The Doctor Gribbleflotz Chronicles, Part 1: Calling Dr. Phil

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Sunday. After Church Lunch, Drahuta Property

Deep in the middle of "Kubiak Country" the extended Kubiak clan had gathered at the home of Belle and Ivan Drahuta for Sunday lunch. Grown men and women were messing about playing touch football in the yard with some of the children. Others congregated around the grill chatting and talking while Ivan and Tommy Barancek attended to burning lunch. Children of all ages were running around underfoot. On the sheltered veranda a group of women lounged comfortably, watching the activities, relaxing after finally getting their assorted babies settled.

Erin Zaleski, one of Ted's cousins, grinned. "How's the military outfitting business going. Tracy?"

Tracy Kubiak dragged her eyes from her husband Ted, who was playing in the yard. "We're still being run off our feet." Tracy looked around the assembled women. They were all, like Ted, direct descendants of Jan and Mary Kubiak, the original owners of the land known locally as "Kubiak Country." "I've got a pile of jackets that need buttonholing if anybody wants a job."

There was a smattering of "I'm in" and "Yes, please" from the other four women. Tracy gloried in the easy camaraderie and supportive nature of the Kubiak women. So different from her own family left up-time in way-off Seattle. "If you come over the road after lunch I'll show you what needs to be done and give you the necessary thread and buttons."

There were murmurings of agreement before the women turned back to watching the activities going on in the yard. Their quiet contemplations were disturbed only when Tasha Kubiak settled a covered tray of steaming biscuits on the table. "Tuck in while they're still warm, girls. After this batch, there are no more."

Mary Rose Onofrio turned away from watching Jana Barancek and a couple of other cousins calling everybody to a couple of food-laden tables set out by the grill. "What do you mean, Tasha?"

"This batch used the last of my baking powder." Tasha replied.

Belle Drahuta waved a hand. "I've still got some if you need it."

"Same here. I haven't had time for much baking lately. I think I've still got an unopened can in the pantry."

"Thanks Belle, Tracy. You'd think there would be a way to get more baking powder wouldn't you?" Tasha shook her head.

Mary Rose snorted. "Get real, Tasha. If it doesn't go boom, none of the guys are interested. I can just imagine going up to Cousin Greg and asking him to please make some baking powder so we can do some baking. He'd laugh his head off."

"You really think Cousin Greg would know how to make baking powder, Mary Rose?" Tasha asked.

"If he can make his boom toys and rockets I don't see why he can't make baking powder. I mean. It can't be that hard. Baking powder has been around I don't know how long. It's probably written up in one of his books somewhere and all he needs to do is look it up."

"But, Mary Rose, that doesn't get us any baking powder."

"No, but it would get us some instructions on how to make it. Maybe Cousin Greg can write out a recipe. Something easy to follow. Then we could make our own baking powder." Mary Rose looked around the table at the other women, an excited look in her eyes. "That would be great wouldn't it? No need to worry about running out of baking powder ever again."

"So when can you ask Cousin Greg for an easy to follow recipe for making baking powder?" asked Belle.

Mary Rose looked from Belle to Tasha. "I was kinda thinking, maybe Tasha might like to ask Amy to ask Cousin Greg. After all, she is a chemistry teacher in training."

Nodding her head, her mouth full of biscuit, Tasha agreed to ask her daughter to pass on the request.

"Michael. How many times have I told you not to feed that dog from your plate." Belle bellowed before launching herself from her chair and making her way to her son.

The ladies watched Belle put a strong restraining hand on her five-year-old son while giving her husband, who should have been watching him, a sharp talking to.

"Situation normal," muttered Erin with a giggle.

* * *

A week later. Sunday lunch, Tasha's place

"Guys, Amy here has come through. Come on, Amy. Show them the recipe," Tasha said pushing her daughter towards the seated mothers. A little self-consciously Amy placed a single sheet of paper on the coffee table in front of the ladies and stood back to let them read it.

"Uh, yuk. Do you see that?" Mary Rose pointed to the first instruction. "Imagine carefully fermenting urine. Does that mean we have to, you know, ask people to fill a bottle? And why add honey? Is that to sweeten it to taste?"

"Ha ha, Mary Rose. Obviously the honey is there to help fermentation," Tasha said, continuing to run her eye down the directions. "How do you cook off limestone?" She looked up at her daughter, a question in her eyes.

With a heavy sigh Amy looked at her mother and her friends. "I think this is going to be a bit like the time Dad tried to do some baking. You remember how he couldn't understand how you got cream from butter and sugar?" Smiling at the memory Tasha nodded her head. "I think you might want to find someone who knows a little chemistry and see if they'll make the stuff for you."


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