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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

I Could Think of Worse...

March 12, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Missed bits of it here and there, though, as I was picking up deflated balloons, wrapping paper and M&Ms scattered around the house during Saturday afternoon's birthday party. And what a party it was. The kids all have spring birthdays and this was the first and, oh, gosh. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I still find birthday parties both invigorating and mind-numbing. I always keep it simple, mind you, but there's an element of surprise I forget about and it often has to do with the weather.

This time around the melting snow and mud kept us all inside. When you have a large number of happy, hollering kids contained for two hours, open a window or two. Something I didn't give a thought to until the kids began to leave, and one of the mothers commented on how hot the house was. "We had a great time, Mom," her son told her. "Can I stay longer?" She told him no, and asked me what we'd done at home that had been such fun. Well, I said, We played "Twister" to get things going and "Bingo" to slow them down, and opened gifts and had cake and ice cream and that was about it.

Seems the kids played "Truth or Dare" awhile, but I kept that to myself. "And you didn't even leave the house. Amazing," she said. Nah. Not amazing. See, when they were real young, I was too dang tired to take them to Wally World. When I got my energy back, we were too broke to rent ponies or clowns or those big bubble things you jump in. And now they're nearing the age when parties won't be such a big deal. They'll want cash and the car keys, I imagine. Until then, birthday parties will remain the simple affairs they were meant to be: friends for a few hours, games, cake, ice cream, gifts. You don't need to hire anyone or rent anything for kids to have fun at a party. You don't need those things that unfold when you blow into them, and not everything has to match. In fact, nothing has to match. Just give 'em a handful of balloons to blow up and they're good to go. Tell stories. Make a cake for each kid and let 'em frost away. Go around the table and have everyone say what they like about the birthday person (it can get rather sentimental, so be warned). Or just let them go up into their room and talk. Or have a sing-a-long.

Seems the world gets carried away with things sometimes. Weddings have gotten out of hand. So have billboards and landscaping and hair dye. Come on, people. I've never considered myself old fashioned, but maybe I am. I could think of worse things.


Breads
Here's a simple recipe. A bit old fashioned, I'd say, but there's nothing in the world like fried bread.

Thaw a loaf of frozen bread dough in the fridge until it's double in size. I usually thaw two just to be sure.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or pot on the stove. Lard was the original idea, but any hot oil will do. Pull dough apart into pieces ranging from golf ball to tangerine size, and drop two or three into the hot oil. Fry until brown on one side, then turn and fry the other side. Remove and let rest on several layers of paper towel on a platter. Break fried bread open with a fork, fill opening with butter, and pour maple syrup over. Serve with sausage and scrambled eggs. Or serve as dessert with a bit of whipped cream.

For variety, you might roll the breads in cinnamon sugar, or — as my father did — substitute bacon grease for the butter.

Enjoy!

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