Archive for March 22nd, 2008

time to eat those snacks

Just got home from the Library Brunch. Here’s a shot of our table, all decorated. There are also canisters of mini chocolate chip cookies and potato chips on the other side of the flowers.

You can’t tell from the picture, but the flowers are arranged in my spaghetti canister. I took the spaghetti out and washed it first. It’s one of those that has the lid that flips over and seals with a latch.

There were lots of very pretty tables, but I’m pretty sure ours was the most clever. If I do say so myself.

The speaker was a lot of fun. Carol Bodensteiner is the author of a book called Growing up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl. She spoke a little about her experience writing the book, and also read a few stories from her book. A fair amount of her audience were also Iowa Farm Girls, so there was lots of head-nodding and laughter at stories they recognized: Traumatic Chicken Experiences seemed to be a shared memory by many.

I was fascinated that she ended up self-publishing her book because she could not find a publisher to take it on. She was told that while it was well-written and interesting, there was no character in crisis. Nothing bad happened. Except maybe with chickens. Not enough sensationalism. Just the stories that she remembers from back when she was 8-12 years old on a dairy farm in Iowa. Too boring I guess.

One of the questions that she was asked was whether her sisters and Mom read the book and agreed with/remembered things the same way she did. She said that many of the things that she remembered were only remembered by her. And in some cases, she remembered things wrong: she thought they did laundry on Saturdays, but her Mom (and the audience today) said “Oh no, EVERYONE did their laundry on Mondays.” One of the audience members lived in town growing up, and said it was something of a point of pride as to how early on Monday morning you got your first load hung out to dry.

Speaking of remembering things: my Mom will probably correct me if I’m wrong, but the pancake recipe I mentioned yesterday is one that I think came with the brand-new set of really expensive pots and pans that my parents purchased sometime in the early 80s? Maybe it was earlier than that? They don’t make pots and pans like that anymore. Mom still uses most of them. I’ve ready to replace my cookware, and I’ve only had it for less than 10 years.  Plus, everything is sticking in my electric skillet, which is why I burned myself yesterday, so I need to replace it, too.


2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. milk
2 eggs
2T oil or melted shortening

1. Sift flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt. (Hmm. I never actually sift. Just stir them with a fork…)

2. Combine milk with beaten eggs; add dry ingredients.

3. Blend thoroughly, until lumps disappear. Add shortening or oil.

4. Pour batter into skillet, preheated at 400, and bake until bubbles break and edges are cooked, flip and cook until done, about 1 minute per side.

Serve immediately.

I don’t even know why I mentioned the burn yesterday.  Maybe because it was so fresh and painful.  I smeared some Solarcaine gel (that had aloe in it), and today, it doesn’t really hurt and you can barely tell I did anything.  What a wimp.

Maybe this will week I’ll do a library brunch table retrospective.  We’ve had some pretty clever ideas in the past, and they’ve always included a quilt of some sort.

Now, though, those log cabin blocks are calling my name.  I must heed their siren call.



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