Tuesday, February 22, 2011

COMMON GROUND "The Toilet Seat" - Part 6

Miller and Max didn’t so much burst through the door as stumble through it. Miller pushed the door open so hard that it hit the wall and bounced back at him. Max managed to catch the door before it hit the blissfully ignorant Miller in the face.

Their hearts were pounding. The blood was rushing. The alcohol, fear and dizziness combined to create a freaked-out effect.

They were looking everywhere for Nicholas. The sidewalk was deserted as well as the street. The only sound they could hear was the rattle of the bus stop sign just up the sidewalk being shaken by the breeze.

“Where is he,” cried out Miller.

“I’m seeing the same thing you are, Miller. I don’t know,” replied Max as he looked down the street for a car that might be driving hurriedly away.

“Don’t yell at me, Max,” said Miller, his feelings a little hurt.

Max didn’t hear Miller as he had walked to the corner to look down the side street that connected to Tremont.

“Look for his shoes.” Miller’s mind was showing him a scene of Nicholas being knocked out of his shoes by the break-screeching car.

“Oh my God,” Miller brought his hands up to his face. “He’s a hit and run victim,” Miller started rocking back and forth. “And he’s stuck under the car.” The alcohol allowed his senses to be extremely heightened so tears started down his cheeks. “That makes him a hit and drag victim.” He sat down on the sidewalk. “Max!”

As Max turned toward Miller’s shout he noticed smoke rising from the bench at the bus stop. He started walking in that direction and Miller thought he was coming to him so he reached up his arm for Max to help him up. Max ignored him and kept walking right past him.

“No, he’s just on fire,” Max said and then pursed his lips.

Miller looked over his shoulder at the direction Max was walking. He wrinkled his nose as his mouth dropped open in surprise.

“Nicholas,” said Max with disdain.

Miller managed to get himself onto all fours and slowly push himself up to a standing position. With nothing to hold onto he swayed and staggered in a jagged line to the bench.

Nicholas had actually been lying on the bench watching the comedy reel of his friends searching for him. He sat up as the two of them stared down at him.

“You guys were taking forever,” he said very blasé.

“It was just a matter of seconds,” answered Miller defensively, wiping tears from his face as he steadied himself by placing his right leg against the bench for support. He reached for and took the cigarette from Miller then took a puff.

“If a second lasts five minutes,” responded Nicholas snatching the cigarette back from Miller’s fingers.

“You could have at least made some kind of noise or something and let us know you were here,” said Miller reaching for the cigarette again, Nicholas changing hands to keep it away from him.

“I decided to enjoy my cigarette,” responded Nicholas.

“Oh, is that how it is?” said Miller with mock scrutiny.

“Ladies,” Max took the cigarette from Nicholas and stamped it out on the ground. He detested smoking and hated that his two best friends enjoyed it – especially when drinking.

Nicholas looked at Miller as if it was his fault that Max had stamped out the cigarette. Miller looked at Max as he sat down on the bench, arms crossed, mouth silent.

“I nominate myself leader.” Max said as he pulled them both to their feet. “All in favor.”

Miller and Nicholas looked at each other and in unison said, “Aye.”
With their brief foray into parliamentary procedure over, Miller said, “You should have been the leader from the beginning. ‘Follow Nicholas’ you said.”

Miller had tried to say the words low enough for Max’s ears only, but caught sight of Nicholas giving him the “I can’t believe you said that” headshake.

Miller looked at Nicholas and laughed nervously. Max started to laugh at both of them. They couldn’t really stay mad at each other for too long. They knew each other too well and trusted each other too much. Nicholas joined in the laughter.

“Let’s go. I gotta pee,” said Max.

“Me, too,” said Miller.

“Me, three,” said Nicholas as he continued to laugh.

Miller stopped laughing after Nicholas said ‘me, three.’

“I hate ‘me, three’,” said Miller

Nicholas stopped laughing for dramatic effect then began to laugh again, hard. Miller joined in as he put his arm through Nicholas’s and they started walking toward home: 20 Winchester Street in Bay Village.

Miller noticed that Nicholas was walking with a limp. He looked down at Nicholas’s shoeless right foot.

“Where’s your shoe?” asked Miller.

Nicholas looked down and realized for the first time that he only had one shoe on.

