Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inner Voices

Chalk it up as being one of those things you do -- knowing it was a bad idea all the while -- and, yet, you do it because you can’t help yourself. It’s like that time years ago when I was a young impetuous lad watching an electrical storm from my parents’ front porch. Mesmerized, I leaned against a metal railing to get a better view of the storm, streaks of lightning turning night into day, thunder exploding like the big guns of a battleship. An inner voice told me that it would probably be a good idea to go inside, but another voice -- much louder and more persuasive -- said, “OOOOoooo look at the lightning! Let’s stay a little while longer and see what happens!”

A few minutes later lightning splintered a nearby oak tree; the metal railing I was leaning on absorbed some of the dispersed electrical energy and quite literally jolted me into clear thinking. I hurried inside thinking that Benjamin Franklin was a very lucky man!

Sometimes it pays to listen to that inner voice.  

Which begs the question: Okay, Dunlap, where was your inner voice two weeks ago when you used canned biscuits in a crock pot chicken and dumplings recipe? I had a feeling that my pal, fellow Frugal Poet, Susan Nelson Myers, would and did call me on taking such a non-frugal short cut. After all, as she mentioned in last week’s Well, I never! post, “Dumplings are biscuits...just smaller and formed by hand.” The only excuse I have for using canned biscuits is that up until I met Susan, the only biscuits I knew how to make were mayonnaise biscuits and I ain’t about to post that recipe here. Nope. That would be foolish. Why, that would set Susan off again... Wait-a-minute! Maybe I should post my mayonnaise biscuits recipe! It sure was fun seeing Susan’s dander up, watching her fingers flying wildly over her computer keyboard in response to my canned biscuits snafu.

What’s that you’re saying inner voice? Speak-up. I can’t hear you! ;-)

All joking aside, Susan is my friend. I am forever indebted to her and her family for their neighborly kindness shown to my daughter and me since we took-up residence in Poet’s Cottage. In fact, I will go so far as to say that there wouldn’t be a Frugal Poet blog had it not been for Susan’s willingness to teach me how to can jars of marinara sauce, fire-roasted salsa, tomato bisque soup and icicle pickles, frugally preserving vegetables grown in her father’s garden for the winter months ahead. And while the two of us sharing a kitchen can be quite comical at times, I do know how to hush-up and listen when Susan switches into teaching mode. Followers of this blog saw Susan in teaching mode last week. ;-)

Here’s a tasty little hamburger sauce I concocted recently. Use this sauce instead of mayonnaise and/or ketchup. I’ll credit the name of the sauce to Susan’s daughters Lindsay and Deedee Grummett, two brilliantly gifted ladies with quick minds and a delightful sense of humor.

Furtis Sauce

2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper vinegar (or use white vinegar with a dash or two of hot sauce)

Stir ingredients in a bowl until blended to a smooth consistency. My favorite go-to burger for this sauce is a cheeseburger topped with jalapeno peppers and onions, but a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and dill pickles will work with this sauce too.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with the following contemporary haiku I penned last year.

canning season --
an extra pinch of spice
in the pickle jar


  1. Just in time for cookout season . . . albeit a bit chilly this Sunday.

  2. Nothing like horseradish/mustard for your garlic and onion mashed potatoes!