Hmmm...Exxon just shattered its quarterly profit record, with its two biggest quarters ever -- in spite of the recent drop in crude oil prices:
I seem to remember warnings of how gas prices were going to shoot up again after the hurricanes of 2008 destroyed all the oil-drilling platforms. And the war in Iraq just shot everything to hell. And --- (insert your own dire prediction here).
Oops, the Exxon executives seem to be saying. Guess those didn't happen, after all.
Are we supposed to believe that the recent drop in gas prices are just their way of being more generous...sharing the wealth, so to speak...instead of a response to the supply and demand issue? (People not buying as much gas because they're not traveling as much.)
I do believe in free enterprise, but this seems a little greedier and grabbier than usual. Take a look at other companies' profit margins and reports for this quarter -- if they're posting a profit at all, it's lower than they predicted.
How many freebies are the gas companies getting from the U.S. government (and us) in the form of tax breaks, etc.? Maybe it's time for some of those to go away.
* * * * * * * * * *
Thinking about that (and the tussle to put in that last stubborn plant) got me to thinking about pigs...in blankets. Aunt Max ran the school cafeteria, and in return for lunch, Little Brother and I were student employees. I ran the cash register; I think he washed dishes. (Try doing that, and kids' habits of mixing all the leftovers together in one disgusting mess -- Barnyard Casserole, we called it -- doesn't seem so funny.)
Auntie must have thought we were malnourished, because she really slapped the food on our trays. Potatoes and hamburg gravy, gray-tinged green beans, weird mystery cutlets...none of that wussy green salad or dainty stuff. Just rib-sticking, gets-you-through-afternoon-band-practice food.
My favorite was her Pigs in Blankets. I still use her recipe -- and the huge canisters of baking powder she scooped from now hold my flour and sugar. Pigs are cheap, filling and perfect for a blustery fall day.
PIGS IN BLANKETS
1 package (8-10) hot dogs
1/4 cup (one half-stick) margarine or butter
1 cup water & 1/2 cup milk (or 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup dry milk powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
3-4 cups flour
Nuke the margarine, water/milk for approx. 45 seconds, or until the butter is softened and melting into the water. (Check - water should be warm, but not hot.) Add salt, sugar and yeast, then gradually mix flour in until you have a soft dough. Knead for about 3 min., until the dough is solid and slightly 'boingy.'
Let rise, depending on your hungry family, for 10 min...or up to 10 hours. (Longer makes a better dough, but I've also made the dough and used it in five minutes, with good results.)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Squeeze off a glob of dough and wrap it around a hot dog, leaving the ends exposed; place on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dogs are covered. Bake until light brown, approx. 15-20 min. Serve with barbecue sauce or lots of catsup. Serves 4 adults, with leftovers for breakfast.
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