By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.

Step Up To

The Plate


September is here and that is about the time friend and co-worker Teresa Hammond starts paying attention to the baseball standings. Most of us ‘America’s Pastime’ aficionados in the office begin that right out of spring training but she always tells us to wait until it means something.

Not a bad strategy and, considering the post-All Star break swoon the Giants (and their fans) have endured, maybe things will start looking brighter this month. Our several game lead over the detested Dodgers (my term, not meant to offend fans of the southland) slowly dissipated and then they were no longer in the rear view mirror but had passed us on their way to the top of the National League West.

And even as I write this on Friday, Sept. 2 having lost the first two games of a long weekend series to the Cubs, there’s no way to tell where we might be on Wednesday (Sept. 7), when this issue hits the newsstands. Yes, it’s an even year so the Giants are supposed to win. 2010, 2012, 2014 …

That might still happen. It is, after all, only early September, lots of baseball to go. Not hitting the panic button. But not entirely comfortable, either. In reality, it’s a game. Sometimes I need to remember that. I will admit to being somewhat of a slave to the TV on occasion, like when the Giants played a recent afternoon game and I knew they won so I watched the replay (minus a few half-innings they cut for time constraints) later that night.

There’s a danger in availing yourself of the latest TV technology, though, since you can record your favorite shows and watch them at some other time. With everyone’s crazy, hectic schedules, you run the risk of ‘some other time’ coming around about the Twelfth of Never. In fact, we still have a whole season of Scandal waiting be watched and the new one is about to start.

Plus cooking shows are the worst. They are incredibly easy to get hooked on and often lead you to believe that you, too, can make this at home.

My daughter was kind enough to point out that I watch too many when I was recently lamenting a crock pot pork stew that I had made. Although it was very tasty, I was putting some in a container for my lunch and I told her I was disappointed that it lacked color. Then I proceeded to tell her I should have mixed in a can of corn to give it a ‘pop’ of color and, with a little crunch to the corn if you put it in at the end, an added textural element.

She looked up from her cereal bowl, shook her head and then nailed me with that eye roll which is known worldwide as the “You’ve got to be kidding” sign.

At which point, I had to agree. Textural element? It’s corn, for crying out loud.

It almost seems like the need for TV is becoming extinct, with everyone watching shows on other, more portable devices. But I believe it’s still fun on occasion to plop down at night with a bowl of popcorn and lose yourself in the ‘tube.’

We do sometimes watch shows together, and particularly enjoy marveling over the young would-be chefs on those cooking shows that amazingly already have a vast knowledge of food preparation and would be welcome at our house anytime. Given my daughter’s specialties are egg salad and grilled cheese, perhaps they could give her (and me) a few lessons. Though she has branched out to make some bona fide dinners that have been very good, especially her seasoned chicken and rice.

Wasn’t much color to the plate, though.

Maybe she should have added a can of corn.



Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.