Ways with recipes

There was a time when I did not know the secrets of the kitchen: Baked Alaskas would melt, potatoes would burn in my special triangularly wrapped foil and Ways with Peppers became a visit to the Chinese restaurant in town.

Yet I persevered: smelling melons in the fluorescence of the grocery, being unafraid to be frank with the butcher about my Frank-Bean Bake and spending my entire Saturday preparing the Sundae Bubble Crown.

Yesterday, while sneaking a martini and a special “pink heart” given to me by Dr. Jacobsen, I pondered how to make Spring Break really, really special for my husband, my children and my very, very, very close friend Susan. A week of exotic dinners, budget casseroles that rattle their cage and desserts that make my prince and princess shout, “Like crazy, like wow!” filled the bill.

Suddenly, I was surging with energy as I cleaned the entire four-bedroom split-level ranch house that I enjoy with my beautiful family. Hours later, I pushed aside the swelling sense of alienation and deep discomfiture. I tackled the grocery list. Crying jags aside, I was on my way to the grocery. The rest will be settled when my lovely children, husband and very, very, very close friend Susan cast their eyes up from the lovely spread and declare me “Unreal!”

-Jason G. Damron