After returning from my spontaneous road trip through the Panhandle-Plains region of West Texas and New Mexico, I hit the ground running facing tax preparation and participation in a third grade Science Fair project about the duration of gum holding its flavor. When I agreed to be a ‘Chewer’, it did not cross my mind as a non gum chewer that I’d be pitted against 16 of the most vile flavored gums I’d ever hope NOT to experience with the job of chewing till no flavor existed. After exerting admirable control over my gag reflex, I learned many of said gums last a loooooong time (of course with dessert gum flavors being the most valiant). I’d wave the white flag after 45 minutes finding my jaw popping with a TMJ refusal to chew anymore. I have successfully completed my role and walk away satisfied to have moved science along a bit for those under the height of 4 feet, noting a lasting personal impact with a newfound Pavlovian response to the gum aisle in the super market. Let’s just say I don’t see it as a ‘reward’.
A day promising ‘freezing rain’ prompted baking, something that seems a world away in the last month. I pulled out a vintage recipe box I purchased on eBay some time ago. It’s plain brown wood with sticker letters declaring ‘RECIPES’ on the top. I purchased it due to one of the photos showing a handwritten recipe for Vinegar Pie. Intrigue got the best of me. I’ve enjoyed gingerly poring through it, finding many newspaper cut out recipes so fragile they almost disintegrate in my hands. The 1930’s is prevalent in many places dating the heyday of box’s originator. I suspect her to be from the heartlands of our country as well.