“Crap,” said Nicholas as he flounced off to get his shoe on the bench at the bus stop.

Miller and Max just stood there watching him stagger run to and from the bench. He was huffing when he got back to them with his shoe in hand.

“Why did you take your shoe off?” asked Max.

“My right foot was hurting so I took my shoe off when I sat down on the bench. Then I got distracted with smoking the cigarette and watching the two of you. Then you guys came over and berated me. I’m sorry, but there’s only so much I can keep straight in here,” indicating his head, “with the tequila keeping my pistons from firing at full power.”

“Berated?” asked Max as if the word were too harsh for what had actually happened.

“Criticized?” responded Nicholas slowly and wide-eyed as if they were playing Password.

Max nodded his acceptance of the word ‘criticized’.

“Why didn’t you put it back on while you were at the bench getting it?” asked Miller.

“Crap,” said Nicholas as he looked at the shoe in his hand.

He bent over and lifted his foot to put his shoe on and nearly toppled forward. Max and Miller caught him by the arms as he screamed out. The two of them were silently laughing so hard that their bodies were almost shaking too much to lower Nicholas to the ground so that he could put the shoe on without fear of falling.

When his shoe was tied, Nicholas threw his arms into the air as an indication for his friends, who had so gently set him on the ground, to graciously help him up from it.

Back on two feet he said, “Thank you,” to both of them.

“You’re welcome,” said Max.

“Yeah, you’re welcome,” said Miller. “A fall forward would have done nothing for your nose.”

Nicholas turned to look at Miller. Miller bit his lips to keep from laughing. Max moved to the middle between his two friends who wove their arms through his as the three of them turned left onto Stuart Street.

©2011 Michael Rohrer

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

COMMON GROUND "The Toilet Seat" - Part 5

As soon as he was out of earshot Miller turned to Nicholas.

“Oh my God! – ”

“I know. She’s a freak,” Nicholas responded.

“ – He wants the toilet seat,” said Miller, contemplating what that really meant, as he made sure his hoop earring was securely fastened in his ear.

“He doesn’t really want the toilet seat. He was joking.”

Miller didn’t know it was a joke. It hadn’t seemed that way to him. He was in no mood to be made a fool of though and played along as if he’d known it was a joke himself.

“I know he was joking,” said Miller. “So was I. My delivery was just bad. Sorry. It’s the tequila. It’s ruining my timing.”

“Your timing? That’s it,” said Nicholas as he again looked toward the bar for Max. He didn’t notice that Miller stuck out his tongue and wrinkled up his nose at him. It was so easy to become childlike.

“Did you wash the spare sheets after your sister left?” asked Nicholas as he turned back and almost caught Miller, who began to lick his lips as if playing the oversexed seductress in a bad Lifetime movie.

Nicholas wrinkled up his face in confusion as he watched Miller.

“I did,” Miller responded as he used his napkin wipe off his now spit covered lips. “They’re back in the hall closet.”

“What do you think is going to happen?”

“Happen with what? The sheets?” asked Miller as he looked into his bag to find his lip moisturizer.

Nicholas took a beat to gather his composure from the stupid question Miller had just asked him before he put a saccharine smile on his face answered.


“Oh,” Miller caught the look on Nicholas’s face and filed it away to use against him at a later date. “I don’t know if he’ll get divorced, but if he does we will help him through it.”

Miller reapplied his lip moisturizer.

“Do you think they’ll really get divorced?” Nicholas asked with genuine concern.

Miller looked at him. He used the moment of putting away his lip moisturizer as time to think before he spoke.

“If somebody left me a toilet seat message, and I’m not talking about calling me from a stall and leaving a message – which is gross by the way – I would probably file for divorce myself…provided I was married.”

A hot waiter that neither of them had seen before walked by as Miller was finishing his thought. He and Nicholas both cocked their heads to side to watch him walk through the restaurant.

“I haven’t had sex in so long.” Miller leaned into his left hand very much as Max had done earlier. He placed the tip of his middle finger seductively between his teeth.

“What about last week? Mr. Softie?” Nicholas couldn’t resist the dig as he covered his mouth to hide his gratification.

Miller snapped out of his fantasy life with the hot waiter who didn’t even know he existed.

