A Pledge To Give Up Cooking

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Announcement — Len’s going to be on the Food Network. No, the Food Network doesn’t know it yet, but where better to start his cooking career than at the top?

When we were first married, I knew how to make peanut butter sandwiches, oatmeal and fudge — not exactly a balanced diet. Len always said if it weren’t for the telephone, he would have starved to death that first year. I would come home from work and call my mother. “How do I make pork chops?” “What do I do with cauliflower?” Remember, this was before frozen dinners or microwaves.

My mother was an excellent cook, having cooked for a Lutheran school lunch program and also for a prestigious Washington, D.C. family who had a summer place down the shore from our Wisconsin lakeside cabin. I must have been a distraction in her kitchen, as she never taught me the tricks of the trade.

Anyway, after a few years of trial and error, I became a fair cook and even came to like it. At one time I wrote a weekly column for a suburban Chicago chain of newspapers featuring ethnic cooking and in the process learned to appreciate different food cultures.

I loved having dinner parties, the more elaborate, the better.

How times have changed! After 57 years of making three meals most every day, I am tired of cooking! Not only that, but being less active than we were when younger, our appetites are smaller and when I do cook, it seems we eat leftovers forever. So, I have made a declaration of independence — no more cooking.

Since we don’t like to eat out all the time, that leaves just one of us to prepare the meals. Len makes a scrumptious breakfast omelet, a tasty Manhattan clam chowder, and Chicken and Asparagus a la Maxine, a delicious main meal. That recipe came from a now departed member of his Pinochle Club at the Senior Center.

We’re thinking about calling the program “His Turn.” Let’s see, three meals are not enough for a series, are they? Well, when I win the lottery next week, perhaps we will substitute “The Catered Couple” for “His Turn” on the Food Network.

Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store

Get ready to hula tomorrow, Sept. 22 at the lunch luau in the Center Dining Room. There will be games, entertainment, karaoke by Big Bob, and of course, Hawaiian food. Call (928) 474-4876 for reservations. Wear your muumuus and tropical print shirts.

Flu shots will be offered at the Senior Center from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30. The shots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointments needed. Be sure to bring your Medicare card.

Brenda White, benefits counselor from Pinal/Gila County Aging Service is available to assist seniors with Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and similar questions or problems at the Senior Center from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., the first and third Fridays and noon to 3 p.m., the second and fourth Fridays. Please call (928) 474-4876 for further information.

Helen Tennent offers free art classes from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Thursdays at the Senior Center. She teaches all mediums including ink, oils, pastels, acrylics, chalk, watercolor and more. Call her at (928) 474-3996 to learn more about the classes.

The Country Gospel Misfits will present live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 in the Center Dining Room. The public is invited.

Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store 

The Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store on Highway 87 in Pine is having a bag sale on all clothing Sept. 22 through 25. Shoppers may fill a standard size bag with men’s and women’s clothing, belts, hats and shoes for $1 per bag. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.

Other 

Husband and wife authors William and Angela Kirschner will read from “Marshall Explores Arizona” — the first in a series of children’s books about an adventurous eagle visiting Arizona. Parents, caregivers and children will enjoy meeting the authors and leafing through the colorfully illustrated book. The reading/book signing will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 25 at East West Exchange. The program is free and open to the public.

If you enjoy Reggae and Caribbean Vibe music, plan to attend a free performance at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1 at East West Exchange. Payson residents Dee Dread and Sister Care-i will entertain.

Curious about acupuncture? Ric Wyckoff, a licensed acupuncturist will give a presentation from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2 on acupuncture and Oriental medicine at East West Exchange. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are advised. Call (928) 468-2435 for information or to reserve a seat.

Think about it: You know your children are grown up when you clean the house before they come instead of after they leave.

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