An Unsolved Mystery: What Became Of Dottie?

When the weather turns sub-zero, my thoughts turn to carbohydrates.  All kinds of carbohydrates.  Some of which are meant to be eaten with delicious stews and soups.

Carbohydrates like corn bread.

Homemade.  Using Dottie Dorsel’s Corn Meal, a regional favorite.  A product packaged in a rectangular shape made of thick paper.  Traditional.  Easy to find on the shelf.

• • •

So I went to ye olde K. Roger to a buy some of Dottie Dorsel’s Corn Meal and instead what I found was Dorsel’s Corn Meal.  Packaged in a slick corporate plastic bag with a zip top and large writing that excluded Dottie’s name.

This, I said to myself, is an outrage.

I mean, Betty is still with Crocker.  Duncan is still with Hines.  Aunt is still with Jemima.  [Okay, the last one’s not the same, but go with me here.  I’m on a rant.]


The heroine of our story.

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{ Image courtesy of dannwoellertthefoodetymologist }

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Naturally I started researching this mystery because it’s fricking cold outside and I ain’t going anywhere on foot or car [if I can help it] I had the time and I was curious to see how the current owners of Dottie Dorsel’s Corn Meal would explain themselves.

I discovered that:

  • Dottie Dorsel, aka Dorathea Dorsel, was a real person from northern Kentucky whose father owned The Dorsel Milling Company in the late 1800s.
  • I learned from a recipe in a 1999 cookbook that the company was at that time called the Dottie Dorsel Company.
  • I know that today Prairie Mills owns, what it refers to as, Dorsels Brands.
  • I cannot find any corporate PR releases or newspaper articles that talk about the change in packaging– or why Dottie’s delightfully alliterative name was left off the new package.
  • I can find some recipes online [here and here] from the early 2000s that mention using Dottie Dorsel Pinhead Oat Meal (another regional favorite), but Corn Meal recipes, specifically mentioning Dottie, do not seem to exist.

• • •

Clearly, there’s a conspiracy going on here.  A cover-up.  You can’t go around messing with people’s names on food packaging, can you?  I realize that Fig Newton dropped the Fig from its name, but Fig wasn’t a real live person who I related to on so many levels.

Fig was a fruit.  Duh.

All I can guess is that Dottie must have overheard something so sinister or stumbled upon a secret so dark that there was a need to rub her out.  Which lead to some mysterious someone axing her first name from the packaging of her own regionally famous corn meal.


That’s what I can’t figure out.

[Hello FTC!  I forgot to add this disclaimer when I wrote this post, so I’ll add it now… a few weeks later.  I’d love to tell you that this company was savvy enough to respond to my concerns, but no such luck.  Meaning that there was no compensation for what I said here.]

I’m Not Obsessed With Logic But…

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I’ve no doubt that some people have wondered the above about me.  [For the record, I tie my shoelaces all by myself.]  We all have our moments, don’t we?  

Uh huh.

So it is with the foregoing in mind that I tell you the gist of a conversation that I had with a casual acquaintance.  It’s a conversation that didn’t make sense to me, but then I was having one of my logical days while my casual acquaintance wasn’t. 

Oh well.

~ ~ • ~ ~

ACQUAINTANCE:  Congrats on your success.  I see that you’ve accomplished something.

MOI:  Thank you.

ACQUAINTANCE:  Did you do something different this time that contributed to your success?

MOI:  Yes.  {I explain how I did what I did.}

ACQUAINTANCE:  {Acquaintance asks 2 or 3 clarifying questions.}  Wow, so you did something entirely new?

MOI:  Yes I did.


MOI:  Huh?!  But you just said…

ACQUAINTANCE:  {Lots of explanation about how what I did will never work and how wrong I was to even try.}

MOI:  Well, thanks for telling me this.

ACQUAINTANCE:  Oh sure.  Just trying to help.

MOI:  Uh huh.

~ The End ~

[Source for the above image is anyone’s guess.  I found it on FB.  I’ve seen it on Pinterest, stumbled over it on many blogs, but have been unable to find its original source.]

QOTD: And What Mysteries Keep You From Going Stale?

{A Different Sort of Throwback Thursday Post}

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“Kings and statesmen, business men and professional men read mystery stories for relaxation, for fun, and to sharpen their wits for the daily battle of life.

Don’t let yourself go stale.  These books are better than a radio drama and cheaper than a good movie for the family and keep you alert.  Have your bookseller send you the books listed below and save over 65% from the former $2.00 price.”

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Bookmark - 1

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SO I FOUND THIS Sun Dial Mysteries 1930s [?] bookmark in an old book that happens to be in a large stack of old books that happen to be in our basement.  I was charmed by the sexist copy on the bookmark, and I was intrigued by the titles of the books listed on it.

I knew that Leslie Charteris wrote The Saint books, but I’ve never read one.  And I knew that Georgette Heyer was a contemporary of Agatha Christie, but I’ve never read one of her books either.  The rest of the authors were new to me.

