Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Chicken, Pancakes, Broken Feet and Supernatural Sci-Fi


Luke’s mother-in-law is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hi All.

I am working on this week’s questions while enjoying some peppermint sun tea, made out on the rock wall, and a fried chicken sandwich – yum. I also have the TV going — may account for some of the answers and a kitty on the back of the desk chair. Another lovely and warm day out here in the vortex of Joshua Tree.

Wanted to promote something near and dear to my heart. It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!!!!!!. I got my box of Thin Mints and the other pics are from the sale table by our local brownie troop outside of the Wally World. I went thru the scout program until high school. Hated the group camping thing, but everything else was pretty fun. My idea of camping is staying at a Motel. My husband loved to camp, and with the fewer amenities the better. He used to tell LYT that he and the guys were going to take him out into the desert with only what he could carry on his back. They never got around to doing that. Luckily Mrs LYT has the same ideas on camping that I do, so LYT is safe for now.

So now on to this week’s questions…

dnjscott: Why did you break [your future husband’s]foot in Skid Row?

Well, it was an accident. I was a new police officer on the graveyard shift in downtown Los Angeles. We were in an area where you walked your beat or patrol area. You had a car to get from the station to the area, and then you got out and walked. Well,I was a single-person foot-beat that shift. I was in the alley at Sixth and Main, which is a part of the skid row area. We try to keep the drunks out of the alleys, as this is were most of the get rolled (robbed). They are safer out on the street sides of buildings were there is more traffic.

Well, anyway, I found a drunk, I was trying to put on my gloves, hold a flashlight and call the B wagon (vehicle that picks up drunks). My future husband had come outside and down the alley to have a smoke. He was in to handle a hazmat incident. Long story short, the drunk started to put his hand under a piece of cardboard (this is a no no). We both saw him do this at the same time. Future Hubby’s foot went down on the cardboard, and mine came down on his foot right after, breaking it. The drunk was cuffed and the wagon arrived to take him in for a 4-hour hold and release.

I went to thank the guy that helped, but he had gone. A couple of hours later I got a call to come to the Asst. Chiefs office. This is something no cop on probation wants to hear, as it generally means you did something wrong. Well, it was my future husband’s office, and he asked me out for coffee. The delay on my getting called in was his trip to the ER.


GallenDugall: QUESTION – on the subject of frozen boneless chicken tenderloins, the only way I’ve found to cook them so that they don’t become dry and tasteless is to brine them overnight – do you have any alternate preparation methods that you’ve found to work?

Had never thought of brine, but that is a good idea – will have to try it. I do mine in the microwave. Microwave-safe plate, a bit of water or chicken stock on the bottom and then a paper towel over the chicken. The paper towel traps the moisture and thus juicy chicken. If you use the oven, use the water or broth and cover with tin foil. You need to trap the moisture. A bit of season salt, onion powder or garlic powder works well on the top of the chicken for flavor.

James.k.Polk: Here’s a good food question.
Pancakes. They’re literally flour, eggs and milk. Why are they so damn expensive to order in restaurants? Where’s the best place to get good pancakes cheap? Do you have a secret recipe? Can you tell I missed breakfast today?

My favorite place for pancakes is IHOP or the International House of Pancakes. Many times during the year they have specials on the stacks. I love my cakes with lots and lots of butter. I use syrup: it is raspberry or boysenberry. The maple syrup you get in a restaurant is not real maple syrup. I grew up on the East coast and went to Vermont quite often. Now that’s maple syrup.

As for the recipe, instead of milk I like to use heavy cream, or the juice from mashed berries. Sour cream is even a good replacement for the milk. Also you need to cook them in bacon grease. Enjoy.

Brodie S.: Can you explain the ending to 2001?

I’m assuming you mean the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. One of my all-time favorite films. I did not understand it at all when it first came out, thought it was really weird then, but I was a kid. Anyway, watching it as an adult, it was a very deep film. The main key is the understanding of the monolith. There are generally two thoughts on this: it is a representation of God, or supports evolution. It was sent from somewhere by something, be it God or aliens. I think it is a mix of both, as we start with the monolith with the apes and end with the star child. Dave is an interest of the monolith,who has returned to see how man has come along and is reaching out to other planets. At the end, Dave is given all of the known knowledge, ages in a containment area, and moves to the next level of the starchild. That’s my take, for all it’s worth.

Sean B.: Who’d win in a race: Speed Racer or Michael Knight? Both in their respective vehicles, BUT, no outside help (no Racer X, no FLAGG research (yes, I know some things about Knight Rider. I grew up with syndicated TV for a babysitter).

Hey, I grew up with Knight Rider in first run. The Hoff and KITT are so much cuter/sexier then Speed Racer – he was just a little boy. So I would put my money on Michael Knight for sure.

Christopher H: Whatever happened to Richie Cunningham’s brother?

He went up to his room and never came back. That’s Hollywood.

Lea B: My boyfriend did not understand why Patrick Stewart, dressed up in a cardboard box Jade Rabbit moon rover costume while acting out the heart-wrenching press release, was the greatest thing ever. Can the relationship be saved?

Yes, I believe there is hope for the relationship. Perhaps he was just too tired at the time. Poor Sir Patrick has been dressing up as a lot of things lately – at least this great actor can make fun of himself. The poor Jade Rabbit broke. This has happened before on the moon and it’s not like you can call Auto Club to fix the darn thing. Good Night World.

Gallen_Dugall: QUESTION – All these questions bring to mind the “Guardian of Forever” from the classic Star Trek Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is who I hold up as the worst guardian of anything ever. Every time the “Guardian of Forever” is interacted with the time line (the thing he is supposed to be protecting) gets messed up, and judging by the ruins he is set amongst the people who created him didn’t fair any better, but there are many bad protectors and defenders and guardians of whatever in fiction that could compete for such a title.

Who in your opinion is the worst “guardian” in all of fiction?

(note there is the possibility that due to a programming glitch the “Guardian of Forever” actually thinks it’s supposed to be protecting a particular “Everlasting Gobstopper” and does a really good job at that)

I remember that episode well. As a piece of trivia it was first aired on my birthday, April 6. I was 11 yrs old then. It stared Joan Collins as the love interest. Kirk was always involved with a pretty gal. My vote for the worst is the bridge keeper in Monty Python and the Holy Grail . He lets Sir Lancelot cross with the answer of “Blue.” Come on now. That’s so lame.

Well, friends, that’s it for this week. Off to find some more tea, eat my Thin Mints and talk to my kitties before night night snuggle time for the rat race starts again tomorrow. Hugs to you all.


If you’d like to add your questions to the pile for Luke’s mother-in-law, leave them in comments below.