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Is my stove jealous?


Beverly Wittler Columnist

  I tend to cook things in the microwave a lot more than in/on my black flat-top Amana. And sometimes, I use my 97 Maxima; for eggs (which I’d never eat as it takes an hour and thirty minutes) and last week, just for the heck of it, I fried some bacon on the dash. Laid my Oscar Meyer turkey slices on a big piece of aluminum foil in a shallow baking dish. Again it was over an hour but the finished product tasted great! Not as crunchy as what I get in the microwave, and no, I didn’t get sick from my weird experiment…but don’t try this at home.

  My latest cooking without a stove endeavor involved a Heater Meal I found on the reduced shelves at Publix.   Brought the first one with me to Southern Regional where Norman is recovering from a mild stroke, and prepared the chicken and pasta in his room.  Filled the little pouch with water, slid the packaged meal into the orange sack and waited twelve minutes. Uh, oh. Hot on the bottom but not on the top.  So I reversed the way the  black bowl sat inside the cooking bag and tried again. Two nurses had come in and were gazing in awe at the wisps of steam escaping from one end. I stirred, using the spoon that came with my Homestyle Chicken and Noo-dles in Gravy, then began the taste test. Actually it was very good, the little English peas and the yellow kernels of corn perfect; so were the noodles. The chicken was a tad dry, reminded me of the time I imitated my favorite Christmas movie and over-cooked the turkey.

  The meal was filling and I actually didn’t quite finish…a tad more calories and fat than the Healthy Choice and Publix salads I rely on for lunch and supper. Worth a shot and it got Norman’s interest; kept him focused on the steaming little orange box.

  When I was trying to get on with Doctors Without Borders, I read about meals they live off of while out in the jungle with no Georgia Power or Atlanta Gas available. Do they dine on Heater Meals? Don’t know, and never will. (I passed the written test for DWB but when I read the physical requirements, I knew I was out…you have to be able to lift half your body weight!)

  The nurses in Southern Regional’s third floor stroke rehab section are SO kind and thoughtful and do their best to keep their patients comfortable between therapy sessions. So, I stopped at Publix on my way to Old Dixie Highway this morning, picked up some Heater Meals and handed them over as I reached  rehab’s front desk; figured they could share the food one day when going to the cafeteria wasn’t in the plan. The three ladies were carefully studying the instructions as I headed to Norman’s room.

  One of them looked up though, told me Dr. Hernandez’s latest intervention seemed to be working and my other half was able to return to therapy. She showed me which hall to follow, gave me the room number and I was invited to take a seat while a sweet young lady tried to persuade his arm and hand to move.

  She then coaxed him into pushing an empty cup off their table.   I left them, headed back to his room to hang up the light weight sweat pants I’d found at Walgreens. I never thought I’d be buying clothes at a drugstore but the nurses said they were just perfect. As I passed the front desk, I saw…yep, a little puff of steam coming from an orange box. Wonder what’s next?

  Beverly Wittler has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She lives in McDonough with her husband.




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