I've been keeping quiet and tip-toeing around the house lately while Lawrence tackles the income taxes.

(He's forced into this job because I'm not sharp enough to fill in any of the blanks except for marking an X in the "Married" box.)

Now right upfront you need to know he's normally calm and unflappable. Even so, most spouses usually can sense when their mates are nearing the sanity limit.

For example, my ears hit full alert when he quietly, but constantly, clears his throat (which he's doing right now yet is unaware of).

But, back to income taxes: During 2013, I faithfully dropped necessary tax-material receipts into folders labeled Contributions, Utilities, Insurance, Miscellaneous and so on.

It's this latter folder, Miscellaneous, that has me nervous. It's the one into which I've dumped a year's worth of "I-don't-know-where-it-should-go" stuff.

Thus, receipts for medical costs, maintenance, haircuts, hardware, taxes, clothing and wrapping paper are as entwined as if they've been stirred by an electric mixer.

The mess makes me recall the day, eons ago, when Dad tried to duplicate forms by putting carbon paper (remember carbon paper?) between two sheets.

When he rolled both into the typewriter (remember typewriters?), the bottom sheet slipped and all his typed-in figures ended up on the wrong lines.

Mom handled that potentially explosive situation by bringing out her heavy artillery: emergency chocolate-chip cookies she'd baked and stashed in the freezer.

Dad became a pussy cat after ingesting a couple of these chocolate-chunk-filled morsels.

So, since Lawrence still is unaware of my "Miscellaneous" file's contents, I've made sure apple pie - his tension-sating food - is safe in our freezer for a just-in-case-emergency placebo.

Now, if you, too, are facing a similar predicament and don't have time/energy to bake the universal-favorite apple pie, try my really great substitute:

Microwave Apple Crisp. It's simple, tasty and ready to make and serve in half an hour.

Combine 1 C sugar; 2 Tbsp flour; ¼ tsp cinnamon and 5-6 C sliced apples;

For the topping, combine ½ C oatmeal; ½ C brown sugar; ½ C flour; ¼ tsp baking soda; ¼ tsp baking powder; and ¼ C margarine.

Spread topping over apple mix; cover plate with plastic wrap and microwave 15 minutes at 70 percent.

While you're wallowing in this gastronomical delight, remember to give thanks that you have another six weeks before your income taxes are due. (Before 1955, the filing deadline was March 15, not April 15, remember?)

If yours is already in, all us cows' tails envy you!

©Copyright 2014 by Isabel Torrey,

a King City resident and columnist

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