I grew up in one of those Judeo-Christian homes that apparently strike terror in the hearts of the likes of Betty Friedan, Alan Grayson and Kathryn Joyce. My parents never had sex until they got married to each other. Theirs is an enduring...

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three Solutions to Everyday Problems

The first problem is grainy peanut butter yogurt. When mixed correctly, peanut butter yogurt is a delectable breakfast treat, smooth, light and airy, something like a mousse. It was an occasional requirement for breakfast growing up.

So, I am married, and can now prepare and serve peanut butter yogurt whenever and in whatever quantities I like, right?

It wasn't quite working out how I'd imagined. For some reason, my peanut butter yogurt was devoid of the magic I'd remembered, tasting something like yogurt, with peanut butter in it.

On a recent visit home, I encountered the real thing again, light, fluffy, wonderful, assuring me that the world hadn't changed- my recipe must have.

So after trial and error, I present to you the solution for a smooth, mousse-like peanut butter yogurt!

2 TB all natural creamy peanut butter
1 TB honey
1 C original plain yogurt

The solution used an original, whole milk yogurt. If I remember correctly, a fat-free plain yogurt works just as well, but after my experience, I wouldn't rely on my memory too heavily.

First, cream together the peanut butter and honey. Mix thoroughly, but there's no need to beat it until it stiffens. Add some of the yogurt, about 1/4 cup. Mix well. Mix in the rest of the yogurt all at once. Enjoy and be merry!

I had been dumping the yogurt into a bowl, spooning peanut butter into it, drizzling honey on top, and then trying to stir the whole thing together until well blended. That is what failed repeatedly.

The second problem to solve is transportation security. Transportation security has been an issue since the advent of transportation coincided closely with the birth of criminal behavior. Cain killed his brother Abel, and was immediately required to leave town.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and the difficulty of secure travel has birthed many amazing inventions and discoveries including the discovery of the western hemisphere, and the invention of the TSA.

Transportation security continues to be a problem, however, as sometimes inadequate attempts to weed out would-be terrorists, force inconvenience, shame, embarrassment and a gross intrusion of privacy to hundreds of thousands of would-not-be terrorists, who are now regarded "guilty until proven innocent", which is the exact antonym of the high regard for human rights that our country was founded on. The current process is especially detestable to the most vulnerable among us, those who society should go out of the way to cherish and protect: the disabled and the elderly. The wearer of a colostomy bag does not check out well through a back-scatter x-ray machine, and is then guaranteed an intrusive hands-on inspection, which can have devastating results.

Many people are not inclined to travel under these conditions at all, associating freedom of movement (a basic right) with subjection to procedures formerly reserved for those being booked in a maximum security prison.

The solution is for each airline to be responsible to take the security measures most satisfying to its customer base. Those who would choose to fly with optimum security could then choose to fly with the company that boards all of its passengers and cargo by way of an MRI. Those willing to deal with a measure of risk could choose the airline that uses the current practice of random body scans, punctuated by clinical pat-downs. Others could choose to fly with the airline that employs former jiu jitsu champions to accompany each flight and deal with any potential threats in route. Some may prefer to fly with the airline that allows them to carry their own concealed weapon for security. Passengers would be free to fly at any level of risk their budget will allow, provided that the airline provides adequate measures to protect non-passengers (people working in high rises, for instance, or driving on the freeway).

And the next problem is the nuisance of burning your eyes while cutting onions. I've read many suggestions of how to deal with this hazard, from peeling onions under running water (a small inconvenience), to rubbing hair in your eyes (better be sure there is no trace of onion on your fingers when you do this), but the one fail-safe method I've found for keeping my eyes comfortable when cutting onions is to wear contact lenses. Glasses will make the problem worse, but contacts, worn correctly and on a daily basis, are convenient, comfortable, and make an excellent shield against onion-based irritants. Anyone want to try a new eye color?

One more helpful tip: old carrots can still be consumed with relish after they've gotten soft and limp! I thought root vegetables could be stored in the refrigerator for months. Here's what to do to your soft carrots to make them palatable, even delicious. Peel the carrots and remove the ends. Splits the carrots in half lengthwise, and remove the bitter, woody, core section. Now the carrots can be refreshed by dunking them in ice water, or they can be steamed lightly (about 5 minutes) before being served.