Bena Mae's Kitchen: Doomsday Watchers
I take a quick glance at the Doomsday Preppers on TV with a jaded and quizzical eye. They’re nuts, I say to myself. How long will tons of pork-and-beans and algae and seaweed keep you alive in the event of the world coming to an end? And on who will you be using all that ammunition you’ve stockpiled in the case of an assault by Lord knows who when the Apocalypse arrives?
I prefer to believe the scientists when they say the earth will die when the sun uses up all its energy. And who knows how many millenniums away that will be. I’m just saying.....
Still, on Friday the 21st of December, skeptic that I am when it comes to the Mayan or any other calendar that predicts the end of the world -- and after listening to all the hype about it on TV the week before -- I was a little antsy on the day of the 20th. What if? I asked myself, knowing that It was a silly thought. When I picked up the dust cloth to wipe a week’s dust off the dining room table, I discarded the thought and left the dusting to another day. Why bother if... I told myself, throwing logic to the wind.
I tell myself I’m not superstitious, but take a little leeway when it comes to stepping on a crack in the sidewalk -- drive a block to avoid crossing the path of a black cat -- or stepping lightly on Friday the 13th. Simple logic, I tell myself. Everybody has a little superstitious bone in their body -- admit it. Beliefs that are instilled in you from childhood stay with you forever. I have many of them and they may or may not have shaped or warped my psyche, who is to say.
As it happened, the Mayan calendar was wrong -- most Mayans didn’t believe it, anyway - -and we’re still here. And those who needlessly prepared themselves for it can go on building concrete shelters and storing up food and waiting for the big bang. I guess it provides television entertainment for some.
I found this story I used at a roast my church gave to our departing preacher a while ago that gives a funny slant to the above subject. Hope you enjoy it.
One day Don (the preacher’s name) was driving out in the country when he came upon a farmer working in his field. Being concerned about the farmer’s soul, Don asked the man, “Are you laboring in the vineyard of the Lord, my good man?”
Not even looking up, the farmer replied, “Naw, this is silver queen corn.”
“You don’t understand,” Don said. “Are you a Christian?”
With the same amount of interest as his previous answer, the farmer said, “Nope. You must be looking for Jim Christian. He lives a mile south of here.”
Don was determined and he tried again, asking the farmer, “Are you lost?”
“Naw, I’ve lived here all my life.”
“Are you prepared for the Resurrection?” Don asked in frustration.
This caught the farmer’s attention and he asked, “When’s it gonna be?
Thinking he had accomplished something, Don replied, “It could be today, tomorrow, or the next day.”
Taking a handkerchief from his back pocket and wiping his brow, the farmer remarked, “Well, don’t mention it to my wife. She don’t get out much and she’ll wanna go all three days.”
This recipe can be halved.
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (if potatoes are too thick)
1 jar bacon bits, or a half pound of bacon, fried and cut into bits, or cut into bits and fried
2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
canola oil to fry in
sour cream, if desired
3 green onions, sliced
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Scrub and pierce potatoes several times with a sharp knife. Bake potatoes at 350° for about an hour, or until potatoes give when squeezed gently with an oven-mitted hand.
When potatoes are done, cut in half and carefully scoop out insides,Set skins aside.
For the Twice Baked Potatoes in a Dish:
Place potato insides in a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix briefly to break potatoes down a little. Add cream cheese, sour cream, butter, chopped garlic, and about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon or so of pepper. Beat until thoroughly mixed, but don’t mix to the point of gumminess. If the mixture seems really thick, add up to 1/2 cup milk to smooth it out to the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread potato mixture into the prepared pan.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 325°.
Immediately after removing from oven, cover the top with 1 cup of cheese. Then sprinkle with about 2/3 of the bacon and sliced green onions, if desired. Allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes before serving. The heat from the potatoes will melt the cheese perfectly.
Makes about 9-10 servings.