~ • ~

I HAVE NO IDEA who these oldtime mystery writers might be.  I can’t even keep up with the current mystery writers, which is why I thought that I’d ask you, my gentle readers: which mystery writers do you enjoy the most?  Or, if you don’t read mysteries, what do you read that I should be reading, too?

Heaven knows, I must remain alert and not go stale!

QOTD: What Do You Really Call Your “Honey Do” List?

We all know what a “Honey Do” List is, right?  It’s that wonderful list kept by almost every woman on which she tells her beloved sweetie pie what tasks around the house need to be done next.

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[If you’ve always thought that people were talking about a “Honeydew” List I’m sorry to disabuse of this charming, albeit wrong, idea.  We women are not keeping lists about melons.  We’re keeping lists about things to do.]

[Image sources here & here.]


~ ~ • ~ ~

So getting to my point, in our household the “Honey Do” List has been renamed.  As we all know Zen-Den gets to the essence of things, and in this case he got it right when he began to refer to what you might call a “Honey Do” List as:

Ally’s List of S#%t That’s Wrong Around Here.

Mister Ed Isn’t Available To Answer My Question, So I’ll Ask You

Yesterday afternoon I was driving home at about 25 mph through our subdivision when coming at me on the other side of the street were three people on three horses. Gorgeous horses. Big horses. Very calm.

Just walking along.  *clip-clop, clip-clop* 

Not knowing what to do when driving past horses on my suburban street, I slowed down to about 10 mph.  The people on the horses nodded, waved, but did not smile, as we passed each other.

Ever self-aware, I realized that I may have done something wrong.

So here is my question: when driving through city streets am I supposed to treat horses as cars and just drive on by;  OR am I supposed to slow down [stop?] when I see them?

Anyone got an answer?  I sure don’t.  This is all new to me.

• • •

QOTD: What’s On Your Superpowers List?

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Image Source: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

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Remember back a few weeks ago when I was reading Darcy Eikenberg’s Bring Your Superpowers To Work and how it bugged me that I couldn’t figure out what my superpowers were?  

I mean, I’ve always been told that it’s more important to know WHO you are than to know WHERE you’re going.  Yet there I was on a bleak February day not knowing myself OR my path.   

So I decided to dig in and determine what superpowers I had.  Then I created this list.  Perhaps it’s a bit lighter in tone than what Darcy has in mind, but it is who I am.  Which I do believe is the whole point of this exercise.

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Image Source: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress) 

• • •

I am…

  • able to confirm that the color you painted your walls is not the right color.
  • able to laugh, more often than not, at the absurdities of life.
  • able to say thank you so many times in a day that it may sound insincere, but it’s not.
  • able to bring ideas and experiences together in novel ways.
  • able to determine within minutes of meeting someone if said person is a problem solver or a problem keeper.
  • able to sit on the curb and clap enthusiastically as the parade goes by.
  • able to find a way to avoid ironing anything, preferring to delegate that task to anyone with the patience necessary to get rid of wrinkles.
  • able to remember minutiae/information that doesn’t matter any more.
  • able to remember to write down minutiae/information that matters now, often remembering where said minutiae/information is after being written down.
  • able to pick myself up, brush myself off, curse about life’s inequities– and then start all over again.

• • •

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Image Source: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

• • •

Now, I’ve shared my list. What about you, gentle readers? What are your superpowers? I’d love to know.

In Case You’ve Been Wondering Whether Or Not I’m A Sociopath

Going through my files I discovered the following.

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Here is The Sociopath Test that I took to determine that I am a functional member of society.

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It’s easy to make light of a test like the funny one mentioned above, but answering the questions gave me insight into what behaviors to look for when I think that I dealing with a sociopath.  They are those tedious people who only care about themselves and disregard anything you have to say.  Antisocial behavior? Yes.  No guilt about manipulating others?  Yes.  Rude, except when they want something?  You betcha.

~ • ~

According to the Mayo Clinic where sociopathy is a type of antisocial personality disorder:

“Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental condition in which a person’s ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong and often disregard the rights, wishes and feelings of others.”  [More here.]

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To my knowledge I don’t have any sociopaths running around in my life now.  Not to say that there haven’t been a few of them along the way– just that I gave them the boot and they are no longer invited into my happy world.

In my experience, once someone with a tendency toward this sort of anti-social, user personality knows that I will call them out on their crap, they disappear forever because the last thing they want is for someone to shine light on them.  Of course, I may have only dealt with slightly anti-social sociopaths, so my approach might not work with the really whacked, threatening ones.  Don’t know what I’d do then.

~ • ~

So, my gentle readers, what do you know about sociopaths?  Are there any in your lives?  Are you, heaven forbid, one of them?  

And most importantly, what do you do when you find yourself sitting across the table from one?  Avoid interaction OR destroy on the spot?