Tuesday, January 27, 2009

reality check

Or, the glass is still half full.

If we read every article in the newspapers and magazines, and watched every news broadcast telling us about how bad things are right now, we might actually believe that things were terribly dire. And that the Great Depression is back.

Let's look at some facts, shall we?

a. The jobless rate during the Great Depression was 25 percent. We have yet to reach 7 percent.

b. Bank failures, not hedge funds, or risky investments, wiped out the life savings of millions of people. To date, not one single person has lost a penny in an FDIC insured bank account.

c. About 44 percent of all mortgages were delinquent by 1934, compared with about 4 percent today.

I do not diminish the fact that there are people struggling right now. I am just sending out a gentle reminder that it is not as horrible as the media would like us to believe. Things have been worse, and things will be better.

I have an idea for my own news channel. It will only talk about good, positive things. Like pilots safely landing airplanes, and strangers paying anonymously for another person's meal at a restaurant, and a profile on the neighbor who always shovels your sidewalk for you. I am thinking that is what people want to hear about right now. It would be like the profiles they do of Olympic athletes, uplifting, and miraculous.

And it would have a cooking segment, that would only feature comfort food. Like this:

Sunday Roast Chicken
(but feel free to make it whenever you fancy)
1 4-6 lb roasting chicken
1 lemon
1 head of garlic
one bunch of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 large onion, thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 425. Remove the giblets (if they were included) and rinse the chicken inside and out, pat dry. Generously salt and pepper the cavity, and stuff in the thyme. Halve the lemon, and put that in there too. Cut the head of garlic in half horizontally, and plop that in the cavity with the other goodies. Tie the legs together with kitchen string to hold it all together, tuck the wings under the body, and put it in a roasting pan. Brush the chicken all over with the melted butter, and tuck the onion slices under the body a bit.

Roast it for an hour to an hour and a half (depending on size) until cooked through.

It will be moist, and flavorful, and yummy. And you won't even think about the stock market once.

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