“That doesn’t count,” he said to Nicholas, his eyes wide, his voice higher pitched by the end of the word “count”. “Mr. Softie,” he said, indicating his point by holding up a limp napkin. “Doesn’t count,” he whispered to himself as he threw the napkin to the table.

“Huh,” said Nicholas flatly at his friend’s denial of events that involved nudity with another man and what constitutes having sex.

“Why do you do that?” ask Miller.

“Do what?” replied Nicholas.

“Say “Huh” every time you’re shocked by something that one of us says,” said Miller, trying to keep calm. “Is it really so shocking that I don’t consider sleeping with a man who couldn’t keep it up as actually having sex? Do you have to make me feel foolish because I didn’t know Max was joking about the toilet seat?”

“Miller,” said Nicholas in a manner befitting someone who didn’t realize his words had hurt. “I’m sorry. I thought you knew I was joking. I wasn’t being serious. Damn tequila. It’s got us all flummoxed.”

“Do you have to keep doing it? I’m a little drunk right now and it’s hard for me to differentiate honesty from a joke. The tequila makes me sensitive.”

“Yeah. The tequila.”

Miller looked at him as if their prior exchange mere seconds ago had not happened. “Okay, more sensitive than usual.”

“Miller. Come on. I’m just joking. I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist. I’ll turn my filter back on.”

Max reappeared as if by apparition with three shots in his hand.

“Hey, look what I found,” he said with a big smile on his face as he placed a tequila shot on the table in front of each of them.

“Damn it!” said Nicholas, clearly annoyed that he would have to participate in further debasing himself in support of his friend.

“Oh,” Max turned to Miller. “Some guy at the bar said to tell your mom hi.”

“It doesn’t count,” Miller yelled in the direction of the bar. His vocal tantrum did little more than cause people at nearby tables to turn and stare at him. At which point he smiled and nodded and turned back to his own table.

“Okay boys, the round we didn’t need,” Max said as he held his shot glass aloft.

Miller and Nicholas reluctantly picked up their glasses. As the other two downed their shots of tequila, Nicholas threw his over his shoulder. He hadn’t planned his improvised avoidance very well as his tequila sailed through the air and landed on the crotch of the hot waiter.

The waiter looked down at this crotch then glared at Nicholas, who completely embarrassed sunk down in his seat and put his right hand to his forehead and covered his eyes.

The other two had missed the airborne-tequila-crotch-soaking moment completely.

“Oh my God,” said Miller as he put his shot glass down on the table. “I hope I can find my house.”

“Don’t worry, Miller Liteweight, we’ll both follow Nicholas,” said Max as he steadied himself on the table.

Nicholas shook his head at his two friends as he stood up very deliberately. He realized as that moment just how drunk he was as his head became cloudy with dizziness. The table began to spin, making him swirl along with it. He grabbed the edge to keep himself from twirling like a top and losing what little balance he had.

He took a deep breath and steadied himself. He held his head high, trying to keep his dignity in tact and headed toward the door. Miller, Max and other patrons were watching him as he realized that he was trying to walk out of the restaurant in the wrong direction. Acting as if what he was doing was perfectly normal, he stopped at a table, picked up the rose that was lying there and lifted it to his nose. The occupants of the table stared at him as he swayed back and forth. He noticed they were staring and smiled a coy smile at the man then looked at the woman, inhaled again and said, “Delicious,” as he put the rose down and turned to head in the direction of the exit.

Miller looked at Max. “You want us to follow him? Where? Into traffic.”

Max smiled as he picked Miller’s bag up from the floor and gave it to him. They began walking toward the exit. Miller slowly began to drift toward a table.

“This way, Buttercup,” said Max as he put an arm around Miller not only to help guide him, but to help steady himself. You could see the patrons at other tables leaning away from them as they passed.

Miller and Max made it across the restaurant to the door. Nicholas was nowhere in sight so they assumed he was already outside. It was then they heard the screech of breaks from the street. They looked at each other and said the one word that was going through both of their heads, “Nicholas.”

©2011 Michael Rohrer

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

COMMON GROUND "The Toilet Seat" - Part 4

He sat the phone in the middle of the table. The three of them sat staring at it, mesmerized as if they’d never seen anything like it, before it finally went silent.

