Summer to-do list

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I am sort of a list maker.  Not that I always can find the list.  Or that I take it out and look at it. Or that I actually cross off everything more than two items. But I feel as if I have accomplished something just by writing the to-dos on a notepad. Mary Kay consultants are encouraged to make a Six Most Important Things list every day.  Maybe six is a manageable number?

6 most important

(photo: https://www.pinterest.com/thepinkbubbleco/)

What’s on my to-do list for tomorrow?

  1. Wake up early.
  2. Go to Responsive Classroom workshop.
  3. Read.
  4. Go to bed.

That’s all I know for sure. What’s on my hope-to-do list?

  1. See my granddaughter. (Maybe read her a story- she loves this now!)
  2. Have dinner with a couple of friends.
  3. Write.

Wow.  That’s seven things! Go me.

I guess I should think about my summer to-do list. In no particular order:

  1. Read my school summer reading book,  Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  2. Go to the dentist (appointment made).
  3. Hit at least 10,000 steps on the Fitbit at least four days a week (maybe five?). This means lacing up the shoes and walking in the morning.
  4. Spend a week at the beach with my family.
  5. Take an on-line writing course.
  6. Try not to worry so much.
  7. Visit Chatham Hill Winery.  (I worked here part-time before The Sabbatical. I wrote an article about NC wines and Chatham Hill for the Durham Herald newspaper.)
  8. Try some new recipes.
  9. Go to the Durham Farmers’ Market at Central Park regularly.
  10. Blog as often as possible, but at least twice a week (should I make a schedule?).
  11. Work on my curriculum for the 2017-18 school year. Read the book I was given on curriculum design. (I think it is currently upstairs? Yep. Found it.) Keys to Curriculum Mapping: Strategies and Tools to Make it Work by Susan Udelhofen. We will be working on our curriculum map next year at school. Hello, Rubicon.
  12. Have lunch with friends at restaurants around town I haven’t tried yet.
  13. Read some books I want to read. (Stay tuned for an update on my reading list soon.)
  14. Write to my nephew once a week.  Send him some books.
  15. Eat as healthy as possible.

Guess we will see how many I accomplish! At our closing faculty meeting, some silly person commented that we had 72 days until school starts back.  And we now working on week 2. But I will not worry about that.  See, I am trying. I will look at photos like these of my Darling Granddaughter:

kennedyon tummy

She can now roll over.  In the night, she was babbling and when her parents got up to check on her, this is what they found. Photo 1:  “Oops. They caught me.”  Photo 2: It’s okay. I’m cute and how can they possibly be mad? I’ve learned a new trick.” Adorable, right?

I found a recipe for Tomato Pie and gave it a try over the weekend.  Not perfect, but pretty darned good.  Especially the second night. I put pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, grated more cheese on them, warmed them in a 375˚F oven for 10 minutes, then under the broiler set to high for about 4 minutes. It’s better when it looks as if it has almost baked too long.

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Biscuit Crust (recipe from King Arthur Flour website)

To make the pie “crust” skip step 4 and go to 5. Do not cut.  Pat the dough into a rectangle on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Do not pre-bake.  Set aside.

  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons sugar, to taste* (I used only 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons butter or shortening (I used 6)
  • 1 cup milk, buttermilk, or water (I used about 1-1/4 cups buttermilk)
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. With two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter or shortening in until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
  3. Add the liquid all at once, mixing quickly and gently for about 20 seconds until you have a soft dough.
  4. To make drop biscuits: Drop the dough by the spoonful onto a lightly floured baking sheet; or for tidier shapes, fill the cups of a greased muffin tin about two-thirds full.
  5. To make cut biscuits: Pat the dough into a rectangle about 3/4″ thick. Fold it into thirds like a letter and roll gently with a floured rolling pin until the dough is 3/4″ thick again.
  6. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter for traditional round biscuits. Or, to avoid leftover dough scraps, cut the dough into squares or diamonds with a bench knife or bowl scraper.
  7. Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm.

Pie filling: adapted from South Carolina Living: 7 recipes every S.C. cook should know 

Hattie Mae’s Tomato Pie

To avoid soggy tomato pie, use every bit of the salt the recipe calls for, says Heidi Trull. “It gets all the moisture out of the tomatoes. You’re not going to be eating that salt, because you rinse it off.”  (Note: I did not rinse the tomatoes as well as I should have. So, after tasting them, I did not add any additional salt.)

Hattie Mae’s tomato pie

SERVES 8

4 ripe tomatoes, sliced

¼ cup salt

1 cup grated hoop cheese (I had to google this… sad but true. I used Vermont sharp cheddar cheese, a mixture of white and traditional)

1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise (there is no substitute for this in the south! I also added about 1/4 cup of half and half- my mixture was not pourable, but spreadable anyway)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (totally forgot to add but I did sprinkle in some herbes de Provence)

1 medium onion, diced (decided to leave off)

Salt and pepper to taste

8 mini piecrusts (or one large) – used the biscuit crust instead

Slice tomatoes, and cover with ¼ cup salt. Let sit for 1 hour. Rinse well in colander, and pat dry with paper towel. Place piecrusts in pan(s), and lay tomato slices in pie shells. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over tomatoes. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.  (Mine needed to bake for about 35 minutes- the biscuit crust is different than a traditional pie crust.)

After it cooled for about 10 minutes, I cut it with a pizza cutter.  Kitchen scissors would work also. I cut it into 10 rectangles. You can cut the pieces as large or small as you wish. This would make a great appetizer. The Ex-Ex called it tomato pizza. He liked it and he usually doesn’t like “hot tomatoes.”

Day 2

tomato pie 2

Bon appétit!  Whether you are a list-maker or not, I hope you are having a great June.  It isn’t officially summer yet… Schedule in some fun.  And try to worry less. Wherever you go there you are.

The Red Boots of Courage

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Tomorrow, when I get dressed, I will slip my feet into what I call my Red Boots of Courage.  It’s going to be a long day.  Americans will choose the 45th President of the United States in the 58th election held since we became a country.  All American women have had the right to vote only since 1920. For first the first time in 240 years, we may have a female president. Anyone remember the cigarette campaign, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”?  At least there will be an end to the ugly political ads.

In the spirit of focusing on the positive, I will compose a list of my favorites as of late.

  1.  The potato soup I made for dinner tonight was pretty darned delicious, if I do say so myself.  And easy.

potato-soup

2.  My weekly muffins- banana oatmeal this time.  How else should you use up an overripe stash of bananas?

banana-oatmeal-muffins

3.  American history trivia.  Always interesting.

history-facts

4.  Poetry.  Especially sad poems in French.  My 8th graders are reviewing the passé composé so I thought of Jacques Prévert’s Déjeuner du matin written in 1946. First, I showed them a silent film made about the poem in 2013 by Emmanuel Tenenbaum.  Afterwards, I gave them the words, after asking for ideas about the verbs used in the actual poem.

 

“Déjeuner du matin” by Jacques Prévert
annotated by Maureen Jameson

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler

Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder

Il s’est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis son manteau de pluie
Parce qu’il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder

Et moi j’ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j’ai pleuré.

http://litgloss.buffalo.edu/prevert/text.shtml

5.  Last weekend’s trip to the mountains.  Linville.

red-leaf

bench

6.  French-themed baby quilt made by Sister Moo for granddaughter-to-be Kennedy

baby-quilt

7.  Knock out roses that I see everyday at school

roses

8.  Humble and Kind, written by Lori McKenna and sung by Tim McGraw.

Pink and red make me happy.  So do Carolina Blue skies and fall.  So, no matter what happens in tomorrow’s election, I will still be able to see the beauty that surrounds me.  I will still have good things to eat, good friends to make me laugh and lend a shoulder to cry on when I need one, good stories to read by incredibly talented writers, good music to listen to, and the ability to experience feelings that run deep and true.  I am, above all, a lucky girl.

Potato Soup

This is a lot of guess work and easy to adapt to serve however many eaters you have.  Nothing could be easier!

Bacon, cut into small, diced pieces

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 medium-sized onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

 

Potatoes- Yukon Gold or Russett, washed, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

Chicken or vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Cheddar Cheese, optional

Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and fry until well-done and crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.  Add celery and onions, to hot oil and stir to coat.  Sauté until soft.  Drain most of the fat, keeping about one teaspoon.  Add about a cup of broth and heat to boiling, scraping the bottom of the pot, if necessary.  Add potatoes to the mixture.  Pour enough broth over the potatoes to cover them.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with bacon and shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Bon appétit to my fellow Americans.  Exercise your right to vote.  Believe in goodness and actively search for it.  Be humble and kind.