What I Learned This Week: #171

Monday, November 16 – Sunday, November 22

The Week in Technology: I thought I was looking at my sent email this week because my Mom’s email address was listed. But lo and behold, after 5 years of incubation and cajoling, she replied to one of my emails via email and not, as usual, with a phone call. Granted, she definitely used Google auto fill because my Mom has never said, “Awesome, thanks,” in her life. But it is a start. It brought tears to my eyes!

The Week in Friday Night During a Covid Spike Induced Curfew. During my post dinner walk a woman asked me for money for bus fare or a Milwaukee’s Best beer. I gave her 2 bucks for the bus but decided I wanted to buy her beer, too. We were in front of the mini grocery so why not? No M-beast in the cooler but I bought a 6 of Hudy and took one for myself as a night cap. Sadly, she didn’t know Hudy beer. Her quote was “What is this?” She probably thought I bought her some high end craft beer. If all you drink is beer from the Milwaukee’s best price range, craft beer sucks. No worries for her, though. Hudy is a fine beer in the Milwaukee’s best wheelhouse. Maybe my real good deed for the night is introducing her to a local classic.

The Week in Keepin’ it Simple: I wanted a no fuss dinner on Friday night, something fun like I would get if I was going out. (If I could…sigh). Not sure how I got to Cheeseburger PIzza recipes, but that’s where I landed and that’s what I did. I seasoned up some ground beef and cooked it in a skillet. When it was cooked, I drained it and stirred in some mustard. The oven was heating to 450 as I tore open a Boboli pizza crust. I don’t love these crusts, but they’ll do. The ground beef went on the crust (no sauce), followed by onions, tomatoes, and pickles. Then, I covered it all with American cheese. Into the oven it went. When it came out I drizzled ketchup over it. It looked ridiculous, and it was delicious. And fun. And fuss-less. Perfect Friday night dinner.

The Week in Comfort Food: Kroger got me this week by putting all the Chex cereal on sale and putting in on a big display telling me to make a batch of Chex Mix. My family used to make Chex Mix by the tub full. Back in the day, you had to make it yourself because it wasn’t available pre-packaged. Now that you can buy it, none of us have made it in over 20 years. There is nothing wrong with the packaged version, but the homemade version is an addictive delight.

I noted the recipe on the boxes I was purchasing, but knew I had another “original” version in my recipe collection. Sure enough, I’d cut a recipe off a box in the 1980’s. Chex Mix was created in the 1950’s and the original original recipe is quite simple, so simple in fact, that people started screwing around with it immediately, adding all kinds of flavors and textures. By the time I’d cut out a version, even the cooking method had been updated from baking to microwaving.

My family always went for the baked version and even though it’s not noted on the card, we always added pretzels and cayenne pepper. The reason that the home version is superior to the store version is because of the butter. Baking the mixture in the seasoned butter adds that rich cooked butter taste and mouth feel that the bagged stuff cannot duplicate. Having made the first batch in a long while and distributing it to my snacking family, I decided I better hurry back to Kroger and buy some more cereal while it’s still on sale. We are once again addicted!

The Week in Don’t Mention The War: On part of my walk into work one day this week I was at a pace with a woman walking her pure breed German Shepard. German Shepards are a breed that will look you directly in the eye and hold your gaze, which she did each time we came to a stop at crosswalk. As a single person who is getting zero personal feedback during Covid, it’s nice to get a very direct message, even if it’s from another species: “Lady, I am taking none of your shit today.” #Iwillbehavemyself

The Week in Covid Confinement Part Deux: I’m giving in to the drama. Here are two peanuts performing Waiting for Godot. #pandemicwin

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