Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not As Planned

Over the past few days, things have not been going as planned.

On Monday night, I planned to return my books to the library, then go for a refreshing swim.  I returned the books, but ended up with a half-hour to kill before the pool opened.  So I went to the bookstore.

Yeah, not a good idea.  Me, at the bookstore, for ONLY a half-hour?  Not likely.

I did manage to keep it to 45 minutes, but when I got to the pool, it was packed.  I don't know what everyone was thinking, swimming in my pool on a Monday night like that.  I waited a bit, to see if anyone would leave, but they didn't, so I ended up sharing a lane with Michael Phelps and Michael Phelps' swim-twin.

I'm an old lady.  I'm trying to ward off osteoporosis and coronary disease and fat.  End of story.  I did my best to hold my own with two, young speed-demons, but it was a rather stressful swim and I cut it short.

Yesterday, I planned to pick raspberries.  The farm I went to didn't have them anymore: they were "all picked out."  So I got some blueberries and blackberries instead.  I figured, I'd go to the other farm I like, and pick away.

The other farm doesn't do pick-your-own berries on Mondays and Tuesdays.  So I just bought a few half-pints of raspberries, because I couldn't leave empty-handed.  Not if there are berries in the vicinity.

When I arrived home, I found that I had totally forgotten about a very large bag of raspberries I picked and froze LAST year.  After a small cry of dismay, I did what any reasonably sane person does when she finds herself with too many berries on her hands: I started Googling.

I found a recipe for raspberry cookie bars that coincidentally used 9 cups of frozen raspberries.  This is exactly what I had.  (Yes, I know, I have a berry-picking addiction.)  Here is one of the cookies, ready to eat:

(Needless to say, this was its final photo.)

Coincidentally, the cookie recipe also used the bag of homemade streusel topping I got from a friend.  I don't know what kind of friends you have, dear reader, but I have the kind of friends who give me bags of homemade streusel topping because they know I like to make things like apple crisp. 

The beauty of the raspberry cookie recipe was, it also came with a recipe for using the seeds to make a body scrub.  If you want to make raspberry-anything, you have to strain the seeds out--you just do.  It's a wonderful berry, but it hides those little seeds until you cook it and then... it's a fertility fest!  Seeds everywhere.  Your berry jam or spread or whatever is now officially... crunchy.

Not cool.  So you must simply strain it.  This is kind of a pain in the butt, actually, and you feel like you are wasting a lot of your raspberries, since you can't get just the seeds out.

You have to just be patient and think deep thoughts about whether or not Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were ever really a "couple" at all, in the conventional definition of the term, whether the tell-tale cheating photos were a publicity stunt, and whether Jennifer Aniston's second marriage will finally erase the pain of Brad's betrayal--all while using a ladle to stir and press cooked raspberries through a mesh sieve.

The end result is, I now have a very pretty raspberry body scrub, which I certainly didn't plan on having.  (I'm still not using shampoo, though.)  Here's the scrub:


Oh, and this has nothing to do with anything, but it gave me pause and I don't know where else in this blog narrative to put it, so I'll simply mention it here.  On the drive home yesterday, I was mildly startled to hear a commercial that announced that "Here in High Anus, we have plenty for you to choose from."

Hyannis.  It's Hyannis.  I love accents, but sometimes, they can be deadly.

My plan for today was to take a major bike ride.  But as I was getting up this morning, I stretched and got one of those horrendous leg cramps you get in your calves sometimes.  Well, actually, I don't know if you get them, gentle reader, but I do, and when I do, I swear like there's no tomorrow.

I have no idea what causes them, but they are quite painful.  You stretch, you feel your calf starting to cramp, and from that point on, all you can do is scream.  So of course, this left me limping for most of the morning and thinking that a 15-20 mi. bike ride might not go as planned.

So I wandered out to my garden, where I was quite sure I didn't have enough basil to make another batch of pesto to freeze, but then I thought, if nothing is going according to plan, the unplanned may work out just fine.  

Guess what?  There was enough basil, so I have another 8 oz. jar of pesto freezing even as we speak.

This left the blackberries and blueberries from yesterday's farm-fiasco.  Again, I don't know about anyone else out there, but I'm a huge fan of bread pudding in any and all manifestations, so I made a berry-and-bread pudding.  Here it is, still untouched:


And if you're wondering what will become of my girlish figure, what with the abbreviated swim on Monday and the aborted bike ride today, I would simply like to remind you that tomorrow is my boxing class.

And tonight, I'll try for another swim.  Enough of the unplanned: let's get back to the predictable.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."