The column that almost wuzn’t

Laugh Tracks in the Dust

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This is the column that almost wuzn’t. Yesterday, Dec. 15, was what I called a “150-day.” By that I mean the temperature rose to 75 degrees and the wind blew 75 miles per hour — both highly unusual for mid-December. I know I’ve never seen it before.

Around 4 p.m. what I called a “mini-derecho” blew through here and all of eastern Kansas for about an hour. While we didn’t get too much wind damage here at Damphewmore Acres, the bottom line wuz the electricity went off around 5 p.m. and stayed off until about 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

I thought for awhile that it wuz gonna be — no electricity plus no computer plus no email service equals no column for the week. But, thanks to the overnight hardwork by the electric co-op line repair persons, I’ve now got everything I need to complete this column.
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Does your gut get tight, like mine does, everytime you see an ad or hear anything or read anything about “fake meat” burgers. In my mind, there ain’t no such thing as “fake meat.” There’s only “real” meat and a concoction of goop, gunk, and chemicals that don’t come close to the flavor and/or nutritional value of “real” meat.

I invite you to Google to find the ingredients of so-called “fake” meat, advertised widely, and decide for yourself what might be best for you to eat.

Here’s what the Google search revealed for fake meat ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, natural flavor, maltodextrin, yeast extract, salt, sunflower oil, vegetable glycerin, dried yeast, gum arabic, citrus extract, ascorbic acid, beet juice extract, acetic acid, and modified food starch.

And, from Women’s Health Magazine: the fake meat ingredients also include: rice protein, natural flavors, cocoa butter, mung bean protein, apple extract, pomegranate extract, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, sunflower lecithin, beet juice extract.

The protein in this new formulation comes from peas, mung beans, and brown rice— a protein claimed to have all nine essential amino acids. Cocoa butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil provide the fats. The cocoa butter and coconut oil, specifically, are claimed to equal beef marbling and provide a satisfying pan sizzle. If you’re curious about that beet juice extract? It’s there to mimic the bloodiness of beef.

If the above unappetizing mess sounds like a favorable gustatorial experience (eating), help yourself. As for me, I’ll stick to the real thing — actual beef — as my burger preference. It’s either “Yum! Yum!” or “Yuk! Gag! Retch!” You pick.
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The yo-yo weather of the past two weeks, finally caught up with me. I came down with a doozy of a head cold. It took a week to “blow out and dry out” my sinuses, but I’m feeling fine again. I’ve been lucky. I didn’t have a cold all last year.
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My cuz and his wife from Springfield, Mo., have carried on his family’s tradition of geneology into our family history. A couple of weeks ago, they came for a weekend visit and brought with them a laptop computer and a thick notebook of family geneology and history. Plus, they brought an actual box of real family artifacts.

It wuz a fun time and I learned a lot about my maternal grandpa. He and his little brother had a tough childhood. So tough, in fact, that while they were both elementary school age, they ran away from a stepmother in Kansas City and WALKED from KC to Omaha, Neb., to live with other kinfolks. That would have been in the early 1900s.

I also knew that grandpa and his little bro once rode a train from KC to distant kinfolks in Stillwater, Okla., with no cash at all — just an Odd Fellows Lodge ring around Grandpa’s neck that he showed the train porters. Those kindly porters — assuredly black men in those days — saw to it that those two kids got fed and kept on the right train through Joplin, Tulsa, and all the way to Stillwater.

Cuz brought an old photo album and we got to keep a number of historic family photos from it. In the box of artifacts, there wuz a collection of arrowheads and a collection of string ties
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An the wildlife front, I tried to smoke 30 small scaled bluegill and crappie. It wuz mixed results. They were edible, but I think I smoked them too long and got them too hot — certainly not as tasty as I’d hoped.

As per usual, I bought a deer license this year and never killed a deer or sat in my blind. The weather wuz too hot and it wuz easier to not do anything.
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My heart goes out to all the folks in Arkansas, Kentucky, and elsewhere who lost their lives or loved ones and many of their material things in the tornados last week. Nevah and I stayed in Mayfield, Ky, on our way back from North Carolina last spring. It’s hard to envision that pleasant little city wiped off the map.

Words of wisdom for the week: Ever notice that animals never allow the dumbest or weakest or most timid among them to lead the pack. Only the strongest, bravest, and smartest get the leadership nod.

Have a good ‘un — especially a Merry Christmas!

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