March 21, 2016

10 Things I'm Hoping to Do This Spring

A little more than a year ago, I posted on my personal Facebook page that one thing I was looking forward to about summer was not having to pack school lunches. Then I did what bloggers do and turned that into an entire blog post. Which then led to a fall "what I'm hoping to do" list. And a winter "what I'm hoping to do" list.

Being fond of neither gardening nor mud (benchmarks of spring here in the Midwest), I thought about not doing a "what I'm hoping" spring post. But being very fond of completion and closure, I thought I'd better finish what I started. Herewith...


1. Not shiver while I'm pumping gas.

2. Enjoy the sweet spot of the year on the college sports calendar. Namely, that brief respite when neither the men's football team nor the men's basketball team from Michigan State University (my husband's alma mater and the object of his, er, "passionate" devotion) is doing anything that can send my fanatic fan into a tailspin of despair. Like, say, losing.

3. Wear 3/4 sleeve shirts. I am cold-blooded, so I generally do not get the appeal of this rather indecisive piece of apparel. But I've got a few cute shirts of this nature, so at least spring gives me a chance to pull them out of the depths of my dresser drawers.

4. Listen to Vivaldi's "Spring" from The Four Seasons.



5. Wear only one or two layers when I go for my morning power walk instead of three or four. 

6. Make a rhubarb custard pie. More importantly, eat a rhubarb custard pie. I know rhubarb is rather the ugly stepsister of the vegetable family, but mix it with eggs and sugar and--oh my, yes--freshly grated nutmeg and put it into my mom's life-changing pie crust, and it becomes the belle of the spring ball. That this is utterly un-chocolate and yet I still love it should tell you a lot.

Since I'm writing this before the actual advent of rhubarb season, I don't have a picture of this pie. But I do have this picture of a nutmeg grater and whole nutmeg. Which really do make this pie (see below).

Rhubarb Custard Pie {print}
1 unbaked 9" single-crust pie shell (my mom's recipe follows if you want to use it)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (if you're not already familiar with the joys of freshly ground nutmeg, I strongly suggest you make its acquaintance...it's one of the best things in life)
3 slightly beaten eggs
4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, salt, and nutmeg. Add the eggs and beat well. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Dump into your unbaked pie crust. In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 cup flour and the 1/4 cup sugar, then cut in the butter with a fork. Sprinkle over the top of the pie. Cover the whole pie with a piece of foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and check for browning. If the pie looks like it's doing some (browning, that is), keep the foil on. If it looks pale, remove the foil. Either way, continue baking the pie for 20-30 minutes more until the pie is set. You do not want raw custard at the edges, but a little "jiggly" in the middle is okay. Remove to a wire rack to cool before you cut it.

My Mom's Pie Crust {print}
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into smallish pieces
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1 egg
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Throw in the pieces of butter and tablespoon-sized "portions" of shortening and cut all these into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a fork or two knives. Whisk the remaining crust ingredients and toss with the flour mixture until it starts to form a ball. Add a couple extra drops of water if it seems too dry. Divide in thirds, form into balls, and chill for at least an hour (or up to a few days) before you roll it out and use it in any recipe.

7. Sleep. I mean, yes, this is an all-season wish, but I am hoping to do it.

8. Eat roasted asparagus with browned butter. Truly, browned butter is so good, it should be illegal. Trim some asparagus and toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a sheet pan. Throw in a 400 degree oven for a few to several minutes until it's browned and as tender as you want. Meanwhile, put a couple tablespoons butter in the lightest-colored small saucepan or skillet you've got. Melt over mediumish heat and cook just until you start to see brown bits. Pull it off the heat ASAP, or you will soon have burned butter. Which is so bad it should be illegal. Drizzle your browned butter on your roasted asparagus and, if you want to take it beyond beyond, splash on some balsamic vinegar. 

9. Rake up winter's detritus from our yard. While I detest gardening, I love raking. It's the vacuuming of outdoor chores. Instant gratification for neat-freaks.

10. Celebrate Easter and God's radical, eternal yes. "In the resurrection, God rejected our rejection. In the crucifixion, we said 'no' to God, but in the resurrection, God said, 'yes' to us." (Philip Gulley, Home to Harmony)



Previous posts that might have something to do with this one:
What I'm Hoping to Do This Fall
Why I Love Winter & What I'm Hoping To Do During This One
What I'm Hoping to Do This Summer
Grumpy Gardener Girl
Chocolate Cream Pie: A Love Story
Five Things I Do (Almost) Every Day
My Ten Favorite Mom Jobs

Happily shared here and here:




22 comments:

  1. Oh GCH, I'm with you on the dislike of mud (see my "Mud" post), but don't you just love a warm sunny day when you can THROW open the windows and lean out with your arms wide open like in one of those musicals? (At least that's how I feel when I throw open my windows) ;) And I'm with you on the rhubarb custard pie. My mom makes me one every spring. Mmmmm!

