DEATH PANEL FOR AN OLD STOVE


stove To Whom It May Concern:
They’re trying to get rid of me! I can’t believe it. After only 45 yers of loyal service, they think I’m all through. All because I ruined her stupid pie because I couldn’t get my ovens hot. Well, she’s not so hot either. I see her limping around here. No one’s talking about getting rid of her. I remember when they unpacked my crate and took a look at me. She almost kissed me. Not so now.

They soon forget all the thousands of cookies, cakes, pies and bread I’ve turned out for them. Oh sure, they gush over her thinking it was due to her great cooking. Well, it wasn’t. It was me! People come in here and say “thank you, how delicious”, but not one word of congratulations to me. I’m sick of it.

Oh sure, there have been mistakes, but not on my part. I can’t help it if she wasn’t paying attention and I burned a pan or two. And I won’t even go into the way I have felt when he decides to cook! He hasn’t a clue. But I have been loyal and done a good job of heating a few cans of beans, or scrambled eggs now and then. And I have to give him credit, he does a good job of cleaning me now and then because she’s too lazy to do it.

The tons of pasta and sauce, and all the rest of the stuff I’ve cooked for her and they’re talking about replacing me with one of those big shiny eyesores which won’t look right in this kitchen anyway. What’s the matter with them, can’t they see?

I’m so ashamed. Some stranger came today and totally undressed my large oven. I’m so embarrassed; imagine how you would feel. He was quite nice about it though and began poking around up in my control panel, so maybe that’s what is wrong. They stopped making my kind nearly 20 years ago, which was sad enough. Someone else is coming to see me, so maybe they can save me. Keep good thoughts for me.

Well, I just wanted someone to know about this miscarriage of stove justice before it’s too late. Signed: Gaffers and Sattler, a dying breed.

PEANUT BUTTER AND ITS UNLIKELY BEST FRIEND


Peanut butter and pickles, PB&P. It is an unlikely pairing which shouldn’t work, but it does. The vinegary snap of chilled pickle cuts like a dash of irony, against the stoic unctuousness of peanut butter. It is a thrifty and unacknowledged American classic. I’m sure a lot of people’s grandmothers ate them. Peanut butter has no cholesterol, and is a great source of protein if you eat enough of it. How can that be all bad?

They go along with all the other things people like to marry with peanut butter and place between two slices of bread, such as bananas, raisins, mayonnaise, olives, bacon, onion slices Hemingway’s favorite! (I shudder to think what that did to his breath!) Elvis preferred bananas and bacon on his peanut butter. However, remember what that did to his waistline?

One friend grimaced and said it was ‘sort of scary, but the bread and butter pickles weren’t too bad’. I have never tried dill, but who knows? As my late father-in-law used to say when I sneered as he put sugar on his scrambled eggs, ‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’. And when you think of it, egg souffles have sugar, don’t they?

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (Without pickles, please!)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup salted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup roasted salted peanuts ground to resemble bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees, parchment covered cookie sheet
Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside
Cream sugars and butter just until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add peanut butter and mix until fully incorporated.
Add eggs one at a time and vanilla and mix until combined. Add dry ingredients.
Mix in ground nuts until incorporated.

Drop by 1 Tbs. balls onto cookie sheet and press each ball 2 times with a fork dipped in cold water. (The familiar criss-cross is traditional)
Bake 10-12 minutes.
Cool on cookie sheet 5 min. then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.