Bring On the Wind
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was one of those windy days before the rain comes and I was doing a bit of dusting and sorting in preparation for a rather large garage sale I’m planning in June. I know I had one only a few years back, but why not? I invite family and friends to contribute stuff if they wish, and they have and are, and it’s a change to lighten things a bit and get together perhaps and, if nothing else, sit in a lawn chair and meet a few people I’ve not yet met.
While combing through books on the living room shelf, I was reminded once again of all I have read (a good amount) and all I’ve yet to read (way greater amount). I dusted my old copy of 1984, and a collection of Frost’s poems, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, and a book by Jim Harrison titled The Woman Lit by Fireflies. The big book on Ireland, the Anne Lamott books, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. A thousand books or more, I think, and Gibran’s The Prophet, too, a gift from my father when I graduated from high school. I opened that one, and read aloud, “And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
And just then the breeze picked up and made a whistling sound and I felt it on my skin and it was something. To heck with this, I said out loud, and picked up my iced tea and wandered out to the porch swing where I sat myself down in the waning afternoon. I sat there a good while, and the wind blew and children rode by on their bikes and a dog barked at the mailman down the street. And when I got to feelin’ a bit drowsy, swingin’ there on the porch, I kicked off my shoes and peeled off my socks and rolled up my jeans a bit and wandered down to the lawn, where the tulips are blooming all hot orange and red and a shade I want to call “coral” but not quite. More radiant than coral, more bright and alive and real. I just wandered around, feeling the grass, at last, under my feet, and wondered if the earth was anywhere near as delighted as I. I wished for longer hair, too, with which the wind might play, and I kind of shook my curly hair about and this was about when Mr. S pulled into the drive and got out of his truck and asked what exactly I was doing, and I told him I’m having my own personal Adventure because I needed a bit of a break, and he smiled that smile he smiles when he doesn’t quite get it but it works for him.
The money I make at garage sales has always goes to something practical. A new dishwasher, paint for the house, lawn equipment. Bah. This year? I’m using that money for an Adventure. A family outing of some sort (if we can all land ourselves in one spot for a day). Perhaps kayaking or a visit to an amusement park or a zoo or a hike up some bluffs with a fine dinner afterward. Maybe we’ll rent a Winnebago for a day or two and visit the Boundary Waters. Maybe I’ll buy six hammocks and hang ‘em all out in the woods. Doesn’t matter much what we do; a day together is a day together. And a day outside together, well, bring on the wind. Let’s have at it and play awhile out on this good planet we call “Earth.”
If the cows ever do come home, I still won’t have had enough cinnamon, and trust me, I’m giving it my best shot. Here’s a pound cake to knock over even the strongest willpower. One bite and you’re a goner. Lucky for you and for me, this recipe makes two loaves.
Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar plus ¼ cup, divided
1 cup vanilla yogurt (I like the Greek kind)
1 tsp vanilla
3 T heavy cream
3 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 T cinnamon, plus a sprinkle more
2 T butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Line two 9×5 loaf pans with nonstick foil, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in yogurt. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. In a separate bowl mix flour and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
In a small bowl mix ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon, and pour ⅓ of batter into loaf pans. Sprinkle half of cinnamon sugar mixture into pan. Repeat with remaining batter, then cinnamon sugar, then ending with batter.
Bake about 50 minutes or until edges begin to brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If cake is not ready at 50 minutes, check again every 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before gently removing from pans.
For the icing, mix together butter and cream cheese. Add cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar and mix to combine. Pour over cooled loaves. Allow to cool and set at least one hour before slicing and serving.