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Two confirmed bachelors sat talking. Their conversation drifted from politics to cooking. "I got a cook book once," said the first, "but I could never do anything with it." "Too much fancy cooking in it, eh?" asked the second. "You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way - 'Take a clean dish and. . . .'"

WHILE I was working at a delicatessen in Sydney, Australia, a woman over heard my accent and asked if I was American. "Lovely!" she exclaimed when I told her that I was. "I've been looking for one of your lot. My son is living in the States with his American wife, and she sent me a recipe that calls for half & half. Could you tell me, luv, half of wot and half of wot?"

FOR years my mother economized in the kitchen, dishing up dozens of money saving ideas. One of her favorites was something she termed "sneaky milk," a half-and-half mixture of bottled homogenized and powdered skim milk. By mixing the concoction late in the evening, she kept her secret from all of us for years. Until, one night, my father caught her in the act. "What on earth are you doing?" he queried, eying the whole process suspiciously. "Mixing the milk, the way I do every night," replied my mother calmly. "Well," he fumed, "don't try to pass any of that stuff off on me, because I hate it and I can't tell the difference."

MY HUSBAND has no talent for cooking.  He has trouble with such simple tasks as peeling potatoes or slicing onions, even though he often insists on helping me in the kitchen.  Once he read a shopping list on which I had written "unhusked rice."  "Good lord," he sighed, "what a job that's going to be

MY HUSBAND, George, enjoys plain cooking.  One evening, just for variety, I prepared a fancy meat loaf.  Our boarder was delighted, and as he reached for a second helping he said, "Is the meat loaf ever good."   "Very seldom," was George's glum reply.

A FRIEND of mine liked to bake cookies ahead of time for the holiday season and store them in the freezer.  Her family always found them, and by Christmas not a crumb would be left.  One year she baked as usual, and then put all the cookies in special containers before freezing them.  This time not one cookie was touched.  She had labeled all the containers FOUR CUPS SLICED ZUCCHINI.

OUR 23-year-old son, Scott, who lives across the street from us, enjoys cooking. Once when I was entertaining friends, I found Scott chatting with several guests while he rummaged around in the kitchen cupboards looking for baking powder and baking soda.  He said he could also use a cup or two of flour.  He left, but returned looking sheepish and asked for two eggs and my loaf pan.  One of my guests asked what he was creating.  Scott announced, "My grandmother's banana bread."  "Do you have any bananas?" I asked innocently.  "Of course, Mom," he indignantly replied "How can I make banana bread without bananas?"

MY FRIEND had guests coming for dinner and was running behind schedule.  While out shopping for last-minute items, she decided to speed things up by calling home to have her 16-year-old son do some advance preparations.  "Wash the salad vegetables, set the table for ten and put 12 large potatoes in the oven to bake at 350 degrees."  As an after thought she added, "And make sure you stick each potato with a fork before you put them in to bake."  When she got home, she was pleased to find her son had followed her instructions exactly: vegetables washed, oven on, table set for ten - minus her red-plastic-handled forks, which were individually adorning each potato in the oven.

EVERY year for several years, I frantically baked a variety of goodies to enter in the baking exhibit at our agricultural fair.  During one marathon bake, my oldest son came in with a friend.  Upon spying the activity, he quipped: "Oh, boy, watch out!  Mom's having a nervous bakedown."

The Cookie Monster - True Story

My daughter & I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas & decided to have a small dessert. Because both of us are cookie lovers, we decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus cookie." It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and the waitress said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not." Well, I said, would you let me buy the recipe? With a cute smile, she said, "Yes," I asked how much, and she responded, "Only two fifty, it's a great deal!" I said with approval, just add it to my tab. Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00. I looked again and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said "Cookie Recipe - $250.00." I called Neiman's Accounting Dept., and told them the waitress said it was "two-fifty," which clearly does not mean 'two hundred and fifty dollars" by any *POSSIBLE* interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money, because according to them, "What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe — we absolutely will not refund your money at this point." I explained to her the criminal statutes which govern fraud in Texas, I threatened to refer them to the Better Business Bureau and the State's Attorney General for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, "Do what you want, it doesn't matter, and we're not refunding your money." I waited, thinking of how I could get even, or even try and get any of my money back. I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250.00 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every Cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus. . . for free. She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this." I said, "Well, you should have thought of that before you ripped me off," and slammed down the phone on her. So here it is!!! Please, please, please pass it on to everyone you can possibly think of. I paid $250 for this. . . I don't want Neiman-Marcus to *ever* get another penny off of this recipe. . . .

NEIMAN MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal ***
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

Have fun!!!  This is not a joke — this is a true story. Ride free, citizens!


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Last updated May 19, 2008 by Becquet's Custom Programming