Monday, April 12, 2010

Daffodils Gone Wild and Banana Split Brownie


This weekend I finally got outside to do some gardening. The daffodils had gone wild with the bone meal I applied last spring, and while they are pretty, they have spread to an area where I don't want them. I asked my gardening neighbor, who was also out, planting pretty diagonal rows of marigolds and ageratum, when and how to thin daffodils. She was unsure. An online search supplied the answer that daffodils are dormant in July and that is the time to thin them. The bulbs can be saved and planted elsewhere.

After gardening, I worked on a bit of writing for the Advanced Life Story Writing Group's spring anthology. My piece is about learning to sew, buying my first sewing machine, buying fabric. I also wrote about saving my salary to buy the sewing machine, what my job was, and why I had that job.

Upon re-reading the piece, it seemed to me that with the job information, I had wandered off into wild daffodil territory. My story had spread into areas where it did not really need to go. These extra sentences, like the extra daffodils, had to be dug out. Also, like the daffodils, those sentences could be used elsewhere, in some other piece of writing.

That reminded me of this Spanish saying I had clipped from the gardening section of The Kansas City Star last May: More in a garden grows than what the gardener sows. That is true on many levels. The saying tempts me to wander off into a discourse on the many rewards of gardening, but then I would be back into the wild daffodils wouldn't I? I'll save those thoughts for another day.


Write about an event, person, idea or thing that has popped up unexpectedly in your life at any time. Did you cultivate it? Did you weed it out?


While doing a short stint of housesitting for My Young Advisor, I spotted a little book of recipes she thoughtfully had left beside a big comfortable chair. The recipes were all provided by her co-workers. As she guessed I would, I picked it up and scanned for chocolate recipes. I may never have to search another source. Where to begin? How about a Pampered Chef recipe from Debbie P. ? This recipe calls for baking on a Pampered Chef rectangular baking stone. If you don't have one, I'm sure you can figure out a substitute because this recipe is basically like a cookie fruit pizza, only better because it's chocolate.

Pampered Chef Banana Split Brownie

brownie mix (9 x 13-inch size)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
strawberries, bananas, drained, crushed pineapple
chocolate syrup
chopped nuts

Bake brownie on Pampered Chef rectangular baking stone, lined with parchment paper, according to brownie package directions. (Keep an eye on it, depending on the size and shape of cake pan, pizza pan or bakeware that you use.)

Cool. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread on cooled brownie. Top with fresh fruit. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. (Is that the most beautiful sentence in the English language?) Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

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