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    1. I know...I am beyond weird. I like what other people hate (see: winter) and dislike what everyone else loves. But at least we are united about the mud...and the pie...and other things that transcend seasons. Love you, sweet, spring-savoring friend!

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  2. Well, I've never had rhubarb, but asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables!! There are actually many things I like about spring - one of which is to open our windows when the weather is nice as I think that inspires me to clean....something I definitely need extra inspiration to do!!!

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    1. Tracey, the "throw open the windows" thing seems to be a recurring pleasure of the spring season. Even I like it! ;) Happy spring cleaning to you! Maybe you can reward yourself with browned-butter roasted asparagus?

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  3. I wonder the same thing about 3/4 sleeves. They just don't seem correct to me. Yet, I do have a couple of cute tops with sleeves this length that I am excited to wear when it is not too cold and not too hot.

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    1. We're on the same page, aren't we? ;) I guess this particular apparel item is one of the fashion blessings of the season? :) Thanks so much for stopping by...happy spring to you!

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  4. I always like doing painting projects when spring hits... brightening up dull baseboards, touching up window sills with glossy paint, giving an old dresser a make-over. That way, I can totally avoid my garden.... heh heh.

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    1. Brilliant, Christine! Hmmm, let's see. What needs painting around here? Oh, right: EVERY LAST THING. (See "old house.") Thanks for stopping by...happy painting to you!

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  5. I've never had a rhubarb pie, but it sounds so delicious, I might just have to try making one this spring!

    xo Christina

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    1. Yes, Christina, you absolutely should. Because among other reasons, it counts as at least one vegetable serving. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Regine, and thanks for taking time to stop by and read my little spring to-do list!

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  7. Great hopes and plans! Do them girl!
    Be blessed!
    Please drop by and say hello!
    ஐღLauraღஐ
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!
    ~~~~~

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    1. Thank you, Laura...I'm hoping to get to them all. Good thing spring has only just sprung! ;) I popped over to your sweet site and read your post about one of my favorite hymns! Easter blessings to you.

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  8. Love your list! As always sprinkled with humor and love :)

    Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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    1. Aw, thank you...that's one of the nicest compliments I've ever received! Bless you...and thank you for creating such a welcoming party at The Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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  9. I have about five from your list I would be attempting to do too. The pie, not so much. It is the one kind of pie I could never get into. Although the crust sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Talk this week. Don't forget to link up tomorrow at my Party at My Place. Love having you.

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    1. HA, Michelle...love it! I understand that rhubarb is not universally enjoyed. I will say that almost anything tastes phenomenal in my mom's pie crust! ;) Thank you for your kind words...you are such a gracious and encouraging link-party hostess. See you tomorrow at your place!:)

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  10. Love this list! I love Spring and I especially appreciated the "not shivering at the gas pump." :-) Oh and by the way, my 7 year old son is a huge Michigan State fan (long story but also he likes to root for teams that actually win which is why he's not too excited to root for Illinois). We all had Michigan State going all the way and then they lost in the FIRST ROUND! There were many tears in the Leeb house over that loss. Enjoy spring!!! :-)

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    1. Oh, honey...my MUS fan-atic husband will be in mourning for that game for THE REST OF HIS NATURAL LIFE. I did not grow up in a sports-centric household, so this whole thing has taken some getting used to. ;) I'm sure it's safe to say that my husband sends his empathy to your son! BUT, at least now I get a wifely respite since my husband doesn't follow MSU baseball. You enjoy the season, too, my fellow Midwest mama!

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  11. I don't ever have to shiver while pumping gas, and that's not just because I only have a 2 out of 365 chance of it happening, either. Would you believe that ever since the instant I found out I was pregnant with Gv all those years ago, G has refused to let me EVER pump my own gas? I know, just when you thought he couldn't get any more amazing, right? (But don't forget that he's one of my 5 favorite messy things, too!) I love rhubarb, but don't even know if it exists down here...and ugh, the raking. I'm not sure it will ever stop and since I refuse to wear gardening gloves while doing it, my hands are NOT happy with the task, at the moment!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Lisa, you DID get a good one, didn't you? But then, so did he!!! Come see me some year in the spring, and I will bake you a rhubarb pie and we will sit around and eat it and NOT rake. :)

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!