Jul 18, 2010

Joy, Cream Puffs, and Other Synonyms


I have several completely unrelated things to say, none of which are big enough to write an entire blog post on, so I'm going to combine them. Thing is, I don't really want to have to write transitions, starting with a rooster and then somehow getting to cream puffs. If I was a good writer, a good blogger I would do it. Or, at least, I would attempt.

But I'm tired.

And I just made bread.

And, yes, I realize that that really has nothing to do with it, but I'm too tired to care. I was up late last night talking to my mom and watching Asian dramas.

So there.

Yesterday morning my family was reading scriptures at the breakfast table. Our breakfast table in on a closed-in lanai that opens onto our backyard, which creates a rather nice environment.
Mei was just reaching Nephi's dilemma about whether or to kill Laban or not when a rooster streaked past, all tail, it's feathers trailing behind it.

Before I go on I should explain a bit. I live in a little village a bit off the North Shore. It isn't pretty. There are no beach houses, but a variety of run down plantation boxes and cinder block squares. I don't notice this, most of the time. Actually, I kind of like it, and anyway we have mountains in front of us and a beach behind to make up for the less-than-scenic surroundings. It's a nice little place with lots of kids, college students and chickens. The chickens are the skinny, feckless descendants of a plump, proud birds that were owned by a dairy shop that closed down. The shop started selling chickens as pets. Now they're everywhere.

People have varying feelings about them which range from acceptance, usually accompanied by the ability to ignore them, to sheer hatred. My parents once bought me a shirt from China Town that read "The Year of the Chicken" and when Sister Huff, who was waging war against her fowl inmates, saw it, she looked at me sternly and said, "The year the chicken dies."

Because there are chickens everywhere the rooster tripping over his own feathers to get gone was not the odd thing. No, the odd things was Brother Handcock, running after it, shovel mounted in such a way that was reminiscent of an ancient warrior, hunting with a spear thrust in front of him. My family looked up from our egg-encrusted plates and our scripture study to watch Brother Handcock chase the offending bird across our lawn. He headed back from the hunt, unsuccessful, and joined us in a short conversation in which he grimly explained, "He was after my mangoes."

This is the part where I go onto something else completely unrelated and forget about transitions. It's a good thing none of my english teachers read this.

When I was going through pictures trying to find a shot of my lanai I came across the photo rendition of our town's flood day and I wanted to show you something. The flood day is a long story, that I may or may not recount at some future time (I have an essay about it I could just post that because I'm lazy), but for right now all you really need to know is that one winter day a few weeks before Christmas the water came down and the floods came up.

And the students from our college town's college still went to class. Well, they didn't actually make it to class, which was, of course canceled due to the rising water levels and the fact that their professors homes were swimming in muck. But they tried.

Because they rock like that. I don't know this guy, but I think he is terrific. The picture makes me laugh. I think I'm going to put it on the front of my binder this year, for motivation and joy.

While we're on the subject of joy, Katie is back. My life is inherently less stressful with her around. This may or may not have to do with cream puffs. We were sitting, in the same lanai my family was on when Brother Handcock made his warrior appearance, with our feet up when it occurred to us that what our lives were really lacking was rounded pastries stuffed with sugar and heavy cream. So we got up and found Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything.

Fortunately, cream puffs are included in everything.

Mr. Bittman, I love you. You have grandson's, right? Or nephews? My age-ish? Right?

(Photo credit: Cream Puffs Out of Oven from Spoon and Chair on Flickr)

I was not forward looking enough to take pictures of the ones Katie and I made, but they turned out well, much like this, but without the shiny silver cooling wrack. We used one of my dented baking sheets and a lid pot we borrowed from Sister Handock.

These cream puffs were... heavenly. Glorious. Paradisaical. Delicious, Delightful and Divine, all with capital D's.

I have decided that cream puffs are the true way to enlightenment.

Next time there will be chocolate involved. This I swear.


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