Sunday, August 19, 2007

They say it's your birthday...

It’s time for another birthday party. Two folks in my blog list are celebrating birthdays today and friend from out west has her big 4-0 day tomorrow. We should have one big party.

Ed Abbey (named after the western author who would have been 80 this year) is a 34 year old engineer in a small town in Iowa. If you think Iowa only has corn and baseball fields, you’re wrong. There’s at least one industrial plant that requires an engineer and the same town is adjacent to a small city filled with thousands of hippie/East Indian want-a-bees that Ed has dubbed Maharishiville. Ed, like his namesake, loves to do a lot of fun things like running rivers and backpacking and in his archives are journals from many trips. Politically, he’s a constitutionalist. It may sound like he’s a conservative but like many of us he’s had his fill of the shrub from Texas who isn’t very conservative, at least not fiscally. Ed is the proud father of Little Abbey, a cute girl that inherited her mother’s looks. Go over to Ed’s blog and wish him a happy birthday. I’m not sure what kind of gift to offer, but somewhere I have an old slide rule that I’ll stick a bow on. Another thoughtful gift would be a multi-colored pack of pocket protectors. Ed may not appreciate it, but his old nemesis Murf would be pleased that he could match his pocket protector with the color of his shirts.

Ed marches to his own beat, which has given rise “Ed’s DamnYankee Reading Challenge,” which came about in response to the Summer Southern Reading Challenge.

Sharing Ed’s birthday is the lovely Michele (or at least the lady with a lovely photo of a great pair of legs. Like Ed, her face has been veiled from our eyes). A Canadian, she’s quite a reader and likes to brag upon herself, but for good reason. As she says, “the lovely thing about being me is that I’m so damn good at it.” Michele brings much joy to the internet with little games that force people to meet one another and many of the folks who regularly read my dribble first did so through Michele’s weekend “meet-n-greet” game. Michele is celebrating an anniversary of her 39th birthday (next year, I’ll have my dozenth anniversary of my 39th birthday). As a birthday gift, Michele would like for you to offer her a musical suggestion to download on her ipod.

Our final birthday girl is “I’m No Angel.” She turns 40 tomorrow and, as she is now definitively middle-aged, she should never again be referred to as a “girl.” Unfortunately, the “Non-Angel” does not have a blog (I’m not sure why she’s not with the program for her husband has one). Or maybe she does have a blog and just hasn’t shared it with me. In any case, she does have a blogger account that allows her to occasionally pop ino my blog and harasses me (which is why she receives the honored pain in the butt award--all in good humor, or course). Once upon a time in a distant land that was far away (I know, that's redundant), Non-Angel was a member of my staff. I don’t think she has forgiven me for accepting another position just a month after she was hired, leaving her to work under a less than desirable supervisor. She’s a wonderful educator and knows a few things about the birds and bees—or at least I hope so as she teaches anatomy to college students, a subject I'm sure most college students think they know everything they need to know about. If you want to wish Non-Angel a happy birthday, you’ll have to do that here, since there is no there.

A birthday party wouldn’t be complete without some games. Anyone up for hitting the piñata?
It's raining outside so I'll watch from the safety of my screened porch.

CAKE: Since it’s late summer and if we don’t find someway to consume all the zucchini floating around, we’ll be stuck with it all winter, I’ll serve up a Zucchini Chocolate Cake recipe that I found in an old book.

Sift together and put aside:
2.5 cups flour
.25 cup dry cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, cream until light and fluffy:
.5 cup salad oil
.5 cup margarine
1.75 cup sugar

Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 beaten eggs.

Add dry ingredients alternatively with .5 cup buttermilk into the creamed mixture. Stir in 2 cups grated zucchini. Pour into greased 9” x 13” pan. Sprinkle with a 6 ounce package of chocolate chips and .75 cup chopped walnuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

ICE CREAM: It’s feeling almost like fall here in Michigan (it was in the 40s yesterday!), which is perfect weather for some pumpkin ice cream. This recipe comes from the More-With-Less-Cookbook, one of my favorite.

Scald 2 cups of milk in a double boiler

Combine in a bowl:
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
.13 tsp. salt
2 cups mashed/cooked sweet potatoes
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
.5 tsp. allspice
.25 tsp. ground ginger
.5 tsp. vanilla

Add hot milk to combined ingredients and cook for four minutes, then cool.

Add 1 cup of cream and 1 cup chopped pecans. Pour into ice cream freezer and follow freezer directions regarding ice and salt, mix till stiff. Ingredients can be doubled if you have a gallon-size ice cream freezer.



  1. I gave up on the entertaining thought of Ed matching his pocket protector to his shirt once I heard he was color blind. Unfortunately, that also applies to his inability to match his belt to his shoes. Instead, I'm just waiting patiently until Little Abbey turns 16 and starts dating.

    Happy Birthday Everyone!

  2. Mmmm zucchini chocolate cake. Zucchini quiche is good also. Now I'm hungry.

  3. Kevin Stilley must share not only our birthdays, but brain waves . . . I was going to make the identical comment!

  4. Yeah, Happy B-Day to Ed, Michele, and I'm No Angel.

    And for your Zucchini Chocolate Cake recipe, I'd just like to comment that people should make the effort to find trans fat free margarine. Trans fat is a very unhealthy fat and now that certain margarines are trans fat free, it is absolutely worth seeking them out.

    As for your Pumpkin Ice Cream, I'll admit I'm curious as to how it tastes. But pardon me if I'm a little apprehensive after viewing the recipe.

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  5. Gee...thanks...I think.

    What the hell is the emblem on that medal next to my b-day wish supposed to be?

    Hey Murf--am I supposed to be offended by that or am I unenlightened about something? I'll defer to your better judgement about what to say to Sage about that one. Go for it if that picture is what I think it is. Perhaps my young girlish immature naiveté is shining through here though.

    I ain't touching the whole job thing with you in a public forum. That will have to be a discussion over Scotch sometime. Or Tequila. Only thing I'll have to say about it is that I surely enjoy dealing with cadavers that have met their Maker already WAY better than pre-cadavers that are scared about meeting the Maker...much easier to deal with, and they're much more reasonable in that "post" condition. And wheeling out Mr. Body stops those "know it all" pre-meds dead in their tracks. Pun intended.

    So umm..thanks for the bday party...I think...and I'll always be a girl because you'll always be WAY older than me. I'm immature to the core.

  6. Angel - Sage's sense of humor translates oddly via the written word, doesn't it? I'm thinking he's still like a 10 year old boy that throws rocks at girls he likes so it could be a compliment. :-)

  7. Thanks for all the birthday wishes to our three "new-aged" honorees.

    Murf, I'm not surprised you have thought about matching pocket protectors, the way you insist on things going together.

    V, those aren't my recipes. I don't use margarine anymore--I never made the cake recipe. I would probably use butter (the real thing). As for the pumpkin ice cream, I've made it several times and it is good.

    Non-angel: I hope you're having a blast today and ain't taking too much offense at the coments. Yes, the emblem is what you think it is (I got it from Karen's blog sometime last year).

  8. Things should match, Sage, and sleeveless t-shirts should be outlawed!!!

  9. I missed my own birthday party but better a day late than never! Once, a former co-worker was retiring and unbeknownst to me, gave his six foot slide rule to another co-worker. Man was I jealous.

  10. the pumpkin ice cream sounds REALLY good *S*S*S*SS*


  11. Happy birthday Ed, Michele, and I'm No Angel!!!

  12. Happy Bday to them, and sweet of you to post so brilliantly about the party and them:)