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Bena Mae's Kitchen

America In Your Pocket


Laughter is the best medicine, but if you laugh with no reason, you need medicine.

 

Some say that laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they have yet to try medicine.

If laughter is the best medicine, then all it takes to cure your cold is a picture of me naked.


I was surprised when I read that Readers’ Digest was still in print. I haven’t seen one in so long I thought it went the way of many publications that hit the dirt several years ago. For years it was a staple in my home as well as in many homes in America. Small, easy to read, you could carry it in your purse or pocket. It contained many articles of interest to its wide audience. And you could find them everywhere, on the bus seat, in every doctor’s office. With captions like “Laughter is the Best Medicine, Life in these United States, Humor in Uniform,” plus many human interest stories, it was easy to pick up, read for a few minutes then lay it back down. And it was timeless, the stories and jokes were always fresh and entertaining.

From “Laughter, the Best Medicine,”  comes this sample of humor that was indicative of many of its  funny anecdotes.

Driving back from car-repair class, John said to his buddy, Joe, “I’m going to turn now. Could you stick your head out the window to see if the blinker’s working?” “Sure,” Joe replied as he peeked outside. “It is, no it isn’t, yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is....”  The jokes were simple, but always got a laugh out of the reader. And they passed the 99/44 one hundred percent clean test.  Plus, you didn’t have to be an avid reader to enjoy a quick read. Among all the reading material in my house, I don’t own a single copy. I only wish that somewhere along the way I had the foresight to hang on to one. But alas …

Infectious, sad, dry, twisted, earthy, and most of the time funny, they were all there.  If laughter is truly the best medicine, this little magazine filled all those criteria.

I leave you with one of my favorites that gave me a big chuckle: 

As the story goes, a married couple went to the hospital to have their baby delivered.

Upon their arrival, the doctor said he had invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother’s pain to the father. He asked if they were willing to try it out. They were both very much in favor of it. The doctor set the pain transfer dial to ten percent for starters, explaining that 10 per cent was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before.

But as the labor progresses, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and bump it up a notch. The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20 per cent pain transfer. The husband was still feeling fine. The doctor then checked the husband’s blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing. At this point they decided to try for 50 per cent.  The husband continued to feel quite well. Since it was obviously helping out his wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him. The wife delivered a healthy baby with virtually no pain.

She and her husband were ecstatic.  When they got home, the mailman was dead on their front porch.

 

Paula’s Beef Stew

2 lbs stew beef 

2 Tbsp vegetable oil 

2 cups water 

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce  

1 clove garlic, peeled      

1 or 2 bay leaves 

1 medium onion, sliced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

Dash ground allspice or ground cloves

3 large carrots, sliced

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 Tbsp cornstarch


Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. 

Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. 

To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.