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.