30 June 2011

for the red white and blue

On Independence Day, Jared and I are having our entire family over for a cookout. With both sides of the family, the guest list comes to eighteen people, which calls for a full-out summer bash. This means lots of food and games and music and citronella candles-- and decorations.

Here is one idea I am using: colorful bursts of paper to hang from windows, string on garlands, or festoon tree branches. If you have construction paper (or any paper at all) you can make them easily.

Perfect instructions can be found right here. She uses three accordion-folded papers per rosette, so each piece of paper forms a third of a circle; I am only using two per rosette, so each piece of paper forms a half-circle.  Her rosettes are fuller, and personally, I didn't want such a ruffly look. So I spread them out more. :)

I am using white and red paper of various sizes, and plan to hang them with some patriotically colored ribbon.

29 June 2011

Don't buy it


I was so excited last fall when I realized that I could make mayonnaise instead of buying it.

Regular Hellmann's is decentish with ingredients, but uses soybean oil, which doesn't exactly delight me. Hellmann's with canola oil (slightly better than soybean, but not stellar) has a bunch of additives that don't seem necessary. And for a "pure" mayonnaise I'd be paying through the nose.

Solution? Make it myself. No sugar, no soybeans, and nothing you won't find on the grocery store shelves. It tastes great!

Use either fresh free-range eggs or pasteurized eggs for this, since they stay uncooked. I wouldn't try it with factory-farmed eggs.

(original from Favorite Food at Home)

1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup "light-tasting" olive oil*

1) Blend whole egg, yolks, vinegar, mustard, and salt for 30 seconds, until thoroughly combined.
2) With the blender still on high speed, pour in the oil in a very slow, steady stream. I use a funnel to guide the stream of oil: my blender has a small hole in the lid, and I set the funnel on there. The mixture will emulsify into a thick, pale yellow mayonnaise. Whisk in the last drops of oil that might not emulsify, and refrigerate immediately.
3) If your mayo doesn't emulsify, pour the liquidy mixture into a glass measuring cup. Blend up another egg and pour in the "flopped" mayonnaise like you did with the oil last time. This should work. (I have never had it flop though.)

*More processed than extra virgin, but still much better than canola or any other industrial oil.

{image credit: bour3 on Flickr}

Well Written Wednesdays: a discerning Eye

Peacock Eye
Poem #435
by Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense—
To a discerning Eye—
Much Sense—the starkest Madness—
‘Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail—
Assent—and you are sane—
Demur—you’re straightway dangerous—
And handled with a Chain—

{image credit: Diego Camejo on Flickr}

25 June 2011

From weed to wonderful


We have an awful lot of mint growing in our backyard, filling a wet gully with its fragrance and irrepressible stems. Here is what I have been doing with it. One can only drink so much tea, though, so I think some spring rolls will make their appearance soon.

(Jared wants me to concoct some mint extract as well, mostly so I can make these.)

Summer Mint Tea 

3 cups lightly packed mint leaves, washed and shaken dry
6 cups water
6 tablespoons raw sugar

Place mint leaves, water, and sugar in large pot. Bring to rolling boil; let boil 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes more, or until it is strong enough for your liking. Strain and chill. Serve over ice with lemon wedges.

{photo credit: Brittany No L on Flickr}

24 June 2011

Kitchen fail(s)

Yogurt. I forgetfully let it incubate 9 hours instead of 7. Result? Too much whey and a weird lumpy consistency. I strained it all and ended up with good thick yogurt, but only half of what I usually get, and far more whey than I can use. Whoops. I am not sure if this damaged the starter, so I will just use half a gallon of milk next time (as opposed to my usual full gallon). If it doesn't work, I'm only out a dollar fifty, and I can still use flopped yogurt as buttermilk.

Chicken. As we discovered yesterday, the marinade that is so perfect for whole chicken thighs is too strong for small kebab pieces. Far too strong. I need to cut the soy sauce in half, I think.

Rice. I know, rice? Easiest thing ever. Yet last week, my rice refused to cook. Crunchy it remained, with broth left on the bottom. This week it was totally fine. I don't understand.

Quiche. Learn from my mistake: don't use mozzarella for your quiche. Also, let it rest fifteen minutes before cutting! If you use melting, gooey mozzarella or serve the quiche immediately, the slices will not hold together. It still tastes great, but eh, doesn't look so nice. Use cheddar and hold your horses.

Fish. Herbs with butter, that was a good idea. Adding sriracha, not so much. Boston Blue is too mild to stand up to the kick of this Thai hot sauce, which would go better with a strong fish like mackerel. Oh well. Live and learn, right? There is always something for dinner even if it didn't turn out quite right. We haven't starved yet.

