Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall/Summer Potpourri

I had the best breakfast this morning. I made blender pancakes—the kind where you put a cup of whole-wheat kernels in the blender—-well, heck, I'll just give you the recipe in case you want to try it.

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat kernels
1 cup milk
2 eggs
¼ cup canola oil (I've used olive oil before, too)
1 tsp. salt (I use less because I use “Real Salt” and it's stronger)
2 TBS. Sugar (I use honey because it makes me feel more righteous and healthy...and you don't have to use as much as sugar)
1 TBS. baking powder (Use Rumford's—no aluminum!)

Blend on high for a few minutes, till the wheat kernels are beat into submission or exploded, whichever comes first. The batter won't be completely smooth—there will be nut-like fragments of wheat—which is part of the charm and deliciousness.

This batter works in a waffle iron (spray with olive oil Pam first!) or on a griddle. It makes very hearty, stick-to-your-ribs pancakes that won't drive your blood sugar up as fast as the white flour kind.

After I take out enough batter to fry Darwin some pancakes, (he is a plain pancake kind of guy...with plain maple syrup...fake!) I doll the remaining batter up with blueberries and maybe a half a banana...and lots of cinnamon with a tad of nutmeg. If I'm making the batter ONLY for me, I will add applesauce (no sugar), banana and blueberries and NO sugar. The fruit does make the batter heavy and more goo-ey...and my kids don't all like it so much, maybe you will want your fruit just lounging about on the top! Experiment around.

So, now that you know about my pancakes, I have to tell about what inspired me to make them on this cool, perfect autumn day: the apples Joyce brought by...the orchard-fresh apples from Glendale, hand-picked by Joyce and Clarence. Joyce showed up on Monday while we were both having fall break from school...with a box of apples.

I sliced some up this morning...left a little peel on some...and cooked them in my water-free cookware. Oh, deliciousness!!! The mouth-watering apple smell filled the whole kitchen. I heaped my pancakes with apple goodness, a dollop of fat-free Mountain High yoghurt (that's how they spell it...I'm not just being fancy), and some frozen blueberries...and a few shakes of cinnamon. I was in breakfast heaven.

Thanks, Joyce and Clarence. You have to know that I made an apple crisp last night, too. Anyone want THAT recipe? Oh-so-good with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. (Nope. No fat-free, sugar-free substitutes for the ice cream. Just go for gold!)

Okay. It turns out that I'm not finished blogging yet. I had a miracle Sunday...I found my camera that has been missing for awhile. I am not ME without my camera. That's why I could take a pic of my pancakes this morning...finding the camera started this whole blog today. Hooray for small miracles!

When I checked out the photos, I saw that I had a potpourri of pics from about mid July onward to September 5th...and then NOTHING. Aaron's heart attack brought my picture taking to a virtual standstill. The last picture was of Darwin's birthday cake we bought at Costco. We had a family get-together on Saturday, September 5 during Peach Days, in our back yard. Here's the photo to prove it.

As I looked at my pics from the month or so before, I had a pleasant little jaunt down memory lane. Here are a few of the twists and turns:

Janna and I have a fresh flower fetish...we found that we could buy flowers fairly cheaply at Wal Mart and occasionally Costco. The coffee table in the front room was the perfect showcase spot...except for Mr. Trouble--the Fixity.

Julianne and her roommates--the gnomes--and some of their guy friends--hiked down into Lake Havesu in the Grand Canyon this summer. Some of them stayed at our house en-route to Arizona, and they were absolutely delightful...a joy to have around. Here they are, loading the backpacks, getting ready to GO. L to right...Hayley, Julianne, and Riana (at least, the back of her head!) and some unnamed fella.

Janna, Jujie and I took a trip to SLC to find the perfect little black dress for Sara Last's (now Wheat!)wedding reception. We went to every store in that blasted valley, I swear! Little black dresses are deceptively tricky...they are either quite, quite hideous, or quite, quite OVER-PRICED, or all of the above. But we girls had fun just being together, shopping, laughing, etc....and making sure to watch the current episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" in our hotel room. I snapped a few shots at the Gateway Mall...especially at Anthropologie. I love that store! Look at the above photo (in Anthropologie) carefully. You can see me with my ubiquitous camera, just snapping away.

