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Milli Gilbaugh

Leave off the bacon

Food for Thought

I should think that doctors would be delighted that the price of bacon has risen so dramatically in recent months. Just think how much less bacon we’re eating, not to mention all that good bacon grease we’re not using to fry our fish and potatoes– even though grandma always told us that was best. Who knows– without all that bacon in our diets, we may be able to save a few cents a day on those meds we were taking to get rid of the cholesterol. I really missed those bacon and tomato sandwiches this summer, though.

Subliminal road-rage?

Food for Thought

I can’t help but wonder just how much the design of today’s cars influences the rising prominence of road-rage on our highways. One can’t help but see faces on oncoming cars, with the grille suggesting a toothy grin, and the headlights representing eyes. Some sports cars, with their sleek profiles have always brought to my mind the image of a predatory shark.

It’ll probably self-destruct

Food for Thought

I don’t think the pay-for-TV people need to work too hard to eliminate the competition of so-called “free” television. Judging from the direction it seems to be heading, it’s going to self-destruct within a few years. And we’ll all be stuck with cable and satellite, and then we will really be sorry.

The Food Wars: Honey, we’re not Italian

Food for Thought

For some reason, even though neither of us had a single drop of Italian blood in our veins, we have always eaten a lot of pasta and other Italian foods. The differences we had over that part of our food preferences seem to have been founded in his belief that all Italian foods should involve tomato sauce in some form or other.
My mother’s one and only Italian recipe produced a very basic spaghetti and meatballs, in a simple tomato sauce spiced up with onions, garlic, salt, pepper and (horror of horrors) chili powder.

More about cats and dogs

Food for Thought

Curiosity and research uncovered a number of interesting things about pet behavior. Some behavior is almost impossible to train out of your pet, even though it is ancestral and not necessarily relative to the lives of our family pets.

And don’t forget the pets

Food for Thought

We all know that it is not safe to leave a child in a car in hot weather, but many don’t realize that it is far more dangerous for a dog or a cat than for a human. A human can sweat, which helps cool the body. A dog has only a few sweat glands in the pads of his feet. He keeps cool in hot weather by panting. When your dog pants, he inhales fresh air through his nose. The nose contains a maze of moist surfaces that are cooled by evaporation. If the dog is in a hot car, the air he breathes in is not cool enough to do him much good.

Tragedy revisited

Food for Thought

This summer’s spate of child deaths resulting from being left in hot cars brings back memories of 2001, when a woman from Iowa left her young daughter in a hot car for several hours, forgetting that it had been her turn to drop her off at daycare before going to her job. The child died and Iowans were divided over the matter of blame. Should the woman be prosecuted for neglect, or should the event be deemed a tragic accident?

Nothing’s perfect

Food for Thought

Browsing through old cookbooks– really old cookbooks– I came across a recipe for chicken which began with these words, “Draw and singe the bird...” Today, I’d put that cookbook right back on the shelf and head for the supermarket.

The Abilene Principle

Food for Thought

The various proposals we’ve seen over the years for a new jail and an addition to the Johnson County Courthouse have been less than officials want and claim they need, yet more than voters and taxpayers want to support. That’s a good example of the Abilene Principle. We’ve all experienced the sort of compromise that ends in nobody getting what they wanted, but settling for what everybody could tolerate. Such compromise seems to be the essence of politics and the reason such undertakings, even when finally approved, are not sufficient to fill the need.

Misconstrued

Food for Thought

Many years ago, when my husband first opened an office in Iowa City, he furnished it as economically as possible with furnishings from a secondhand store. He found a nice wooden desk for his inner office, and some shelving. A set of heavy oak dining room chairs furnished the waiting room, and the walls had ample space for a number of my oil paintings– most of which were unframed but still looked better than bare walls.

Body parts

Food for Thought

For years, I’ve enjoyed reading and rereading my collection of Agatha Christie mystery stories. I’ve never bothered to count them, but they completely fill three 30-inch shelves in my bookcase, and it takes months to work my way through the entire collection. At the time they were written, mostly during the first half of the last century, they represented upper-class life in England fairly accurately. This was the world that Agatha Christie lived in and knew best. There were country manor houses with butlers, housemaids, valets and chauffeurs.

Gearing up for summer

Food for Thought

It was usually well past Memorial Day (and often after Independence Day) before I settled into the mind-set that nearly everybody else had enjoyed since the last day of school. By that, I mean that, as a child, it took me a while to change gears, to get out of my school-mode and into vacation-mode. I don’t know why I needed that transitional interval, but I still tend to pause, look around at my new circumstances and mentally switch gears before embarking on a new phase of my life.