Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In A Nutshell

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

Wishing you the all the blessings of a joy- filled Saint Patrick's day. I had an incredible principal in (public)highschool, Mr. Morton, and he ended each and every school day by saying the Irish Blessing above. And we wonder what is lacking in our schools today?

We woke up to more grey and no early walk for me. Fog heavied the earth with all dampness and wet breath closing in. It was actually rather cozy; I played some games with the children- Quaridor with Ben and Sam, and Feed The Kitty with Anna and Mary Margaret.

Oliver came downstairs ravenous; I had forgotten what steroids do to his appetite. He had to go back on steroids to reduce the inflammation in his kidneys, brought on by the virus the kids had last week.
"I'm sooooo hungry he said. What can I eat?" Unfortunately, low protein and low sodium are also temporary diet restrictions for him.

I decided to make him some herbed cheese biscuits, a recipe I came up with to use up extra cream from our milk (These are not the low fat variety!!) The recipe is so simple. I grind my own wheat, so I use about 2 cups of that flour (I use prairie gold) combined with two cups of bread flour.(You may use all white flour  if you prefer! I just think it's healthier to use some whole wheat , and it makes a heartier biscuit) I stir in 4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup Italian herbs, and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. After mixing all, I pour in enough cream (in place of shortening) to make a moist, but not sopping dough. I realize most readers may not have a source for non homogenized milk, so you can just use the heavy cream found in the dairy section of the grocery store.

Pat dough onto a floured surface, leaving the dough about 1/2 in. to 3/4 inch thick (we like bigger biscuits!) Cut into wedges, like scones, and place on a baking tray. Dust tops with flour. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake! Yum!

Can I just share a laugh with you as I write about delicious bread? I was excitedly telling a dear friend of mine about the book I am reading, Life Without Bread. She started laughing and said.."That sounds horrible. That sounds like some Atheistic guide to life...I mean it really does ...Can you imagine life without bread?"
I have been laughing about what she said all day!

In all fairness to the author, he does not say to live without bread- just monitor the intake of carbs carefully. I actually am really enjoying the book. All the science behind what happens in your body after eating certain foods is there...fascinating. A friend of mine who has diabetic children recommended it to me, and I'm so glad she did!


After eating our biscuits, the sun surprised us all by making a brief appearance. I had just read this:

"I want to share with everyone the biggest health secret I've learned from my patients- walking is the fountain of youth. It's the single best thing you can do for your health..." (From Michael Roizen's The Real Age Workout)

Laundry was mountainous, dishes piled, kids wild...and I went for a walk! I literally had to drag myself out the door. Sam opened the door, looking at me mournfully, and said "When will you be back?" Mommy guilt was getting its grip, but I said " I promise I won't be gone longer than thirty minutes..." He sulked back in, but did just fine. And I had a restorative, vigorous walk. Up hill, down hill, up hill, down hill; I wove  a circuit through crests and valleys, all the while thinking that I must do this everyday- for body AND soul.

The clouds rallied to conceal the sun; how greedy those clouds have been lately! I kept my eyes focused on a patch of blue, beacon bright in wind-blown sky. The hills all carpeted with cress and henbit vied for affection, all wanting to be the day's visual manna. So much beauty beneath feet and adorning hilltop, so much to savor on a late Winter's day.

I kept my promise; home I hurried...children all happy to see me like I had been gone a week. I love that my children greet me like this. Even Will, our almost adult child (Wow!) never leaves the house or wakes  without hugging me and giving a greeting. It's the little things that speak love, always.

It's the smallest actions, done in the most loving and gentle manner that whisper affection and proclaim love.

That's my ideal, in a nutshell.

“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heart-felt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling”

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge