What’s Good Takes Time…

Once in a while, only time can make ready what you’d like served up quickly. Unless you use a microwave. And I don’t like microwaves. I really do enjoy the process of cooking and baking–and don’t mind if it takes several hours. I’m pretty good at waiting. Not all the time, but usually. So many metaphors about life and cooking and waiting… So I won’t go into that today. Instead, I’ll just offer up this recipe. It’s actually simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. And…sometimes…that’s all right too. ; )

Sam’s Pear Bread

Baby pears, May 2010.

1/2 C butter
1 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C vanilla yogurt (or buttermilk)
1 C cored pears, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter, gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine dry ingredients; add to egg mixture alternately with yogurt. Stir in pears and vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Friends…

Busy, busy day. Not a lot of time for writing. But wanted to check in and jot a few notes… Picked up one of my best friends, Beth, from the airport yesterday. We’ve been friends since elementary school days. And then we caught up with more friends at a reunion, some of them going back to elementary school also. It’s funny, the paths of life. Catching up with people you knew when you were just learning how to add and subtract, to create papier-mâché maracas out of light bulbs in art class, and how to find your favorite library books. And then there are all the friends in between then and now. Some of them just as special in different ways. And then there are the more recent friends, those you may have only known for a few months, but whose impact will remain with you a lifetime… Just rambling now, so will leave this thought for another time… I hope your new day is incredibly blessed…

Mom’s Famous Potato Salad

Christmas in July. With unseasonably hot weather lately, I’ve been wishing for a bit of snow! But I don’t want to rush the seasons—they already go by too quickly. So let’s make the most of them. Just in case you’re planning on a barbecue, picnic, or just a fun get-together this weekend, consider making my mom’s special Southern potato-salad. Although my mom doesn’t use a recipe, by trial and error, I figured out the measurements. ; ) And with the pimento-red and relish-green, you’ll have a bit of Christmas right in front of you.

3 boiled eggs
3 large potatoes
1 C mayonnaise
1 C chopped onions
1/2 C sweet pickle relish
1 T mustard
chopped pimento

Boil 3 eggs, then set aside. Meanwhile, peel 3 large potatoes, cut up, boil until tender but not mushy (10 to fifteen minutes). Drain water from potatoes, then mash until creamy or leave in some small chunks. Stir in mayonnaise. Add onions and relish. Add mustard. Cut up 2 of the 3 eggs and mix in. Place potato salad on a serving dish. Garnish with paprika, pimento and egg slices. Serves 8.

Ready… Set… GO!

If you could pick any destination, where would you go? Where do you desire to be at this very moment? Are you content? If not, why not? Nope, I’m not being nosy—and I’m no life coach, travel agent, or counselor. Just a fellow human being trying to figure out her own itinerary and wish list.

Actually, I’d like to be in the Land of No More Suffering and No More Tears, in a world where complete joy and peace and love permeate the atmosphere. I’ll get there someday. I know it exists. But before I step into that realm, I have to finish this obstacle course known as Life on Earth.

And, really, I do believe there are beautiful, joyful moments here on this planet. It’s just that they don’t seem to last long enough. I’ve heard it said that if you’re happy, hang on—because rocky times are around the corner. And if you’re in challenging times, don’t worry—better days are just ahead. “That’s just life.” And I suppose there’s some comfort in that.

But I want to think of life more as a big mountain-climbing experience, where every step, whether up or down, is exciting and invigorating—where even bug bites and unexpected snow and blisters and thorn-pricked fingers are all just signs of being truly alive. Where, instead of thinking that each of us is “a little soul carrying around a corpse,” like the Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote, we’re actually “an exquisite galaxy of trillions of cells, all dancing to the harmony of life.” That’s a direct quote from my friend Joseph Feinstein. I have smart, wise, creative friends. : ) And I am thankful.

So if you’d like to join me on this excursion, I’d be honored. Maybe we can figure out some breathtaking, memorable stops along the way…just as long as we promise to take time and look up at the stars, at the clouds, at the sunrises—and down at the ants and the paw prints and the pebbles…