Folks love to cook, share over holidays

Written by Dorothy Swart Fleshman January 06, 2012 08:48 pm

I took care of my New Year’s 2012 resolution last year.

I understood that everyone was supposed to go on a diet after the holidays.

I was also under the impression that it had to do with a New Year’s resolution, so I took care of mine early.

Considering that I had been blessed and had just consumed delicious meals and goodies offered by relatives and friends during the months of November and December, including a Dec. 26th Arnoldus laden table, and, with New Year’s rapidly approaching, I decided that I should be prudent and follow the custom of dieting.

Since my refrigerator was still stocked with leftovers of every kind, I realized that I am not one to waste food.

Therefore, two days after Christmas, I chose to go on a one-day diet. That should suffice to calm the guilt instilled in each of us at birth and still allow me to make good use of my food stores into the new year.

I hate to see things go to waste, especially food ... or do you spell that “waist”?

Anyway, I followed friend Kay's leanings at lunch when she ordered a half-chef salad and no ice cream, a sacrifice unto itself, after we had slaved at the library archives with Sandi for two hours previous. I ate a quarter of my salad and took the rest home along with a quarter of a sub sandwich. Having had proper cereal, slices from one-third of a banana, and no-fat milk, for breakfast, I felt I was making a grand start.

At home for the evening, I eyed the two boxes of unopened Christmas gift chocolates from Swarts and Hudsons, but held firm to my resolve.

Then friend and neighbor Carol came to my door with a plate of home-baked yeast cinnamon rolls, circled and frosted. I immediately pinpointed them for an appropriate hour of pleasure promptly upon her retreat. The Hays’ plate was already emptied except for two pieces of fudge. I ate only one, holding the other in reserve, feeling very proud of my ability to refrain.

When I opened my refrigerator filled with celebration dinner leftovers from my Baker cousins, I almost panicked at the sight of pork roast and ham slices, dressing, hot rolls, cookies, apple pie and candy, with added chef-salad, a quarter of a Sub sandwich, a slice of pizza, peach pie and a bowl of left-over vegetable soup.

I carefully removed the bowl of soup to the microwave knowing it was the oldest of the offerings and must be used-up or thrown out. Of course, of necessity, I chose the soup and a glass of fat-free milk. Then I put a mandarin orange on my tray along with a small handful of snackers, and sat down to eat while watching an old black and white movie of Humphrey Bogart and Joan Blondell. They didn’t eat anything in the movie, so my appetite was held in check. That is, except for the piece of peach pie with ice cream for dessert. After all, it was getting older by the minute.

Later I ate two candy kisses and then a couple pieces of hard tack Christmas candy. They were followed by one of Aunt Rosie’s sugar cookies.

As I saw my resolve beginning to crumble, I became a clock watcher. By 10 o’clock it would be too late to eat anything, I reasoned, so between 7 and 10 o’clock, I counted the minutes. When the hands moved past the 10 o’clock hour I knew I had it made. I had done quite well on my one-day diet, I figured.

Tomorrow would be a different story with so many choices of leftover foods that must be eaten to avoid being wasteful.

It reminded me of my July 17, 2009, Dory’s Diary #5, when I decided to diet with eight or nine varieties of chocolates on hand.

Ah, yes. I can survive a one-day diet once a year even when it requires great control and sacrifice. Having taken care of this duty at the end of last year Dec. 27, 2011, I am now free to browse the new year round.

Oh, here comes Ginny with a warm bowl of black-eyed peas, applesauce and a box of corn bread. I’ll have good luck all this year with my thanks. I love these folks who love to cook and share.

•••

I love to sit by my southeast window and watch the winter sun come up.

Its rays burst through the pane as though to warm my spirits if not my bones.

Streaks of clouds attempt to block its passage, sometimes more successfully than others, but I encourage the sun’s overcoming the aerial struggle, cheering silently when the sun triumphs.

In the meantime, there is always a squirrel or two to travel the wire from pole to pole, high-wire artists.

Sometimes one travels the space confidently from one pole to the other, running down the far pole fearlessly. Other times it is with fear and trepidation that it appears to start across, then retreats, changing its mind in its course of action.

By 10 a.m. the sun has crossed above and beyond the squirrels’ air lane and almost disappears behind the tall fir and pine trees, shunting its rays through the branches.

It’s loss is a clue that I should be up and about some busyness. Naughty trees to scold me so for dawdling.

Come again tomorrow, sunshine. I’ll wait for you — same time, same place until spring when you are higher in the sky and I am already up and about.


Veteran newspaperwoman Dorothy Swart Fleshman is a La Grande native. Reach her at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it