EDNA’S KITCHEN STORIES                                                    It’s me, Edna Sanders. Welcome to Edna’s Kitchen. In honor of Valentine’s Day I want to tell you about the time my wonderful husband, Harold, did something to demonstrate his love for me. As a result of his efforts, my kitchen blender has become famous in our small Southern town of Shady Pines.  You see, my blender, Gertie, is always blowing her top. Maybe you’ve heard about this problem? No matter where I go in town, people like to tease me. They’ll say things like: “Hey Edna, I hear NASA is tracking that blender of yours across several galaxies.” “Chop, chop, Edna. That blender of yours is about to blow!” “Edna, has the Ford Motor Company called you yet about your blender? I hear they’re looking for ways to rev up the engines in their new cars!” Anyway, you get the drift. My blender has become a joke with lot of punch lines. And, I haven’t even made punch in it yet! So, I want to let you in on the secret behind my super-duper kitchen device. My dear husband, Harold, knows how I like to experiment with all sorts of new recipes. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I lose track of time. Oh, that’s another good story. I’ll tell you that one later. So, there I am stirring and adding a pinch of this and that, and I don’t realize how late it’s getting. Harold comes home from work thinking that I’m making dinner. But I was really making appetizers for a get-together the next day at the Community Center where I volunteer. Our dog, Boomerang was lying on the floor under the kitchen table, and our cat, Halley’s Comet, was snoozing on here window seat. They like to keep me company when I cook. “Hi Honey. What’s for dinner?” “Oh, Harold. You startled me.” “Sorry. Guess you couldn’t hear me over that noisy blender of yours.” “Be kind to Gertie. She may be getting on in years, but she can still get the job done.” “Why don’t you let me take that thing and give it a tune-up?” “Well, I will be busy at the Center tomorrow afternoon. I guess that’ll be all right.” “Sure. And here’s the best news. Once the ‘ole gal is back to running full force, you’ll be able to make more recipes in less time.” You know Harold’s intentions are well meaning. He likes to tinker with things down at his store. When you own Nuts ‘N Bolts hardware, that’s what you do. He left for work the next morning with Gertie tucked under one arm. I was a little anxious, but what can you say? Harold returned home that evening and proudly placed Gertie back on the kitchen counter. “Edna, it’s time for a test drive.” “I’ll just pull a few ingredients together and…” “No, no. Let’s make your chicken soup that I like so much. With the vegetables and everything.” “Are you sure?” “Absolutely.” So, Harold helped me chop and dice and pour. Now, for the moment of truth. I turned Gertie on low. She hummed. Wow. But Harold wanted me to see what, “this baby can really do.” The last thing I remember was Harold’s hand cranking the dial to Full Speed. In a split second, Gertie blew her lid and launched. You heard me. That blender came unplugged and flew off the counter tossing the contents of tonight’s dinner all over the place. Some part of her must have hit me because I was down. I could hear Boomer barking and Halley howling. I still can’t remember how Harold caught Gertie and turned her off. Harold helped me up, Halley hopped over me, and Boomer licked my face. All the while my industrious husband was saying something about “turbo-charging the engine” of the blender. I mumbled, “Oh, for crying in the soup.” And that’s how the legend of Gertie, my blender, was born. Surprisingly, Gertie survived her frantic flight. And since that night, I have found ways to better control her speed and power. Harold was right. The new, and improved Gertie has cut down on the time it takes me to whip something up. I must tell you there are still times, when, well, we have our little mis-adventures. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Gertie helps me create recipes for people to enjoy. Only, now, she’s able to do it in record time, due to Harold’s loving gesture. He was just trying to help make things easier for me. In Edna’s Kitchen kindness and caring are the best ingredients of all in the small Southern Town of Shady Pines!       *** Check out other fun activities this Valentine’s Day in our Pine Cone Corner Activity Packet HERE