July 2014: Moltin’ waffles

I must do that again.

The best, most delicious waffles I ever had were consumed this morning at breakfast. What made them so good? Two things: first, I made them with one part butter and two parts coconut oil, which made them crisp a little better when I arranged them in the oven. The other key ingredient was the topping – buttermilk syrup, made by my daughter, Em, which is just hard to beat, especially on a fresh, crispy waffle all hot and fluffy on the inside when you’re hungry…which all of you are, now, aren’t you? Yes, it’s my fault; no, I’m not sorry. Come for a visit and we’ll make waffles.

It’s that time of year again: the humidity is almost as distracting as the cicadas’ chorus, the grass is trying to break the growth record of bamboo shoots, and bug spray and sunscreen sales go up and up. Which means that our ducks aren’t laying eggs as usual; they’re putting all the protein they can find into new feathers for the summer and fall. We wade through a carpet of multi-colored feathers daily as we go to feed them, herd them, water them, and look for the one egg they may have laid. Thankfully, our chickens take no such break. They seem bent on laying one egg each, come rain or shine, coons or opossums, whether we take the eggs or not. So…we take them, eat them, and give them away to friends when we have more than we need. Which is most of the year, except during molting season, which is now. (sigh) It means I get to enjoy eggs less frequently, but it doesn’t bother our kids. They seem to relish a break from the routine of eggs for breakfast every day, and enjoy eating something else. We’ve eaten eggs every way imaginable: fried, over easy, hard-boiled, poached, egg salad, deviled eggs, quiches, parboiled egg fries, and eggshell meringue pie salad on toast. Ever tried egg smoothies?

My wife actually found a way to enjoy drinking eggs – in our coffee. Yep,  you read that right. Egg-and-butter coffee is our new favorite morning treat. We blend the eggs and butter with sugar and salt, and then blend in the coffee with an immersion blender, and voila!, which is french for “Look! A viola!” I don’t know the french phrase for “Wow! What good coffee!”

I also don’t know the french phrase for “Dadgum raccoons! Stay off my deck!”, but I bet it’s very entertaining to hear. I wonder if the french raccoons wash their food twice and check the label. The french ‘coons can’t be as dumb as our local ones. Last week, I caught one in a live trap after it kept invading our deck, eating our cat’s food, and leaving round piles of smelly excrement to show its gratitude. This week, I caught another one doing the same thing. They die in our pond and are buried in our clay soil, so maybe the other coons aren’t getting the message. Perhaps, if I eliminate enough of them, the local woodland creatures union will send a negotiator…

Of course, I’d prefer that no one came to represent the varmints. Bunch of freeloaders! I caught one in our chicken’s barn, aka the “Quack Shack”, last night, eating the feed from their feeder. Didn’t bother the birds, thankfully, and didn’t go for the eggs, also thankfully, but can’t go out and get his own food from woods that are full of other critters that need to be eaten. Sheesh. And I had to kill some mole-crickets in our basement. By that time, I really felt like it. I don’t go tearing into their houses to spread disease and disorder. Maybe I should send a negotiator…

Speaking of negotiating, it’s that other time of year again, time for all education field employees to…scramble desperately for full-time employment, make a mad dash for their resumes, and take a good look at the list of benefits in other fields, only to realize that ten weeks vacation every summer isn’t on the list. School administrators, however, have other headaches. Their problems involve rearranging the list of candidates and list of open positions about every other minute because of all the employees suddenly leaving for other positions, suddenly retiring, suddenly starring in movies, etc. This causes a chain-reaction in every school where other teachers are looking for work. When one person leaves, someone comes in from somewhere else, which then goes through the cycle, and gets someone from somewhere else, and then that school…you get the picture. And all the other administrators are trying to make sure the budget won’t break, the school won’t fall down, and the parents won’t move away.

Somehow, it all gets sorted out, the madness settles, August passes, and equilibrium comes once again to school districts everywhere. In many cases, this event is nothing short of miraculous.

Miraculous is also the description of what happens every summer in Vacation Bible School at Tulsa Christian Fellowship. It’s my seventh year to be involved, and I never cease to be amazed at all that God does through us in the lives of the neighborhood children…and in our lives, too: hearts soften, attitudes change, whole families come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And we all find each other to be on the same side, no matter how many changes we have to make. The snacks are usually my wife’s charge, and they’re pretty creative, although they have never done waffles or egg-and-butter coffee…yet. Can you imagine 75 elementary kids sucking down egg-and-butter coffee in the morning, and then going to various highly decorated classrooms to learn about Jesus’ love? Yeah, maybe not the best plan. I’m not sure the teachers would be able to talk fast enough to keep the attention of those kids. Remember the MicroMachine Man?

Caught sight of a mouse leaving our basement last night. Why can’t they just call ahead? I’d have a nice, comfy trap all ready for them. They could sleep as long as they wanted…and so could I. Tune in next time for more adventures in the varmint hotel under seige with great food…known as Thorpeshire, the A-frame in a flood plain. See you then.




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