As I write this, it is January second and the temperature in Aitkin is an actual 28 degrees below zero. Where art thou “Global Warming”?
One of my Christmas gifts was a “Dragon” program for my computer. I’m sure you have seen the commercials for this amazing device that turns your spoken words into print — you know that commercial where the young kid is dictating his latest novel about Blackbeard the pirate, where he changes him from an evil pirate “with one eye and a hook for a hand” to an evil pirate “with no eyes and an eggbeater for a hand” before scaring himself so much he closes the program in a panic. I can identify.
I’m learning to work with my new Dragon program. It’s just like training a new puppy. I remember how long it took to get Tilly housebroken. I can just imagine how long this is going to take. I was going to write this article entirely by Dragon. It started out fairly well until I got to one of this issue’s authors, Yvonne Hanley, or “Eve on” as she is known in Dragonspeak. At that point I decided to take matters into my own hands, turned off the Dragon, and took manual command of the keyboard. I have no doubts that after I find the time to invest in training my Dragon it will be a fun and useful tool.
I was referencing Dr. Hanley for her fine clinical feature on proper dental care for cancer patients. Dr. Hanley has included a wonderful summary of “Oral Care During Cancer Treatment” that we can copy and have on hand in our offices for our own information and to hand out to our patients who are undergoing cancer treatment.
We are also blessed to have a fascinating study on the many surprising effects of tooth loss and the importance of having at least 20 teeth by our award winning prosthodontist Dr. Walter Warpeha Jr. . I hope that piques your curiosity.
Several people have asked me what has been going on in our little imaginary community of Lard Lake. Here’s the latest: Shorty and Milly Jacobson were finally able to sign on to the Affordable Care website. If it proves they actually will receive a policy, they are in great shape; if it all proves to be an illusion, they will only have to pay a penalty of one percent of their income to not receive health insurance. This will, of course, increase each year until the government is satisfied that all is fair.
In light of all this wonderful news it is truly time for a community celebration, Lard Lake Winterfest. We Lard Lakers look forward to this annual event to shake us out of the frigid doldrums and re-kindle in us the joy of our daily survival. The Winterfest kicks off with the “King and Queen of the Slush” pageant. The pageant is held in the Warren G. Harding Memorial Pavilion. The king and queen are chosen from the many elderly Lard Lake couples. The winning couple must have been married to each other for a minimum of 40 years or at least long enough that they start to resemble each other. Matching nose and ear hair coiffures are a big plus.
This year’s winners were Mavis and Ragnar Nisskkaninnanenn. They will spend the year representing Lard Lake at the many small town community festivals throughout the state, such as the Bulldog Lake Fishing Derby, the West Covina Quilt Festival, Mudpuppy Days in Starbuck, The Cuyuna Woodtick Races, and the ever popular Schnitzelfest in New Oberammergau.
One the highlights of the Winterfest is the Great Chili Cook-Off.
I love really hot chili. I made the mistake of entering my “Double Habanero, Ghost Pepper, Alaskan Moose Chili Revenge” a few years back and almost had my Lard Lake citizenship revoked. Unfortunately for me, the judges all hail from sturdy Finnish and Norwegian stock, going back many generations to the original settlers of Lard Lake. A good bowl of chili would be welcome on a frozen 20-below-zero night.
I hereby give you this year’s winning chili recipe:
Winter White Chili
By Thorvaldia Peterson Mattaallaamakki
2 pounds leftover Lutefisk, picked over
14 Swedish meatballs in white sauce
1 sweet pickled bell pepper (warning: spicy!)
¼ sweet Vidalia onion finely chopped
One dash of ground white Malabar pepper (be careful!)
Two cans of white Great Northern beans
One pint of heavy cream
Place all ingredients in a large crock pot and cook at low setting for not less than 14 hours. Serve with cole slaw and lime Jell-o and carrot salad. Lefse buttered and dusted with cinnamon sugar would be nice too. Enjoy!