Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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"Space Heaters, Couscous and Mush..."

4 years 8 months 1 week ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 January 19, 2018 9:00 AM January 19, 2018 in Pat Shingleton Column

Since January we have had numerous fires and unfortunate deaths due to home heaters. Folks that use space heaters don't realize how much heat it puts out. Nationally, space heaters are blamed for more than 1,500 fires every year with an estimated 70 deaths and $58 million in damage. The problems occur when flammable materials are placed too close to a space heater. The proper distance is a minimum of three feet. Another safety rule involves extension cords. Lightweight cords aren't equipped to handle the amperage for this type of heater and at 350 degrees, the average cord would melt, causing a flash fire especially under a carpet. A final rule is insuring that the space heater has a heat sensor and automatic-shut-off.  Today we will register our 16th freeze of the season whereby last year for the total season we recorded seven. You may start your day with a warm breakfast that includes oatmeal, grits, pancakes or waffles accompanied by a piping-hot cup of Community Coffee. Our mother got us going with another breakfast warmer called "mush." Similar to "couscous," mush is also made from corn meal and mixed with milk. Grandma Shirley would mix and boil the cornmeal recipe, pour it into a Pyrex dish or tray and refrigerate it. The next morning it was sliced into half-inch squares and fried. We would then smatter the hot mush with butter and syrup. With a hot mug of homemade cocoa, we were ready for another outdoor freeze.  

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