Tuesday, May 22, 2018

BS at PU

When things get really rough, when I'm so stressed or angry or sad (or all three, depending on what's going on at any given time) that I can feel my blood pressure about to blow the top of my head off, I always say the same thing "please, dear G-d, just let me live long enough to get my youngest son through college." 


BS at PU, it's college graduation time! | www.BakingInATornado.com | #graduation #MyGraphics


If you read this blog and/or follow my Baking In A Tornado FB page regularly (you do, right?) you know that last weekend it happened, PurDude graduated. Not really sure that bodes well for my whole head explosion situation. In retrospect, maybe I should have thought a little longer term.
 

I struggled, 4 years ago, when (after my older son chose a college about an hour away) we packed my youngest up and drove him to school 10 hours away. It was bittersweet, setting up his room, and as you knew I would, lining his window sill with 9 dozen cookies for his new friends and crying the whole way then driving home without him.


Dark and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, a crunchy dark chocolate oatmeal cookie sweetened with bursts of white chocolate chips. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies

Dark and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Dark and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, a crunchy dark chocolate oatmeal cookie sweetened with bursts of white chocolate chips. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies


Four sometimes devastating and often equally delightful years later, we went up to Purdue last week to reverse the process. He's living in a house with a couple of friends instead of a dorm this time, but cookies once again included, of course.

We spent the weekend walking the campus, meeting more of PurDude's friends and visiting some of our favorite places. I'm going to have to admit here, as a mom, that there were places I could have lived without seeing. He'd sent me pictures of the outside of the house he was renting and it certainly was run down looking, but that's part of the whole student experience (or so I thought). I also thought I was paying rent for him to live in a house and all this time it turns out it was a cave. And that bathroom? I may need therapy. 

Speaking of therapy, Purdue has just the place. There was no question that we'd be stopping by Paddy's Sweet Shop for one of their famous milkshakes. This place is so cute, isn't it? 

Pappy's Sweet Shop at Purdue University | picture is property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #graduation

 And we had our share of laughs. Like when we saw this bike and PurDude explained to us that on campus if you leave your bike without locking it up, it won't be where you left it. Don't worry, it wasn't stolen. Everyone knows to just look up.



Purdue University | picture is property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #graduation

 Graduation was amazing. I have to admit I've never been this entertained by a commencement before. Purdue has produced more astronauts than any other school and it happens that 2 are on the International Space Station right now. One of them received an honorary doctorate and since our son's degree is from the school of science, it played out in the graduation ceremony (one of six in total) that we attended. This segment of the graduation was actually done through a live hook-up to the Space Station and concluded with the astronaut addressing the new graduates. NASA even covered it live on their TV channel also.

If you want to see it, the link is to the video on the Purdue FB page is HERE. If you don't want to see the whole commencement, you can scroll forward to the Space Station part. If you do watch it, watch to the very end (even after the waving), it's pretty funny in places, and I love how it ends.




Comments from the International Space Station at Purdue Graduation | picture is property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #graduation


 The highlight for us, of course, was hearing our son's name called and watching him cross that stage to receive his degree. A Bachelor's Degree in Science with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Organizational Leadership Skills. GPA: 3.2. Yeah, I may be just a little proud.  
 
Among the many obligatory pictures we were sure to get one of PurDude and Neil Armstrong. Now they are both Purdue alumni.

Comments from the International Space Station at Purdue Graduation | picture is property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #graduation



And then it came. Time to say goodbye to his friends and his housemates and work on packing up to come home. We had limited space, his car and our SUV and that's it. We looked into renting a small truck but driving it one way would cost about 5 times what we paid for the items we'd be taking. Cheap college furniture is easily replaced. We had room for one large piece so PurDude had a decision to make, which had the most sentimental meaning to him. 

He was living in a house with 2 roommates so he did have some furniture that we'd bought him: a mini fridge, a desk, a futon, an air conditioner. Whatever he didn't take he was donating to his frat brothers. None of what we bought was expensive and all had served him well for 4 years so it didn't matter to us what he decided to keep. 

