The Recipe–But Nothing to Do With Cooking

Several years ago, during my annual physical exam, my doctor asked, “Do you drink?” He always asks that.

I like to give doctors accurate information, so I said, “About three glasses of wine a year.”*

He said, “You don’t drink.”

This year when asked I said, “I don’t guess I can drink since I’ve had chemo.”

He said he thought I could get away with a little.

I said I hoped so, because when I have the respiratory miseries, a stuffy head, sore throat, and heavy chest, I take a mixture of bourbon and sugar.

“Does it work?” he said.


Oh, yeah. It’s the only thing that works.

So I asked my oncologist’s assistant if I can have alcohol. She said Yes, and the guidelines say the acceptable amount is fourteen drinks a week.

Mercy, I thought, that’s more than I expected.

I thought about the Recipe today when I woke with a budding case of the miseries but I didn’t act on it. When the miseries increased, I thought of it again and decided to act. But having had nothing to eat today, I was reluctant.

In addition, the thought of eating three inches of sugar was off-putting. I didn’t want it, and I don’t need it, but it’s impossible to send perfectly good sugar down the drain.

So I poured the bourbon over a small bowl of frozen cherries. I didn’t cover them, because that would have been excessive. I didn’t want this post to trail off before I’d said what I have to say.

I thought about setting them on fire but David wasn’t here to extinguish them.

Cherries aren’t as sweet as I’d like, but they aren’t bad. I’m eating slowly, so the only bourbon I’ve had is what has soaked into the fruit. It’s not bad either.

As my good deed for the day, I offer the Recipe. I call it the Recipe it as an homage to the Waltons Baldwin sisters, Miss Emily and Miss Mamie, who made the Recipe, pronounced Recipi.


  1. 1 small mug
  2.  pure cane sugar
  3. bourbon
  4. 1 teaspoon


  1. Spoon or pour three inches or more of sugar into mug. More is better.
  2. Pour bourbon into mug until it’s about 1/4 to 1/2 inch or more above sugar. More is better.
  3. Sip bourbon.
  4. Eat sugar with teaspoon.


Your throat and chest, and possibly your head, will feel better.

If you use more than the Recipe calls for, the rest of you will feel better. If you like bourbon, don’t use sugar. I don’t like bourbon.

If you have a problem with alcohol, don’t take this medicine. So far I don’t have a problem. If I drank enough of it, I would, and that’s the truth, and I know it. That’s why I drink only three glasses of wine a year, if that.

If you have a problem with sugar, don’t take this medicine. I do have a problem. That’s why I’ve switched to cherries.

Many people who have a problem with sugar also have a problem, or are likely to develop a problem, with alcohol, which my ophthalmologist calls a supersugar. I throw in that tidbit as my second good deed for the day.

I don’t know what the white specks on the cherries are, but they’re not sugar.


*That’s a little more than accurate, since some years I don’t drink any, but I also like my doctor to have all the information.

**I wasn’t happy about the prospect of having unmedicated miseries.



Image of sugar from pixabay.

Image of cherries from me.

William and Ernest Make America Great. For the Second Year in a Row. In Dallas.

David and I are in Dallas for What the Fest 2 at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, and we are officially chuffed. David’s “Invisible Men Invade Earth,” which was named Judges’ Pick in the 2017 WTF, was screened last night, first on the program–and will be shown again tonight.

What the Fest highlights films that don’t fit into any particular genre. (An understatement if there ever was one.)

Last night’s fan favorite was “Deletion,” the story of a psychiatrist who specializes in erasing patients’ memories. My favorite was “Toasted,” a look at what appliances, including a Scotch tape dispenser that handles tape about as well as I do, get up to when the master isn’t home.

Everyone in the audience received a raffle ticket for door prizes. If you let them stamp your forehead, you got an extra raffle ticket. Well, why not? David won a tote bag. Or maybe I did. I gave him my tickets to care for, and we don’t know whose number was called.

At the second intermission, girls* came around with a black light thingy and took pictures of our foreheads. Results are under Well, why not, above.

Pocket Sandwich Theatre is little and cute and specializes in melodrama, as you can tell from the carpet of popcorn on the floor.

What the Fest is my favorite of all the festivals we’ve been to, in part because little and cute also means informal–the principals say they’re a family, and they act like it. They have fun. So does the audience.

They also like David’s film. When they introduced it, they said they’d watched nine hours of submissions, and to keep themselves going throughout the arduous task, they periodically played “Invisible Men,” because it made them giggle. When we were leaving, a couple of the guys said they watch it a lot and also quote some of the lines (“Well, that sucks,” and “It is not a coincidence.”) One of the girls said she watches it with her mother.

In Austin, “Invisible Men, the story of two cats who save Earth by facing down a horde of space aliens,” and David’s other films are called weird.”** The folks in Dallas speak of “purity” and “a place of love.” In other words, it’s the kind of film you can take home to your mother, and that says a lot.

Once again, stars William and Ernest chose to stay home under the twice-a-day supervision of Charla, who feeds them, pets them, and gives William his insulin injection. They don’t like the carriers or the car, but they like Charla a lot. Charla emailed us that they’re playful.

We’re now using the wi-fi at the Denny’s next door to our hotel. The hotel’s wi-fi keeps slipping off the Internet and refuses to let me upload photos, but Denny’s is excellent.

In about four hours, we’ll head back to Pocket Sandwich Theatre to see “Invisible Men Invade Earth” and several new films. Last night, the audience started laughing before the first scene ended. I’m sure tonight’s viewers will be just as discerning.


*A purist would call them women, but where I come from, women that age are girls unless you’re trying to make a point.

**In Austin, weird is a compliment. I don’t know who decided Austin is weird, but “Keep Austin Weird” is right up there, or maybe above, “The Live Music Capitol of the World.” Weird may have started when Jim Franklin drew that armadillo. Oh. I just looked it up. Here’s who decided Austin is weird.

Further note: Lone Star used to be the National Beer of Texas, and I guess it still is. I haven’t seen the commercial in a long time, but there’s a video on youtube extolling its virtues.  (See link above.) According to the expert, It’s got a perfect taste that’s hard to describe.