Showing posts from May, 2011

Summer is as easy as pie

I love summer. And I love America. And I love pie. All of these three wonderful things come together and remind me of how magnificent they all are every year in late May, when flags fly, the kids go to school and learn nothing, and my hands are busy kneading shortening into flour. Memorial Day’s true meaning is solemn, important, and serious. But I would be remiss if I didn’t equate it to the un-official kick-off of summer. Grills everywhere are firing up, people are mixing together giant bowls of potato salad and wondering why anything so delicious seems inedible during all of the cold months of the year. Flip-flops start flopping, shorts start revealing our winter white legs, and I will be busy making pie. Some say pie is the dessert of fall, a typical Thanksgiving tradition. Those people are really missing out. For me, pie tastes best in the summer, served on a paper plate with a plastic fork on a red gingham covered picnic table. Berry, lemon, cherry, apple, p

Tea with a friend always tastes better

A simple glance at the grocery store aisle will tell you that there are about 5,639 different types of tea out there. You might find it interesting that all true tea comes from one single plant, and different varieties are created by different ways of processing the leaves. Herbal blends are not actually teas by definition. This is all well and good, but when it comes to hot water you pour over some sort of withered up leaf, the outcome is usually the same: A hot beverage served best when with a friend. I am no stranger to a mug of tea with honey when I’m feeling under the weather or a cup of chamomile when I just want to calm down. And I’m not the only one who “self-medicates” with tea. There are even fancy brands out there that cleverly put their cause in their name. Immuni-Tea, for example, keeps you healthy. Longevi-Tea keeps you around. Fertili-Tea, as the name states, creates a world of chaos in your home filled with tiny shoes and pacifiers. But besides th

Philosophy of breaking things

There are times in everyone’s lives when they are presented with a philosophical question. Kind of like one of those “if a tree falls in the woods” moments, when the happenings of the day can neither be described as accident, consequence, or coincidence. And the consequences of the happenings have no explanation whatsoever. Such a moment happened to me recently as I went above and beyond the call of homemaker duties and again broke a major appliance. I have a pretty decent track record when it comes to that sort of thing, like the time I tried to repair the kitchen faucet and ended up stripping the whole thing and listened to constant dripping water before my husband came to the rescue. And it was not even two years ago that I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to piece the snow blower back together using craft wire and duct tape after I channeled my inner cowgirl and attempted to clear the driveway of feet of snow. I may have bent solid steel with my hand, but so

Eatin' from the yard: Morels and an invasive plant

First of all, I will not reveal where I find my mushrooms, so don't even bother asking. But I will reveal this yummy recipe which is an adaptation on a tiny little blurb that showed up on the bottom of a page in an issue of Cooking Light. Asparagus with morels, bacon, and garlic mustard 2 slices good bacon 1 Tbl butter ~6 oz morel mushrooms, quartered 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1" pieces salt and pepper handful of garlic mustard leaves (or chives, ramps, other oniony-garlicy plant) Cook bacon in skillet. Remove when done and set aside. Add butter to pan and saute mushrooms for around 4 minutes. Add asparagus, salt and pepper. Saute 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp tender. Remove from heat and sprinkle with bacon and chopped up garlic mustard. I added a bit of olive oil to make it saucier. I also added a splash of balsamic vinegar because I like that flavor with asparagus. I also ate most of it myself because my family is anti-mushroom. :)

Go ahead, call me a weed

The world is full of mothers. And we as the type who tote around diaper bags and sit through piano recitals are really no different than the weeds in our front yard. Every Mother’s Day I am reminded of that crazy bond that females all around the animal and plant world share. Call it instinct, call it insanity, but that whole business of having children is just how the world works. Ask any naturalist or biologist, and they will tell you that if something in this world is living, it has a very specific task to do before it dies: Make more of itself. Consider the mayfly, which hits adult status for roughly three hours before it dies. Within those three hours, they all become parents. On a slightly larger scale, take the average rabbit, hippity hopping through your backyard, eating your flowers and vegetable sprouts before scurrying back home to practice the art of multiplication. If a rabbit’s gestation period is 31 days and she has as many litters as possible in one y