A pair of Saturday night surprises

Contributing writerMarch 2, 2014 

The doorbell rang just as I collected leftovers for my regular Saturday night dinner. It’s a very efficient way to eat because I get my dinner and clean out the refrigerator at the same time. I’m actually recycling my food. I think they call that green cooking — unless that refers to the color of the food. It’s so economical that I imagine you’ll want to try it

Just heat up a no-stick frying pan and toss in a few onion slices. Then open the refrigerator door and throw into the pan whatever’s left in the refrigerator that can actually be identified and hasn’t changed color, odor or form.

For instance, this week it was Wednesday’s fried rice, Thursday’s meat loaf and a mysterious styrofoam box. This turned out to contain leftover Cobb Salad presented to me at a business meeting in lieu of fee for a speech. It’s best not to warm the box. It melts.

If after sauteing the ingredients for 10 minutes, you aren’t crazy about the results, and you won’t be, you can spread a glob of Thai pepper sauce over the whole thing. That makes everything unrecognizable, which was a plus in this case.

The leftovers make a tidy package for refuse pickup day on Monday.

And to think some folks say older people don’t eat properly. This meal has everything: vitamins, minerals, probably steroids, antibiotics and anti-coagulants. In fact, I pretty much attribute my excellent health to these creative meals. It’s not a bad dish. I call it Saturday Night Surprise. Tomorrow I can just call it garbage.

The doorbell rang persistently. How do unwelcome callers always know when you’re eating? Naturally, I know better than to open the door unless I know who’s out there, so I’ve developed a system. If I know who the people are, but am not too thrilled about it, I talk to them through the latched storm door. If I can’t identify them, I open the corner window near the door and shout to them over the ornamental bushes. This usually discourages uninvited guests.

The couple at the door were definitely bush people. I opened the window.

“I’m Pastor Ralph,” the man shouted. His pastoral garb consisted of a beige poplin jacket and what seemed to be a Florida Marlins cap. “I’m just walking around the neighborhood inviting people to my church.”

“Hello, Pastor Ralph,” I returned, “I’m Catholic Dorothy. I don’t think we have anything to talk about, but I’m happy to invite you to my church.”

We exchanged a couple of pointless semi-pleasantries before the Pastors Ralph got bored and gave up.

As I latched the window, I began to wonder if I’d handled the incident correctly. There has been a rash of burglaries in the surrounding communities in the past few months. What if these people meant to encourage my spiritual growth by relieving me of my earthly belongings? There was only one thing to do. I called my favorite hometown lawman, DuPont Police Chief Bob Sheehan.

Chief Sheehan said that my actions were appropriate. “But if they hadn’t left or if you didn’t feel comfortable, always call the police,” he said. “And always ask for identification.”

Since ministers don’t have to get permits to make calls, what sort of identification could I accept? “Well, you could have asked him to say ‘The Lord’s Prayer,’” said Chief Sheehan.

DuPont is rated at the very top of the list of safe cites in Washington, but the DuPont Police Department will try to make it even safer by starting a new program to be unveiled later this month. It’s called “See Something; Say Something,” similar to programs many communities locally and across the nation are using very successfully. It will rely on wide community involvement and volunteers.

During the conversation across the bush with Pastor Ralph and Mrs. Pastor, the subject of maturity somehow came up. The pastor commented that it was remarkable that at my place in life, my hair is still brown. I smiled prettily and edged a stray bottle of Miss Clairol under the couch where it wasn’t visible from the window. “It could be a miracle,” I speculated.

Fighting crime makes you hungry. It’s too bad there’s nothing to eat left in the refrigerator.

Dorothy Wilhelm is a professional speaker and writer. Follow Dorothy’s blog at itsnevertoolate.com. Contact her at P.O. Box 881, DuPont WA, 98327. Phone 800-548-9264, email Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com.

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