Wednesday, June 24, 2009

roommates with recipes

One of the good things about having kids go away to school (and I have to admit that I hate it that my kids have gone off to school, or gone off anywhere for that matter -- in my perfect world they'd stay right here with Mommy forever. :) ) But anyway, they do it and one of the good things about that is getting to meet their roommates and friends.

It's been so interesting to see the friends from time to time over the years and if we don't see them, then to hear about their lives and jobs and families and adventures, etc.

Some of these friends have found a place in my kitchen as well as my heart. Tali's been especially good at teaching me the cooking tricks and recipes she's learned from her roommates. She made some very tasty brownies for Mother's day and they're easy to do. It was basically a doctored up brownie mix, but you could use your favorite recipe and doctor it if you wanted to.

Presenting: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

You can use your usual brownie recipe or get any brownie mix you like. Prepare it according to the package directions. When you have the batter ready, take a knife and dab pea sized globs of peanut butter in the bottom of the pan. Imagine where you'll be cutting the pieces and put one or two globs in each piece.

Then spread the brownie batter into the pan. Now sprinkle chocolate chips over the batter. I don't know how much she used, but I'd start with 1/4 cup and see how that looks. I also might try the bittersweet chips, just because I'm so addicted to dark chocolate. The tiny chips are especially good for sprinkling over things. Or regular chips could be chopped into little bits...

Bake according to the package directions.

That's it!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father is another name for love

Earlier this week, when Barack Obama was asked to compare his duties as a parent to those of the President of the United States, he responded, “There’s nothing more fun than being a father.”

And nothing more important.

Here's a beautiful tribute from a son about his father, made in about 544 BC.

" father... was a just man -- for he taught me in his language, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord -- and blessed be the name of my God for it--
...and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart."

Enos wrote this about his father Jacob, who had been a prophet and teacher. (Book of Mormon p136.) It's not surprising that Enos became a spiritual leader and teacher as well.

And blessed be the name of God for all the men who are caring for and influencing the children of today in ways that will lead them to live happy and productive lives. There's nothing the world needs more than that right now.

As William Wordsworth said, "Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

wildflowers in wild places

Today when I left on my walk the sun was obscured by a light fog, but look what greeted me from a ditch beside the road.

A friend once told me that if you just show her a yellow flower on the side of the road it will make her happy. She loves yellow that much.

If you show me any flower on the side of the road it will make me happy. I love wildflowers that much.

But if you show me a flower in a ditch, that will make me really happy.

Flowers in a ditch make me feel closer than a few eons away from that time that "God said let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself...."

I imagine the seeds that have laid in the ditch waiting through drought and cold and flood for just the right conditions to grow and blossom are descended from the original "herb yielding seed."

All the roadside flowers that grow without any cultivation, fertilizer, irrigation or even notice from humans make me happy because they thrive where it's surprising to even see a plant at all.

It reminds me of the familiar saying "Bloom where you are planted."

Which, if we remember who the Gardener is and what He can do, should give us confidence that we really can.