Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm back!

Hi everyone!!! Hope you enjoyed these past couple of weeks as much as I have!!! First, let me say, (it's not like I haven't said it a million times before:) how the heck do you do it! I mean really, my daughter's schedule is so busy she barely has time to put a healthy meal on the table no less cook it, photograph it and blog about it too!!!

I normally have a difficult time sleeping anywhere else but home. However, those kids and their schedules, plum wore me out!!! Between dance, tumbling, scouts, softball, baseball and of course school projects, whew! It's hard to fathom that at one time, I pretty much did the same thing plus worked two jobs!!! Did I mention shopping???

I had a wonderful time with the kids and good quality time with my daughter that's all that really matters after all:) I promised myself, and you too, that I wouldn't do too much gushing but I must tell you how proud I am of Tabitha for coming in first in her school's Spelling Bee! She was beaming like a peacock:) And Noah, I'm convinced he's a future Yankee pitcher. Oh, and he has Marine Biologist on his mind as well. I had the honor of being interviewed by Noah for his school project. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay long enough to see him in his school play. He landed the part as narrator!!! You see what I mean. Busy schedules cause grandma rambling:)

Proud Speller

Toothless Noah

For those of you wondering how those baby robins are doing, let me tell you, they seem to be doing just fine. Marion tells me they were born on Mother's Day. Just two days before I returned from Idaho. I don't know which delighted me more, the lushness of the garden (it seems it pretty much rained the entire time I was gone) OR the newly hatched baby Robins. I'll just show you the Robins for now, the garden needs a bit of tidying up:)

May 16th

May 17th

May 19th

Will It Hatch?

I realize I'm a bit late in telling you that today is Pick Strawberries Day. Sorry about that:) Can I make up for it with this Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz? Not to worry though. The whole Month of May is National Strawberry Month! In fact, May is also National Asparagus Month too!!! If you follow me on Pinterest, amongst my many boards, I have one for Strawberry Month and Asparagus Month too. Oh okay, I also have one for Barbecue Month and burger Month also celebrated in May!!!

Today, I would also like to share a recipe with you from one of my favorite cookbooks. Its title is Hot Shoppes Cookbook: Sixty Years of American Cookery. I've chosen today to celebrate this book and the Fresh Strawberry Pie recipe because, it was on this day, May 20th, in 1927, that a man by the name of J. Willard Marriott opened his first root beer stand which one day would evolve to become the Marriott International Hotel Chain. (My daughter and I and the kids of course stayed at the Marriott while in Salt Lake City. A girl can't leave Utah without shopping at Ikea after all:)

Here's an article I found online at the The Deseret News- June 14, 1988.

I suppose I'm drawn to cooking books that offer more than delicious recipes. The Hot Shoppes Cookbook is one of those books. I find it to be the kind of cookbook that brings me back to the days of soda fountains and innocence. That's just me:) The book also includes a special introduction by Alice Marriot, wife of J. Willard. She was instrumental in helping the mom and pop business grow into the worldwide corporation it is today. And to think it all started with a couple of root beer stands, frosty mugs of root beers in the summer and hot tamales in the cooler months! It sort of reminds me of a new business venture beginning on Long Island that I read at Culinary Types this morning. I suppose it still takes a dollar and a dream and plenty of hard work to actually live that dream!!!

You see how the picture looks like a vintage snapshot? The entire books is presented in much the same way.
From the introduction by Alice Sheets Marriott:

"...We're also hoping that our book will recreate the atmosphere of the Hot Shoppes and help you recall the meals you've enjoyed with us. And if you've never been to the Hot Shoppes, perhaps we can whet your appetite for these restaurants that have played a part in the lives of so many families.

That's why we've designed the Marriott Hot Shoppes Cookbook to resemble a family album. Our favorite slogan has always been "food for the whole family," and over the years we've delighted in sharing special occasions with the families of both employees and customers..."

I'm delighted to share this excerpt from the Marriott Company Heritage website. Although the file is in PDF format, it is quite fun to read and reminisce:)

I apologize for simply scanning the recipe but if I didn't, I may never get this post up in time. I do, however, want to share Mrs. Marriott's tips for a truly delicious Fresh Strawberry Pie.

The Fresh Strawberry Pie has been as popular as the Apple Pie down through the years. Our original recipe took almost two years to perfect, with a great many testings in the taste kitchen. The recipe we've included here captures the best of that process.

The most important element in getting it right has always been the strawberries; each must be fresh, so check the cap to see that it's green, and make certain that the skin is intact. If the leaves are browning and wilted, or if there's any evidence of mold or other damage to the skin, you should discard it. And after picking your strawberries, be certain to wash them before slicing off their caps. If you was them after slicing off the caps, you run the risk of rinsing sand or straw into their cores.

I hope you all enjoyed Strawberry Picking Day. I do apologize for the tardy post. Perhaps I can make it up to you by letting you know that tomorrow, May 21st, is Strawberries & Cream Day!!! I'll be back on Thursday the 24th just in time for National Asparagus Day and I promise I'll be bright and early. Do I have a treat to share!!!

One more picture of the baby Robins taken today. That's right, they are one week old today!

And of course, one more picture of the kids outside the Marriott on the last day of my visit:(

1. The Spirit To Serve: Marriott's Way
2. Marriott Company Heritage