Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ten Hours of my Life


I do not do car trips. Period. I grew up flying everywhere and it’s always been my preference. Once I moved to the Midwest I did take a few long car tips to go skiing but that’s about it.

And then my son decided to go to college 700 miles away. We had to drive him there. Ten hours. That trip was bittersweet. I knew that once we got there I’d be leaving my boy behind but until then I had a captive audience for ten hours of conversation and I have to admit that I loved that time with him.

Recently I made that dreaded trip again. I missed my son, hadn’t hugged him in 52 days (but who’s counting, right?). He had a few days off from school and Hubs could easily be convinced to take a few days off from work. The problem was that we had to drive and this time we’d be driving two cars up there.

PurDude left his car at home. Initially freshmen couldn’t have parking spots and we didn’t think he’d need it. Turns out he felt that he did need it, entered a lottery (for what was left after all the upper classmen had been assigned spots) to be able to purchase a spot in a parking garage next door to his dorm and damn if he didn’t win it. So I agreed to drive his car up to him.


Ten Hours of my Life | www.BakingInATornado.com
 We put his Purdue license plate holders on for him!

The trip was so boring. Ten hours of cornfields to the sides of me and Hubs’ car in front. The most interesting part was crossing the Mississippi. So basically 3 interesting seconds and 9 hours 59 minutes and 57 seconds of boring (but who’s counting, right?).


Ten Hours of my Life | www.BakingInATornado.com
crossing the Mississippi

I’m going to admit right here and now that the hugs at the end of this trip were well worth the drive. So were the two days we spent at the school meeting my son’s new friends, attending a football game, taking some of his closest friends to dinner, shipping and just enjoying seeing the atmosphere in which my son is thriving.

I offered to take PurDude home but he declined. I threatened to lock him in the trunk and kidnap him but he’s way bigger than me. I even selflessly said that I’d get an apartment in West Lafayette and stay nearby but I lost that one too. We headed home.

Hubs likes to listen to talk radio, mostly sports, and I couldn’t really change the station because where we were for most of the trip there apparently only was one. As we went from small town to small town, I was subjected to what I can only refer to as torture. I listened to the score of every single high school football game in a 700 mile radius. I know the closing price of corn, soy, cattle and wheat. By month.

My mind started to wander. I’m convinced this was a form of self protection as, by the time we got to the Mississippi on the way home I was seriously thinking of jumping from the bridge.

So I started reading signs. I have to tell you, this was way more amusing than I would have thought. I gave some thought to who might attend the “Cowboy Ho Church”. Would that be for a Ho? Or a cowboy? Or cowboys who support a Ho?

I passed a town called “What Cheer” and still can’t figure out who named that and why. Is this some kind of penal colony? A place to send cheerleaders who’ve forgotten which cheer they’re supposed to be doing?

I knew I must have been getting hungry when I passed a sign stating that “Mashmallowtown” was ahead. I have no idea how much time and effort I gave to working out a reason for naming a town after marshmallows, right up until we got to the exit and I realized I had misread “Marshalltown”.

The trip got a little interesting when we missed veering off onto the correct highway. The angry GPS (jeez, do not make a wrong turn while using this system, she all but swore at us) had us get off on the next exit and drive through a part of Chicago I’m pretty sue I didn’t want to be in. We passed a run down hair place called “Cut Your Head”. On the next street corned was what I thought was an “adults only” shop, the “Slop and Lick”. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a restaurant. Yup, get me outa here.

Back on course and driving through miles and miles of nothing when what do I see on a van that just passed us? I know you can’t read this, it’s hard to take a picture of a car that’s moving while you’re in a moving car but this bumper sticker was, without a doubt, prophetic: “YOU ARE NOWHERE!”.

Ten Hours of my Life | www.BakingInATornado.com

I knew we were getting close to where we live when I was finally able to find something other than hog prices on the radio. I found a station with “music from the days when electric cars were called golf carts.” Perfect.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve never adjusted well to living in the Midwest. But let me tell you that I’ve never been so excited to hit the state line in my life.
Back to baking and cooking . . .

