Bedpans And X-Rated Hospital Gowns (Essays) Tuesday last I awoke from my nightly slumber with terrific pain in my chest, much like an elephant break-dancing on my chest. It was painful just to breathe, but like the trooper I am, I shrugged it o... [923 words] [Humor]
Old Phil Propagated A Good Old Hoax (Essays) It began as all things begin n a long period of boredom with nothing exciting to do. Whoever said, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” knew something of what they were speaking. [882 words]
The One Great Sermon That Got Away (Essays) Most people don't realize ministers are obligated to prepare and preach one great sermon in their career. In looking over my record of sermons, I noticed many "good" sermons, but an obvious lack in th... [886 words] [Humor]
Who Has The Greatest Job In The World? (Essays) I have, in my opinion, the world's perfect job. Just look at the evidence. I love people and I love God. I love talking to people about God and I love talking to God about people. Therefore, if you p... [963 words] [Humor]
‘And How Do We Feel This Morning?' (Essays) Without question, going to the hospital is teamwork from the time you arrive until you are wheeled out the front door. Everyone is working together for the common good of the patient, or at least a cr... [909 words] [Humor]
‘I'm Not A Christian, But I Play One On Sunday' (Essays) After more than three decades of church ministry, I have come to one unsettling conclusion. Actually, I've come to more than one conclusion, but this one is the most depressing. That conclusion is si... [890 words] [Humor]
A Page From Betty Crocker’S Cookbook
James Snyder

Recently, while sitting in my chair drinking the last of my breakfast coffee, a thought staggered into my mind. I must confess most thoughts are quite lonely once they enter my mind, but this one had a nagging element to it.

Experience has taught me I should never give in to these strange trespassers. Every time I entertain any of them, I’m the one getting burnt.

This time was different. Don’t ask me how it was different, or how I knew it was different, it just was. Of course, looking back I could have been wrong.

The thought: why not surprise my wife by baking her a cake?

I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing when this suggested itself to me. But, the more I thought about it, the more delightfully delicious it sounded. How can anything go wrong if I am doing it for my wife?

The only question I needed to answer was what kind of cake should I bake.

After a long period of ruminating, I settled on a lemon sponge cake with peanut butter icing. This was going to be the best surprise my wife has ever received from me.

Sitting in a prominent place in the kitchen is my wife’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. I don’t know how long she has had that book, it’s been in our kitchen for as long as I can remember — which really may not be that long when I come to think of it.

I took the book, sat in my favorite chair and opened it. How do you read a cookbook? As I leafed through it, it did not have any rhyme or reason to me. In musing on the book I said to myself, how important is it to follow directions?

Placing the book back in its revered spot, I concluded that since this was my cake, I didn’t need help from anybody else, particularly Betty Crocker. This is the difference between men and women. Women need a lot of directions, while men enjoy the liberty of doing their own thing.

I knew exactly what I wanted. A lemon sponge cake, with peanut butter icing. What could be simpler?

Retrieving a large mixing bowl, I assembled all the ingredients I needed; flour, sugar, eggs, milk and baking powder. Everyone knows you cannot bake without baking powder.

I have no idea what baking powder is, except when you bake you use baking powder.

I put everything in the mixing bowl. The only thing I wasn’t quite sure of was the measure, but how hard could that be anyway? Betty Crocker mentioned a cup of this and a cup of that, but never defined what she meant by a cup.

I went to the cupboard and looked at all the cups. There were all kinds and sizes of cups and I did not know which one to use. I eyed a large coffee cup and said to myself, this will do just fine.

I dumped 6 or 8 cups of flour into the mixing bowl, I can’t remember how many. Then I cracked a dozen eggs and put that into the mixing bowl as well. Pouring a quart of milk into the mixing bowl, I whipped everything into a nice batter.

This was to be a lemon sponge cake but I could find nothing marked lemon in the cupboard. I opened the refrigerator, and as luck would have it, I found a quart of lemonade.

I poured this concoction into the largest cake pan I could find. As I was about to put it into the oven, I remembered the baking powder. How is this cake going to bake if it doesn’t have the baking powder?

Setting the cake pan down, I grabbed the baking powder and liberally sprinkled it on top of my batter. I have no idea what baking powder does but I put enough on my cake so it would do a good job.

Into the oven the cake went, and with a flick of the wrist I turned the temperature to 450 degrees. Remembering this was a big cake, I readjusted the temperature to 650.

The bigger the cake the hotter the oven, is what I always say.

Now all I needed to do was wait for my cake to bake. As I was waiting, I heard rumblings coming from the oven but just chalked that up to a good cake baking.

I guess I fell asleep, because the next thing I knew there was a strange odor permeating the air. It smelled a little smoky and then it dawned on me. My cake, it’s done.

What I pulled out of the oven did not resemble any cake I had ever seen. It looked like a burnt pancake, twice the size of the cake pan, with some kind of disease on the surface.

No amount of peanut butter icing in the world could camouflage this disaster.

It was about this time I began reassessing the idea of reading directions. Maybe instructions have a purpose after all.

I remember something the Apostle Paul said. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV.)

To live right without getting burnt you need the right directions.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2006 James Snyder
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
April 2006
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1175
 

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