Like Erma said: ‘If I had my life to live over again’

Thursday, November 7, 2019
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Cooking in the West

I turned sixty this week, so I thought I would try to write something astute to honor the milestone, but everything I wrote seemed rather cheesy. I have always been flattered when readers call me things like “a cowgirl Erma Bombeck”, so I decided that no one said anything better than Erma, so I would just share her thoughts. It is wrongly reported that she wrote this essay when she found she was dying of cancer, but that was not really the case. She wrote “If I Had My Life to Live Over Again” in 1979 at the age of 52, but she did not die until 1996 at the age of 69. In fact she died of complications of a kidney transplant and not breast cancer. She had battled kidney disease since the age of

20. I really believe that we need to live every day like we are dying, because really we face our mortality from the day we are born. Take it from Erma! “If I Had My Life to Live Over Again. . .” --by Erma Bombeck If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television…and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.” There would have been more “I love yous”… more “I’m sorrys” … more “I’m listenings” … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it. I love it when I find a beautifully handwritten recipe in my mailbox. A faithful reader who sends me great recipes in a wonderful flowing distinctive style every once in awhile is Ann Schenk of Roundup, Montana, who sent this recipe with the note, “Good time for this recipe!” Thanks for this recipe just in time for hunting season, Ann! Keep sending me those beautifully written recipes!

Ann’s Homemade Summer Sausage

2 lbs. ground meat (beef or wild game) 1/4 t. salt 1/4 t. pepper 1/4 t. garlic salt 2 T. Tender Quick 1/4 t. onion powder 2 T. mustard seeds Mix well. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Form into rolls approximately 8 inches long by 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in foil and poke about six holes in the foil with a fork. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours. Slice when cool. Quick n Easy Burger Casserole 2 lb. ground beef medium onion, minced 6 C. Rice Krispies cereal 2 cans Chicken with Rice soup 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup Mix all ingredients in a 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Applesauce Cookies

1 C. sugar 1 C. butter 1 egg 1 C. thick applesauce 2 heaping C. flour 1 t. baking powder 1 t. soda 1 t. cloves 1 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. salt 1/2 C. nuts 1 C. chopped dates or raisins 1/2 t. allspice Cream butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.

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