So what did he do? In the end it wasn't furniture we had bought him that came home with us after all, it was something he'd acquired along the way.

Gotta keep the Kegerator | picture is property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #graduation


Why yes, that actually is a Kegerator sitting in my garage. 

Oy.

But if you go inside my house, climb the stairs and walk into the room on the left, there you will find my boy. Temporarily, of course, but for now all is right in my world. Perfect, in fact.


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Dark and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients (makes about 3 1/2 dz):
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
1 3/4 cups flour
2 TBSP baking cocoa
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:
*Melt the dark chocolate chips until smooth when stirred.
*Cream the butter, margarine, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat in the egg and melted dark chocolate.
*Slowly at first until incorporated, beat in the flour, baking cocoa, oats, salt and baking soda. Mix in the white chocolate chips. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Roll the dough into about 1 inch balls. Place on the baking sheets and press down gently with the heel of your hand. 
*Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Drop Everything and Do What, Now?: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Me: Blech.
College Boy: Blech?
Me: I have a bad taste in my mouth. I put conditioner on my hair in the shower and some splashed into my mouth.
College Boy: I'm sure you brushed your teeth, try putting something strong tasting in your mouth.
Me: Like I should eat an onion?
College Boy: I was thinking more of a shot of bourbon.

And just like that I finally see that this kid is a chip off the old block (hint: me)!

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


I'm eating pistachios when College Boy walks in the room.

Me: Do you want some pistachios?
College Boy: No, I don't like them.
Me: You don't like pistachios? Everyone likes pistachios. What's wrong with you?
College Boy: I'm not nuts. . .

ba dum bum.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Hubs got me a new phone in March. I was going away for 2 weeks, my old phone had died and he didn't want me traveling without one so he ran out and picked one up.

Me: I want you to return my phone.
Hubs: What? Why? You don't like it all of a sudden?
Me: It's mocking me. 
Hubs: Huh?
Me: It dings for no reason. It's only supposed to alert when Baking In A Tornado has an email or when I have a text. 
Hubs: Okayyyyyy . . .
Me: But now it will sometimes ding and I go check it and nothing. No email, no text, no message of any alert at all. It's mocking me.
Hubs takes my phone and walks upstairs.
Me: Why are you going upstairs? Are you going to return it?
Hubs: How about I give it a stern talking to and put it in a time out?
Me: Ummmm . . .
Hubs: Well, it worked with the kids.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

My eyes and my ears have been failing me. Well, and my knees and my memory too. And head, shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes . . .

Anyway, I listed a few instances last month of things I'd misheard or misread. Here are a few more:

I was working on my laptop with the TV on the other evening and a commercial came on. Not fully paying attention, I looked up when I heard an older woman saying "I'm a spider".

Me: Huh? Did she say she's a spider?
Hubs: Fighter. She said she's a fighter.
Me: Ah, OK, carry on.

Another day I was looking at a list of April silly holidays. You know, like the recent post I wrote called Found My Day about Blame Someone Else Day. So I was reading through the days and was stopped short. What the hell? There's an upcoming Drop Everything and Breed Day? Huh? No way!

Yeah, no way. It's Drop Everything and READ Day, btw.



Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


I had made a few desserts for Passover and Hubs wanted to try the pie in the fridge.

Hubs: What kind of pie is this?
Me: Tropical Fruit Pie.
Hubs (looking at the pie): So there's matzo in this?
Me: No, no matzo, just normal ingredients, things we can eat on Passover. There's a walnut crust and the pie is like a Key Lime pie but it's Pineapple.
Hubs: Oh good, I like Key Lime Pie.
Me: But it's not Key Lime flavored.
Hubs (disappointed): No? You said Key Lime.
Me: It's that consistency, but it's pineapple flavored, I wanted to try something different.
Hubs: You could have made Key Lime.
Me: How would that be different?
Hubs: Well, Key Lime would be good.
Me: WHAT? Jeez, can't you at least take a bite before you start the insults?

Later . . .

Hubs: Came out good. 
Me: Gee thanks.
Hubs: For not being Key Lime.




