Are there times when the simplest things elude you? Those are the days when you make decisions and take action without paying attention to the potential outcome.

The clutter of information and the jumble of thoughts can become mental tornados. On a positive note, the hodgepodge in our heads keeps us from becoming bored. If there is one certainty in this writer’s life, boredom is an unknown concept.

Our son insisted that homemade beef broth or chicken broth is far superior to anything we can buy in the store. Because this parent enjoys a moment or two of peace on rare occasions, she agreed to buy the ingredients and make the non-alcoholic broth. Of course, realize everything tastes better with a little wine in the mix, whether you add some to the pot or sip it while you cook.

Aside from the various vegetables included in the recipe for flavor enhancement, it was necessary to go to the butcher and buy a bunch of beef bones. No one warns you about dealing face to face with a real live butcher.

For some reason, they are tall with protruding tummies, and bloody aprons. (As it happens, most people, including our granddaughters, are taller than this writer.) Besides, being short is a life sentence and unchangeable without stiletto heels or painful hours on the rack.

When the butcher walks toward you, the first thing you notice is his once white apron. It seems no one told the guy that blood spatters are not a fashion statement, and bloody aprons stink.

She managed to focus on breathing through the mouth rather than the nose and requested beef bones while swallowing the urge to purge which would have added more splatters to the butcher’s formerly white apron. After what seemed like an eternity to someone who hates to wait longer than two heartbeats, the giant with the big belly shoved a femur bone about 2-feet long toward her, and asked, “Do you want this in a bag?”

The urge to smack the guy with the offered bone made her head pound. However, she managed to refrain from such barbaric, but probably satisfying, behavior by gritting her teeth and smiling.

“Yes, please,” she replied eyeing the humungous bone as her gag reflexes clamored for a barf party.

Chunks of red beef dangled from the bone clutched in the cavewoman’s fist as she marched to the checkout counter holding the bone at arm’s length. The price of the monster bone was almost $12.00. At the checkout, she had a belated epiphany. She should have asked the butcher to saw the bone into manageable pieces. Oh well, it was too late to go back.

Time to implement Plan B.

“Honey! I need a sledgehammer,” she shouted as she walked into the house, the bone still held before her like a nasty shield.

“Why?” Hubby asked responding to her Valkyrie-style call.

“This thing won’t fit in the crockpot or any pot I own. I need to pound it into smaller chunks.”

“The butcher could have cut it for you,” replied the practical man.

“I had to wait so long that it didn’t occur to me to ask until I was halfway out of the store.”

Her knight in shining armor, also known as Hubby in jeans and flannel shirt, proceeded to give the bone a few non-too-gentle whacks and broke it into smaller pieces.

The recipe called for the bones plus veggies to cook for two days to be the best broth possible. Once the brew cooled, a thick layer of concrete grease covered the top of the cauldron. It took serious effort with a big knife and an ice pick to chop and remove that hardened oil slick, only to reveal a brown congealed mess instead of brown liquid below. The jiggly brown gelatin commonly known in culinary circles as aspic did not look appetizing.

Neither Hubby nor the wife wanted any part of the hoity-toity broth. Consequently, the jiggly delight will chill in the freezer until our son visits. If he does not like it, then the dogs will enjoy an expensive meal.

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