Weekend linkage

Lots for you this week-- starting with a most excellent pesto recipe.

(You really should plant a few basil stalks. They are easy-going, and so fragrant by the front door. Here's how to take care of them in order to keep harvesting all summer long.)

I have paper. I have string. I'm making this!

Possibly the most confusing sign ever, courtesy of Engrish.

Women in church history: wow, this looks like a great book. For all my spare time!

Yes, you can be a Calvinist and still love Wesley. Spurgeon said so.

Cherish the Ladies is coming to Mount Gretna in August. (Even better, we're going to see them: happy birthday to me!)

I know. I have lots of cookbooks already. But . . . pretty please?

Hahaha. Ariel needs to learn some lessons from this mermaid.


New favorite song.

And finally, you've seen that fabulous "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster from WWII? Look, you can make your own. Here's mine:

23 June 2011

although we are not shepherds

We still love shepherd's pie. Savory meat and colorful vegetables and creamy potatoes. Satisfying, not too heavy. Simple apart from the chopping, yet eminently freezable, making the extra chopping worthwhile by giving you a zero-labor meal later. 


Shepherd's Pie
(adapted from Kitchen Stewardship)

2 1/2 lbs red potatoes
4 cloves garlic
reserved cooking water
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream*
salt to taste

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef, turkey, or lamb
2 cups peeled and diced carrot or sweet potato
4 cups chopped broccoli (include stems)
2 cups frozen green peas
1/4 cup arrowroot starch or whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 and coat 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
 2) Scrub and chop potatoes.** Place in large pot with peeled whole garlic cloves and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook 10 minutes or until easily pierced with fork. Ladle out 2 cups cooking water and set aside. Drain potatoes and garlic; they can sit in the colander while everything else cooks.
3) Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in large heavy saucepan. Add onion, cover and reduce heat to low, and cook about five minutes. Add ground beef, raise heat to medium and cook until browned.
4) Stir carrot or sweet potato into beef mixture. Cover, let cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add broccoli and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in frozen peas.
5) Add arrowroot or flour to meat-veggie mixture; stir to combine thoroughly. Pour in stock and raise to boil, stirring frequently until thickened. Season with spices, salt, and pepper. (You may want more than called for.)
6) Mash potatoes and garlic with some cooking water, egg, and sour cream. Add more water if you need it for consistency and season to taste with salt.
9) Pour meat-veggie mixture into pan. Spread potatoes on top, as thick as you want; if you made too much, hey, leftover mashed potatoes are a pretty happy fate. Especially when they are as garlicky and creamy as this. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly and browned at the edges.
10) You can also cool it, cover with foil, and stick it in the fridge or freezer; to serve, thaw if it was frozen, and bake it at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Or if you want some now and some later, divide between two smaller dishes, serve one today, and freeze the other. (That's what I do.) And finally, you can always divide the recipe in half if you are serving a small family and aren't interesting in freezing.

*Use part mayonnaise for extra richness and, um, calories. I am thinking of homemade mayo, though. I don't know how good it would be with storebought.
**I never peel them. Your choice.

22 June 2011

A short story

Once upon a time there was a girl. Her back hurt. It really, really hurt. It hurt so much she was rolling on the floor crying. And ibuprofen didn't help.

The girl called her husband. He was at work, but he stopped to pray for her.

The girl hung up the phone.

Her back didn't hurt any more.

True story.

"Yet he saved them for his name's sake,
that he might make known his mighty power."
-Psalm 106:8

Well Written Wednesdays: their old festal tables

FrogĀ  closeup

Still reading Thoreau's Walden. This passage is composed of only three sentences-- which, despite their imposing length, are perfectly punctuated and easy to read.


