Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Channeling my Mother
My mother knew how to do summer when I was little. She is from the HOT state of North Carolina and grew up without air conditioning. The heat can't knock her down. It doesn't even try. The heat and my mom stare at each other face to face each summer and the heat immediately backs down. It knows her summer strength.
I grew up just South of DC in Fairfax, Virginia, and although I know it gets hot there, my memories are not hot ones. Every summer day was the same. We woke up and went right to the pool. We had swim lessons at the time of day when the water hasn't had a chance to warm up. Each summer day started with a shock of cold. Then we lingered at the pool for hours. My brother, sister and I swam while my mom read her magazines and fed us snacks. We were home before noon.
I remember surprising my friend next door by telling her we had not only been up for hours, but we'd also been to the pool and back.
The afternoons I would play outside on my bike or I would invite over a friend to play in our large, cool basement. In the evenings I would run around the yard in my nightgown catching lightning bugs and I would be in bed before the sun set.
That is what every summer day looked like. In my memory there is never rain, there is never that groggy "I'm too hot!" feeling and there is always an ample supply of flavored ice.
So, yesterday I decided to channel my mother and make the most of summer. I was up early and the boys and I were out the door just after breakfast. We went to a local park that has lots of sprinklers set up. The kids played in the water for a while, then we came home for lunch. We rested and played inside during the heat of the day. I had no cool basement to offer my kids, and I can't let them run around on our street looking for lightning bugs that are not there, but I feel like I got pretty close to a good summer day.
I made this Coconut Bread yesterday morning.
Here's the recipe:
1/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
2 c flour
3 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c milk
3/4 c flaked coconut
Combine butter and sugar. Add egg and extracts. Add salt, baking powder and flour. Mix in milk and coconut. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.