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SPELLING BEE

BY BEA WESTERBERG

So close to the end of 2021

Most of us have been inhaling all the shopping, packing, gift wrapping, cooking, party and travel times. After December 25, we can do a gentle exhaling process to keep the world in balance and still find room to place all the new items we received as presents. There may be Christmas cookies left to munch on and maybe even some gift returning to be done. A few of us still also may be saying “what ever made that person decide to give me THAT as a gift?”.

This was a different shopping year because of the long list of items not in stock. I did not keep close contact with the shopping world this year so I do not know what was supposed to the “hot tip” for the perfect present. In 2020, things like a Roku Streaming Stick, a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, and a Disney+ Subscription were the things to dream of. In 2015 it was Xbox me/Play Station 4, Barbie Dream Home and Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee Maker. If you remember the almost end of the world, 2000, when the computers were not going to keep working and generators were almost impossible to buy, you would have been asking for a Tamagotchi Handheld Pet, or a Skate Board. Probably one of the most asked for things to get was a supply of Dried Foods to help you make it through those bad days to come. Important Note: that is very much the same as we go into 2022!

Now if you want to go back to old times, my wish for the Cowgirl Outfit and an early style Easy Bake Oven never made it to Santa’s delivery list. Looking back, I can maybe understand the wish for the Cowgirl Outfit but why would I ever want a thing to make cardboard like baked items when I started making real bread and cookies when I was 5 years old? Every time we saw an Easy Bake Oven come up on auction, Husband Larry always offered to bid on it!

New Years get togethers almost received a death sentence last year so it will be interesting to see what 2021 going into 2022 will be like. For many people, the way to make it into the New Year was to party like crazy so it must have been very hard to feel good going into 2021. The wish for a much better year did not really work out in a number of ways. Positive thinking is what is needed in very large numbers to keep us moving forward into the New Year. Being kinder to other human beings might be one of the best New Year plans to have.

If you need something yummy for an at home party, try this Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 cake pan. Put the bottoms of 24 mini buns in pan and lay out ½ lb of thin deli ham. Then ½ lb of thin sliced Swiss cheese – do again for a total of l lb of ham and 1 lb of cheese. (note you will be cutting the end product – just lay out – no spacing) Put down the sandwich tops. Mix together ¾ cup melted butter, 1 ½ TBSP Dijon mustard. 1 ½ TBSP poppy seeds.

1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 TBSP dried diced onion. Pour over top of everything and bake for about 20 minutes. Cut into 24 pieces for sure, can also do 48. NOTE: 2022 will still come if you do not have the poppy seed!

If you need fresh ideas for drinks or dessert, let Google do the work for you. Even if cream cheese is hard to find there are hundreds of other yummy things to be made. Keep in mind that even if you make your “usual” dessert you can fancy it up by serving in a different way. Tall, thin glasses look nice with layers of goodies in them and don’t forget the whipped cream and the sprinkles that you used in your cookie baking.

Maybe all your drinks need are different shaped ice cubes. The variety goes well beyond round and square ones so explore that option.

GREAT NEW YEAR TO ALL MY LOYAL SPECIAL READERS!!!

December 29, 2021