butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

How to win friends and influence people

Two of yesterday morning’s muffins came with me to the office for two colleagues who go so far out of their way to make my life easier. Thank you, Dale Carnegie, for teaching us this “fundamental technique in handling people:

  1. Give honest and sincere appreciation.”
That's a guy who looks like he'd appreciate a good muffin!

That’s a guy who looks like he’d appreciate a good muffin!

I know! Why don’t I suggest Muffin Monday at my company because, God knows, we could use some love (and we ain’t gonna get it from the bosses). We’ll all be assigned one Monday throughout the summer to bake and bring a dozen muffins: baker’s choice (gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, heavy on the fruit, dense with seeds… the possibilities are endless). Wouldn’t that make coming in after the weekend a little more appealing? And get people in on time… first come, first served!

I’ll let you know how this goes over. Our intranet has enough about World Cup hotties on it for now.

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Ew–and so delicious

DSC02096 It’s a banana muffin morning (and will be all week!). My husband loves bananas, so they don’t usually last long enough to go all black and mushy, but I snagged one of these ugly-wuglies for myself. Last night, I mixed one cup of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in one container. I put a half-stick of butter and a little more than one-quarter cup of sugar in another. I measured out a half-cup of chopped walnuts. This morning, I whizzed up the butter (nicely softened) and sugar and added one egg, my mashed-up banana, and a half a teaspoon of vanilla. In went the flour and the nuts, in went the batter into my greased six-cup muffin pan, and after 22 minutes at 350° F, out came breakfast. Yes, we have no bananas…we have six moist, fresh-from-the-oven, oh-so-tasty banana muffins today.

What a transformation!

What a transformation!

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Throwback Thursday–Charlotte’s Web

Illustration by Garth Williams

Illustrations by Garth Williams

I judge books not by their covers but by their opening lines. E.B. White crafted one of the most compelling in all of American literature for Charlotte’s Web: “Where’s Papa going with that ax?” Did I mention this before? I may have because it’s one of the certainties of my life. After a line of dialogue like that, who could fail to read on? Chapter One (“Before Breakfast”) continues:

“What’s that?” [Avery, Fern’s brother] demanded. “What’s Fern got?”

“She’s got a guest for breakfast,” said Mrs. Arable. “Wash your hands and face, Avery!”

“Let’s see it!” said Avery, setting his gun down. “You call that miserable thing a pig? That’s a fine specimen of a pig–it’s no bigger than a white rat.”

“Wash up and eat your breakfast, Avery!” said his mother. “The school bus will be along in half an hour.”

“Can I have a pig, too, Pop?” asked Avery.

“No, I only distribute pigs to early risers,” said Mr. Arable. “Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one, to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly. Let’s eat!”

The moral of this post is: rise early, root out injustice, and avoid bacon!

wilbur terrific

 

Copyright (C) 1952 by E.B. White  Text copyright renewed 1980 by E.B. White

Illustrations copyright renewed 1980 by Garth Williams

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Bloomsday–A Day Late

buck mulligan's twoer

I only just realized it was Bloomsday about four o’clock in the afternoon, long past the time Leopold Bloom welcomed the old lady who arrived with fresh milk in the first pages of Ulysses: “If we could only live on good food like that, he said to her somewhat loudly, we wouldn’t have the country full of rotten teeth and rotten guts…. Buck Mulligan sighed and having filled his mouth with a crust thickly buttered on both sides, stretching forth his legs and began to search his trouser pockets…. Ask nothing more of me sweet. All I can give you I give.”

And so I give you a taste of Joyce and the essentials of life: brown bread, strong tea, and a story that knows no limits.

brown bread honey tea

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Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching

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That quote is by a man named William W. Purkey (imagine how much Mr. Purkey must’ve been teased at school, particularly around Thanksgiving).  Sandra Bullock brought the same thought to the graduating seniors of New Orleans’ Easton High School when she told them one of the things she’s teaching her son is to turn up the music really loud and dance before you leave the house–it changes the way you walk.

So this morning, I’m switching to my favorite classic rock station (from my favorite classical station) before I hit the NYC sidewalk to go to work: whether it’s “Born to Run” or “L.A. Woman,” I’ll be striding out the door with a whole different swing.

Good morning!

Good morning!

 

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Saturday Morning Homework

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Who has time for breakfast when today’s work load requires weekend input?

What happened to Saturday mornings when parents could attend their kids’ Little League games, when the family made a trip to the local library or DVD store, when kids went off to a birthday party and their untethered parents could have a leisurely Bloody Mary with friends?

Now, on our days off, we’re tied to our smart phones, spreadsheets spread out on the dining room table, doing what couldn’t possibly have been fit into the 40 hours we spent at the office.

argh

 

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Have a nice day!

When the title of this post is said without sincerity, I want to rip the person’s face off.

yellow smiley face

However, when it’s said with an authentic smile and an honest wish for the next 24 hours to go well, there’s no better greeting.

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Not only am I honestly wishing you all a terrific day, I’m shouting out thanks to my sister-in-law Jan for the gift of these new summer accessories: melamine plate, fireworks napkin, raffia napkin ring, and white star bowl. Could they be any cuter?

 

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Queen for a Meal

queen for a day

Sunday morning’s tailor-made for a little pampering: a puff pastry tart of egg on sour cream flavored with herbes de Provence and s/p with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on top.

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The 1950s TV show “Queen for a Day,” which must’ve been in re-runs in the early ’60s since I remember my mother weeping over these women’s pathetic stories of hunger and hardship, is a far, far cry from “Desperate Housewives” and the RHO… franchise. Now that I think of it, it was more like “The Hunger Games,” since four or five competed with one another for the prizes. What happened if you lost? Back to the cold-water flat and the child in the iron lung, waiting for the electricity to be turned off.

OK, let’s take this in another direction. I’ll leave you with this thought from nutritionist and author of Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit, Adelle Davis :

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

queenvictoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

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