Having Your Cake and Eating it Too.Posted Monday, June 13, 2011, at 10:15 PM
When I was growing up, my mother made an oatmeal cake from scratch. It makes my mouth water just to think about it right now. She also made a Lazy Dazey topping that was even better than the cake.
With 5 kids and the countless cousins who visited in the summertime; an oatmeal cake would go pretty fast. It really annoyed my mother that we would pick off the topping first and then eat the cake, so by the time Dad was ready for his portion of dessert, the topping would be gone.
As Americans, we have had our cake and have eaten it too. Now the time has come for all of us to acknowledge that the topping is gone and all that is left of the cake is a few crumbs.
We have indulged in the concept that we can have it all for far too long. It isn't just our government that has overspent and lived beyond their means. We have too.
We are constantly are beguiled by instant credit and having new appliances or furniture. Your mail box is stuffed with invitations to the debt pool every day. They offer free miles, hotel stays and discounts.
We have believed the lie that our homes must be bigger and more elaborate. Our cars must be new and therefore maintenance free. Our vacations must be to exotic places and no expense should be spared for our weddings and honeymoons.
The party is over and we are looking at the debris and wondering if it was really worth it. The trash that has been left behind in the way of debt is nearly waist deep and can only be moved with a bulldozer.
The American Dream is not about acquiring material objects like huge homes or fancy cars, nor is it being someone important or a movie star.
The American Dream is the privilege of living in a free country that encourages enterprise and ingenuity. We as Americans have been blessed beyond measure.
Our disappointment in our elected officials is because they are still partying and denying us not only a slice of the cake, but the meat and potatoes too!
We are sitting below the table begging for crumbs while they are continuing to serve themselves heaping portions for their various interests and appetites.
The first question we need to ask ourselves and our government is what do we really need? A job to make a living, a roof over our head and food on the table. The dessert is the extra that comes as an occasional treat.
If you make a cake from scratch, the topping or frosting is listed last. You mix the ingredients for the cake first and then you move on to the icing.
Creating a budget should be as simple as making a cake. You know that the main ingredient is flour. Flour is a staple for almost everything that is consumed today.
In the old days we sifted the flour until it was very fine to make a cake that was lighter than air. Butter, eggs and sugar should come next and a pinch of salt, other spices and flavorings.
In some recipes, they are very specific as to how you should mix everything. They even recommend which type of cake pan works best for each type of cake.
As Americans we are the ingredients necessary for baking a cake; and the government is the cake pan. A pan is only used as a baking utensil that can withstand heat for cooking. WE DO NOT NEED THE CAKE PAN TO TELL US HOW TO MAKE A CAKE! We only need the pan to help us bake a cake.
In short, we have all had more than our share of cake at one time or another. There have been cake mixes that make the baking easier and faster, but not necessarily better. Sometimes we have peeked into the oven one time too many and the cake has fallen in the middle.
Regardless of who ruined the cake, we have to clean up the burned mess left in the pan. And it is the chief cook who must take responsibility for the failed cake.
You cannot double or triple a recipe without needing a bigger pan to bake the cake in. And you cannot substitute sugar, eggs or butter with some chemically altered goo and expect the same flavor.
And most of all, you only need one cook to follow the recipe and a couple helpers to find the ingredients for you. You only need one oven to cook the cake and only one or two pans to create your dessert.
For the past 50 years or so, we have been getting by on instant cake mixes or cakes bought straight from the bakery. Now, we are finding that the old way of following a recipe is just as easy and healthful as some instant gratification found in those time-saving measures.
A homemade Oatmeal Cake is not light and fluffy. It is very filling and tasty. The Lazy-Dazey Frosting is mouth-watering to say the least.
As Americans, we can still live the American Dream, with a simple recipe handed down by our forefathers in the constitution.
We must change our mindset and those of our representatives from thinking that we deserve the entire buffet, when it is the simple fare and the occasional dessert that will adequately sustain us through difficult economic times.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.