Friends and laughter and grass stains

Archived | April 2, 2012 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Was hoping for a thunderstorm over the weekend, a big riproarin’ storm, but it didn’t happen. There was some rain in the night on Monday, and that was lovely with the window open and the sound of water falling and the fresh smell of wet grass.
The rain didn’t keep me awake. I was worried a bit about the kids, and how they come home every day after school and work on homework the rest of the day. They do take breaks for the bathroom and for dinner, of course, but it’s almost painful to watch them spend so much time working. Some days it feels as if they’re competing with China itself. I’m all about work, about discipline, and having goals and such, but I’m struggling a bit here.
When I was a kid, we might have walked a few miles to school each day, sometimes in weather one might call inclement, and we may have had to get up godawful early on Saturday morning to do chores, and there were no computers or fancy erasers and such, but I don’t recall spending most of my waking hours doing schoolwork. I do remember how it felt to finish it just before dinner, and having time in the evening to relax and watch tv or play outside or read in the oak tree.
You won’t hear much complaining from my corner, but I just want to say if I could give my kids one thing, it would be some time to enjoy their childhoods while they’re still in ’em. Learning is important, Lord knows, and I’m all for it. But there’s something to be said for play. Real play. Friends and laughter and grass stains included.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to make one good ham this year and it’ll be served up on Easter Sunday. Here are two glaze recipes good enough to eat with a spoon. Take your pick, or do both and really throw ’em for a loop.
Pineapple Honey Glazed Ham
1 16 oz can pineapple slices
2/3 cup Minnesota Grown honey
2 T ground mustard
A few dashes ground cloves
Drain pineapple; reserve liquid. Combine reserve liquid, honey, mustard and clove; mix well. Score top of ham, if desired, and arrange pineapple slices on top. Generously brush honey mixture over entire surface, and baste every 10 minutes until ham is done. Note: Honey should not be fed to infants under one year of age.
Caribbean Glaze
16 oz can pineapple chunks, juice pack
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cloves or nutmeg
2/3 cup orange juice or 1/2 cup orange juice plus 4 T rum
1 cup light raisins, optional
Drain pineapple chunks, reserving juice. Add water to juice if necessary to make 2/3 cup. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch and cloves. Stir in pineapple and orange juices (and rum if that’s the case.) Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then a few minutes more. Add pineapple. Spoon over cooked ham while baking or serve on the side as a condiment. Serves 12.