Real Cooking

?Hi, this is Cheryl. Keith, the kids and I are unable or unwilling to

come to the phone right now. If you leave your name, your number

what?s on your mind, we?ll get back to you. Thanks.?

That?s the message on our telephone?s answering machine. My

doesn?t like it…. He says it?s too long. When he calls and wants

leave a message, he doesn?t like to wait the 10 seconds that it

to play.

Yes, I?ve timed it.

He wants to change the message to something shorter, like, ?You?ve

reached the Josts. Leave a message.? Four seconds.

Yes, he?s timed it.

Shorter, to the point, very efficient. I think it?s dull.

At least with my version, people comment.

Some people have told me they think the message is great. They

the honesty of it.

My mother thinks the ?unwilling? part of my message is very rude.

says people shouldn?t be made to feel they are imposing on us by

calling our home.

I respond by saying that any telemarketer calling our house is

imposing on us and that I really don?t care if they know that I?m

?unwilling? to leave some task that I?m in the middle of to talk

them about whatever product they are trying to hawk.

Oh! Let me insert a story here. I was out to lunch with Melissa

Bartel last week and she was in a tizzy over the abundance of

telemarketers who had been calling her home.

?One night I had just had it with them!? she said with a laugh,

eyes growing big as she began her story. ?So, I decided to give

next one who called a dose of their own medicine.

?It wasn?t more than an hour when another call came in and when

salesperson on the other end of the line paused in her spiel, I

said ?Would you like to buy a Bosch mixer? I sell Bosch mixers
where I

work and they are the greatest. Let me tell you all about this

wonderful kitchen machine. No home should be without one!??

?What was the response?? I asked.

?Complete silence and then, ?I really don?t want to buy a mixer.?

Melissa continued with her story. ?When I heard that, I said,

your supervisor would like to buy a Bosch mixer. They can handle

dough or whip egg whites to perfection. Why don?t you ask your

supervisor if he or she would like one??

??I don?t think he wants to buy a mixer, either.?

?So, you don?t want to be pitched a sale over the phone for

that you?re not interested in?? Melissa asked. ?Am I getting

to you? Please, take me off any phone list that you might have and

don?t call again. Thank you.?

Since then, telemarketers have become somewhat of a target for

Melissa. She has now moved on to asking them if they know Jesus as

their Savior.

?Do you know Jesus? Are you washed in the blood??

She figures a little evangelism never hurt anyone.

Now, back to my answering machine. As I was saying, sometimes I am

just unwilling to come to the phone. I refuse to leave a hot meal

the table to take a phone call about some committee meeting that?s

date has been switched.

I?m also not willing to run out of the shower dripping wet to try

catch the phone so I can talk to Countryside Feed about an order

I know nothing about.

And when my husband and I are putting the kids to bed, we not only

the answering machine pick up the messages, we turn off the ringer

telephone as well.

It won?t be too many years down the road when our son and daughter

won?t want the bedtime ritual of Bible stories and ?Night,

don?t let the bedbugs bite!?

Who wants to hear from a tele-marketer when I can hear ?I love

from my child?

Over the past few months, I have adapted a whole new telephone

philosophy. I have come to think of the telephone as a

tool that I control?not one that controls me. I?ve learned that I

don?t have to rush to it every time it makes a noise. My husband

as relaxed about the phone as I have become. He still makes a mad

dash to pick up every time he hears it ring.

I guess he doesn?t want to miss any offers for magazine

or replacement windows.

Our friends and family have adjusted to my new phone attitude.

people just leave a message for me to call them back although my

has been known to stay on the phone saying, ?I know you?re there.

Pick up!?

She knows that most of the time when I?m home, I listen to the

messages as they come in. There?s a term for this

one?s calls.

If I had an assistant, that person would be doing this chore for

me?weeding out the distractions and placing the other caller?s

messages in order of importance. For now, I?ll just let the
machine do

the job.

But I like my brother-in-law?s method of reaching us the best. At

night, after we?ve turned the phone?s ringer off, sometimes we

Clyde?s voice coming from the back wing of the house where the

unit for our farm radios rests.

?Your phone?s turned off. Call me back.?

And we do. He isn?t selling anything.

* * *

If you?re like us, May is filled to the brim with activity. We
have so

many parties, receptions and recitals that I wonder if we?ll

My daughter took these favorite cookies to her piano recital last

Saturday, where we honored her dear piano teacher Marlene Fast,

has decided to retire from teaching due to her real estate

and her children?s many activities.

Thank you, Marlene. Meg will miss you.

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

21/2 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

48 Rolo candies


Beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add

ingredients. Stir in 1/2 cup of pecans. For each cookie, mold

one tablespoon of dough around a Rolo, covering completely. Roll

sugar and press one side of cookie into remaining pecans. Place,

side up on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for seven minutes at

Nuts may be omitted. Cookies may be drizzled with vanilla or

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