Veggie Bread | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe

Veggie Bread
Veggie Bread | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe


. . .  and missing my boy.
Baking In A Tornado | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Veggie Bread
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP sugar
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded or chopped
2 TBSP butter
½ of an onion, sliced
¼ of a red pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
 
½ TBSP butter
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan
*Melt 2 TBSP butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and red pepper. Cook until soft. Add the spinach and cook one more minute. Remove from heat.
*In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix in the milk and egg, just until barely incorporated. Add the onion mixture and cheese mixing as little as possible.
*Spread into the greased pan. Bake approximately 40 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch.
*With a knife, move the remaining ½ TBSP butter over the top of the loaf, letting it melt into the loaf. Allow to sit 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.
*Cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm.

33 comments:

  1. I have never wanted a piece of bread more than I do at this very moment...

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    Replies
    1. And all you have to do is make it. Quick and easy, hope you try it.

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  2. You're such a good mom. If you want to find an apartment here in London, I won't turn you down on that!

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  3. Books on Tape, a suggestion for your next road trip! What goodies did you bring your son? I can't imagine you didn't bring some of your cookies. This bread looks yummy. I need a recipe using bread flour. For some reason I have a bag in the house that is not getting any fresher.

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    1. Yes, Books on Tape are a great option. So many things I didn't think of. I was so focused on what I'd need while there, I gave little thought to what I might need for the actual trip back.

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  4. LOVE the signs!!! We do something like that when we travel. One of my favorites is Hungry Mother State Park! LOL


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    1. That's hysterical. I can just imagine a whole story that goes along with that name!

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  5. Oh! And the bread looks DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. It really was, and so versatile. Making it again this week.

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  6. Maybe the Cowboy Ho Church is some sort of outreach program for promiscuous cowboys?

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    Replies
    1. The thing that's the most fun about these signs is the stories we make up in our heads to go along with them. I like your take on this one!

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  7. I feel for you! The trip that never ends . . . I was on one. Only five hours, but no radio. No cruise control. And no one to talk to. Can anyone say black hole?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly, black hole is the perfect description. A whole day goes by and you've really done absolutely nothing,

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  8. Like you, I go crazy on boring car rides. Not all are boring, but some? Killers.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm not tolerant of long rides in general but this one is really boring.

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  9. Love the little things you are describing, you really got into the road trip spirit!
    Beats being cramped into a narrow airplane seat next to cranky passengers, right? Right?
    Nice bread!

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    Replies
    1. Actually there's no good option any more, air travel's a nightmare these days too.

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  10. This bread looks fabulous! I have pinned and shared on my page. Yum!

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    Replies
    1. It's baking in my oven right now. I can't have any until tonight.

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  11. I still say... mom of the year!

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  12. I like the long road trips but I'm a weirdo like that.

    I like to do the roadtrips where you stop at all the weird attractions and what not...it gets kinda boring not talking or listening to boring radio and driving straight through.

    I'm going to have to try that bread.....I'm thinking with a nice warm spinach dip :-)

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    1. I can see where stopping at unique attractions could make a road trip more fun. Unfortunately the only attractions we passed were corn fields. Quite a boring trip.

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  13. I need a cookbook with all your recipes, because every one is SO good. I hate long road trips because we took way too many when I was a kid. 24 hours each way to visit my grandparents in L.A. - and we never flew. Luckily I can read in the car though!

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    Replies
    1. 24 hours? I can't read in a car, I'd go completely nuts.

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  14. Can I tell you that I read the paragraph twice before realizing Marshmallowtown was Marshalltown? Marshmallowtown sounds better. LOL. Your son is a very lucky young man to have you travel all that way. I know you loved seeing him, but I bet he was excited to hug you, get his car, and eat a few "things" I'm sure you cooked up.
    Now, I'm off to see if I can find a Cowboy Ho Church. Amen. XOX

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    1. I think Marshmallowtown sounds better too. Maybe we could start our own Marshmallowtown and find some Cowboy Hos to inhabit it?

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  15. I feel your pain! Hundreds of miles between us and our children is not an easy thing! So glad you got to visit though - and thanks for the recipe!

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    1. I've booked him flights home this month and next month so I'll get to see him without the long car ride. Can't wait!

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  16. I know I know! I'm late to the party but just getting caught up from baby day! This looks delicious and I cannot wait to try it out for myself. I think my oven and I have maybe called a truce of sorts. Things have not been coming out as black lately haha!

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    1. Yay, I knew you could win that oven over eventually.

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