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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

April Fool's Day Possibilities

March 31, 2008

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It's been warmer lately so I had all the windows open and my, oh, my, there's nothing like the first breeze of spring. Reminds me of possibility and gets me thinking all kinds of things. Like how this house could stand to shed a couple hundred pounds—of clothes that don't fit and cans of expired soup and the TV that quit sometime last fall and broken vases and such. And, being that my kids were with my mother in Owatonna for the weekend, and Mr. Sundberg—the last one hit by the flu—was sacked out in bed most of the last few days, I got busy filling bags and boxes and labeling them "Goodwill" and "Recycle" and "Dump." It was a good time, and by the time the show started up, the car was full and the house felt lighter and I was able to sit awhile and relax and think about all the other possible things.

Many of which I accomplished on Sunday. I unloaded all the bags and boxes from my car at their appropriate destinations. After Bible Study, of course, to which I brought a cinnamon cream cheese coffeecake to celebrate spring. I did a bit of grocery shopping and bought food for spring meals—salads and fruit and chicken for kabobs. No cream soups and no cornflakes to sprinkle on top of casseroles. I bought a gardenia at the florist and a paper for Mr. Sundberg, who waved to me from the porch in his bathrobe as I pulled into the garage.

Lo and behold, I hollered. You've returned! "There's a storm comin'," he said. "Supposed to get 10-12 inches. Maybe more. Hope you got bread and milk." Now, if you'd lived with this man for as long as I have, you'd know this time of year is full of possibilities for him, too. April Fool's Day possibilities. I remember the year he replaced the cereal in the MaltOMeal box with sugar, and the year he told me he won a free tattoo at Tattoo You as a door prize for a Lions' Club dinner. Then there was the year he told me Gandhi's last words were "Oh, crap" and I believed him and went around telling everyone at the church picnic. So when he announced a snowstorm, I smiled and said I like snow and it's the one big reason I live here.

Of course he was right there when the first flake fell on Monday morning, and he was there when the plow guy showed up Monday evening to clear out the driveway just as I slid a batch of cookies into the oven. At which point I finally said it: Well, you were right. A snowstorm it is. He smiled and asked me when was the last time I heard the words, "You're wonderful." Hmm, I said, it's been a while. "Well, Honey, I think you're wonderful." And then he kissed my forehead and went on up to bed. Won't be long before he thinks I'm Something Else. Once he sees the dog poop on the drivers' seat in his car. I picked it up at the Dollar Store. It's all shiny looking and was 70% off and it ought to get his blood moving, anyway. If only for a moment. One glorious moment on the first day of April.

When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out. This recipe also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing. Imagine that.

Baked Chicken Surprise

6-7 lb. chicken
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing
1 cup uncooked popcorn
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush chicken well with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn and a bit of butter. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.

Listen for the popping sounds. When the chicken's patootie blows the oven door open and the chicken flies across the room, it's done. Surprise! There you have it. And remember, there's no fool like an old fool.

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