A List, Some Cash and a Tank Full of Gas
April 7, 2008
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was Day 9 of Spring Break and I'd spent most of it shopping with the kids. We'd gone through ALL of their clothes and things last week so I had a list and some cash and a tank full of gas. The day was ours and we didn't waste any time. By 9:00 a.m. we were on the road with the windows wide open and the radio cranked up loud.
As luck would have it, Janis Joplin came on just as we turned onto 35. "Me and Bobby McGee." One of my favorite songs, about a road trip and a boy and the whole idea of freedom. Fasten your seatbelts, I told the kids, and they did, and I sang along with Janis as best I could. Makes me kind of sad, that song. It was released on her third album after she'd died of a drug overdose. You know, if I could have lunch with anyone, she'd be on my list.
And so would Carole King. She was up next, and the kids sang along on the chorus, "You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again." We got to the mall in what seemed like minutes and spent the next stretch of hours (which seemed like days) dashing from store to store searching for denim shorts and white tank tops and Converse tennis shoes and bras and baseball shirts. By mid-afternoon we'd slowed down. The kids were loaded up with bags and their feet were sore and they suggested we head home. So we did.
"What is your favorite gas station ice cream treat?" one of the kids asked as we drove out of the mall parking lot. Well, I said, I always did like a good orange Push-up. Wasn't long before we each had one, and the flavor brought back memories of spring when I was a kid in the back seat of my mother's brown station wagon, looking out the open window at the trees sailing by as she sang along with Helen Reddy and the wind blew my hair into my eyes and I thought how I couldn't wait to grow up and drive my own car. How I'd drive to Canada whenever I felt like it, and stop wherever I wanted to pick up rocks, and how I'd eat a whole box of Push-ups on the way. If I felt like it. Seemed like freedom to me. Sure did.
Creamy Baked Vegetables
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c milk
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
A couple pinches of basil
4 large carrots, sliced to the diagonal
8 oz fresh asparagus, cut in 1 inch segments
8 oz sugar snap peas
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 6 oz pkg stuffing mix (chicken flavor is good)
Mix together your cream cheese and milk in a large
bowl and microwave on high for about a minute until
the cheese is melted. Add parmesan and basil. Stir
together, and add veggies.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Prepare
stuffing according to the box instructions and scoop
evenly over the veggie mixture. Bake about 30 minutes
at 350. Makes a lot.
If it goes along with what you're serving, a bit of garlic
adds a nice touch to this dish.