Blueberry Cucumber Bread

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:46 am

It worked out pretty well, actually.

The cucumber, without its peel or seeds, pretty much just faded into the background and left me with a dense, moist, blueberry quickbread (not sweetbread.  Different thing.)  Denny and I polished half a loaf last night.  I bet if it hadn’t occurred after Miles’s bedtime, he would have liked it too.  We’ll find out soon.


3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
~2.5 cups shredded cucumber from a cucumber that has been peeled and seeded    (for me, this was 1 large cucumber)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cups AP flour
2 tsp kosher salt or 1 tsp regular salt
1 tsp baking powder (I will increase this next time for more lift)
1/4 tsp baking soda (again, I will increase this next time)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons raw or turbinado sugar


Heat oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs lightly.  Add oil, applesauce, sugars, and vanilla; beat to combine.  Gently mix in cucumber.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Stop the mixer, remove the beater, and fold in the blueberries by hand.  Pour into 2 9×5 loaf pans.  Sprinkle each loaf with 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar.  Bake at 350F for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:21 am

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:31 am

We thought we were so smart by not planting any zucchini this year.

I was a little sad when Denny accidentally smashed one of my two cucumber plants in its infancy.

Yeah, turns out one is plenty.

I haven’t been very good about grabbing them up when they’re little, and I’m getting kind of sick of cucumber/tomato/onion salads (they’re great, but ya know).  I’m thinking about grating them up and using them like zucchini in a zucchini bread recipe.  I’ll report back.


Lady shirts

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:43 pm

Miles had chosen a button-up shirt to wear, which required a little more effort to put on than his usual t-shirts.

A:   Okay, let’s get ‘er on.

M:  It a girl?

A:   Oh, no.  Sometimes people say “her” just to be silly.

M:  Okay, let’s get she on.


When you’re not, you’re not.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:12 pm

Miles woke up from his nap later than usual and therefore was still kind of sleepy-grumpy when Denny got home.  He wasn’t in the mood for their usual ritual of waving as Denny approached from the bus stop and playing peek-a-boo at the window.

M:  No waving!

A:  You don’t want to wave to Daddy?

M:  Miles not into it.

This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:12 pm

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.


This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:38 pm

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.


And without a fluffy tail, even.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:45 pm

One of Miles’s current favorite books is I Love You Because You’re You, by Liza Baker. For the last few nights, we’ve been going through this ritual before we read it at bedtime.

A:  What’s this book about?

M:  It about a mommy who loves her baby soooooooooo much.

A:  Do you know a mommy like that?

M:  How ’bout… (pointing at me) THIS mommy!


Monthly Miles Memo #31

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:36 am

My dear little Miles,

This has been a summer of toe baths, corn on (and off) the cob, swimming and splashing, and sweaty little curls plastered to your scalp.

Toe baths are a local invention intended to address your serious pew-pew-stinky-feet problem.  It’s not your fault, really.  You’re a a little kid, your sandals get wet, your feet get stinky.  But it can get pretty serious, so we plunk you on the side of the sink and give you a little foot Jacuzzi to handle the issue.  We’re looking into some bathroom remodeling downstairs, and I like pedestal sinks.  I think it’s going to be important to keep at least one traditional counter sink in the house as long as there are stinky toes running around, though.

Another big thing you’ve discovered this month are classic fairy tales.  It started with me telling you the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which led us to pick up a collection at the library.  You especially like The Three Little Pigs, The Gingerbread Boy, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  When we were at the Ames aquatic center the other day, there was a pool break in which all kids under 16 had to get out of the water.  Mubby stayed with you while your dad and I floated along the lazy river, and she told me that as we passed, you said, “Little pig, little pig, let me in.”

(Photo above by Gary Clarke)

You love all things categorizable, such as the jar of sprinkles I bought for you and Beanie to use in decorating her birthday cupcakes.  It’s divided into six sections, and each section contains a different shape of sprinkle.  You like to go around the jar and name each one.  Sometimes you ask for a hint, like “This is the kind of animal Papa has” for the cows, or “This is the animal Mommy likes to kiss” for the dolphins.  I know you know all the animals by now, but you still often ask for hints, just as part of the ritual.

You love to sing and dance, especially the monkey dance, and you like making up new lyrics for your favorite songs (sometimes with actual words, sometimes with gibberish).  You’re getting good at drawing faces, complete with eyes, noses, mouths, and eyebrows.  You love your iChat AV sessions with Mubby and Skittergramps, and you carefully tracked Skittergramps’s healing process from his hernia surgery.  As he recovered, you reminded him every day that his “owie [was] muuuuuuch better.”  When you skinned your knee, you enjoyed finding parallels between his healing process and yours.  And on our recent visit, you were thrilled that he had been cleared by his doctor to lift you once again.

Last weekend was a big one, with a trip to Ames and then a visit to the Crall family farm near Albia.  Mubby picked up a crazy inflatable contraption for you, which you named “Weird Toy.”  It was indeed weird, but you had fun tossing the balls around.  You also had fun with Aunt Suzy and Uncle Joe, who were kind enough to make the long drive from Minnesota to see you.  As usual, Aunt Suzy picked out the coolest toy ever, and you had a good time putting outfits on the magnetic doll.

Down at the farm, you got to play with Nana and Papa and assorted cousins.  It was an outrageously hot day, and you didn’t get a nap, but you were a great sport.  You kept cool by splashing in the wading pool, and you were a great sport through all our travels.  Next month at this time we’ll be at a wedding in Colorado, which means another plane trip for you.  This one should be pretty painless, though, since it’ll be a direct and relatively brief flight.  Besides, you’re a travel pro, as long as there are enough cookies and Matchbox cars to keep you busy.

I’ve had two dreams in the last couple of weeks that involve being on vacation on a tropical island, and in both of them, you and your daddy were right there with me.  I guess that means that whatever adventure I have, you’re a part of it (or more often, the cause of it).  Thanks for being my little adventure buddy.  I love you like Baby Bear loves porridge.




Maybe if it had lots of HFCS

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:05 am

I was telling Miles about a dream I had that we were on a tropical island vacation.

A:  Wouldn’t it be fun to swim in the ocean and the  pool and drink rum cocktails?  Well, maybe you’d better stick to juice.

M:  We don’t stick to juice.  We drink juice.

This moment

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:04 am

Copying Darah, who was inspired by another.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

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