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Cookin’, Conversations & Iowa

As I See It

February 4, 2011
By John Sheda
TAMA NEWS-HERALD - Last June, your humble correspondent retired from the Mental Health Institute in Independence. My wife, Deb, was aprehensive about me retiring. Not sure why, but she was. Something to do with possibly being in the poorhouse in a very short while. Or was it that I would be in her way? Hmmmm. Well, needless to say, that never happened because she had prepared for new job after retirement.  House husband! “Now that your’re retired, dear, perhaps you can do this?” 

 I’m not going to bore you with the many, many, many jobs she forced, er, I mean hinted I could do, but the major one is that I am now the cook!!! Yepper, it’s my job to cook supper. Oh, I can hear your snickers and gafaws now, but it’s not true.....I can cook. I lived on my own for several years before gettin’ hitched. I can cook. And it’s now been eight months or so and I have a routine; hot dogs on Monday, hamburgers on Tuesday, leftovers on Wednesday, (remaining wieners and burgers)  chilli on Thursday and Friday is either potato soup or grilled cheese sandwiches. Deb gives me the weekend off. Whew!!

 They say it’s time for some menu changes. So I did! I put the chilli on Monday, the burgers on Friday and so on.  Didn’t work.  How in the world do you keep women happy????  My family actually wanted different food. Here’s where I need your help. 

 Please send me you favorite recipe. A family favorite.  Ok?  Folks, I’m serious. There has to be some great “Boheme” dishes out there. But there are several rules or helpful hints that need to be made. If you email or send me a family favorite of yours,  it really has to be simple. Not that I can’t read recipe instructions, but...........just keep it simple, ok? Secondly, please make it not be very difficult or hard to prepare. And finally, have your recipe be as easy for me to make as possible. 

 My second part of this column deals with those awkward moments we all have socializing with people. Especially people you don’t like. Or people you want to impress.  Or just people in general. I am a timid person. Kinda quiet, kinda shy. I guess you could call me an introvert. So here are a few conversation starters I have used that get quite a reaction: 


•What is one piece of advice you would pass along to someone else?

•What is the greatest lesson in life you learned from your parents?

•If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?

•If you wore a button with six words or less describing your outlook on life, what would your button say.

•For those who lived on a farm, what was the one chore you just hated to do?

•And finally, what is the one thing that has made your marriage to be so strong?

Now, finally, as long as you are going to send me your recipes, how about sharing with me what are several things you like about Iowa? In a couple of weeks, we will share everyone’s comments about what is great about Iowa. So I do need your input and my family needs your recipes........soon. I was thinking about writing a book entitled, “Fifty Ways to Make Hamburgers.” I just need to find about forty-nine or so other ways. Email me....please .............

Oh, one more thing.......The Steelers 36, the Packers 24 in the Superbowl. You heard it here first. 

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John Sheda



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