Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cucumber Biscuits


Fridge Pickles | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Refrigerator pickles are great,
but our tastebuds longed
for something new.
After making several jars of refrigerator pickles, preparing a few tubs of cucumber and onion salad, and tossing chunks of fresh cucumber into summer salads chock full of greens and tomatoes, it was time to come up with something new. It was a good year for cucumbers. I did not grow any, however, it has been difficult to go out into public without someone handing us a bag of extras from their garden.

Therefore, one night, I decided to take matters into my own kitchen. My children do not like it when I head to the kitchen with an idea and an apron. However, they were not home on that particular evening. Hubby and I had planned to enjoy some baked fish for supper. To go with the fish, I created my newest culinary invention: baked cucumber biscuit twists.
Ready to Bake | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
They looked messy right before
I put them in the oven. 

I began by slicing the cucumbers lengthwise into long strips. Then I put the strips in a gallon-size plastic bag. I added a few tablespoons of self-rising flour and, since we were baking salmon that night, tossed in a generous helping of Old Bay seasoning. Then I shook the bag to coat the cucumber strips.

Meanwhile, I made some biscuit batter. Then I created long ropes, like when we used to make clay snakes in preschool, out of the batter. This was messy, as biscuit batter is gooey. 
Baked Cucumber Biscuit Twists | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
The baked cucumber biscuit twists
looked weird, but smelled and tasted great!

Carefully, I wrapped the biscuit batter snakes around the coated cucumber strips. Then I melted some butter on top of which I sprinkled more Old Bay seasoning. I brushed the seasoned butter on the wrapped cucumbers. Then I baked them in a pre-heated 450-degree oven on the top rack just as I would have baked regular biscuits. 

I expected gross mush. Hubby was skeptical. We were both hungry. The cucumber biscuits smelled amazing and held together when we picked them up, so we went ahead and tasted them.

WOW!

A Great Meal | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Using Old Bay seasoning was the
way to go to make this new recipe
pair well with salmon and couscous.
They were delicious! They were also extremely filling. We could only eat one each with our salmon and other sides. They were so good that I plan on making them again when the boys are home for supper. As a matter of fact, I might even plant cucumbers in the spring. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Last First Day of School


First Day of School | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My oldest on a first day of school
when my youngest was still in diapers.
The first day of school is a fantastic day. All the lunch boxes are as clean as they will be all year. They are shiny and free of crumbs that get stuck in the cracks, stickiness that refuses to completely scrub off, and that nasty smell that will not go away after the first weekend someone leaves the lunchbox at school with half a sandwich and two sips of milk still inside.

The first day of school is a glorious day. It is the only day all year that our children will not complain that they have nothing to wear. Their new clothes are still un-torn and lack pudding stains. Their shoes do not have gum stuck on the soles. Their pant legs still hang all the way past their ankles.
My oldest and youngest spent
time marching on the football field. 


The first day of school is a terrific day. Their are no library books missing or balances due at the cafeteria. All the school supplies are fresh and new. Erasers still work. Pencils are still pointy and the $80 calculator can still be found in its assigned compartment of the brand new book bag.

The first day of school means seeing lots of friends, meeting new teachers and beginning a new year in a new grade. It can be scary, exciting, and even thrilling.

Then the students come home and hand packets of mandatory paperwork to us, their parents, who will spend the next few hours filling out and signing thousands of pieces of paper with emergency contact information, lists of health conditions and allergies, permission to do this and that, and assurances that we do indeed fully understand all the rules and expectations of the educational experience. 
Mr. Turtle's Class | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Even Mr. Turtle sends his class home with
paperwork for parents to complete.


Our children are issued laptops or Chrome books or iPads so they can study, interact with teachers, and complete assignments via the latest technology. And yet we parents are still filling out reams of paper during the first week of school. I am sure the option to complete all that paperwork online is in the near future for parents. 

But not for me. My youngest is a senior. This is my seventeenth--and last--first day of school. It has been a wonderful journey. But I have to say, when I put down that pen after completing that first day of school parental paperwork for the last time, I might actually achieve a cartwheel. At minimum, you will hear my shouts of joy for miles.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare

Friday, August 22, 2014

Embraced by Butterflies


Butterflies | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My butterfly bushes attract many
winged summer beauties.
For some reason, I have always found comfort in butterflies. They are graceful, beautiful, gentle, quiet, and they can fly. They are nourished by the nectar of vibrant blossoms. They hydrate from glistening drops of morning dew caught in the veins of curled leaves. Sounds mystical, doesn't it?

Butterflies are why I believe fairies are real. They start out as caterpillars and then morph into what we call butterflies. However, when you anthropomorphize these elegant creatures, you indeed have fairies. 
Rearview Butterfly | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My butterfly dangling
from the rearview mirror.

Their mystical, calming attributes are why I have one hanging in my car. Growing up Italian Catholic, of course I was raised to dangle a blessed medal of a saint from my rearview mirror. But when my dad became terminally ill five years ago, it was a butterfly necklace that jumped out at me in the checkout aisle of a superstore. I've had the chain with the silvery butterfly hanging in my car ever since that emotionally impulsive buy. I don't know if the metal butterfly keeps us safe when we travel, but it certainly has coaxed a smile or two out of my face.

An affinity for butterflies was something my parents' dog, Stout, shared with me. I will miss sitting in the yard with Stout, watching the winged insects capture her attention as they moved from flower to flower. She never chased them, as other pets we've had would do. Rather, she studied them, as if she were a bird in a former life and was trying to relearn how to fly.
My Kind of Puzzle | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
It was difficult to resist sitting down
and working on this puzzle.

Butterflies easily capture my attention wherever I go, as well. When I finally had my first mammogram, butterfly magnets brightened and warmed the otherwise clinical, cold room. When Hubby and I attended a workshop on Alzheimer's recently, the first thing I noticed was an incomplete butterfly puzzle on a table in the corner of the room. When I sit on my porch in the afternoon with a cup of tea, it is the butterflies fluttering about that draw my attention.

I'm seriously considering attending a fairy door art class. If fairies are indeed just butterflies; and if fairy doors do indeed attract fairies; then it stands to reason that fairy doors actually attract butterflies. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare