“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.”
― Emily Dickinson
“It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.”
― John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga
When I taught After School Enrichment classes for grades 3-5, one of the projects we made was Edible Birds Nests. I didn’t take good pictures–think sticky-from-marshmallows-hands–so credit must be given to D Magazine’s Jessica Jones for these project photos.
Edible Birds Nests are easy, fun and perfect for celebrating Spring. Need an Easter activity for a party? This one is egg-cellent!
EDIBLE NESTS RECIPE (yields about 12 cupcake-sized nests)
•1/4 cup butter
•3 cups marshmallows
•5 cups chow mein noodles
•Candy to fill nests
1. Melt butter and marshmallows together over medium-low heat. Remove from heat.
2. Add chow mein noodles, and mix til combined.
3. Spray a cupcake tin with cooking spray, as well as your fingers. Mold the mixture into nest shapes in the cupcake tin.
4. Place in freezer for at least an hour. Remove nests using a knife.
The Secret Garden was one of the classics I read to my children. We spent many hours in the car driving to Maryland and Long Island to visit family (hon, trust me, we know every rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike), and made the time pass quickly by learning language, discovering stories, discussing characters and predicting plots. I only found out later that “brain imaging has suggested that hearing stories evokes visual images in children’s brains, and more strongly if those children are accustomed to being read to.” (The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children by Perri Klass, M.D.,The New York Times)
Wait! What? Something I did was good for my kids? Woohoo! Hopefully, that balances out the other stuff that might not have been, ummm, as advantageous.
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Hon, this poem speaks to the heart I wish to heal, the head I hope to clear, and the life I must make matter.
“So I am not a broken heart.
I am not the weight I lost or miles or ran and I am not the way I slept on my doorstep under the bare sky in smell of tears and whiskey because my apartment was empty and if I were to be this empty I wanted something solid to sleep on. Like concrete.
I am not this year and I am not your fault.
I am muscles building cells, a little every day, because they broke that day,
but bones are stronger once they heal and I am smiling to the bus driver and replacing my groceries once a week and I am not sitting for hours in the shower anymore.
I am the way a life unfolds and bloom and seasons come and go and I am the way the spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life.
I am not your fault.”
― Charlotte Eriksson
It’s April and it was definitely raining today, but you don’t have to wait until May to see the flowers just as happy as we are that Old Man Winter is taking a long-needed nap! These Magnolia blooms danced then curtsied, waving their pretty pink petals at the audience– blades of grass, branches with buds, a little black doggie chasing a tennis ball and me.
Yesterday in Alaska–umm, I mean New Jersey, schools were dismissed early, car windows needed scraping and driveways needed shoveling. Backing out of my San Francisco-like driveway required expert driving (thanks, Hubby) so that the car wasn’t totaled a few feet from the front door!
Our Arctic Zone weather requires comfort food, and I consider Chili a warmer upper. Chili also reminds me of skiing, and since I’m the Queen-of-Connecting-the-Dots (see post Toasty Tushy Melts the I.C.E. for more dot connecting), I’ll tell you why.
When you’ve been skiing and you’re wondering if frostbite has set in, Chili is practically required medicine. I’ve been to ski lodges where plugged in electric cords lead from walls to crock pots clustered on tables. At lunchtime, simmering chili is ready to serve. (Skiers are such trusting people!)
We recently went skiing and I decided it would be great if dinner was waiting for us when we came home. Enjoy this recipe. Hon, I hope, it warms you from the inside out.
2 pounds ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (16-ounce) cans tomatoes (I used chopped tomatoes)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons chili powder (depending on how spicy you like your chili, I used 1 Tbl)
1 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Optional: 2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained; other spices, such as paprika, dried mustard or whatever you want to sprinkle in
1. In a hot frying pan, brown ground beef.
2. Place browned ground beef and remaining ingredients in crock pot, stirring to blend.
3. Cover and cook on low setting 4 to 6 hours.
Don’t have a crock pot? Don’t worry.
1. In a frying pan, saute ground beef and onions until soft.
2. Drain off fat.
3. Transfer mixture to a large pot.
4. Add remaining ingredients.
5. Bring to a boil, them simmer, covered, 45 minutes.