Getting ready for cruising, skipping the crash diet

By Shirley Prihoda

The Bulletin


The consensus from both friend and foe alike was that I lack the motivation to lose weight. That needed to change, as I began trying on clothes for my latest cruise.


I quickly called my Keto and Weight Watcher friends and asked how I could lose 30 pounds in 5 days. When the laughing subsided, both said, “basically, if it tastes good, spit it out.”


My mantra up to this point had been, “No one is lonely eating spaghetti.” That mantra didn’t work for every situation. Sometimes the situation called for the big gun, “life is too short to be thin!”


As I whined into the phone quite effectively, I thought that I had been cursed with heavy bones. Therefore, I was a victim. To which my more learned friend said, quite dryly, “can one be a victim if they lit the match themselves?”


I folded like a cheap tent in a thunderstorm. Truth does that. It’s not always easy to swallow; healthy things usually aren’t, either. Since my friends weren’t buying the “big bone” theory, it was time for a little self-reflection, which I’ve found to be a lot like curry, or Brylcreem’s “a little dab will do ya.” Therefore, I approached it slowly. I realized self-reflection was going to be harder than I had anticipated since food was my drug of choice, only slightly ahead of shopping.


A couple of days passed, and my friends called to check my progress. I told them I was still weighing the benefits of both diet plans. They had the nerve to say that I was wasting time. More calmly than I felt, I asked, “if one is enjoying wasting time, is it really wasted?” They hung up with the retort, “that we will talk about this later, endlessly!”


The following day was Monday, and everyone knows you can only begin a diet on Monday. By Tuesday morning, I had discovered that it was much easier to observe diets in theory than to apply in practice. It seemed to me that a quick trip for a barbecue sandwich was called for.

And indeed, that first bite was heavenly. It was the second bite when things took a turn for the worse. My friends walked in. The learned one, said, “well, don’t we look pretty.” Choking on a mouthful of barbecue, I asked if she had just complimented me. “Not on purpose,” she replied.


Standing there in their size 2 and size 4 glory, I looked at them with more than a note of jealousy; it was more like a symphony. “Not everyone can be tinsel, some of us have to be the tree,” I told them. They ordered celery sticks and lime water and sat down at my table. I got it. They were trying to shame me. I bit into my chopped beef sandwich and chewed each bite 50 times - just like the nutritionists recommend.


Periodically, I allowed a little sauce to grace the sides of my mouth and wiped it away slowly as they watched.


Then I went home and sorted my clothes into two piles. The ones that fit went easily into a carry-on. The remaining pile, albeit theatrical, was left to await a cinematic production that would rival Cecil B. DeMill or Steven Spielberg, depending upon one’s age.


The sweetest widow, Marsha, lives across the street from me. She graciously accepts my gifts from the oven and made my day last week when I took her these biscuits. The phone rang within minutes and gave me my highest praise to date saying the biscuits were better than her mom’s or grandmother's. You can’t top that!


Marsha’s Biscuits

2 Cups self-rising Flour

½ Stick of frozen Butter

1 ½ to 2 Cups Bulgarian Buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

3 Tablespoons Butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425°. Pour the vegetable oil into a cast-iron skillet and turn the pan to spread the oil.

Place the flour in a large bowl. Shred the frozen butter into the flour. Toss the butter and flour to distribute evenly. Pour 1 ½ cups buttermilk over the flour mixture. Slightly stir the mixture with a fork. If there are still dry particles of flour, add a little more buttermilk until the flour is moistened. Spread ½ cup flour on the countertop and turn the biscuit dough out onto the floured surface. Toss the dough over several times until it is covered in flour. Pat the dough into a round 1 inch thick.

Cut the biscuits with a 3-inch floured biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits tightly against each other in the skillet. Reroll any leftover dough. Brush the tops of the biscuits liberally with the melted butter.

Cook for 17 minutes, then place under the broiler until the tops are a soft golden brown. Invert on a cloth.


(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)