Thursday, March 25, 2010

trees - day one


I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer

Helen rooted me.

She planted scripture in her conversation without quoting chapter and verse.

She was humble.

She tended my love of simple words.

She gave me this poem from memory on a Saturday morning. I stopped dusting for a moment.

Perhaps that was the day she asked me to wash her feet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

peachy gratefuls

284. The peach pie that El gently insisted we get from the farmer's market.

285. The peach horizon under the rain clouds this evening, on the way in.

286. The short time spent on something that could have taken a long time.

287. The way the clouds looked like mountains on the way out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Recipe

Cam, I am asked me for a recipe today, so I decided to share it here - along with a story. Any recipe worth it's chocolate chips has a story.

These cookies were banished from my home and my presence nearly 16 years ago. I forgot about them until recently. El asked what I craved when I was pregnant with her. I told her I didn't think I craved anything. The only thing I could remember was going on a date with Steve and eating french fries and a piece of chocolate pie for dinner. Weird preference maybe, but not a craving. I didn't feel right about my answer though. Her question bugged me.

Shortly after her question, El was supposed to take a couple dozen cookies to school, for sale in the cafeteria as part of a fundraiser for the orchestra. (Batches 1,2&3)

And suddenly I remembered The Cookies.
And suddenly I could answer her question.
And suddenly I slapped some poundage on the behinds of everyone I love, for these yummies are not conducive to weight maintenance.

Indisputable fact. The best recipes come from church cookbooks. Janesville United Methodist Cookbook(that's the church where we got hitched!) is a small, red, three ring binder. Tucked behind a blue tab with the modest label COOKIES & BARS, at the bottom of page 93, is the beloved Recipe. I am forever indebted to (and furious with) a woman with the initials CB.

Quite recently, Cam, I am named them Your Pregnancy Cookies, as in, "Oh, yay, I hoped you'd bring Your Pregnancy Cookies!" (Batches 7,8&9)

Warning: this recipe must be tripled. Honestly. One or two batches will not make it to tomorrow. Mo made some cookies yesterday. Steve just finished off the last one. (Batches 15,16&17, and yes, the numbers are off because I could only double batch one time, due to the tragic circumstance of running out of chocolate chips)

Chocolate Cookies, Your Pregnancy Cookies*, or The Recipe**

1 stick margarine (I use butter)
1 T. water
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cook margarine (butter), water, and brown sugar over low heat until melted (or may microwave). Add chocolate chips; stir to melt. Beat in eggs, flour, soda, and salt. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Some advice:
cook the butter-water-sugar mixture until the sugar does not seem 'grainy' any more;
let the mixture cool below egg cooking temperature before you add the eggs;
the dough is the right consistency when it doesn't stick to your fingers;
the dough will look strange - don't worry.

*No, I am not pregnant. Puh-leeze.
**I am reminded of the Baldwin Sisters on The Waltons. CB of Janesville United Methodist Church has honored us with her Recipe. I entrust it to you to honor and protect; revere it, for it holds healing powers. Or perhaps it will begin your downward spiral. See you at the bottom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

in like a lion gratefuls

282. Umpteenth chances given.
283. Umpteenth chances received.