Late in the evening I heard the distant rumbling of wagons over bridges-- a sound heard farther than almost any other at night-- the baying of dogs, and sometimes again the lowing of some disconsolate cow in a distant barn-yard. In the meanwhile all the shore rang with the trump of bullfrogs, the sturdy spirits of ancient wine-bibbers and wassailers, still unrepentant, trying to sing a catch in their Stygian lake-- if the Walden nymphs will pardon the comparison, for though there are almost no weeds, there are frogs there-- who would fain keep up the hilarious rules of their old festal tables, though their voices have waxed hoarse and solemnly grave, mocking at mirth, and the mine has lost its flavor, and become only liquor to distend their paunches, and sweet intoxication never comes to drown the memory of the past, but mere saturation and waterloggedness and distention. The most aldermanic, with his chin upon a heart-leaf, which serves for a napkin to his drooling chaps, under this northern shore quaffs a deep draught of the once scorned water, and passes round the cup with the ejaculation tr-r-r-oonk, tr-r-r--oonk, tr-r-r-oonk! and straightway comes over the water from some distant cove the same password repeated, where the next in seniority and girth has gulped down to his mark; and when this observance has made the circuit of the shores, then ejaculates the master of ceremonies, with satisfaction, tr-r-r-oonk! and each in his turn repeats the same down to the least distended, leakiest, and flabbiest paunched, that there be no mistake; and then the howl goes round again and again, until the sun disperses the morning mist, and only the patriarch is not under the pond, but vainly bellowing troonk from time to time, and pausing for a reply.

{image credit: J Blough on Flickr}

21 June 2011

The blessed of the Lord

"They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity,
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; 
the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food.
They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,"
says the Lord.

-Isaiah 65:21-25

{image credit: Hansa7105 on Flickr}

20 June 2011

A city not forsaken

Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones;
lift up a signal over the peoples.
Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion,
“Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.”
And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord;
and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.

-Isaiah 62:10-12

18 June 2011

youth camp

Counseling at youth camp-- whew-- three days of madness-- almost 200 teenagers-- loads of Gospel. It was great. I'm beat. No links this weekend. :)

15 June 2011

Well Written Wednesdays: a little chilling to the social affections

The hilariously understated Ralph Waldo Emerson on his friend Henry Thoreau: 

It seemed as if his first instinct on hearing a proposition was to controvert it, so impatient was he of the limitations of our daily thought. This habit, of course, is a little chilling to the social affections; and though the companion would in the end acquit him of any malice or untruth, yet it mars conversation.

And something more laudatory: 

He saw as with microscope, heard as with ear-trumpet, and his memory was a photographic register of all he saw and heard. And yet none knew better than he that it is not the fact that imports, but the impression or effect of the fact on your mind. Every fact lay in glory in his mind, a type of the order and beauty of the whole.

Both excerpts from Emerson's introduction to Walden.

13 June 2011

Pasta for picnics

Picnic Area

Pasta salad is welcome at our house all year round. But in the summer, it appears more frequently. Picnics, cookouts, and other such festivities-- it seems we have one every week-- probably contribute to that.

This is the basic dressing I use. Cream and tang and herb all in one, excellent with whole wheat rotini, broccoli florets, grated carrot, and diced cheddar. Also black olives, if you're the olive type. (We are.)

Pasta Salad Dressing 

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise*
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons raw honey**
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 large clove garlic, minced
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
more salt if needed

Pour all ingredients into blender or smallish bowl. Blend or whisk vigorously until combined; taste and add more salt, herbs, or red wine vinegar to balance it out. Makes enough for half a box of pasta (8 ounces uncooked) and lots of add-ins-- keep refrigerated. This keeps very well, and in fact, I think it tastes even better the day after you make it.


*Sometimes I substitute plain yogurt. But homemade mayonnaise is delicious
**I used to use white sugar, as raw sugar doesn't dissolve. But then I realized that a dollop of raw orange blossom honey works beautifully, and no dissolving issues!

{image credit: aaabbbiee on Flickr}

10 June 2011

Weekend linkage

Recipe dice! I DIE OF CUTENESS.

We're gonna be making this one real soon. Need bourbon.

Put John Piper, Don Carson, and Tim Keller around the same table and you know it'll be good. A brief reflection on sustaining marital love.

All the ladies, single or otherwise: read this. A very helpful post on our church blog (thank you again Cynthia) about women and their emotions, with links to three excellent sessions from Covenant Life Church on the same topic.

If you thought bathrooms were boring, think again. Now to acquire more apothecary jars.

Super clever website of printable games, flashcards, decorations, and other fun things-- note that they are completely free. I like free.

This is amazing: the classic "Dying Swan" beautifully reinterpreted. Yo-Yo Ma plus Saint-Saens plus ridiculous dancing skills oh yes oh yes.

The ballet version is of course equally wonderful, just different.

Also I just discovered the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack. Squee!

(Also I may be slightly obsessed with Yo-Yo Ma.)

Yogurt, lemons, and beef, oh my

This is a little different, a lot delicious. I love the tang of Greek flavors over the richness of red meat, punctuated with the sweetness of red onion. Try it next time you're going to grill. 

