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Take it slower this holiday season?

It started around 9 Monday morning when an e-mail reminded me that night was the annual Natchez Women’s Book Society Christmas party. Bring a dish to share, of course.

I’m thinking, “I have four things I want to attend this very day and take a tasty something.” Popularity, are you thinking? No. Involvement is the more accurate answer. But neither has to do with my little tale. The time simply slipped up on me after the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Please stay with me. Doing so might make you feel better about your very own occasional lack of organization.

Right now my kitchen fire alarm is going off, and I do not know how to disengage it. It’s only the smoke from the oven where two iron skillets are melting bacon fat, so I can re-season them after their unmitigated audacity to rust on me after only two years of non use.

Obviously, the dish I baked two weeks ago that spilled over started cooking again and caused a mighty gusto of smoke. I’m sure the alarm will stop on its own. Or the battery will die.

I’m already out of sequence. I hate when I do this.

So after I opened the e-mail, I hastened to the kitchen to retrieve my recipe tin and knocked over the shiny new jar of peanut butter, which promptly hit my foot and hurt just enough to cause profanity and a quick jig.

My goal is now to find recipes that I can make from items I have on hand to avoid getting dressed and driving to a store. I live alone; where are all those boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix? Other items are missing or molded as well, and I feel a disjointed nose coming on strong.

I decide to pull down the Pioneer mix to find a recipe. It was on top of the cabinet that I can’t reach so I commissioned a garden tool currently residing on the floor of the makeshift pantry and knocked down the container; its fall caused the top to sail off, leaving half a box of flour mix over my rain boots, a throw rug, my pajamas, slippers and a portion of my workspace.

After the cleanup, I dressed, not hurting myself or causing any damage and made a quick trip to the Dollar General. No Jiffy Mix, but I leave with other useful things — and only had to slide my card two times since I can’t see without — never mind.

On to the Dollar Tree. Out of Jiffy Mix. OK, I’ll make the Family Dollar on 61 North. They hid it. As I am leaving and sharing my frustration with a happy-looking patron, she led me right to it.

I’m back home now. In preparation to make batches and batches of broccoli cornbread, I must season my skillets, as I have mentioned.

I go to the fridge to get my little mason jar of bacon fat and pull out an identical jar I forgot I put evaporated milk in. In the struggle to dislodge the top, the milk spills all over the kitchen floor. Tis true.

But, folks, it wasn’t until the fire alarm went off that I was driven to the keyboard to share this little holiday tale, which does have a moral, by the way.

Plan ahead. And take your ADHD medication on time.

I enjoyed this visit. Merry Christmas!


Jack Kelly is a Natchez resident.