Thursday, January 28, 2010

C'est vrai, mes amies...

Today is the birthday of French novelist, Collette. She said, "What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poetry on ice....

So cold here -- maybe we can learn something from NPR and the little poems  about these guys:


Polar Bear


I think it must be very nice
To stroll about upon the ice,
Night and day, day and night,
Wearing only black and white,
Always in your Sunday best—
Black tailcoat and pearl-white vest.
To stroll about so pleasantly
Beside the cold and silent sea
Would really suit me to a T!
I think it must be very nice
To stroll with Penguins on the ice.

             For those who like the Arctic air,
             There also is the Polar Bear.

Polar Bear

The Polar Bear never makes his bed;
He sleeps on a cake of ice instead.
He has no blanket, no quilt, no sheet
Except the rain and snow and sleet.
He drifts about on a white ice floe
While cold wings howl and blizzards blow
And the temperature drops to forty below.
The Polar Bear never makes his bed;
The blanket he pulls up over his head
Is lined with soft and feathery snow.
If ever he rose and turned on the light,
He would find a world of bathtub white,
And icebergs floating through the night.
"Penguin" and "Polar Bear" by William Jay Smith, from Laughing Time: Collected Nonsense. © Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1953. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Like this? Find more at the Writer's Almanac with my National Public Radio heart throb Garrison Kieler

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Monkey breading around

I have a wonderful staff of ladies (and one gentleman!) who fold and label our little church's monthly newsletter. I usually bake a breakfast bread or other sweet treat for them, but  because of the holiday crunch I was at the office very late on our last folding date. Hmm. What could I make them that wouldn't take too much time?

I poked around the Interspace cookbook for a while, and found a monkey bread recipe from Pillsbury, using two cans of their Grands biscuits. Gee, it was meant to be...I actually had two cans in my icebox! Unfortunately, I was out of raisins, so I substituted a down home Cape Cod favorite, our very own Ocean Spray's sweetened dried cranberries.  I was also loathe to open a new bag of walnuts since I had several open bags of almonds on hand. In short, I improvised, and made -- ta dah! -- my variation of monkey bread:  I'm calling it Cape Cod Chimp Cake.

If you'd like the original recipe from Pillsbury, it's fast and easy. If you'd like to help the cranberry bog farmers here on Cape Cod,  with my even better and  delightfully cran-delicious variation, try my  recipe:

Cape Cod Chimp Cake

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 cans Pillsbury Grands refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
2/3 cups orange flavor Craisons
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup melted butter

Grease bundt pan with cooking spray.

Mix cinnnamon and sugar in a large zip-lock bag, and mix.

Separate biscuits, and cut each one into fourths. Roll lightly into ball and shake in bag of sugar.

Arrange biscuits in bundt pan, adding almonds and Craisons in the nooks and crannies.

Microwave butter until well melted, and mix with  brown sugar. Pour over rolls - get it down in the lower levels, because any mixture that stays on top will over brown.

Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. turn upside down on serving dish.

Guess they liked it. Here's what I found at the end of the day.

Does Wilton's wonderful cake taker work for monkey bread, too? Funny you should ask (especially since that's the cake taker you see in the background above). Yes, yes, it does!

This posting is linked to Show off your stuff party # 27 at Fireflies and Jellybeans. Welcome visitors- hope you stay and poke around Olde Cape Cod!

Snow, snow, this won't go!

Well, as you know now, despite the fact that we do have milder winters than the rest of Massachusetts, it does indeed snow on Cape Cod. Here's what I saw last Monday when I arrived for work at the little church in Orleans.

And this is how it looked around the darling little fish pond in the courtyard at the top of those stairs:

So pretty, isn't it? After I've taken shots of all four seasons, I want to post them. It's hard to say when this lovely little area is at its best -- it's a very peaceful place for parishioners to sit and have a few quiet moments (um, when the benches aren't enveloped in wet snow that is...).

But the thing about snow on Cape Cod, is that it usually melts very quickly. Is it our milder temperatures? The salt in the air? Maybe a weather expert would know better, but all I know is that we very seldom have the giant snowbanks I remember from my childhood north of Boston. When I worked at home, I'd often wait out the shoveling and choose to be housebound for a day or two, and even now, I'll drive over a few inches in the hope that the gravel driveway will be down to bare stone soon.

This week, though, it's been cold. And the snow, to some degree has stuck. And while I don't like driving in poor snowy conditions, and  I don't like shoveling ever, there's a certain thrill in spying that white stuff through the windows.  It's a week since our last big storm, and here you can see the yard in front on my house.

Snow, snow, please don't go?