Greek Kebabs
(pretty much straight from Smitten Kitchen)

2 lbs top round beef or lamb
1 large red onion
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
scant teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1) Cut beef or lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes, and cut onion into sixths. Place in large glass or ceramic pan or bowl. (I used a 9x13.)
2) Whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth, then pour over meat and onion. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-24 hours.
3) When ready to cook, thread meat and onions alternately onto skewers. (If you are using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes beforehand.) Grill over high heat or under a hot broiler for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until meat is done to your liking and onions are slightly charred on the edges.

09 June 2011

In which we eat chocolate for breakfast


I'm not sure what to call these muffins . . . full of bananas and cocoa, moist and (sort of) wholesome, completely scrumptious.

Choconana? Banocolate?


I give up. 

Banana Cocoa Muffins
(from For the Love of Cooking, with several changes) 

1/3 cup melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 medium bananas, mashed*
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour**
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder***

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
2) Beat together butter and sugar thoroughly; add egg and beat again. Add mashed bananas and stir to combine.
3) Whisk together remaining ingredients in separate bowl. Add to banana mixture and stir just until smooth.
4) Pour or scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the muffins are soft and springy to the touch, but not wet.
5) Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes. Run knife around edges and slide out of pan; let cool completely on wire rack.


These freeze well. I made a double batch and popped most of them into my freezer, with parchment paper between the layers. I put them in my husband's lunchbox still frozen, and by the time he is ready to eat, they are thawed.

And yes, they make a good breakfast alongside eggs or a smoothie. Less than a tablespoon of raw sugar per muffin, which is more than biscuits or regular muffins, but nowhere near as much as a doughnut-- a nice compromise. :)

*The riper the better.
**Or 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup unbleached. 

{image credit: Fernando Stankuns on Flickr}

08 June 2011

Well Written Wednesdays: the big hurt of his eyes

Louise and I take walks after dinner
every time she comes.
By the time we get back
the kitchen looks pretty good,
Daddy only leaves a few things he doesn't understand,
like big pans,
and wooden spoons,
and leftovers,
and that makes me a little irritated
but mostly it makes me love him.
And Louise, knowing exactly what's left to be done,
helps me finish up.

She was my father's teacher at the night school class.
She never married.
She went to college for two years
and studied and worked,
and didn't notice how lonely she was
until she met Daddy and fell into the
big hurt of his eyes.
She knows how to keep a home,
she knows how to cook,
she knows how to make things
last through winters
and drought.
She knows how to smooth things between two redheaded people.
And she knows how to come into a home
and not step on the toes of a ghost . . .
Louise made sweet potatoes and green beans,
and turkey, and two pies, pumpkin
and chocolate.
I was so full
my lids
sighed shut and Daddy walked with Louise instead of me
out to Ma and Franklin's grave,
where he let Ma know his intentions.
And Ma's bones didn't object.
Neither did mine.

And when they came back to the house,
Daddy still cleaned the kitchen.

-from Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

06 June 2011

My friend Elijah

Elijah is friendly, unobtrusive, and altogether quiet. He shows up now and then, usually when least expected. I spend time with him outside, particularly in my garden.

But Elijah is not, under any circumstances, welcome inside our house.

Elijah is a blacksnake.

Black Snake 3

My husband doesn't like him at all. Not even outside. Poor Elijah.

{image credit: joeyjoe1 on Flickr}

Oh happiness

Yesterday was honestly one of the happiest days of my life. My best friend from childhood (!) got married to a wonderful guy; I had the delight of being one of her bridesmaids. As I stood at the front of the church listening to Julia and John exchange vows, I felt for a moment as if this was some crazy wonderful dream: we, two little girls who once played with dolls and danced in ballet recitals and studied AP Biology together, were now married within a year and a half of each other (and in one another's wedding party to boot!). God is so good.

This couple radiates joy and love, for one another and for Christ. Witnessing their union was an honor. I felt as if my face was going to split in half from smiling. :)

At the reception, the wedding party walked in to this song by the David Crowder Band.

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."
-2 Corinthians 5

04 June 2011

Weekend linkage

Ha ha. NPR cartoons on the debt debate in Congress.

A gorgeous home in Portugal, in which my favorite part is probably the blue tiled backsplash behind the stove.

And this is where I would like to go on our next vacation: Cinque Terre, Italy. You may send donations directly to me. Thanks.

If you've ever complained about a lack of time, Wondermark shows you where to get it. You'll need to find the dodos, though.

Food for thought from Geert Wilder's closing remarks at his free speech trial. "I have spoken, I speak, and it is my duty – I cannot do otherwise – to continue to speak."

