Thursday, March 17, 2011

Taking a moment to celebrate

Happy St. Patrick's Day--before a chance to post my wishes for a safe and fun day slides away. I've been busy!
I baked brown soda bread yesterday for family in Venice. Today, I baked another loaf to take to a friend's house for corned-beef dinner. Add a Guinness, and, well, yum sums it up.
The best soda bread in my opinion is made with whole grains, oats, buttermilk, a dash of brown sugar and, of course, baking soda. There's no need to add anything (except a slab of butter) to this flavorful bread.
My daughter is studying to become a Pilates instructor, so yesterday I also took a lesson with her that was truly amazing. She's going to be a great teacher, and I'm fast becoming a convert to this exercise program.
Plus, I've written another chapter of my fairy tale, so I'm feeling energized and productive, even while my heart still grieves for the losses in my personal life and in the world right now.

The tide was super high in Venice today. I remember reading something about the full moon this weekend being closer than it's been in 18 years and, so, may affect the tides.

I took this photo on another day when the tide was low, and with a touch of pink to the clouds, instead of the lid of gray there was this morning.


Here are some off-the-top-of-my-head haiku that floated from the sea breeze into my muddled brains.

tide reaches so high,
water laps the lifeguard
tower called Driftwood.
sandpipers huddle
in the weak dawn; a fishing trawler
sways on choppy seas.
two monster-bright eyes
emerge from swirling mist; clawed
tractor sweeping sand.
Cheers! Slainte!


Stephanie Thornton said...

Happy St. Paddy's!

I LOVE Pilates. Not as much as yoga, but it's right up there. I've been doing it for 8 years now.

Jemi Fraser said...

Happy St Pats day! :) Love those photos - and I'll have to try that bread!

Donna said...

Gad, to be able to write haiku from the veins like that ... Happy St. Paddy to you, too.

Pilates, yes. Saved my neck--literally.

BK Mattingly said...

Love the last one!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Stephanie: Eight years! Good for you. My daughter had to have back surgery, and Pilates has helped her regain strength and flexibility. She's a believer.

Jemi: Guess I should've posted the recipe! :)

Donna: Thank you. I'm awed that haiku likes me.

Bethany: That makes me grin. :D

Angela Ackerman said...

We love hearty bread in my family. And there's nothing better than a thick fresh slice slathered with butter. Well, my hips disagree,!

Have a great green day!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Lisa Gail Green said...

That sounds so yummy. Wish I could make it! :D I'm glad to hear you're working on your fairytale too. i can imagine the lovely poetry you write influencing your book in such a beautiful way.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Angela: My late mother-in-law ground wheat berries into flour and made her own bread. I really learned to appreciate how good that was thanks to her.
And bring on the sweet butter!

Lisa: Ooooo, thanks for saying that. In fact, I'm writing incantations that are lyrical but kind of scary for this tale, and it is so much fun.

Robyn Campbell said...

Slainte to you too, my friend! The photos are breathtaking. The haiku says Pat wrote me. I am always astonished at your haiku's. They bring me to that place and time. Every time.

So glad to hear you are working on your fairy tale. That made me smile. I needed to smile. Love you.

Sherrie Petersen said...

That bread sounds wonderful. Care to share the recipe?

Bish Denham said...

Ahh Tricia. Remembering to be thankful for what I/we have. Being able to breathe. Thanks for that breath from the ocean, it has reached me.

MG Higgins said...

Happy belated St. Patty's. So glad you're feeling energized by your new writing project! I've heard this full moon can stress the earth; let's trust that's not the case. Too much to think and worry about. Much better to walk on the beach and be in the moment.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: Oh, it makes me smile to hear you say the haiku take you there.

Sherrie: I'm creative with baking/cooking, as well, but I'll send you my version. It seemed to go over well. :)

Bish: Yes, that's what I'm struggling to do right now. I'm glad I could reach out with it, too.

Mel: Exactly. I plan lots of walks and being in the moment. It's a good way to deal with what is beyond our control.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sherrie asked for the recipe, so here it is:

I'm creative with recipes, so I took this one from a traditional site and tweaked just a bit. I used Trader Joe's White Whole Wheat flour, which is supposed to be smoother in baking but still have all the fiber and nutrients.

3 cups whole grain flour
4 Tablespoons oat flakes
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 T butter
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all ingredients except butter and buttermilk. Cut butter in tiny pieces and work in with fingers until a fine meal consistency. Add buttermilk to form soft dough and place in pan. Cross-cut top and sprinkle with more oat flakes. Bake in bread pan 40 min. or in pie pan about 25 min. until tester comes out clean. I used the pie pan, because I like a big round loaf cut like cake slices.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

ooop, Sherrie just asked if oat flakes are rolled oats. Yes! I don't know why I said flakes, I guess to not mistake them for groats.

storyqueen said...

Ah yes, real butter!

Hope your soda bread was tastier than a faerie's cake and your Guinness darker than the rotten place in a leprechaun's mouth where his tooth used to be. (Okay, so I stink at metaphors today.)

Yay for more of your faerie tale. I am so glad you are continuing to plug away at it. It is going to be awesome.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shelley: My soda bread could fool fairies and my Guinness was infinitely better than tooth rot, I assure you!
I'm having sooooo much fun with that tale. Next week I'm going to try to really dive in deep.

rilla jaggia said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Saint Patrick's Day. I spent mine with a mad Irish ex-stand-up-comic wearing flashing green sunglasses shaped like shamrocks. Now there's alliteration...and craziness for ya!

Can't wait to hear your latest princess chapter. Wish we could have read it on the beach under the super moon next to a case of Guiness. Oh well. Next time :P