(NOTE: In a previous column, I requested recipes for homemade biscuits. Boy, did I get them. Thank you to everyone who shared their recipes. Some dated back more than 100 years to great grandmothers, while others came from the packaging of flour bags. At the end of today's column, I've included one that was particularly fascinating and tasty. — John. P.S. Today's column on paper towels comes with a nod to Andy Rooney.)
Do you ever wonder why they couldn't just leave paper towels like they were?
I mean, they were a really nice size. If I spilled something, I could tear one paper towel off the roll and easily wipe up what I needed to remove from a countertop, windowpane, or the shirt of my pajamas.
At some point when no one was looking, the paper towel fairy snuck into the store and replaced my paper towels with half-size paper towels.
Whose idea was this? Am I only supposed to make messes that are half the size of the ones I used to?
I don't see that happening.
The person who thought that half-size paper towels were a good idea has to be the same one responsible for those "Fun Size" candy bars.
Candy bars used to be large enough that you could share one with a friend. I never did, but I could have.
But to cheat and endanger children and future diabetics, they shrank candy bars to the point where they're now a choking hazard.
Fun Size candy bars are neither.
A bar is something with some length to it. Fun size candy bars have no length.
Can you imagine walking into a corner bar for a drink and it being that small?
"Hey, barkeep, I'd like a drink please."
"Welcome to the Fun Size Bar," he replies. "Where all our drinks are served in a thimble. Enjoy!"
It's like coffee. It used to come in a one-pound can. Then 15 ounces, then 13. Now, they sell coffee in containers so small, they can't even call it a can.
They call them, "K-Cups."
The K stands for, you gotta be Kidding.
One of the problems with paper towels is that they aren't clearly labeled. There should be, in large print, the words, "These Are Those Crummy and Tiny Little Paper Towels You Hate. If You Want Real Paper Towels, Keep Looking."
Bounty is very misleading. Bounty means "plenty," "a lot," or "more than you need." So, you naturally grab something with that name thinking that, regardless of the mess you make, just one paper towel will Hoover up an entire gallon of milk.
But, no. You spill the milk and then grab the towel roll, only to tear off a piece of paper the size of a Kleenex.
Half-size paper towels are bad enough. But, now they're selling paper towels that are half the size of half-size paper towels.
"For mini messes," the package says.
I don't have mini messes. I have many messes. That's why I need a big roll of full-size paper towels.
Really? Now they're even smaller?
What are we supposed to call these? "Half-Half-Size Paper Towels?"
Where the slogan is, "For messes so small, you can use this, or just grab a Kleenex."
And that's one thing I hope they don't ever try and downsize: The Kleenex.
For obvious reasons, that would not be a Fun Size.
If you don't find the shrinking of everything as frustrating as I do, just wait. If you're lucky, you'll live long enough that you will.
It's as thimble as that.
©2021 John Moore
(John Moore is a 1980 graduate of Ashdown High School who lived in Texarkana and worked at KTFS Radio during the 1980s. His books, "Write of Passage: A Southerner's View of Then and Now — Volumes I and II," are available on Amazon and on his website, TheCountryWriter.com. His weekly John G. Moore Podcast appears on Spotify and iTunes. You can email him through his website at TheCountryWriter.com.)
This Week's Bonus Biscuit Recipe
This biscuit recipe was sent in by Betty Sue Baker, who reads the column in The Longview News-Journal. Thank you, Betty!
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tablespoon soda
4 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon lard
1/4 tablespoon salt and 1/2 cup buttermilk.
Sift dry ingredients together. Work in lard with fingers until mixture resembles corn meal. Stir in buttermilk. (My sister-in-law always creates a "well" shape in center of mixture before pouring in the buttermilk.)
Turn dough out on floured board and knead only until dough can be rolled.
Roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut with floured cutter 1/2 inch thick.
Pick the top of each biscuit with a fork.
Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes.
YIELD: 16 biscuits
Always preheat your oven to the temperature called for in your recipe.
20 minutes is a safe length of time for this preheating and it's a "must" for successful baking of any kind.
My mother used an empty Vienna sausage can as a biscuit cutter.
Mother would have a little bacon grease in bottom of cast iron skillet.
She would take each raw biscuit and swipe the top of the biscuit in the bacon grease and then set the bottom of biscuit in the bacon grease that was in bottom of skillet. That way, both top and bottom had bacon grease on them.