Janelle's Blog

What’s For Dinner—Burned Chicken or Honey Smacks?

A sweltering 100+ degree day in July was not the time for our newly installed home air conditioner to register 80 degrees. During the four hour ordeal that the electrician worked on it, my husband, Neal, and I escaped outside to sit in the shade of the patio while grilling a whole chicken. Yes, you are looking at the result of my attempt at gourmet cooking on the grill.

This organic chicken was a fine specimen of chickenhood. In fact, its feet probably never touched the ground. I hand massaged it with chili rub seasoning and mounted it on a metal stand with its wings tucked behind it and its feet shifted forward to hold it in an upright position.

I have read cookbooks, watched online videos of cooking, and bought gadgets galore, even a digital remote thermometer. Yet, sometimes you can’t see the chicken for the feathers. I concentrated so much on seasoning and preparing the chicken, that I forgot to place a pan under the holder that had holes in the bottom. So, as soon as it started to drip on the grill, the bird went up in flames.

Neal said, “I smell something burning,” which was the melting of the digital thermometer cord. I lifted the grill lid, and there you have it, the most burned chicken known to man.
Livin’ the Good Life

“How about some Honey Smacks?” I said. The cereal was nearly as hard to come by as a good chicken. A few days earlier I was at the grocery store searching the aisles for cereal Neal requested. For as long as I can remember, there have never been more than two or three brands of cereal in our house at one time. That is because we never change cereals. I have eaten Raisin Bran for years. When the new, improved version of Two Scoops of Raisins came along, that hooked me for another few years.

Neal decided that since he liked Sugar Smacks as a child, it would be the perfect cereal for me to pick up. Have you ever searched the two-mile long cereal aisle for one cereal? He couldn’t remember the name of it. “It is puffy, has sugar in the name, and a bear on the box,” he said.

I discovered that the word “sugar” has been removed from all cereal boxes. The going word now is “honey,” which I’m sure is so much better for you. There are Honeycombs, Honey Crisp Medley, Bunches of Oats, Honey Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Corn Pops, and Honey Smacks. And, that is only halfway down the aisle. There was a rabbit, a bee, an elf, a parrot, Dora, and one box with a bear. I was exhausted trying to find the non-existent Sugar Smacks and figured out the name has been changed to Honey Smacks.

When Life Throws You a Curve

Food should not be this difficult. We sat in our cool den while Neal ate a bowl of Honey Smacks and I had my usual. It took me a few days before I worked up the nerve to cook another meal.

Don’t you find that you can prepare and try to make your life exactly like you want it, and you never see breast cancer coming? It can throw you off and make you wonder if you will ever have a normal life again. Maybe it is time to not take yourself so seriously and laugh over the burned chicken. In fact, have some Honey Smacks while you wait.

The epilogue to my cooking story is that I made some melt-in-your-mouth Key Lime Bars with Graham Cracker Crust last night. Maybe all of those cooking lessons paid off. I know Neal is smiling.

Thought for Today:

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”—Calvin Trillin

Live Life,


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