Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Memory...All alone in the moonlight" (Just Me and My Shovel)

The List.  You know the one.  Of all the things you get to do by yourself after the children are fast asleep and down for the count.  Check your email.  (Send an email!)  Read a book.  (Without pictures!)  Take a bath.  (With bubbles that don't smell like cotton candy!)  Relax.  Indulge.  Five Minutes' Peace.
Depending on their bedtime - I aim for 7pm - that gives you up to four whole hours to do with what you please.  Except I find that increasingly - distressingly - I am unable to complete the items on The List.  It has been taken over by The Other List.  The one that consists of things that you have to do, and certainly don't want to, but can't, while your children are conscious.   
Like wash dishes, meal-plan for the week, throw in one last load of laundry - okay, maybe two, take care of the chickens and cat in the snow.  Or, as I found myself tonight, shoveling the driveway.  By moonlight.
"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'entrate: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.I am fairly certain that  my sister would have this posted at the end of our driveway in the winter if she had her way.   I am equally sure that Dante was, in fact, referring to Hell, and not the drive.  But, because she is coming to visit me tomorrow - because she is the one packing up a 3 year old and a 7 month old for the hour-plus drive, and not me! - and because she hates the driveway (and because I'm just that nice), shoveling was on The Other List tonight.  Because it's just too cold to have a toddler and an infant out there for as long as it takes to shovel the drive.  Which is LONG.  (I seem to recall at one point in my teenage years measuring it, and I somewhat recall that is was .1 mile.  After shoveling tonight, I am positive that is a far smaller number than the actual distance.)  And I didn't even finish it all.  But seriously, I drive a minivan for pete's sake, and make do just fine.  She has a Subaru. 
So after freezing my patootie off (did I mention I grabbed the pair of mittens with a hole in the thumb?  Cold!), I returned inside to a balmy 65* house - I'd already turned down the heat for bedtime.  At least there are treats.  There's nothing like berries and cream to warm me to my toes. 
Try this one, served warm with cream on top. 
It warmed me right up.  Twice.

Blueberry Cake
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
Fold in:
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup walnuts (I prefer mine whole)
Grease an 8" square pan and spread in the batter - it will be thick.  Sprinkle on topping:

Cut with fork or pastry blender:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, in slices
Bake at 375* for 35-40 minutes.

Alternately, you can make these as muffins, which freeze well (if they last that long).