The Journey Changes You
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The one time of the day I felt relaxed. Made a turkey for dinner, and some green bean hotdish and mashed potatoes and cranberries and rolls and stuffing. For dessert, strawberry shortcake. Why turkey when the ham was on its way Sunday? Well, the turkey was small — 13 lbs — a back up meal from Christmas vacation that never got made. So I threw it in on Saturday, and was that ever wonderful. Kind of a last hurrah for winter, and comfort food, and gravy.
Of course, I’m trying to clean up the house, too, for spring, that kind of rush where you want to use up what you have, clean out the shelves and cupboards and drawers, and start packing away the winter things. Plus, I’m taking off Thursday morning for Ireland, ten days of travel, and I’ve been busy baking up a storm for Mr. S and the kids. Not that they can’t take care of themselves. But, for some odd reason, it will feel much better getting on that plane knowing the fridge is full of good things, and the garage has been swept, the laundry caught up, the Easter bunnies and baskets put away. And so on. Type A, maybe. But it works for me.
My favorite thing about traveling to another place is the journey of it all. Not the “there” but the getting there and being there and leaving there to visit the next place. And, while you are there, taking in the landscape — the scents, the people, the sounds, the food, how it all feels. So, Ireland, yes — and getting there, and finding our way from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, and what to order from the menu, and where to wander, and the feeling of leaving, and then remembering. And feeling, somehow, changed. Hard to place a finger on it, but I think it’s like that. You visit a place far away, or a place you have never been and, somehow, the journey changes you. Just a bit. I like that. It’s like a scenic overlook on the road of your life. You pull over and pause to really see and feel a place, and that’s a trip in itself. Sure is.
I’ve made this recipe twice in the last week, using cinnamon bread and a dash of nutmeg, and it was eaten both hot and cold, plain and with syrup. Good rainy weather food, I say, from my dear friend Laurel, who is in her 80s and knows how to bake like all getout.
Sweet Laurel’s Quick Bread Pudding
2 cups bread cubes
2 eggs, slightly beaten
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
⅛ tsp. salt
2 cups milk, scalded
Place bread cubes in lightly greased 1 qt casserole. Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Gradually add scalded milk. Pour over bread cubes in casserole, sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in pan of hot water in oven. Bake at 325 for approx 1 hour, or until silver knife comes out clean. Add raisins if desired.