Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Wood of Flowers

The Wood of Flowers

I went to the Wood of Flowers,
No one went with me;
I was there alone for hours;
I was happy as could be,
In the Wood of Flowers!

There was grass
On the ground;
There were leaves
On the tree; 

And the wind 
Had a sound
Of such sheer

That I 
Was as happy 
As happy could be,
In the Wood of Flowers!

~James Stephens

Larrick Crosby, Nancy. Piping Down the Valleys Wild. 
New York: Delacorte Press, 1968. Print.

Friday, April 24, 2015

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie

I've been wanting icebox pies lately. Could it be that the temperature is rising in Puerto Rico? Gone are the pleasant winter days. Here is Martha's Lemon Meringue Pie. It was a first for the kids, so I guess that shows how long it has been since I've made one!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Never Enough Seaglass

This papa of ours never has enough seaglass. Here we are collecting again for his stash. He has been finding glass that is quite old, with local names on it from around the island.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Crowing Coco

Our starving rooster that showed up two months ago is now feeling much better and has quite a loud and continuous crow. At 5AM. Sometimes before that. Oh, Coco is lucky that his little boy loves him so. I've been known to get up in the morning, look at Ben and say "Chicken Soup."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hot Cross Buns

We made our Hot Cross Buns after Easter this year since we were returning from San Juan on Good Friday. Oh, we love these! The kids like the song, the buns and the icing even more.

Hot Cross Buns
1 cup currants or raisins, moistened in 1 tablespoon water or rum
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup orange juice
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 1/4 cup (9oz) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cup (10 5/8oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 1/2oz) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1oz) nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 1/2 cups (6oz) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
4-5 teaspoons milk or cream

  • Combine all dough ingredients except currants, mix and knead until you have a medium-soft, smooth dough. Cover and let rise 1-2 hours, probably not quiet double in bulk.
  • Grease two 9x2 cake pans.
  • Knead currants into dough. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each into a round ball.
  • Place 12 balls, smooth side up, into pan. Cover and let rise until they are touching one another, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Toward end of rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake uncovered 25 minutes.
  • While buns cool, make icing. Combine all until smooth.
  • Pipe icing over slightly warm rolls in the traditional cross pattern.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

{Coco showed up to help during the hunt}

The kids used watercolor paints to color the eggs. They came out beautifully and Papa was our Easter Bunny and hid the eggs in the front yard. I thought the colors looked so pretty with all the large leafed tropical plants. This year was so different than Easter last year. How we miss our church in Spearfish. The easter egg hunt after church was always so much fun.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Seaglass Collecting at the Capitol

{coral on seaglass}

{Plaza San Juan Bautista across from the Capitol}

After our exhausting day of walking around Old San Juan, the kids woke up bright and early, so Papa pulled us outside for some seaglass collecting. The beach in from the Capitol building is known for it's seaglass, probably from the centuries of trash being thrown over the banks. It was a beautiful morning walk before we headed back to Western Puerto Rico.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Old San Juan

Photo by Brittney Book

{Eugenio Maria de Hostos}

Our week went by too quickly. Before we knew it, it was time to head to San Juan. We spent the day exploring Old San Juan and ended with a great meal at El Jibarito. The food was authentically local, complete with some really great mofongo. And the pitcher of sangria was amazing!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Playa Sucia

{fresh breakfast}

Photos by Missy and Brittney Book

When we have visitors, we know that we need to squeeze in a trip to Cabo Rojo to see the salt flats at Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge and the beautiful Playa Sucia. Since it is Holy Week, we knew the beaches in Cabo Rojo would be packed with locals and we'd need to get there early. So we woke up with sunrise, packed up and headed south. I'm always amazed how we can drive one hour south of our wet, rainy forest and be in a very dry tropical desert. After a quick stop at the salt flats we unloaded the cars and settled down in a shady spot. Ben took the kayak out and had quite a rough paddle with a very strong wind from the south stirring up huge waves. The kids had a blast playing with each other. We saw the brown boobies and iguanas on the cliffs, but were not prepared to see the most amazing wildlife sighting. At noon a nest of sea turtles hatched right next to us on the beach. It was beautiful! They all made it to the water and now I wonder how many of them will make it through life.
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