Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Favorite Things

A couple of things prompted the title of this post. First, yesterday when I stopped into Great Harvest. I went in for some Honey Whole Wheat and ended up also getting a loaf of Blueberry Cheesecake bread ... delish! Anyway, there were 3 young guys working and I decided to ask them what their favorite breads were. They instantly became very animated ...  One: Cracked Pepper Parmesan. Two: Merry Berry (the other guys said this kid could eat a whole [warm] loaf in one sitting, and did so every day in December. :-) Three: Said he had no idea. (He must be new ... and needs to eat more bread. He was pretty skinny!) It was really fun.

The next thing was this morning when Lisa and I were running. We encountered a few raindrops. (I ran 12.20 miles starting at 5:15 AM when it was still really sticky out.) It made me think of the song My Favorite Things (Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things ...) which I then couldn't get out of my head. So I told Lisa that I thought that would be good subject matter for today's post. So here goes. Here are a few of my favorite things:
  • An evening walk during a gentle snowfall (no wind, several inches already on the ground)
  • Moving water (a creek or river, waves on a beach)
  • Berries--raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, ...
  • Flowers
  • Clean sheets, preferably dried outside on a clothesline in a nice breeze
  • New running socks
  • The sweet smell and soft warm skin of a new baby curled up on my shoulder
  • Music
  • Watching fire (campfire, fireplace)
  • Still-warm homemade bread with butter on it
  • An ice-cold Diet COKE after a summer long run
  • Brothers walnut pancake
  • Road trips
  • A beach at sunset
  • Running with my friends
So ... there you go. You'll notice cookies didn't even make the list. Feel free to send me some of yours.

I've got to do some serious hydrating before this weekend. BTW: Robin officially switched me from the full to the half marathon this weekend per my request today. Thank u Robin. :-) I've been cramping something awful in the last couple of days. Legs (while running and especially today in the pool ... I barely made it out of the deep end of the pool. It was torturous. I swear you could have fit a fist in the huge dent the cramp made in my calf.) Even my hands are cramping. So some heavy duty hydration is definitely in order. And regarding the Med-City half, Paul Melby and I talked yesterday and I am going to (try to!) pace him to a half marathon PR on Sunday. Actually, I think he will be the pace setter. He's running really well.

Chris Koch asked me to post this ... I think I'll squeeze into my wetsuit and join them. "On Tuesday, June 1st, I will be holding an open water swim clinic at Foster Arends beach from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM. There will be one or more of the TriRochester swim experts there to help teach. Some of the topics that we will cover include mass starts (beach), mass starts (water), sighting, and exiting the water. The more people that show up, the more effective the practice will be. Swimmers of all abilities are welcome and you don't have to be a TriRochester member to participate. So grab a friend or two and come get your first open water workout of the season!" I did last year as well. Chris does a great job.

From Shaun Palmer: another female runner had an incident while running. Disturbing. And right on the beltline (though after dark).

From Mike Schmitt: A link to the Quarter quarter (restaurant) website. It looks like my friends and I will be checking it out on June 28. Fun little road trip.

I can't remember who all wanted the recipe for the berry bars that Dawn Beck made for the Saturday run and had at her water stop, but I requested the recipe from her and she just sent it. Here it is. They were fabulous. Dawn is the chef at Dunn Bros.

Berry Bars

3 c flour
2 c brown sugar
2 1/2 c oats
1 1/2 teas salt
1 1/2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
1 teas cinnamon
12 oz cold butter, cubed
Frozen blueberries and raspberries, or fresh if you have them

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixer. Cut in the butter on low. When the dough starts to come together pat enough in the bottom of the pan to form a crust, save the rest for the topping. Bake the crust at 350 about 15 minutes until it is starting to firm and looks golden. Let the crust cool a bit and then add a layer of the mixed berries. Crumble the rest of the topping on the berries and bake until the top is set and golden... I think it was about 30 minutes but I cannot remember. I let the bars set up overnight before cutting. Once cut store in the frig or freezer.

I used 2 8x8 pans, sprayed. I had crumb mixture left so this is enough for a bigger pan or scale the recipe back.

Speaking of recipes, my friend Georgia asked me if I wanted to help her and a few other friends who are creating a cookbook to raise money for ALS. Our friend Troy Reinke died of this disease a few years ago. It sounds like a fun project. Stay tuned. If nothing else, I have lots of recipes that they can use. :-)

Time for some pix. Here's a bloom report from the yard. I spent the afternoon working outside. Mowed the lawn, weeded, trimmed the sucker branches from the Japanese Tree lilac, watered everything. It was a beautiful day. Just opened were the Siberian irises.

The first Shasta daisy.

This errant little violet.

For the first time ever, I have a decent crop of sour cherries. I hope the birds don't get them all before I get a chance to make a pie or a batch of jam.

Astilbe will be in bloom soon

The hostas on the east are even bigger I think ...

Eric is home for a few days before he leaves for Costa Rica. It's good to have him here. I made some asparagus and pea risotto. You start by sauteing an onion ...

and then sauteeing the arborio rice until translucent.

Add hot stock a cup at a time, stirring constantly.

At the end of cooking, stir in asparagus and peas, parmesan and s/p. Delighful.

Now it's time to ponder what to bring to the four potlucks I have from Thursday thru Sunday. :-) All good.

Quote for the day: "If you want happiness for an hour -- take a nap. If you want happiness for a day -- go fishing. If you want happiness for a month -- get married. If you want happiness for a year -- inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime -- help someone else." --Chinese Proverb

Buenos noches.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great list Renee:) Also, thanks for the recipe...I will make sometime soon. Take care!