Of Pop-Tarts and Coaching and Healthy Stuff from Dillingham

September 13, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Posted in Adventures in S-Land, Run Run Run, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s raining cats and dogs and every other animal out there.  On one hand, this is good.  It justifies my desire to curl up with a book and blanket and read, read, nap, read the day away.  On the other hand, I really need to get a good run in.  See, here’s the thing about coaching season: it’s the time of my life that I am in the worst shape.  Reasons why:

1.  I am mega-stressed out since I have no time to do anything, so I eat everything.  EVERYTHING.  Especially carby things that come in blue boxes that say Pop-Tarts on them. 

2.  The kids are, largely, not good runners.  There are definite exceptions, and I love those talented exceptions, but most of the kids haven’t run since last season.  This means that there is no way they could do my usual five-mile run.  This means that I can’t do my usual five-mile run.  No, there is not time after practice to do it.  That’s for grading papers and planning lessons.  No, there is not time before work to do it.  That’s for grading papers and planning lessons.

3.  Pop-Tarts come in many varieties, and I must try them all.  Coaching season comes but once a year.

Three more weeks of coaching/falling behind on my own workout goals.  Blah.  Just wait, little iPod and Nike Shoe Kit Thingy.  We’ll be together again soon.

However, health looms on the horizon!  My mom was recently in town which means she brought some of her garden with her!  My mom’s garden is really more of a plantation except without slaves or corsets, so when she brings garden stuff, it’s in Costco-proportions.  My fridge overfloweth with collard greens, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, lettuce, and lettuce, and potatoes.  Yum.  I will eat it all.  And she brought huckleberries picked by my dad.  And she also brought Silke bread–bread baked by her friend Silke who is from Germany and makes the heaviest, wheatiest, wholesome-est bread on the planet.  I love that stuff, toasted with a little honey or cheese and tomato slices.  I suspect it has enough fiber in one slice for the whole day, but I’ve never managed to eat just one.  In fact, I have to go right now.  The toaster is calling.  And this is how good Silke bread is…I prefer it to Pop-Tarts.  Even the cherry frosted ones.

Yes, I have so much lettuce that I baked it into bread.

Yes, I have so much lettuce that I baked it into bread.

Lettuce Bread

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. flaxmeal
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. ginger
1/8 t. mace or nutmeg
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. cardamom or allspice
1/8 t. cloves
1/2 to 3/4 c. sugar (1/2 c. is plenty sweet for me)

1/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. fresh lemon zest

1 c. lettuce, finely chopped (I do it with a knife even though you’re not supposed to cut lettuce with a knife, and it’s always fine)
1/2 c. toasted and chopped nuts (I put them on top since I am busy and don’t want to toast them separately)

Mix all the dry stuff together (flour through sugar).  In a separate bowl, mix the wet stuff and lemon zest (applesauce through lemon zest).  Combine the two mixes and stir a little bit.  Then, add lettuce and toasted nuts (I just throw the nuts on top of the finished batter in the pan so that they toast while baking).  The batter will be stiff.  Smooth the top for more even baking.  Put in greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes.  Remove from pan and continue cooling on rack. Spread soft cream cheese on a slice, and give it to a friend.  Munch down the rest.


And we hit fast-forward…NOW!

August 28, 2009 at 8:08 PM | Posted in Another Day Another Dollar | Leave a comment
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I just don’t have much time for the space bar anymore.

However, there are these points of light:

1.  Berry-picking.  ‘Tis the season.  I was in Cantwell last weekend, and it was glooooorious.  Beautifully crisp but with a polished-bright sun strong enough to raise my favorite smell in the world: warm tundra.  Bliss.  I think that people who actually live in Cantwell probably moved there in August, unaware of the icepick Cantwell always holds behind its back.

2.  Grilling.  The birthday grill and I are finally beginning to cooperate with each other.  It lights when I want it to, and I’ve stopped overcooking everything.  It’s a symbiotic partnership like fungus + algae = lichen 4-EVER!  I want to be the fungus; a little red toadstool with those cute little white spots.  I will be featured on 1970s stationery everywhere.

By the way, I finally figured out how to remember which form of stationery/stationary is the one for all things lettery and desky and papery.  StationEry is the right one.  Because “letter” has e’s in it.  I have made my life’s greatest discovery. 

And now I’m out of points of light beyond the big ones: I’m healthy and securely employed in this economy.  And boy, are those big ones. They almost make time for the space bar seem frivolous and unimportant.



February 18, 2009 at 9:25 PM | Posted in Salt of the Earth | Leave a comment
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Growing up in rural Alaska meant that fresh produce was way expensive.  In a family of six, that meant we didn’t taste much fresh fruit outside of the berries we picked under the direction of the berry-picking whip cracker (hi Dad!  Love you!).  My mom, admirable master of grocery shopping economics, would slice up a single pear and we’d all glory in a piece of it.   

But, when I visited my cool aunt in Anchorage and later Seattle, I got a grapefruit half.  TO MYSELF.  My aunt always called grapefruit our midnight snack, and she taught me to cut around the edges, then around the membranes to create bites to scoop out with this weird little spoon that had teeth on it.  She taught me to sprinkle salt, not sugar, to enhance the citrusy taste and how to keep your eyes closed when squeezing the rind because, after all, that’s where the juice is going to squirt by non-negotiable law of the universe. 

So, pajamas and grapefruit go together since, although I rarely make it to midnight anymore, I only eat grapefruit at night.  But now I’ve achieved ultimate luxury.  That’s right, I eat BOTH halves. 

The whole grapefruit.  This is why I went to college.  This is what it means to live like royalty.


January 4, 2009 at 8:55 PM | Posted in I'm related to these people., Salt of the Earth | Leave a comment
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Pancakes are strong in my family.  My dad makes them, my grandfather took his grandchildren to them, and my grandparents partied over them.

My dad is into cooking things in skillets.  So, pancakes qualify as a Dad Food.  My mom makes them too, but when I look back on Sunday breakfasts as a kid, it seems like my dad was doing the cooking.  He was the one who taught me to look for dull edges before flipping each pancake over which replaced my method of randomly whacking them over with a spatula and spraying batter over every nearby surface.  

My Iowa grandfather was a big fan of the Legion Hall Saturday breakfasts.  It always seemed to me that those breakfasts were held earlier than any human being needed to arise during the summer, but since the breakfasts were events put on by farmers, I’ve come to realize that I was fortunate to not have to plow something as price of admission.  Those breakfasts were a lot of fun, and I cherish the memory of digging into pancakes as my grandfather introduced me, the visiting granddaughter, to all his buddies as “one of Jeanie’s little Alaskans.”

In their later years together, on Saturday nights, my grandparents used to have pancakes for dinner.  After my grandfather’s death, my sister asked my grandmother if she’d like pancakes for dinner.  Grandma smiled, but said, “No thank you.  Pancakes just wouldn’t be as fun without Jim.”

Pancakes are love, People.

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