The silence brought relief to the people sitting at tables near them; Max, Miller and Nicholas had been unaware of the daggers being shot at them from the staring eyes of their table neighbors. It hadn't occurred to any one of them to mute the ringer or even “ignore” the call. They sat staring at the now silent phone, spellbound by it's existence and waiting to see if it vibrated then blinked to alert them that Meghan had left a voice mail.

The anticipation could be cut with a knife. They were barely breathing. An outside observer would have done a double take upon first glance at their table just to see what had the three men occupying it so entranced.

Then it happened; the phone vibrated and the red voice mail alert light began to blink. They continued to stare, transfixed. To reach out and touch the phone was like voluntarily sticking your tongue in a light socket.

Max picked up the phone and pressed the button to connect him to his voice mail. He listened.

Miller was still hung up on the fact that he hadn’t washed his hands when Nicholas had pulled him out of the bathroom.

“Do you think I have time to go wash my hands?” he leaned over and whispered to Nicholas.

“No,” Nicholas responded sharply without taking his eyes from Max. He was watching for any change in Max’s demeanor as an indication of what Meghan may have said on the voice mail. The least of his concerns at the moment were Miller’s unwashed hands.

Max made no facial movements at all while listening to the voice mail.

“Okay. All right. Here,” Max was a bit agitated. “Just to give you an example.” Max put the phone on speaker and replayed the message. There were no words, just noises.

“What is that?” asked Miller again confused by what was going on. He cocked his head like a dog hearing a high-pitched squeak and leaned in a little toward the phone.

Nicholas for some reason figured it out immediately. Maybe it was because he had heard the same sound moments before when he’d walked into the bathroom to find Miller.

Nicholas looked at Miller and over pronounced the letters “O. C. D.” in a loud whisper in an effort to help him understand what he was hearing instead of blatantly stating it.

Miller’s face suddenly changed as he realized what it was. “Oh,” he said almost aghast. Then thinking about it again he grimaced and repeated, “Oh,” with a disgusted look on his face. He couldn’t believe that Meghan had actually left a voice mail on Max’s phone of herself lifting and putting down the toilet seat. She was crazy.

“I can’t go home,” said Max, as he started to freak out a little. “I can never go home again.” He waited a beat then tagged on, “I’m homeless.”

“You’re not homeless,” said Miller, surprised at his quick response and levelheaded disposition under pressure. He was the one prone to overly dramatic exaggeration, yet here he was reeling Max in from the ledge. “You can stay with us. Right, Nicholas?” Miller looked at Nicholas for a response.

“Of course you can stay with us,” said Nicholas as he reached out and placed his hand on top of Max’s. “You can stay as long as you need to.”

Miller looked at Nicholas's hand on top of Max's and, being filter free due to the amount of tequila he had consumed, reached out and removed Nicholas's hand from atop Max's as he said, "You know you shouldn't be doing that. Remember college?"

Nicholas tutted as he sat back in his seat and crossed his arms. Miller placed his own hand on top of Max's.

"I can hold his hand in his time of homelessness. I never had a crush on him like you. This means nothing to me," said Miller as nonchalantly as ordering another drink.

Nicholas inhaled sharply then rolled his eyes as he released a deep breath of annoyance.

“Really?” said Nicholas, surprised at how Miller’s choice of words rolled off of his tongue.

“What?” asked Miller in the same nonchalant voice.

Max started to laugh as he reached up with his free hand and slapped Miller's to get him to move it.

Miller started to laugh. He looked over at Nicholas who still had the scowl of child whose feelings had been hurt on his face. He reached over and took Nicholas’s hand and in his best smoky noir femme fatale voice said, “I didn’t mean to leave you out, lover.”

Nicholas couldn’t keep a straight face. Whether it was the alcohol or the fact that what Miller had said was actually funny, he couldn’t keep from laughing.

“We’ll go over to your apartment while Meghan is at work and help you clear out your stuff,” said Miller to Max as a plan of attack started to formulate in his tequila-drowned mind.

“We’ll take the toilet seat too,” responded Max, proud of his idea. He had somehow turned into an evil mastermind floating without a life preserver down the tequila river where common sense sinks like a stone.

