The last few weeks and months have been so busy with schedules, family things, traveling, teaching, working... It is finally sinking in that I can stop and catch my breath, even if it is just for a few days. There's more on the near horizon (a.k.a. this coming weekend), and the calendar is far from empty, but for right now I can sit a bit.
Teaching is over for the year. For the last day of class I "made" brownies (from a box mix) with cream cheese frosting (from a can). I was trying to make them slightly relevant, hence the red, white and blue pretzel m&ms. We had a "guest speaker" and I think the kids enjoyed it. It's been a good year. I do need to jump into planning lessons for next year before the time gets away from me, but I think first I should take a break. It's probably best for me and for future lessons if I step away for a little bit (especially since the thought of beginning again is pretty intimidating at the moment).
Grading- In the words of Uncle Ben (I think?) from Spider Man 1: "With great power comes great responsibility" (and of course there's James 3:1). I have certainly been conscious of this as I have been grading research papers and final exams. It's finally done. Final grades mailed last week. Whew.
Muffins- Sometimes you just need to do a little baking. My take-off on Leah's white chocolate almond muffins are pretty much my favorite muffin. I use regular whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup each brown and white sugar, and regular (not Greek) plain nonfat yogurt. I add chopped almonds, semisweet chocolate chips instead of white, and dried cranberries. Nuts, dark chocolate and dried cranberries might be my favorite combination. (Now that I think about it, I could use chopped fresh cranberries too...the tartness might be a good contrast. Plus, it could mean less sugar?)
I was very pleased with my canned stewed apples, and I think if I do any canning the year is will be more of that. The canned peaches didn't turn out as well as I wanted. They just don't have as much flavor as the ones I froze. This summer I'll only buy an amount I can fit in my freezer. I do like the peaches pureed into a smoothie/thick juice drink with watermelon. I have a feeling I'll be doing this a lot this summer. Another of my canned goods we haven't really gotten into much is the apple butter. It isn't something we use very often in general. We don't eat much toast/bread, and when we do I'm the only one who puts that kind of thing on it, and then only rarely. I didn't make much, but I think I'll use what I have to substitute for applesauce in baking. I need to make some baked oatmeal for the week. Maybe tonight when things have cooled off a little (wishful thinking, perhaps). Or I'll bake it in the crockpot.
I spied a visitor last week when I was sitting grading papers on the back deck:
And that's just a bit of recent life.