Dropped Cookies

With our bright sun and warming temps, it wasn’t a surprise to find all the more people out and about today, and especially the casual strollers which I always find touching, as they’re more interested in absorbing the natural beauties around them, rather that those speed walkers and runners who’re too busy checking their watches every few moments for time. I’m of the belief a large dose of nature on a regular basis, is better for mind and body than any high-tech fitness center’s able to offer.

Speaking of nature, I’m reminded of an article I recently read on BBC online which was all about the way in which the Germans continue to have a great need to be out in the thick of nature, and with this raging pandemic, they’re even more drawn to forested parks and trails. Perhaps my love of old-growth trees is a genetic predisposition, with the exception of my not liking heavily forested areas where I can’t see thru the trees to at least one clearing. I have no idea why I’ve never liked being in areas like that, as I’ve not had any harrowing experiences, other than just never fond of being in such places.

Part of my morning was spent doing some research on those homes I looked at yesterday, and fortunately I managed to find enough comparable sales to deliver my opinion on their “ballpark” pricing. As I’ve said before, home valuing is not a pure science to where we can pinpoint exactly what a given buyer is willing to pay, and of course, what a seller is also agreeable on accepting. Unfortunately, just this past year, I’ve seen some major jaw-dropping sales which left some greedy sellers walking away from their closings with Cheshire cat grins. Many of those buyers haven’t a clue that the moment they’d signed their mortgage docs and the sellers walked away with checks in hand, they were instantly upside-down on their home loans. Our real estate market is nearing the point where it’s almost like buying a new car, and knowing the moment it’s driven off that car lot, it’s already devalued by thousands. A young man I know, recently went thru a similar nightmare of re-selling a new vehicle he impulsively purchased, and less than six months later, having to take a financial beating just to be rid of it.

Only yesterday, I happened to notice a very expensive pickup truck a particular tenant just purchased, and after getting a good look at it, along with having an idea what his income is, I doubt he’d even be able to purchase a home due to his debt-to-income ratio.
When you see people paying $35K – $45K for a pickup truck with little or no downpayment, their monthly payments alone are staggering, which wouldn’t even include the high insurance rates and taxes having to be paid on an annual basis. Believe it or not, there are a great number of our citizens whose monthly vehicle costs are higher than their housing. Pretty scary isn’t it?

I had a mid-morning appointment to show a home to a group comprising of the immediate family of both sides of a relationship. I’ve always found it interesting how some families make their decisions in “group” fashions. I was beginning to wonder when the aunts, uncles, and cousins were going to show up, and for a while there, I felt myself in the midst of a “Keystone Cops” episode with all the doors and drawers being opened and closed, stairs treaded, and every dark corner being randomly investigated by all. Too funny.

After we finished up, I headed back to office, changed my clothes, and headed out to get a few loose ends tied up, and one of them was to get a short fence removed which must’ve been kept standing by but only a wing and a prayer. After getting my mess cleaned up, I stood back and gave it a good look, along with thanking myself for getting rid of it because that yard now looks much better without it.

Since I was out, I figured it time to take a few more outdoorsy photos, so off I headed into our hinterlands. It was a pleasant drive, and another good encounter with Mother Nature. I happened upon one of the most beautiful Bur Oak trees which I so much wanted to get a photo of, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a good shot of its entirety. Oh if that old gal could speak, there’d be many narrative chapters of its life being shared since its sprouting. The size of its trunk alone, had me convinced it well over a 100 years old. What also fascinated me, was how straight its trunk was, which is not a normal occurrence with Bur Oaks. When you give them all a good look, they’re usually leaning a bit in one direction or another.

While out, I noticed a missed call on my mobile, so upon my return to office, I called the number, and the person answering, happened to be the same young lady of yesterday who called asking about homes for sale. It looks like I’ll be showing several homes on Tuesday, and hopefully they’ll still be for sale. For it being my semi-free Saturday, I managed to schedule a listing appointment and showings for the first of this next week. Let’s keep them coming.

While digging in a box of books today, I happened upon a cookbook I pulled out of a pasteboard of throw-aways about a year ago which I didn’t even bother looking at until today. Wow. That cookbook’s first copyright was issued in 1908 and the many later’s being until its last in 1939. In its introduction, it was mentioned their having sold over 5 million copies since it’s first publishing. One of its many recipes is the following which I thought interesting enough to share. The recipe for “DROPPED COOKIES” is as follows:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup seedless raisins
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground cloves.

Beat the shortening and sugar to cream; add the well-beaten eggs, then the milk, molasses and raisins and, lastly, the dry ingredients well-sifted together. Drop by spoonfuls on greased pans, some distance apart. Bake about ten minutes in a moderate oven.

That recipe sounds interesting enough for me to give it a try, as it’s looking as being a gingersnap with raisins. If you should have the nerve to make such a batch, let me know how they turned out. Oh, and by the way, I did copy the recipe instructions exactly as they were written back in 1939. I also noticed, “in a moderate oven” which I believe is in the range of 350 – 375 degrees fahrenheit. Bon Appetit.

Tonight’s one-liner is: If you don’t believe what other people believe, you’ll immediately be dismissed as a nihilist.

Joe Chodur

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