This weekend, we ate smiley faced pancakes with fresh blueberries, raspberries and chocolate chips. We played pickup baseball, Hedbanz and a loose-ruled version of Family Feud. We took long, slow walks down old country roads. We watched a mother robin feed her baby birds. We sat around a crackling camp fire and listened to frogs […]
Category Archives: Holidays
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Our favorite leprechaun greeted me with a pot of gold yesterday when I dropped by her house for a wee bit o’ blarney. “Have some chocolate,” she said. “I buy it from the Boy Scouts.” Then she held up a basket full of giant candy bars, wrapped in gold. Connie the Cookie Lady celebrates every […]
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We are T-minus 24 hours from the big day and, we’re not going to lie, we’re struggling here at Christmas central. Complete anarchy erupted in a baker’s box, and now we have a half dozen gingerbread men in a less than dignified state of undress, with clumps of parchment paper stuck to their limbs and […]
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I’m pretty sure I met the real Santa Claus last night and he did not disappoint. As with most magical encounters, it happened randomly. I rounded a corner on an ordinary cul de sac and slammed so hard into the spirit of Christmas that my breath stopped for a second or two and my eyes […]
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I frightened my neighbors as I hung up our Christmas lights…I always do. My family knows better. They flee the house at the first sulphur whiff of the bulbs. But, lured by an unseasonably warm afternoon and a sweet innocence I’ve yet to destroy, my neighbors strolled happily past our house Sunday afternoon. They waved […]
Today, I’m thankful for U.S. I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to say so. We live in a beautiful, confounding country and sometimes we forget our manners. But, by official proclamation, we have to write a national thank you note every fourth Thursday in November. Consider this mine. I’m grateful to Abraham Lincoln who, in […]
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Enter through the liquor store and note disturbing lack of carts. Successfully procure the extra large variety, and partially fill it with a hopefully appropriate selection of alcohol. Thus fortified, head west and cautiously begin negotiating a produce section teaming with Klingons. Seek refuge in the paper product aisle (while conveniently securing a 12-mega roll […]
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With five minutes to spare, I careened into the house, wearing a furry Chewbacca sweatshirt and lugging bags of candy. Halloween snuck up on me this year but, with more than a half-century of experience, I whipped my house in shape just in time to have a thoroughly good time. With the clock ticking until […]
Before the first fireworks flew into the sky on Monday, I started my own Independence Day celebration with my own Declaration of Independence: I turned the oven on.
The tone of the oven when it reached its set 350o rang through the empty kitchen and could be heard ’round the air condition-less house.
After an afternoon of overbearing expectations and regulations from the ruling summer heat, I couldn’t help but resort to kitchen warfare. The summer heat had melted my butter, caked my sugar, and spoiled my strawberries; and I had had enough.
Of course these are ordinary issues for bakers further south, and they rarely complain, but they live subject to the summer heat all year round, of course they are used to his influence in their kitchen.
It is simple common sense that a ruler, who can only be bothered to stick around for a few short months, should not have control of his subjects’ entire lives.
So I marched to the oven, armed with my troops of star-shaped mini pie shells, and waited until the late afternoon when I knew the heat would be lazily complacent. Under cover of SPF 30, I slipped the shells into the oven. Despite the best efforts of the heat to break my spirit and force me to turn of the oven in some dehydrated delirium, I held my ground and the pie shells came out golden and unscathed.
After my afternoon struggle, I became even more grateful to the American patriots for fighting the actual rebellion, so that I and many others could fight silly rebellions every day. So go ahead light those fireworks on your residential street, grill all those burgers for just a few people, and bake a pie when it’s 90o out. Save the rule following and meat pies for the Brits, Fourth of July belongs to the rebels.
Star Spangled Kitchen Pies
1 cup Butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tbsp milk
1 cup favorite pie filling (I recommend Apple, Cherry, or Berry for max patriotism)
- Mix all of your ingredients (besides the filling) until they form a stiff dough, it should be too wet. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- On a well floured surface or between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll out the dough until it’s only a few millimeters thick (you might have to divide into two pieces).
- Using a star shaped cookie cutter, cut the sheets into stars and place the stars in a well-greased mini muffin tin.
- Bake in a 350o oven for 15 minutes, cool and remove from pan by twisting the shells.
- Place 1/2 tbsp of your favorite pie filling (I used mixed berry left over from my own Independence/Graduation party) in each shell and chill in the fridge until ready.
On Black Friday, we woke to the sound of a turkey dance.
They came from the woods, gathered in the sun, and thumbed their little beards at us from the cornfield next to our cabin.
Still a little doped up on tryptophan from our Thanksgiving feast, we gathered at the window to watch them play.
Turkey in the straw. Ha Ha Ha.
All hepped up on the sweet taste of freedom, they partied in honor of their national holiday. They looked like middle school students lined up in the gym on a Friday night; the Toms strutted, the hens preened and they all flirted a bit with their wattles and snoods. It took a while for the actual dancing to begin.
The cocky ones looked up disdainfully a time or two, having caught a movement from behind the cabin window. Nobody likes a chaperone.
Still jammied up, I stuck my feet in borrowed slippers, stepped out on the front porch, poked my head around the chimney and tried to snap a photo or two.
This irritated them in a noisy, OMG-do-you-have-to-do-that-now way, so I left them alone.
The birds prattled on, gossiping about the season and supremely happy we hadn’t gobble, gobbled them.