Tropical Scones: start your day with tropical fruits and nuts baked into a flaky scone. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch

Tropical Scones
Tropical Scones: start your day with tropical fruits and nuts baked into a flaky scone. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch



After brunch, I handed my husband my camera and the manual.

Me: My flash isn't working. I know I must have just pressed something. Can you figure out what and make it work again.
Hubs: You can't figure it out? 
Me: I didn't even look. You know I hate all that boring stuff and you like reading dry informational manuals.
Hubs: No I don't.
Me: Yes you do.
Hubs: No, I don't.
Me: Yes, you do.
Hubs: You're going to say that I do as many times as I say I don't, aren't you.
Me: Yup.
Hubs: Guess I'll stop standing here and go figure out how to get your flash turned back on.
Me: I knew you would.
Hubs: Seems like you did.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

If you make me angry enough, I tend to get sarcastic. I'm not the most patient person in the world, but I don't just fly off the handle either.

We had problems with our internet, so we'd had to go in and change the password for our router, then re-sign in on our phones, Kindle, laptops . . .

I went to use the printer a few days later and could not. I realized that it probably had to do with having reset our password. I had to google what to do, it got quite technical and I started to sweat. There was a good chance I'd do irreparable harm.

While going through the steps, there was a knock on my door and a ringing of the bell. I peeked out from the office, saw a salesman, decided not to answer and went back to what I was doing. Another knocking and ringing, which I ignored. A third ringing and I was mad. I abruptly opened the door.

Salesman (with a big smile and a jolly voice): Are you the lady of the house?
Me (less than jolly, to say the least): No, I'm the garden gnome.

He was still standing there with his mouth open when I shut the door. 


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


have no idea what College Boy was dreaming about, but he came down the stairs and imparted this little bit of wisdom:

College Boy: Mom, I don't punch babies and I expect you to do the same.

Anyone who reads this blog knows how I'm always trying to get him to write me a guest post so I answered him.

Me: Son, I do write blog posts and I expect you to do the same.   


 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I was watching Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network. Two contestants cook a dish and the winner goes up against Bobby Flay making a dish of their choice. There's a blind taste test and a winner.

College Boy: Could you beat Bobby Flay, Mom?
Me: I don't think so, honey.
College Boy: You need to be more positive.
Me: I'm positive I could not beat Bobby Flay.
College Boy: Really, Mom?
Me: Not if he had one hand tied behind his back . . .

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics



College Boy went out with friends and came in the house at around 1:00 am. I heard the garage door go up and figured (correctly) he didn't have his key with him. I waited to hear the garage door go down again, but it didn't.

I went downstairs to find him in the garage pressing the button, but the door wasn't moving. I had to go out there, figure out what was wrong, make the adjustment and get the door to close. 

College Boy: I had a few beers.
Me: I figured.

College Boy: I know they say not to operate heavy machinery when you've been drinking. but I didn't think they meant garage doors.


Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Menopausal Mother 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Spatulas on Parade


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Tropical Scones         
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, sliced
1/3 cup peeled mango choped
1/4 cup dried sweetened pineapple, chopped
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk, divided
1 tsp pineapple, rum or vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp almond extract

2 TBSP butter

Directions:
*Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
*Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and 1 stick of sliced butter into a food processor. Pulse a few times until crumbly. Move to a bowl.
*Gently mix in the mango, pineapple and cashews.
*In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/3 cup of the milk and the extract of your choice. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Add only as much of the rest of the milk, if you need any at all, as you need just until the dough comes together. You want it moist but not wet.
*Turn the dough onto a floured counter, flour your hands and knead a few times, just until the dough holds together.
*Move to the baking sheet and gently form into a rectangle approximately 8 1/2 inches by 6 inches. Cut the width in half and the length into 3 equal pieces so you end up with 6 rectangles. Cut each into 2 triangles. Gently move the pieces apart a bit.
*Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Melt the remaining 2 TBSP butter. Brush onto the scones. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Friendship, Debt and the Self-Preservation Clause

There are songs, poems, stories, memes, cliches and sayings about the value of friendship, so I don't have to tell you about all of the benefits. But you know what? It's not all sweetness and light and unquestioning support. There, I said it. Sometimes the relationship is difficult, sometimes strained, and sometimes . . . well, sometimes friendship is a battle of wills, a negotiation.


Sometimes it's a negotiation: Friendship, Debt and the Self-Preservation Clause | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #friendship

Lynne: No.
Me: No?
Lynne: Hell no.
Me: What do you mean?
Lynne: I mean I'm not doing it.
Me: But you owe me.
Lynne: Owe you?
Me: Remember last month when I . . .
Lynne: (interrupting): Yeah, I know, and I thanked you a million times but . . .
Me (interrupting): But?
Lynne: But "I owe you", that's just something people say.
Me: No it's not.
Lynne: Yes, it is.
Me: No it's not, it's a debt. And I'm calling it in.
Lynne: It's not a debt, it's just an expression of gratitude.
Me: Well, if you're grateful, you return the favor.
Lynne: There are limits.
Me: Limits?
Lynne: Some things shouldn't be done. 
Me: I know. And maybe this is one of them.
Lynne: Not sure I want to find out the hard way. 
Me: Really? Even for a friend. One you owe . . .Lynne: I thought we already settled that debt thing.
Me: Fine, no debt. But we're good friends, friends do things for each other. Like last month when I . . .
Lynne (interrupting): Friends do things for each other, but not anything. Not something that will be too difficult for them to handle. There are risks. And repercussions.
Me: Risk? Repercussions?
Lynne: Yes, repercussions. I mean, I'd then have to go on with my day as if nothing happened.
Me: Seriously? Do I say "no" to you?
Lynne: Have I ever put you at physical risk?
Me: Probably.
Lynne: We're friends so you know that in some dire situations, you just have to say "no".
Me: You're invoking the self-preservation clause?
Lynne: No, as someone who cares about you, it's my responsibility to deter you from something that could be traumatic.
Me: I know but . . .
Lynne (interrupting): Ask me something else. I know, I can save you shopping, time and energy and make the snack for you for our book group on Friday? I'll even make your recipe. How about those Raspberry Sunflower Seed Oat Muffins? 
Raspberry Sunflower Seed Oat Muffins, bursting with fresh flavors, a delicious way to start your day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Raspberry Sunflower Seed Oat Muffins
Raspberry Sunflower Seed Oat Muffins, bursting with fresh flavors, a delicious way to start your day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake


Me: Oh, cool, you can do that too.
Lynne: Too?
Me: Well, since you're volunteering and all . . .
Lynne: I'm volunteering to help you out in place of your putting me in peril.
Me: So now this is a negotiation? You're going to repay me by doing what's easier for you instead of what I need?
Lynne: Need? You don't need . . .
Me (interrupting): Well, yes. I need your support. We both know this is something I can't do alone, I wouldn't do alone.
Lynne: Fine, you shamed me into it, I'll do it.
Me: You'll do it? 
Lynne: Under duress. And against my better judgement.
Me: I don't know. Now you made me feel bad. What if you're not able to make it through the rest of your day . . .
Lynne: I won't be alone. I don't think you will either. And it will serve you right. 
Me: Well, if it's too painful we can decide to never do it again.
Lynne: Fine. We'll jog at dawn. 
Me: Thanks. I owe you.

I'm not sure which was more difficult, getting up at dawn, or actually running for 2 miles. But she was right, neither one of us was walking well for the rest of the day. Guess we'll put that in the "never again" column.

And I don't really owe her, right? I mean, that's just something people say . . .



Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Raspberry Sunflower Seed Oat Muffins        
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup quick oats 
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 egg
2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, quartered 

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP water
2 TBSP sunflower seeds

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Insert muffin paper cups into 12 muffin tins and gently spray the interiors of the paper cups.
*Mix together the oats, 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg and lemon extract, then mix in just until incorporated.
*Fold in the raspberries. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
*Bake for 20 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Mix together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and water. Spoon over the cooled muffins. Sprinkle with the remaining sunflower seeds.