Now that I am talking to my microwave, staying at home isn’t so bad. The microwave has a limited digital vocabulary. It only tells me to enjoy my meal, but it says it in a different tone depending on what I am heating up. It seems sad and sometimes disapproving if I am heating up junk food. It is happy and encouraging when I heat up healthy food. Hey, don’t fear for my sanity. Of course. I am not conversing with my coffee pot!
Television commercials are also becoming more believable. They are still annoying but I have memorized the Medicare announcements so I simply mute them. Late last night there was a really insightful commercial about how to cook bacon in a healthy way. Buy a “Bacon Bonanza Rack” made of Gotham steel. The fat drips away so the bacon is a crispy, healthy snack. Perhaps everyone on my Christmas list would enjoy one. They are not sold in stores! Of course, they are not. No stores are open.
I also have developed a relationship with the governor of New York. I call him Andy instead of Andrew because we have gotten so close. I see him every day on the news. I used to really enjoy Norah O’Donnell but lately her perkiness and optimism are getting on my nerves. What is so wonderful about the world right now?
I am sleeping more now, and each morning I wake up hoping that this virus was just a bad dream. My favorite dreams are about my lilacs, lily of the valley, peonies, and hydrangeas blooming. Seeing the ferns unfurl and the hostas shoot up would also cheer me up. I have to remember that some of God’s greatest gifts to humans are plants, flowers, and trees. Thank you, God, for giving me something to look forward to in the near future!
Looking for something to read on my book shelves, I discovered a book about the language of flowers and what each flower means. Lilacs mean “the memory of a close friend.” Lily of the Valley means “return of happiness.” Peony means “bashfulness.” That strikes me as odd because the flowers are so lush and have such a beautiful scent that I think they stand out in the garden. Hydrangeas mean “boastfulness,” which makes sense since their blooms are so big and the blue and pink ones are so vibrant. Even the white ones are gorgeous. Ferns mean “sincerity.” Our state flower, the Lady Slipper, means “capricious beauty.” Just remember it is illegal to pick them!
One of my favorite plants doesn’t bloom, its leaves are poisonous, but its fruit is wonderful in sauces, jams, pies, and other desserts. I am sure you know that I am talking about rhubarb, which is sometimes called pie plant. My rhubarb is already growing. It is sturdy enough to stand up to frost and even spring snow. Soon it will be ready for harvest. This is a delicious way to use it.
3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup diced, peeled apples
1/2 to 1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup quick cooking oats
Combine rhubarb, apples and strawberries; spoon into a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in brown sugar and oats. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned (40-50 minutes). Can be served warm with ice cream, if desired. Makes 8 servings.