Thursday, July 4, 2013

Big Boys and Bannock, too!

My new favorite age is eight!  Grandson, Quentin, who is 8 years old, is staying with me for two weeks, and he is a delight!  He is still young enough to listen without needing to have the last word, and is eager to please and excited over just about everything.  We have explored stories and games and just had some silly pillow talk… and we’ve giggled together often, too.  Eight year old boys have a plethora of silly things traveling through their thoughts and many of them explode out into words, keeping me on my toes.  Every night, when tucking the grandchildren in, I always say… “Goodnight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”, and they answer, “And if they do, hit them with your shoe until they’re all black and blue.”  When Ava was about a year and a half old and visiting, I said that to her for the first time… and she answered, “Okay.”  And Mark told me when they got upstairs, she looked all through the bed for the bedbugs, which, of course, did not live in my house.  (Now, those bedbugs are a real threat in many areas, even existing in department stores and movie theaters!) 

Well, last night, Quentin was curious about bedbugs, so we looked them up on the internet and discovered what they looked like and all sorts of facts about them.  It’s good reading practice for him, as well.  He asked me if I remember last summer when we were looking up planets… so our research treks on the internet obviously make an impact in his memory, which I was overjoyed to learn!  We learned that bedbugs can live for as long as five months without needing to feed on blood, which is kind of frightening.  This summer, he is again reading to me from Thornton W. Burgess's books... the Mother West Wind series.  My 92-year old mother used to read those to us when my sisters and I were children.  Do any of you remember growing up with those books?  They are repetitive and boring by today's standards, but they taught good lessons in how to be good and get along with your friends and family.  I'm glad Quentin is enjoying them with me.

Thanks to the internet and Skype, he can Skype and play internet games with his little sister, which I’m sure my son appreciates, since he is home alone with four-year-old Charlotte!  Quentin can entertain her while Mark is cooking dinner.  Since today is a holiday, they’ve played and Skyped a couple of times.  These modern technologies intimidate me, but even Charlotte can initiate a Skype call!  For me, it’s kind of similar to what I know about a car… I can turn them on and hope they perform as they are supposed to! 

This morning, we made fried bread, Native American Indian style, or Bannock, as it is called.  The recipe is easy, and does not require any yeast so there is no waiting for it to raise, and it can be made while the oil is heating.  I cannot take a photo of the plate of fried bread, because I sent it home with my youngest daughter for my older grandchildren to enjoy.  But… here is a photo of Quentin with the one piece that is left as I write this.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 Cups warm milk

Mix all ingredients and turn out onto a board to knead until the dough is well-mixed, just a few minutes.  Cover with a tea towel and let “rest” for about 15 minutes.  Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan until hot.  Divide the dough into 12 pieces (these will make “bread” about the size of a slice of bread… make them bigger if you want bigger breads).  Press each piece into a thin “round” of dough.  Deep fry in the hot oil until golden, and using tongs, turn the bread and fry the other side.  Drain on a paper towel covered plate.  The golden bubbly fried Bannock may be dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.  It may be used as a “wrap” for a sandwich or as the base for a taco or pizza topping. 

 We had a little neighborhood parade here in our area of Finneytown, an annual event.  It was over in about 5 minutes, but it was fun for Quentin, just the same, and he told everyone he went to the “festival” for the Fourth.  It was drizzling rain, but he stood at the curb in front of our house, anyway, and managed to get two pieces of candy thrown his way.  Youngest daughter brought us dinner tonight, and then drove us to watch fireworks in the area.  I still am excited to see fireworks.  I guess I’m just a kid at heart.  It was still raining, but we could watch from the car, and thankfully they were not cancelled. 

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe 4th of July holiday weekend.  Quentin reminded me that now summer is almost half over!     

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