Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

November 21, 2012

Cuts here, there and everywhere ...

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — When we recently expressed our thoughts about Otsego County cuts at the Office for the Aging, we were encouraged to attend the upcoming county budget hearing, which is scheduled to take place at the county courthouse at 6 p.m. Nov. 28. And even though attending the hearing presents certain logistical issues for us, we are ever hopeful that we will be able to be there. And we certainly would encourage anyone who is concerned about the budget the county is considering to also try to be there to express his or her point of view.

We, of course, remain concerned about the decision, which seems to be at this point inevitable, to cut the coordinator of health insurance information services at the Office for the Aging. And in response to our concerns which we shared with the chair of the county board, we learned that it is hoped that the service of helping people navigate the Medicare system can be provided by the remaining employees. Additionally, there is some thought that a group of volunteers, as well area college students, could offer assistance to those trying to figure out their health insurance needs.

And while we applaud such thinking, we must admit that we are very happy that we were able to work this year, as we entered the Medicare maze, with the current coordinator of health insurance information services, Dave Polley. We only hope that we learned enough from him to feel comfortable making necessary decisions regarding our health insurance needs for 2014 and beyond. Although we must admit we remain somewhat dubious about our success.

And while it does not rise, at least from our perspective, to the issues facing the county, we were also somewhat dumbfounded by the news that the Twinkie is seemingly doomed as we have long known it. We hasten to point out that we do not actually eat Twinkies or any of the other Hostess products for that matter. But we do have very fond memories of Twinkies from our days of assisting with dramatic productions at the University-Liggett School in Grosse Pointe, Mich.

For a production of “The Servant of Two Masters,” we were presented with the task of crafting a Trifle that could be consumed on stage without the benefit of utensils. Needless to say, there was no way we were going to make a real Trifle as it sounds way too much like cooking to us. Instead, we managed to use Twinkies covered with vanilla pudding which, although it was somewhat on the messy side, served fairly well and appeared to be greatly enjoyed by the young man who had to devour said Trifle.

Of course, as our career in preparing stage food progressed, the actors and actresses in the scene from “Charley’s Aunt” that required a lunch at which shrimp salad was served did not fare quite as well as our Trifle eater. We know the cast was looking forward to downing shrimp salad at performance after performance. Unfortunately for them, we crafted the “shrimp salad” out of shell macaroni and beets. From the audience it looked great. And we were absolutely amazed at how the cast managed to appear to be eating the salad with nary a morsel passing their lips. Fortunately, we believe that our days of making stage food are over. However, we will always have our fond memories of the Twinkie with its Trifling abilities.

Not long ago, as we were perusing our recent issue of Cooking Light, we came across an article which included a review of mid-priced ranges. And since we have a somewhat suspect stove, we thought we might glean some good tips about purchasing a new one. However, we quickly discovered that the mid-priced ranges reviewed cost anywhere from $1,699 to $2,599. Granted, we haven’t purchased a stove for 30 years, but we found the prices to be anything but middle of the road. Of course, what we had not realized immediately was that the article was discussing restaurant-style ranges, something we, who make Trifles from Twinkies, definitely do not need. In fact, we have completely given up the idea of replacing our stove until such time as said stove is completely dead. Goodness knows we want to get our money’s worth.

Besides, we do have a crockpot in which we have been known to prepare a number of foods. In fact, we had decided, since it did not appear that we were going to be partaking of a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner this year that we would purchase some turkey thighs and fix them in the crockpot. Imagine our surprise, however, when we asked at the grocery store if they had any turkey thighs as all we found on the shelves were whole turkeys, turkey necks and ground turkey. Alas, we were told they did not sell turkey thighs. And, to add insult to injury, we already had our box of turkey Stove Top Stuffing. Yet without the turkey thighs another option was cut from our already limited repertoire of recipes.

Nonetheless, we do hope that the Thanksgiving holiday, with or without turkey, proves to be a time of relaxation for family and friends before the complete madness of the upcoming holiday season kicks into full gear with all of its attendant activities. As usual we will try, in the name of sanity, to keep various aspects, such as holiday shopping, to a minimum, something we are able to do by simply making a donation to the Cooperstown Food Pantry in the name of everyone on our list. Doing so works for us. And we hope it also works for everyone on our list as well as for the Cooperstown Food Pantry.

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