Well, this is clever! Use old maps to wrap presents (after all, there are a lot of birthdays and weddings during the summer, so I know you'll all have presents to wrap).

Have you heard of the band Pomplamoose? Luke introduced them to our family when he came home from college last week. Anyway, they do a hilarious cover of the Angry Birds theme.

Speaking of covering, I'd like to cover my walls with art from Matte Stevens.

Oh wow. I think I need to see this old movie. The cheetah-print tunics are killing me.

This new one should be fabulous too. Make sure you watch all the way to the end!

03 June 2011

Not of diamonds and gold that I dream

I think God was surely at His most supreme
At the time He created strawberries and cream.
It is not of diamonds and gold that I dream,
But of all I can eat of strawberries and cream.

It's my favorite treat, and I'm wondering now,
Did first come the berries and then come the cow?
What ever the order, they make a great team
The sun-drenched strawberries and rich, Jersey cream.

My mouth starts to water, my eyes brightly gleam,
Whenever I think of strawberries and cream.
I'll hold my darling in highest esteem,
If he'll but provide me strawberries and cream.

A food for the gods it surely would seem,
They can dine every day on strawberries and cream.
But even the poor if they're willing to glean 
Can have their full share of strawberries and cream.

Strawberries and cream, strawberries and cream.
I never will tire of strawberries and cream.
-Joyce Johnson

Yesterday morning I picked strawberries and came home with a lot of red: 35 quarts of beautiful berries and a lovely sunburn.

Most of the strawberries got flash-frozen for smoothies, cakes, crumbles, muffins, and compote over pancakes and waffles. A touch of June stored up for the winter months. Yay! But of course, several quarts stayed out of the freezer for fresh eating over the next few days.

Here's a perfect way to enjoy strawberries.Whisk together a cup of creme fraiche with some vanilla, sugar, and lemon zest. Dip washed, dried strawberries in your vanilla-lemon cream... pop in your mouth and savor the brilliant flavor of the season.

(Make your own creme fraiche this way.)

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocketful of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

If you translate blackbirds to chicken and king to husband, you pretty much have dinner at our house when I make this chicken pot pie. (Well. The chicken usually doesn't start singing. But it is indeed a "dainty dish," if dainty may be defined as utterly delicious.)

Also, the husband is a big fan-- it uses leftover roast chicken, which I usually have in the fridge-- and it's perfect for popping in the freezer. These are three mega-points in its favor.


Perfect* Chicken Pot Pie
(taken and heavily tweaked from Moms for Safe Food)

1/4 cup butter
1 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup arrowroot starch or flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
lots of black pepper
paprika, parsley, and marjoram to taste
unbaked biscuits from this recipe**

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x9 baking dish.
2) Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and garlic; saute 10 minutes, until softened.
3) Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir to coat thoroughly. Cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes.
4) Slowly add in stock and cream, stirring vigorously to prevent clumps. Bring to boil, keep stirring to prevent burning on the bottom. Once thickened, add peas and chicken and heat through.
5) Season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs. I always add more salt, but you might not want that much. Pour into prepared pan.
6) At this point, you may let it cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil, and freeze it without the biscuit topping. (I like to make a double batch and freeze one pan.) Or you can bake it immediately.
7) Whether you are serving it right away or have thawed it from the freezer, bake for 30-40 minutes in preheated oven, until bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and top with biscuits. (Don't pack them together, since they rise and expand in the oven. Leave room between them.) Bake for 15 more minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

*I say perfect because it has a good ratio of chicken to vegetables and biscuits to filling; also, it is not soupy. Lord save me from soupy casseroles.
**Roll them about a 1/4 inch thick. The number of biscuits you'll need depends on how large you cut them; I usually use nine. One recipe of biscuits is plenty to cover a 9x9 pan.

Shared at Fight Back Friday.

01 June 2011

Well Written Wednesdays: in the heat-light over the plain

Pine forest Reflection
The road ran on, dipping occasionally, but always climbing. He went on up.  Finally after going parallel to the burnt hill, he reached the top. Nick leaned back against a stump and slipped out of the pack harness. Ahead of him, as far as he could see, was the pine plain. The burned country stopped off at the left of a range of hills. All ahead islands of dark pine trees rose out of the plain. Far off to the left was the line of the river. Nick followed it with his eye and caught glints of the water in the sun.

There was nothing but the pine plain ahead of him, until the far blue hills that marked the Lake Superior height of land. He could hardly see them faint and far away in the heat-light over the plain. If he looked too steadily they were gone. But if he only half-looked they were there, the far-off hills of the height of land.

-Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time

{image credit: prasanth p joseph on Flickr}