Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring is here


Buttercups always mean Spring!  What a beautiful way to say good-bye to Winter.  And, I didn’t even have to trudge through snow to pick them this year. 

We’re having thunderstorms today.  The sky looks pretty black.  But there is something beautiful about a Spring storm.  The dark clouds are a perfect back drop for all the bright Spring colors.  I love a good thunderstorm, but hate the thoughts of another tornado warning. 

Back in the hollow, we were always respectful of the damage a tornado could do to your home.  I can remember driving through central Illinois and seeing whole subdivisions flattened.  In a time when the early warning system was still new, we always prepared to head to our cellar if the storm got too bad.  I always had my crayon box packed and ready.  It was really an old cigar box filled with broken crayons and little treasures, but I carried it with me everywhere.  I guess I felt if the house blew away, I could start over with my box of crayons.  Thankfully that never happened.

Years later a friend gave me a birthday card with a box of crayons on the front.  Inside, the words invited me to open a new box of crayons for a whole new year and to color only happy days.  On this dark Spring day, that’s my wish for all of us.  Let’s color some happy days!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oven Toast to Spring?


Well, March has definitely come in like a lamb.  That will make for some interesting weather at the end of the month.  A strange thing happened to me last week.  Around 4:00 pm, I started feeling a little ‘funny’.  After a few minutes, I recognized the feeling.  I was warm!  For the first time in a couple of months, I actually felt warm and had to put on a t-shirt instead of my standard sweatshirt!  Later on I found out it was the warmest day we’ve had since November!  Of course, about a half-hour later, the sun went down and I was cold again.  This must be what it feels like to live in the desert.  You’ve just got to love Tennessee weather. 

As I’m writing this, fresh cinnamon toast is baking in the oven.  When was the last time you made toast in the oven?  A friend has been experimenting with making sour dough bread – the truly home made kind made without benefit of a bread maker.  I have to tell you it is delicious.  I keep telling my friend that it needs a little improvement so that she will keep supplying me with samples!  :-)  But, there is nothing better than sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on butter covered slices of homemade sour dough bread.  It’s one of those tastes that take you back to a simpler time.  A time when things moved a little slower and we had more time to think. 

These days we are constantly bombarded with mind clutter.  From the time we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, we are in constant contact with each other and the world at large.  I sometimes know more about what’s happening across the world than across the road.  Growing up in a time that included ‘party lines’ makes me appreciate how connected we were to our neighbors and how large the world used to be.  The world seems so much closer now, but in some ways we are farther apart then ever.  It makes me want to reach out to everyone I love and offer them a slice of cinnamon toast with a cup of coffee!

Oven Cinnamon Toast

Thickly sliced sour dough bread baked by you best friend (or store bought if your friends are ‘cooking’ challenged)

Cinnamon and sugar mixed together to taste (brown sugar works well too)

Buttery Spread (you can use real butter, but let it soften first so you can spread it – I like Smart Balance)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread butter onto toast.  Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar mixture.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or so depending on how brown you prefer toast.