Friday, January 20, 2012

Life in Our World – Snow Day

Yesterday I went to a class on education. Though I’ve read this statement before, it was stated again in the class that: “Children primarily look to their mothers for guidance and to their fathers for acceptance.” I’ve thought about that statement quite a bit. As of 2010, 40% of all births are out of wedlock. Where, oh where, will nearly half of the nation's children look for and find acceptance. I didn't know how important a good dad was, I really didn't, when I was dating and preparing to get married. I feel so blessed that Calvin is such a good father. I feel like I dodged a bullet. A really dangerous bullet.

Calvin came near the end of the class to see me. It had been snowing all afternoon so he scraped the car windows while it was in the parking lot and started it so it would be warm when I was finished.  It was such a kind gesture.  Then he took us out to supper. We picked up the movie Courageous and came home and watched it. The only thing better than a date on Friday night is a date on Thursday night because school is going to be cancelled.

So today was a snow day. Truth be told, I was a bit sad it was today of all days. I know, I know, “As a rule, man’s a fool. When it’s hot he wants it cool. When it’s cool he wants it hot, always wanting what it’s not.”

In an attempt to make the most of it (and really, can you help but have fun on a snow day even if it isn’t on the day you wanted?), I have had a grand day:

First thing I did was go on a walk in the snow.  It was deep enough in some places to go inside my boots and was hard breaking through the drifts in all places.  I was wishing I’d worn two jackets instead of three a quarter mile into it.  But, the silence really was golden.  I could hear the train blow its whistle three miles away.  I only hear it on days when the snow muffles the other sounds (like worms, flowers, wheat, and grass busting through the dirt [hmmm.  I wonder if those things really do make sounds when they come up for air.  I suppose with a billion in the chorus they must, but I’d never thought about it until now], weeds wheezing in the wind [which I think sound just like a woman in nylons with healthy thighs walking by], crickets, frogs, and dogs.  And then there are fewer noisy things on the road like trucks and cars when it’s snowy, and no tractors or combines in the fields, either).

Calvin called this afternoon and asked me to make a pot of stew for the families he home teaches.  He asked if I would use his recipe and the blue pot.  (I think that is another funny difference between men and women – nine times out of ten women will complain at what they’ve just cooked when they sit down to eat with others, while ten times out of ten men will heartily compliment themselves on what they just cooked to the whole table.  Have you noticed that?  I’ve been observing it for quite some time now, so I think it can safely be considered a fact.)  I asked Calvin to tell me his recipe again even though I knew for sure and for certain that it is the same one I use, and indeed his directions matched mine.  Nonetheless, I have a kettle of Calvin’s Stew on the stove waiting for him to deliver.

Miracle Multi-Grain Bread

I’ve wanted to try a multi-grain bread recipe that I saw on a blog, but when I read the complicated directions I knew I wouldn’t be trying their version soon.  Instead, I made substitutions to the Miracle Bread recipe:

Miracle Multi-Grain Bread
5 cups of 9 grain cereal
2 ½ cups of white flour
2 ½ cups of wheat flour
3 rounded Tbsp saf-instant yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 ½ Tbsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup apple sauce
3 + cups hot water

Mix the first six ingredients together.  Add oil, apple sauce and hot water all at once.  Mix (knead) for 10 minutes.  Shape into loaves.  Put in greased loaf pan.  Spray the loaf with cooking spray and sprinkle oats on top.  Let rise 25 minutes.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until done. 

I like it.  I really like it.  Granted, I like fibrous things like whole grains, nuts, and celery, and those who don’t like lots of texture may not find it as good as I do.

Payne's Peanut Pieces

I also made cookies.  Remember the snack bags Ande put together for us when we went to Disneyland?  She put big bags of peanuts and cashews in them.  She was so generous, we didn't get them all eaten on our trip.  I wanted to use them before they went stale and this is a great recipe for using lots of peanuts.  If you like salted nut rolls you will really like these.

Payne's Peanut Pieces
4 cups salted peanuts
3 Tbsp butter
2 cups peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Lightly spray 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Spread 2 cups of peanuts in the bottom of the pan.  Melt butter in saucepan on the stove.  Add peanut butter chips and stir until melted.  Add sweetened condensed milk and marshmallows.  Stir constantly until marshmallows are melted.  Pour over peanuts in pan.  Sprinkle remaining 2 cups of peanuts over the filling, press lightly.  Cool in refrigerator and cut.  

I had great plans to start another college class today, but the FedEx man still hasn’t been able to get the textbooks here.  (Guess I’ll have to take a snow day.   Nothing like making do.)

And that’s our week (heavy in parentheses).  


Debra s said...

Funny I made stew, bread, and cookies today!!! Must just be one of those kInd of days!!! I think we all needed a little comfort food!!!!

Grace said...

I meant to ask you if you had a snow day when I was talking to you! Remember how many you had last year?! I loved getting more time to hang out with you!

What a great idea to use the nuts. We still have a bunch, too, that I should use up. The bread looks AMAZING! I can't wait to try it!

Cassidy said...

Your "fact" made me laugh. I'm sure you are right though!!

Alisa said...

I wondered if you had a snow day! Last night I taught Luke to make miracle bread ( he is the 3rd one to learn!) and I wondered about using wheat in it. Now I have a great reason to try it out and a recipe to follow!

Rachel said...

I LOVE this line:"weeds wheezing in the wind [which I think sounds just like a woman in nylons with healthy thighs walking past you]" I think I will think about it all week.

michelle said...

This is awesome. I love the visual of your snow walk with all of the sounds and missing sounds.

So funny that Calvin's recipe is the same as your recipe.

I cannot WAIT to try the multi-grain Miracle bread!! and the peanut pieces sound mighty fine as well.

Deidra said...

I'm a fiber obsessed girl, too!

Sounds like an all around good snow day. I'm with Rachel, that line was my favorite.

Somehow the UPS man seems to deliver things quicker when we have a snow storm. I got a UPS delivery yesterday in the blowing snow— but mine was more fun than text books!

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I laughed so hard about Calvin's stew! Totally funny :) Tyler took some Cupcakes to a friend and I asked him to only take a few because we are having company for dinner. His reply was, "Can't you just make more." lol

Heather Williams said...

Jane can I just tell you again how much I just LOVE your happiness about life...really! You have a "jump" in everything you do, I love how you make simple moments so glorious and I love your domestic-ness. I love that you and calvin still date and do fun little things together and are competitive in fun little ways. You are just great and i always love checking in on your blog. See you tomorrow!

Melinda said...

I made the peanut pieces and they are soo good! I didn't have any peanuts but had cashews so I used those and they were still a big hit. Blake is very excited for me to make it again and use peanuts instead since he prefers those to cashews.

Anonymous said...

So share "Calvins" stew recipe with us

Amie said...

I want to the try the bread with those substitutions!

So funny about men complimenting themselves. I totally agree! I may have even said out loud at the table once that Jimmy only compliments the food he makes. Thanks for the laugh.