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Burned cheese websites

Burned cheese websites Burned cheese websites

The Table

“Well”, I thought viciously, “at least I don’t burn cheese in the microwave!” It was a thought both unkind and petty: Unkind, because my friend was doing her best to get past my obtuseness on things technical in the effort to help with building my author website; Petty, because the value of technological literacy in our time outweighs that of being able to press the right buttons on the microwave. It is a fortunate thing for me that Kimberly is able to keep her patience past my grumpiness, because she really does know this stuff.

So by the time of this publication if you go to sallyrasmussen. com you can listen to me read some of my past columns or read the first chapter of my novel. Should you visit The Table Facebook page, you can also find the recordings, as well as have the opportunity to share your own thoughts, recipes or questions. Both sites are works in progress, so accept my apologies if they are not yet as functional as they ought to be.

All of this effort has to do with getting ready for taking another run at the Writer’s Institute event in Madison at the end of March. I’ll be doing a lot of one-to-one work with authors and instructors, as well as trying to interest literary agents in representing me to publishers on behalf of my yet-once-again revised novel and/or a collection of some of the better columns that I’ve written. One of the things that I learned at last year’s conference is that writers who wish to be considered for publication are expected to have a somewhat more outward presentation than simply crouching over a computer in a little hut in the Forest and avoiding human interaction. Which is a pity, since that’s what I’m good at.

But if our world isn’t changing, we’re dead. And I do not mean that metaphorically. It starts, I suppose, with being born. Who asked for that? From that point forward it’s an endless series of world-changing events: being expected to eat solid food and walk on our own two feet, getting sent off to school, being hired for our first job, becoming an adult, getting married, having kids, changing jobs, changing jobs again, and again, emptying the nest, retiring, moving to a smaller place, moving to assisted living, adjusting to other people being dead and considering our own mortality. And each time we have to call forth a lot of effort, focus and courage to move out of what is comfortable, the place where we have a mastery of skills and a familiarity with our environment. When we’re young we barely think about it -- there might be some apprehension, but mostly it’s all excitement and anticipation.

But get a few decades on us and boy howdy, do we get grouchy about having to learn something new! Phrases that used to make us roll our eyes at our elders come squirting out of our mouths: “I never had to do it that way before”, “It was working fine the way it was”, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Then we hitch up our compression stockings and thump our canes in aggravation.

Part of it is that breaking through the crust that forms as we get comfortable with our surroundings seems to involve ever more effort and risk. And part of it is the feeling that we don’t want all we have learned and experienced to feel so discounted, so irrelevant. It can be difficult to remember that our core identity is not being rejected, but only invited into a new expression of itself.

And in the meantime it helps that not everything in the world has changed. Wheat flour whisked into simmering broth still makes gravy. Letting your bread dough double in bulk is still the rule of thumb. Melting cheese on crackers for three minutes on high in the microwave will always result in a friend who should be a better person but is not making references to a scorched smell in the air for days past the time when that comment was actually funny.

Mother Smith’s Beet Pickles

Here’s one of those recipes that’s been around for a while -- the recipe card is in the handwriting of Tom’s grandmother, and “Mother Smith” refers to her motherin- law. Tom loves beets, as did his mother and apparently his grandmother and great-grandmother.

Bring to a boil:

2 cups vinegar 1 cup water 1 cup sugar Add

peeled, sliced beets

Cook until tender. Transfer beets to jars. Return liquid to a boil, then pour it over the packed beets, wipe down the jars and firmly screw down the lids to seal, or store in the refrigerator.

Sally Rasmussen lives in rural Taylor County with her husband, Tom.