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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Closet Gourmet...

Closet Gourmet

My adult daughter has taken over the kitchen at my house. I donít know why, - unless she was tired of eating frozen dinners. Actually, I was getting a bit tired of them myself, so I didnít object too much, though I was secretly a bit worried about what sort of dinners she might cook.

Day one: Beef stew and biscuit. Right, I thought, it probably will taste like dog food and kibble. Amazingly, it was pretty good. We lapped it down without asking many questions and waited for the second day.

Day two: Turkey and dressing. Turkey and it isnít even Thanksgiving? She must have spent all day doing this. Well, I have to work and donít have time for roasting turkeys and tossing bread cubes. We ate it up and praised her cooking skills.

Day three: Chicken and dumplings. Ugh! I remember how my mother made dumplings, all soggy and gooey. Thatís why I never bother with them. But these dumplings were light, fluffy and delicious. This kid can cook I decided, wondering where she got the recipe. Not from her grandma, thatís for sure.

Day four: Southwest chili and cornbread. This canít possibly be good, I figured. How would she know how to make chili? Thatís a specialty item. Where is she getting all the groceries, anyhow? I was starting to suspect that she was harboring a chef, hiding him in the attic and bringing him out
only during the day while I was working.

Day five: Chicken Casserole. Tender cubes of chicken, lightly floating in a creamy sauce with a medley of vegetables and a crumb topping. This canít go on. If I didnít recognize my own casserole dish, I would swear that she was sneaking in food from a restaurant. But as long as Iím not buying, I might as well eat and enjoy.

Day six. Okay, today is the day I find out whatís going on around here. Iím green with envy at the culinary delights that have been parading through my kitchen. But she made spaghetti today. Pretty much anyone can cook spaghetti with a simple meat sauce. Yes, it was good, but whatís going on during the days when Iím not at home?

Day seven: Sneaked into the kitchen at night with a flashlight. Opened the cabinet and discovered the secret at last. A row of red boxes cleverly called complete classic dinners. So thatís the secret! Cans of vegetables, sauces, envelopes of breadcrumbs and spices all packaged up in the same box.
They even include the meat! No slaving over the hot stove. No worrying about putting elusive ingredients together. Itís all packaged and ready to cook.

Well, thatís cheating! She didnít do any work at all!

So, am I going to let her know that Iíve been nosey and found out the secret to the delectable exhibition of cuisine? Heck, no! She might stop cooking. I sure donít want to go back to those tasteless frozen dinners or the long, tiring process of cooking a meal after a hard dayís work. Some things are best left alone. Besides, one of those boxes said, "Chicken Pot Pie". Thatís my favorite.

So, I set the table, offer to do the dishes, give her a gift certificate for groceries, buy her a new set of pots and throw in money for a new apron while sheís out shopping anyhow. Then I retire to my computer while mysterious clinking sounds come from the direction of the kitchen and delicious odors float down the hall.

What do I care where the food is coming from? The main thing is I donít have to cook it!

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss


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