Whistling past the graveyard.


All that talk on the news yesterday about how eating beef and processed meats is bad for us made me hungry for a steak. My husband makes the best, grilled over charcoal, which happens to be the method most reviled in the report released by an adjunct of the World Health Organization.

In deference to the seriousness of the study, I sliced our thick beef filets in half, horizontally, Two thinner steaks became our entrées, and the rest went into the freezer for another day. Thyme in a planter on the deck continues to thrive, so I stripped leaves from several stems and sprinkled them over quartered mushrooms, sautéed in butter and olive oil with garlic. Baked two potatoes. Cooked a mess of spinach. Toasted some bread. Poured a cheap Cabernet out of a box that’s my new favorite table wine: CalNaturale from Paso Robles, California. Kroger sells it.


The national news outlets were all over this story. Eating a couple of pieces of bacon every day increases a person’s chances of developing cancer from 5% to 6%, the anchors and experts warned yesterday. Alert! Alert! I yawned. My odds of getting Alzheimer’s are 600% higher than yours, unless you, too, were born to parents who both contracted the disease that makes brains atrophy. Complications from it killed my mother, and my father suffers from it now. I have to choose not to give in to fear and panic every time I misplace a thing or word, which, at age 54, happens more often than it used to. Is this evidence of the natural aging process, or the first signs of neuronal withering? I don’t know that, but I do know this: I don’t have Alzheimer’s today, and I will not give this hellish disease one more moment of my life than I have to, if I have to. 


Butch and I sat down to a lovely Monday night meal, toasting each other with our cheap, good wine. All things in moderation, including moderation. We like making good memories at the dinner table, and fear is never welcome.

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