My (or not my) Final Resting Place

headstone“Hello?” I said, answering the phone.

“Hi, Mrs. Berkman?” said the voice on the other end.

 

“It’s Beckerman.”

“Oh. I have Berkman here.  Must be a mistake.”

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, I’m thrilled to tell you that you’ve won a free upgrade on your final resting place.”

“Excuse me?”

“You purchased a plot in a section of our cemetery called Heaven’s Gate which is close to the road and we have upgraded you to a section of the cemetery called Rainbow’s End next to a babbling brook.”

“I don’t own a cemetery plot.”

“Well, maybe your husband bought it for you.”

“I can’t even get him to buy me flowers for my birthday. I don’t think he bought me a cemetery plot.”

“It says right here that the plot is in the name of Tracy Berkman.”

“I’m not Tracy Berkman. I’m Tracy Beckerman.”

“Must be a typo.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Well, Rainbow’s End is a lovely location for a final resting place. It’s much nicer to be next to the brook than the road.”

“If I’m dead, why would it matter to me if I’m next to the road or next to the babbling brook?”

“It’s nicer for the people who visit you.”

“Who, the Berkmans?”

“Huh?”

“Cuz I don’t think they would really care if they are visiting me next to a road or next to a brook if I’m not the person who is supposed to be buried there.”

“Who is supposed to be buried there?”

“Apparently someone named Tracy Berkman.”

“Isn’t that you?”

“No.  And I don’t own a plot in Heaven’s Gate next to a road in your cemetery or any other cemetery.”

“Well, you really should think about purchasing one.  You don’t want to leave that decision to your grieving relatives.  We actually have some lovely plots available at very reasonable prices.”

“How much?”

“Starting at $4500.”

“Wow! Good thing then that I already own one. You know, me… Tracy Berkman.”

“I thought you said it wasn’t you.”

“I’ll take that secret to the grave.”

 

©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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No Loafing Around

MeatloafWithSauce copyHaving been a mom for twenty years, I’ve figured out how to cook enough basic meals to keep my family alive.

However, since I only have about a half dozen dishes that I’ve perfected, it was just a matter of time before my family got completely sick of my cooking. Even the dog was sick of the scraps that fell on the floor. This coming from an animal that eats dirt.

Worried that I might start to get a reputation as a boring cook and be ostracized by the mommy cooking community and my dog, I decided to take the plunge into new cooking terrain and try a recipe from the Internet. I figured, if I can follow directions, why can’t I make a soufflé like Julia Childs or a pork schnitzel like Wolfgang Puck? Of course since I’m NOT Julia Childs or Wolfgang Puck, there was always the possibility that I would set fire to the soufflé, burn down the kitchen, and end up having to order in a pizza instead. So, not wanting to bite off more than I could chew, I decided to go with something basic: a meatloaf.

Being a mom, I am no stranger to meatloaf. But I thought maybe there was a recipe for a tastier meatloaf I could make to shake things up. Then, if the meatloaf was a success, I could move on to something even more complex like lasagna! Just thinking about it, I got giddy with imagined cooking superpowers. Word would spread of my amazing culinary skills. Soon even Rachael Ray would sing my praises.

Today the meatloaf, tomorrow the world!

After scouring the Internet, I found a recipe for Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze from Bobby Flay. Now, Bobby Flay is no hack and definitely knows his way around a grill, whereas I am most comfortable around a toaster oven. However, after reading the recipe, I was confident I could replicate his meatloaf. With recipe in hand, I set off for the supermarket and bought all the ingredients for what was sure to be the mother of all meatloaves.

4c8e0e9584d851a8a2ce7c42fe2bf7cdI came home and started cooking. The air was soon filled with the glorious smell of sautéed onions, garlic and vegetables. I kneaded the meat and added the mixture along with eggs, herbs and breadcrumbs. Then I lined the pan with parchment, folded in the meatloaf, and with a flourish of my hand, popped it into the oven to cook while I made the balsamic glaze.

An hour later I set the table and called the family to dinner. But when I took the meatloaf out, it wasn’t done. I popped it back in for another 15 minutes, but it still wasn’t done. With my family clamoring to be fed, I decided to take my masterpiece out of the oven and finish it in the microwave.

As I boasted to my husband about how amazing this meatloaf was going to be, I suddenly heard a loud pop come from the microwave.

I cautiously eased over to the microwave and opened the door.

My meatloaf was no longer meatloaf.

It was meat mush.

Without skipping a beat, I put up a pot of water to boil. Moments later my husband left the dining room and came into the kitchen.

“Where’s the meatloaf, honey?” he inquired.

“Change of plans,” I replied. “We’re having spaghetti and meat sauce instead

 

©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

bookbutton-04“Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant. Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs” makes a great gift!! To get a copy for you or a cool mom you love, CLICK HERE

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