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--> Sausage Casserole, 01-22-00  Recipe du Jour
 Jan 22, 2000 09:48 PST 

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Volume 3      Number 19
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RECIPE DU JOUR
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It's plain and simple week at Recipe du Jour


SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 (4 oz) pkg (2 envelopes) chicken noodle soup mix
1/2 cup uncooked regular rice
4-1/2 cups water
1 (4 oz) pkg slivered almonds (optional)

Brown onion and sausage in a large skillet, stirring to crumble sausage;
drain. Add soup mix, rice, water, and almonds, if desired; mix well, and
simmer 7 minutes. Spoon into a greased 2-1/2-quart casserole; bake at 400
degrees F. for 30 minutes. Yield: 5 to 6 servings.

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AT THE MIDDLE PASSAGE

By Walter Mills



   Those Years When We Chose Our Faces

     I don't remember any of their names anymore, the guys I worked with
loading trucks in those long ago heat-stroke days in South Florida when I
was 19 or 20. But I remember their faces and shapes, the sound of their
voices, how they moved, what they talked about.
     I remember the long conveyer in the United Parcel Service warehouse in
Hialeah, a hundred yards of moving belt with the small in-town trucks at one
end and the big trailers far down the line in the distant shadows.
On my first day on the job I was sent to the trailers to stack boxes.
It was a brutally efficient way to weed out those who weren't going to last.
The trailers sat out in the burning sun all day, and by 5 o'clock their
empty interiors were more than 100 degrees and the air inside was baked and
breathless.
     I started sweating as soon as I walked into the truck, and by the end
of the three-hour shift my hair was wet and my tennis shoes squeaked as I
walked to the water cooler and drank cup after cup of cold water. I sat
down on the edge of the conveyor and my muscles trembled with fatigue.
Nobody made fun of me; they had all been through it.
     But the next day was better and, after a couple of weeks, I came to
enjoy the rhythm of the work, and the strange, truncated conversations we
would carry on as we moved back and forth to the conveyor belt.
       We were like those guys in the old war movies, each one a totally
different type, thrown together by happenstance. There was "the scrounger",
the guy who knew where to get anything, and would get it at a discount;
"the Texan", a giant who could drink a case of beer at a sitting, and
usually did; "the hippie" who wore his shoulder-length hair hidden inside
a soft cloth hat so he wouldn't be told to cut it. We played grab the hat
to watch his hair flop down his back and see how angry he could get.
     Oddest of our group was the ex-Marine who had been badly wounded during
his second tour of Vietnam and kept a trunk full of loaded weapons under his
bed. He was so crazy jealous of his beautiful young wife that sometimes he
would stand at the window of their apartment overlooking the pool below,
aiming his rifle at any guy who talked to her while he imagined pulling the
trigger.
      He and I were schoolmates and often hung out between classes together,
talking about his history courses and how with a degree he could go back in
the Marines as an officer. Now his name comes back to me, but I won't say
it. When his wife finally ran off with another man, he quit school and
rejoined the Marine Corp as an enlisted man.
     How is it I see their faces so clearly when so many others down through
the years are forgotten? I see "the judo guy" leaping into the air and
clicking his heels. The 19-year-old mountain climber and sky diver who
looked like a skinny farm boy.
     "There will be time," Prufrock says in T.S. Eliot's great poem, "to
prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." Maybe those are the years
when we choose our faces and form the armor of our character.
      At childhood's end we are still putting on the mask of the adult we
want to become. I remember those young men when their faces were newly
created and their barely used personalities seemed sharp and distinct.
     We each grabbed a mask as quickly as we could, as though the supply of
them might run out. After the confusion of our adolescence, any stable
identity was an improvement.
Did we grab the mask that suited us, I wonder? I seem to still be wearing
the one I took, the last one left. Who else would want it, the Cyrano mask
with the ridiculous nose and the white plume?



(The above column originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times and is
copyright © 2000 by Walter Mills. All rights reserved worldwide. To contact
Walt, address your emails to wmi-@vicon.net)

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Do you remember?


THE MIGHTY QUINN (QUINN THE ESKIMO)
Manfred Mann
words and music by Bob Dylan


Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

Everybody's building ships and boats
Some are building monuments, others are jotting down notes
Everybody's in despair, every girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here
Everybody's gonna jump for joy

Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

I like to go just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet
But jumping queues and makin' haste, just ain't my cup of meat
Everyone's beneath the trees, feedin' pigeons on a limb
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here
All the pigeons gonna run to him

Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

Let me do what I wanna do, I can't decide 'em all
Just tell me where to put 'em and I'll tell you who to call
Nobody can get no sleep, there's someone on everyone's toes
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here
Everybody's gonna wanna doze

Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn
Come all without, come all within
You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn

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