Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sending the kids back to college

We have hugged and kissed and waved goodbye to Poppy and Nanny, who left Indiana today and made it as far as Missouri before running into crummy weather. This necessitated an overnight stop and Cracker Barrel figured in there somewhere, because when we called to find out where they were, that's where they were: At a Cracker Barrel in Missouri getting served something fattening and delicious.

We here back in the Hoosier state are looking at getting life back to normal for the next three weeks, when Poppy and Nanny will be making a weekend appearance for Meelyn's sixteenth birthday party -- they're flying in on a strange route that goes from Colorado Springs to Minnesota to Indianapolis, poor things, but Meelyn is over the moon that they're coming home.

Until then, we have tomorrow. It is supposed to be cold and cloudy, with snow flurries, in spite of all the daffodils, crocuses and pansies that are dotted about. Which just goes to show you that Mother Nature is a bitter old hag with a mean streak wider than the infield at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

So to keep our spirits up, I'm going to bake a French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours. Its primary flavor is lemon, which is my favorite flavor for cakes, pies, cookies and whatever else. I thought it sounded spring-like. Kayte told me that it was both easy and delicious, so I think I'll try it, although I'm hedging a little on the marmalade glaze: I'm thinking about making either the lemon cream or lemon curd recipes that Dorie offers in the book because they sound so awesome.

I have a real urge to do another Julia Chicken, maybe with some newpotatoes and a pretty little butter lettuce salad with some homemade croutons, all full of garlicky goodness. But my husband said the word "chili" in a longing sort of voice, so I don't know. I may make it for him because this could be the last time we have chili until next fall.

Here's something I found out this week: I make better noodles than the Amish ladies who make and package them up in Nappanee. Who knew? The Indiana Amish homemakers are the gold standard to which all other Indiana cooks compare themselves. When I made beef and noodles the other night (combining a nice beef roast simmered for hours with seasonings and some red wine) and a package of Amish noodles, my entire family agreed that mine are better. So see! All that time I spent in my youth breathing heavily through my nose and watching Grandma Houser roll out her homemade noodles to the thinnest thin sort of thinniness paid off, especially when I found out entirely by accident that they're a lot easier to cut if you use a pizza wheel.

Here's another thing: St. Anne's groundbreaking ceremony for the new church is at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon in New Castle. I wish they were going to have better weather, but at least they have this bit of progress to look forward to. Three years is a long time to have Mass in the basement of the parish hall with the Blessed Sacrament locked up in a safe. The new church has a price tag of 4.4 mil and I'm sure it will be a lovely place.

No comments: