16 August 2008

A Recipe, a Rant, and Radioactive Waste

Catchy title, eh?

Let's start with the recipe, shall we?

One day Mulletman came home from work waving a 4x6 notecard.

"One of the other nurses at work brought in this blueberry buckle cake stuff and it was SO GOOD. I got the recipe from her so you could make it too." He handed me the card and stared at me expectantly.

"Um, honey. It's almost 9pm. I'm not going to make it right now." He was suddenly crestfallen, so I quickly added, "But I will SOON."

However, I think the lady who gave him this recipe for Blueberry Buckle didn't really want to share the glory with anyone else. Here's the recipe as she gave it to me. Notice any problems?

Blueberry Buckle................for Mulletman

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Mix - 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter

Heat oven to 375º. Grease round 9" pan or square pan 8x8x2" or 9x9x2".

Blend all ingredients except topping. Beat vigorously 1/2 minute. Spread in pan.

Sprinkle topping over batter in pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes.

Now, while you're pondering the recipe conundrums, I'll go on to the rant.

The new school year will be running us over arriving a week from Monday. Technically, we haven't finished last year yet, but Groovy REALLY doesn't care and is throwing up her hands because she doesn't give a rip.

This past year has been exceedingly stressful and difficult in many ways - most particularly with moving GrammaJ up to Maine (while in the midst of a family lice infestation while simultaneously moving Scout to Ft. Hood in Texas while also dealing with emotional fallout of his broken marriage and not seeing our grandkids) and dealing with her 2 subsequent surgeries. Needless to say, we've had many days of why-don't you-girls-go-play-because-Mama-is-at-the-end-of-her-rope OR why-don't -you-girls-play-because-Mama-has-to-spend-the-day-with-Gramma-AGAIN.

Now, before you call in the authorities and report me for "educational neglect", let me assure you that my girls have learned this year. Girly-Girl has gone from being a choppy, unconfident reader to a fluent devourer of literature. She's currently reading the Chronicles of Narnia aloud to her sister! Silly-Head is understanding phonics much better and I envision her making the shift to fluency this year.

Both the little ladies have finished their math books and studied the Westward expansion of the U.S., read innumerable related biographies as well as a plethora of quality fiction, built and burned a fort, studied rodents and insects and...well frankly, the list is so long that I've decided not to put it all here so that my readers don't degenrate into mindless babbling as they try to absorb all that info. All that info that my girls learned this year. Even though we didn't finish school. And yes, I AM aware that I just wrote 2 sentence fragments.

But that's not what this rant is about.

No, I'm here to vociferate on the upcoming schoolyear and the requisite Schedule of Impossibility.

It happens every single year in August. Groovy, like most homeschooling teachers-moms, starts planning out her new schoolyear. Now, my girlies are still young, so the school schedule is easy: Chores, Bible, Math, Piano, and Language Arts before lunch; Unit Studies and incredibly fun stuff after lunch. I'll admit that I am often tempted to do the fun stuff right off, but I have learned that no matter how well intentioned I am, if I put off the morning necessities until later, "later" never comes.

Therein lies the root of this diatribe. If Groovy, the procrastinator extraordinaire, puts something off for long at all it simply won't happen. This is true with the girls' education and it is true with the rest of my ever so well-intentioned daily schedule as well.

So let's take a look at what Groovy would like to see happen on a typical school day this Fall:

Quiet time to sit in front of my therapy light, pray, and read my Bible. (And yes, I AM aware that I constantly swtch from first person to third person.)

*Practice my bass guitar at least 15 minutes (preferably longer).

*Workout with aerobics and weights for an hour or so.

*Plan supper early enough that the meat is actually thawed before 4pm. :D

*Work on some actual non-blog writing projects for at least an hour a day.

*Perform some pertinent and necessary household tasks.

*Have some quality school time with the girlies.

*Actually prepare and serve the aforementioned well-planned meal.

And now let's factor in the activities that won't (or can't) occur daily:

*Blog hop AND write fascinating posts that draw hundreds of readers at least 3 times a week.

*Do the laundry 2x a week. (Mulletman helps here and the girlies do all the folding.)


*Check on my Squidoo lenses, update them, create new ones, and promote them because, folks, I am making MONEY on Squidoo. In fact, my earnings are consistantly in the four digit range. (Let's not discuss where the decimal point is though, K?)

*Ride my bike several times a week until snowsuits and sand trucks come into the picture.

*Shop for necessaries as needed (because one does usually need necessities).

*Visit/help GrammaJ 2-3 times per week (and compose many, MANY humorous blog entries about her - at least in my head.)

*Make Blueberry Buckle

*Do loads of goaty stuff for 4-H.

*Review romance books for LASR. Do so in a totally unpredictable and unreliable manner so I drive Marianne and Judy CRAZY!

*Make lots of beautiful music with Mulletman (both literally and figuratively)

*Attend church, practice music at church, lead worship at church, fellowship at church, teach at church, serve at or with the church as needed, plan and execute a weekly dinner or lunch with varying folks from church.

*Enjoy God and worship Him forever! (Oh wait...let's move that to the DAILY slot!)

*Get a master's degree in physics right here at home on my own computer in my spare time.

By now I'm sure you can sense my dilemma. Ya know those important daily items (minus the schoolwork)? Well, if I put any one of those off until after school, then they simply won't happen.

At all. Ever.

That means I need to complete all those tasks BEFORE we start school each morning at nine. This means my new schedule looks like this:

3am - Arise and slap myself several times while the espresso brews.

3:15am - Head upstairs with my Bible and a 64 ounce mug of concentrated caffeine, sit in front of the therapy light and...
lay my head down on the desk and go back to sleep until 7:30am.

Hmmm. This schedule thing, it's just not fair!!!


OK...on to the radioactive waste.

There isn't any.

But there might as well be since our well water has been found "unfit for human consumption". Perhaps the hardness level is too high; I know how to clean with vinegar. Apparently we have high arsenic levels. So what? Maybe there IS a borderline level of lead. We're not scared! Borderline on the coliform bacteria? Bacteria builds character. Unusually high in manganese? Um, manganese? Oh no. Not that! Manganese is totally harmless at these levels but Oy Mama, does it make the water stink and taste horrible!

I guess I'll be buying stock in Poland Springs!


And now, back to our recipe. Did you see the obstacles? The first one is NO BLUEBERRIES! How does one make Blueberry Buckle without blueberries?????

The second difficulty may disturb me more than it does you. The recipe is not written in an appropriate baking format. If one were to make the buckle as prescribed, one could be faced with little spots of nasty tasting baking powder or blobs of flour in the finished product. Not good.

Groovy has rewritten the recipe here for you as it should appear. Mulletman assures me that it's "EVEN BETTER" than the original. He doesn't even mind that I've added whole wheat flour to the mix.

So, my friends, make some buckle and ENJOY! Tell your family that it's a Groovy recipe.

Blueberry Buckle from the kitchen of Groovyoldlady

1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

1 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk (I've tried it with skim, low fat, and whole. The type of milk does not appreciably affect the quality of the finished product.)

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (Look! Here they are!)

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter (If you use margarine then DON'T tell anyone you got the recipe from me 'cause this formula calls for BUTTER)

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease round 9" pan or square pan 8"x8"x2" or 9"x9"x2".

In a mixer bowl cream the shortening and slowly add the sugar. Beat in the egg.

In a separate bowl, sift or stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Turn your mixer on low and alternately add the milk and the flour mixture, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix until all the batter is blended.

Stir in the blueberries (on low with the mixer or by hand - makes no difference.)

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan.

In a clean bowl, stir together all the dry topping ingredients, then mash the butter in with the back of the fork. Keep mashing until all the dry stuff is deliciously greasy and moist. Sprikle the topping on the buckle.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. If a tester (ie. toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean and dry, then it is finished. (If you use frozen berries, you will probably have to cook it longer.)

Don't burn your fingers trying to get the first piece before your family swoops in to eat it all...



Keetha Broyles said...

I noticed the missing blueberries right away. The format thing - - - not so much, though when I made it I would automatically blend it in the right order - - - -

How many blueberries did you add?

Marianne Arkins said...

I agree with Keetha... I tend to reorganize recipes anyway, so the order doesn't bug me. The missing blueberries, tho? uh... yeah.

And, Judy and I <3 you, don't worry! We are/were both homeschooling moms, so understand crazy, out-og-control schedules.

I already started school so that we may actually finish before next August. I can hope, right?

Good luck!!

Marianne Arkins said...

Please ignore any and all spelling and grammar errors in the previous post. I swear, I think and teach better than I type.

At least, one would hope that I do!

Tammy said...

Love your recipe...adding blueberries to this was a nice added touch! ;)

Oh, the school year...yes. I've been for the very first time, buying some of our books on ebay the past few weeks! As for how my home school day wish list, I had to agree with almost all of yours in a perfect world! (Except for practicing bass guitar...)

groovyoldlady said...

OK folks,

Should I make fun of Keetha, or just graciously tell her the amount of blueberries?

Dawn said...

I would kindly tell her to re-read your amended recipe! Too funny! I had to giggle when I saw that, too.

Your schedule is daunting. Let us know how it works! I could njo more home school than I could fly! I mean, when I had kids --

Corn Dog said...

That blueberry buckle cake looks divine. Yes. Yummy. And you know what, you kids are learning waaaay more than any kids here in public schools. so don't sweat it.

Keetha Broyles said...

Oh dear - - - - no WONDER I always get made fun of - - - I MUST deserve it!!!

It's all good - - - I gave you a laugh.

Not Hannah said...

Lady, you have been so freakin' busy. I have missed so much between my computer problems and general busi/laziness.

On my list: keep up with Groovums.

Anonymous said...

I have one of those impossible schedules too. Just as well we're both superheroes in waiting. I'm gonna try that buckle. MHMMMMMMM!!

Susan said...

Groovy, I just tagged you for a Meme!!

Damselfly said...

You're a bass guitar player?! You rock!

I'm sure your buckle is better than the nurse's. Especially if you add blueberried to it.

What is Squidoo?

Anonymous said...

The Overwhelming Schedule Thing afflicts all of us, especially those who homeschool or work at home or both.

That fifteen minutes of guitar-playing early in the morning ought to help get up any sleepyheads in your house.

I don't dare make the blueberry buckle because I would eat it. Isn't that sad? My family doesn't get homemade desserts because I think they taste wonderful. We do get to eat fruit, though. (Yawn.)

Good luck! I'm trying to get on my own schedule as school starts here. So hard!

Bear said...

I went ahead and made the buckle from the recipe at the top of your post... it wasn't until one of the kids said "What are these...?" and I said "Blueb..." that I realised what was missing.

So I renamed them scones and they went down a treat.


groovyoldlady said...


I read your comments and then deleted them because of their personal nature.

This is a very busy week here: Bek and Jeremy are here and we're celebrating the folks' 50th wedding anniversary etc.,

My email is in the sidebar. If you'd like to talk once things settle down, please contact my via that route for now. (I no longer have your email address...)


Anonymous said...

Most of the things you write about are more personal in nature than my being honest about you not trying to see my kids. No one likes comments that aren't filled with praise & adoration, though. I like the quote: "I have benefited greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof."

My email address is crys@tds.net. I changed my cell number to 8488 (the rest is the same).