Then look below at the awesome chandelier that was just above our heads!

Here was one such little black dress...they only wanted around $350 for it. Cute, huh!

I wish I had some pics of the actual dress Juje wore for Sara's reception...very elegant, and not nearly so pricey.

Other summer fun: Peach Days!

I love to watch people. I wish I could just snap away like crazy...but somehow people don't like having strangers poking cameras in their faces. While I was sitting under the shade canopy, watching continuous entertainment, I would sneakily zoom in on unsuspecting folks. Here are some faces I love:

This is Ferrell Sullivan...who is a mainstay of Hurricane, and of my growing-up years. He calls himself "The King of the Cowboys." Blanch Young (white hair, bun) is sitting next to him...she is a quilter who travels all over doing classes...famous in the quilting world.

I came to hear Dan Worwood (newly home from his mission to Indonesia)play his guitar for his sister, Jenna (Hurricane royalty!) to sing. I loved it.

Darwin, Janna, and I motored up through Zion National Park one day, on our way to see Joyce and Clarence out in Glendale. On our way, we saw five cars, same make and model, driving in a line. Then we noticed the back end of the cars were all covered over with some fake plastic stuff. We wondered what was going on. It was like the cars were disguised. This picture doesn't show it up, unless you look closely at the end one. (We were right behind them, lining up to go through the tunnel.)

When we got out to Orderville, we drove around enjoying the little town ambiance...since WE come from such a BIG city...and we found a Vickie Son-Son fence. Shauna, this one is for YOU!!!!!

This stop sign is in the teeny-tiny hamlet of Alton, which is farther in the boonies than even Glendale! (Home of Rayda Roundy, folks!) Cool, huh!

On our way back to highway 89 from Alton, these cows made a very effective roadblock. It was like the Mafia of the West... "you ain't leavin' without payin' yer dues, stranger." The crazy things would NOT move.

We drove over Cedar Mountain to go home. There was a strange haze in the sky that grew thicker and thicker as we traveled west.

It turned out that Pine Valley Mountain was ablaze.

I was heart-sick. There had been a fire up on top of the mountain, smoldering away for at least two weeks...but government agencies would not do anything about it because it was wilderness area, and they weren't supposed to bring any equipment there. Well, the wind changed, as wind is wont to do, and down the mountain the blaze came, right towards the town of New Harmony. There was a lot of damage done in the ensuing days.

I'm at the end of the pics I took up to 9-05-09. The next momentous occasion was Darwin's REAL birthday, which took place on 09-09-09. I joked that very morning that some earth-shattering incident would probably happen on Darwin's birthday...besides him turning 65...and it did. That was the day Aaron had his heart attack, followed by a five-bypass surgery on 9-11. Kinda' freaky how those dates lined up, eh?

The good news is (and I want to end this LONG ramble on a positive note!) that Aaron is doing very well. I'm going to go eat some lunch...the pancakes are LONG GONE!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October is getting older...

"And when October goes, the same old dream appears..."
The days are getting shorter, the leaves are getting brittle and beat-up looking...FINALLY turning breezes hint at colder weather yet to come, the skies seem bluer and wider, and I feel melancholy/nostalgic. I just downloaded the Barry Manilow song "When October Goes," after I wrote the first of this epistle. Wow. I had forgotten how much I liked this song. Click here for a link that tells how Manilow wrote the music to an old Johnny Mercer lyric.
You should give it a listen on iTunes.

I had this song on an old Manilow cassette tape called 2:00 AM, Paradise Cafe. I remember playing the October song over and over while I sewed dance festival dresses in the study in the old pioneer home. Isn't it funny? A few bars of a song, and I am immediately transported back in time. I can even see the fabric slipping under the presser foot of my sewing machine as I sewed ruffles while Barry wailed. Amazing.

Smells do that to me, too...instant time travel to a specific time and place, complete with emotions of that moment.