Responding as if he hadn’t consumed as much alcohol as the other two, “We’re not taking the toilet seat,” Nicholas blurted out looking at Max like he was stupid.

“Well then at least let me leave it up,” said Max in an effort to give another option of deviousness just to screw with Meghan’s mind.

“And I thought I was obsessive,” said Miller more to himself than to the other two.

“We should have one more round,” said Max, his scheming side kicked into high gear by his thoughts of what he could do the Meghan.

Having the sense to realize that they should stop now, Miller and Nicholas shouted “No!” at the same time.

Shocked by their outburst, Max finished what was left of his margarita, pouted for just a second then slowly stood up from the table. “I’ll go settle up then.” He checked his balance by carefully letting go of the table. The room was gently spinning, but his legs held. He walked in the direction of the bar in search of Jillian, only staggering once.

©2011 Michael Rohrer

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Imprtance of Being...

A half a bottle of wine can go a long way in releasing one's tongue. I didn't say the things I really wanted to say or the things I should have said, but I did say many things that allowed the ice that has frozen between us to crack.

Neal was in town for the weekend and he, Matt and I had dinner on Friday night at Whym. I don't remember the last time I saw Matt so I was a little nervous. There's no reason that I should be nervous when it comes to anything Matt. He's been my best friend, along with Neal, for 19 years. Nineteen years! That's a long time and a lot of shared history. When you put that into perspective, the fact that I was nervous is ridiculous.

Matt and I have had a distant relationship as of late. I don't think it's exactly strained; it's just not what it used to be. You see I've been single for 13 years - partly by choice and partly by fear of commitment. I became dependent on Matt. He and I were roommates in the City for several years and even though he is straight and always in a committed relationship, I gave him the grand occupancy in my heart that should have gone to someone else, i.e., a boyfriend.

Patterns. It's just something that happened. I didn't really know it had happened until I started distancing myself from him in order to be less dependent. It was then that I realized he was the first person I call with news both good and bad. The difference is this: I'm not the first person he calls. Matt isn't scared to be in a relationship. Matt wants to be in a relationship; he thrives on it. I'm the one who's scared. He never gave me the high pedestal of love that I gave him. Yes, he loves me, but I never felt as needed as when he needed me. That's a problem and a pattern. When I realized that, I got upset - with me and with him. He wasn't at fault, but in my sadness, anger and disappointment, I slowly began to cut myself off from him. Can you imagine? I cut myself off from one of the two people who have been with me through every major event in my life from early twenties to now. I couldn't figure out how to be less dependent on him without breaking my pattern of using him for everything. That created distance. Now we barely talk anymore. That's not exactly what I wanted either.

I was afraid. I wanted to be strong enough to not need him. In my mind he didn't need me nearly as much as I needed him. I think I felt weak for the need.

When I saw him Friday night nothing mattered but how much I've missed my friend. Oh how much!

Neal made the comment in conversation that the three of us do not have the same friendship as we had all those years ago; we have changed and grown. If we had tried to hold onto it the way it was it would have died and we probably would have lost touch.

He's right. We are different people. Matt's been married twice and is now engaged again. Neal fought the marriage equality fight in Massachusetts and is happily married to the wonderful Stephen. They put up with my perpetually single self and the miserable home life I lived with for 13 years (thank you Zanzibar) and watched me joyously come out on the other side and in another borough.

Friends support each other. They love each other. I think that my desire to distance myself from a dependency has been selfish and irresponsible. There has to be a balance. Balance will not come without work though.

We three need each other. We are family. Neal and Matt are my brothers. Families fight, they make up, they get over it, they hug, they laugh again, they forgive...they love each other. As much as I feel weak for needing anyone, I need those two men in my life. I'm weaker for trying not to need them. I'm stronger for admitting that I do.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

W&W "Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Muffins"

I met Heather in the cake mix aisle of Food Emporium last Saturday night. I was listening to a story my friend Brandon was telling me. It was heartfelt and I should be punished for not listening as intently as I should have been. If I had been listening with both ears focused solely on him, I probably wouldn't have heard the woman next to me asking an employee for pumpkin; real pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. I couldn't help but stop Brandon and ask her if I had heard her correctly. I mean how many people at the same time are looking for canned pumpkin? She said that she was indeed looking for pumpkin. She wanted to make these brownie muffins she'd seen made on television. I looked at her with a "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" look on my face and revealed the chocolate cake mix I had in my hand. We discovered we had both seen the same program and wanted to make the same brownie muffins. We laughed and introduced ourselves then went our our merry pumpkin-searching way.

Here's the story: Thursday I happened to be channel surfing and came across a channel that I'd never heard of before. It's called Cooking Channel. Sounds like direct competition with The Food Network to me. Anyway, I watched a couple of shows. One was about putting a french spin on ordinary dishes. I recorded that one so that I could try some of it later. The other was a series called Hungry Girl. On the episode I watched, the host, Lisa, was swapping. Let me explain that a little. She wasn't swapping butter for margarine; she was swapping the fatty food you love with something similar but low fat. She showed the viewer how to get the same type of feeling one gets from eating something they love without eating it and all of its fat. Her example: chips. She loves chips. Chips are loaded with fat. She took fresh kale and cut it up, sprinkled it with sea salt, sprayed it with olive oil spray (briefly) and then placed it in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes. It came out of the oven crunchy. It's a healthy, fat free alternative to chips. She said it has the consistency of pop corn. Another chip replacement was Lavosh. I had never heard of Lavosh: a round thin Middle Eastern bread that is soft like a tortilla. It was very large. She cut it into pieces, placed it on a cookie sheet and popped it in the oven for 2 minutes. They crisp right up and again replace your crispy chip desire with something that crunches like a chip, but has no fat. Basically, you're tricking your senses with the crunch you desire but not adding the fat to you waist line. Disclaimer: I did not try either of these things.

What I did try was her low fat/low calorie chocolate brownie swap. It was so simple. Two ingredients is all you need plus whatever you might use to dress it up without taking away too much of its healthier-for-you factor.

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 can of pumpkin

You read right. Those are the two ingredients.

I used a Duncan Hines® Devils Food cake mix and a can of organic pumpkin. It's important to note here that it's pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling. Just plain old pumpkin in a can. The pumpkin replaces everything else that the cake mix calls for.

Pour the cake mix into a bowl and then add the pumpkin to the mix. You're gonna need to put some elbow grease into it because it takes a bit of stirring to mix the pumpkin and cake mix to a smooth batter. Don't be afraid. It didn't really take that long. If you choose to taste the batter at this point, you're going to find yourself in brownie heaven. Seriously, that's what it tastes like; a rich, chocolate brownie.

Here's where I made some changes; I am a tweaker afterall. I added two teaspoons of vanilla and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Actually, I started with one teaspoon of vanilla and a sprinkling of cinnamon, but after blending it into the batter and tasting it, I decided to add another teaspoon of vanilla and more cinnamon. None of that is detrimental to the low fat/low calorie plan thus far. Oops (sly grin) here's where I messed up. You see, I wanted caramel baking chips in these brownie muffins. I couldn't find them at either grocery store I went to. I settled for a Milky Way® Caramel candy bar. Hey, I wanted my caramel and I found a way to get it. Who are you to judge me? I chopped the bar into small pieces and dumped them into the batter.

Let's review:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon 'til your heart's content
1 Milky Way® Caramel bar chopped

Remember Lisa, the host? She suggested tin cupcake liners. I couldn't find any so we went without. I sprayed Pam® all over the muffin pan and then spooned the batter into the muffin holes. The recipe only makes 12 brownie muffins.

They bake for 20-24 minutes.

Get the liners! The brownie muffins didn't exactly stick to the pan, but they were so moist that they fell apart as I tried to get them out of the pan. The cupcake liner would hold it all together.

Okay, I don't want to brag and truthfully, I just added to somebody elses recipe, but they were amazing. Seriously, I recommend trying this at home. We served ours with fat free vanilla frozen yogurt.

They were dense and gooey and chocolatey just like a brownie should be. It was like a chocolate explosion in my mouth; sometimes sticking to the roof like too much Wonderbread® or peanut butter. Don't be deterred by that. It was amazing. The caramel melted, and in some instances bubble right out the top. I could smell the cinnamon while they baked. Everyone agreed that they were a good choice for satisfying our sweet tooth and our chocolate craving. That's killing two birds with one low fat/low calorie stone.