Friday, December 5, 2008

Schnetka--A Traditional Breakfast Food

Our Sunday Scribblings Prompt was Tradition so...

(I actually found this entry from earlier, and I'm posting it again. There's a recipe at the end for all of you adventurous souls with a sweet tooth.)

The school where I teach is located about fifteen miles away, in a tiny community. Every morning, five students and I get to drive there together, and talk about our day while driving into the sunrise. This morning we discovered that three of my commuters had NEVER tasted schnetka. Amazing. How could someone live in this community and not have tasted this little breakfast dainty? After that, nothing would suffice but that I be talked into stopping and buying some. When I pulled up to the door of the small cafe on main street--the only main street--the only cafe-- the first thing I noticed was a sign which said: "Sorry, we are closed." While I searched all the neatly printed little homemade signs for one which told me when they were open, the door opened and two of the local farmers asked what I needed. When I asked for a list of hours, one of them said,

"Come on in."
"Oh, are you open?"
"Well, we are only semi-open. If you want coffee and schnetka, we are open enough for that."

"Actually, I wanted six schnetka for my students."
"Well come on in and help yourself. They are over there on the bar."

I helped myself, finding a carry-out box, loading the pastry treats into it, and depositing my cash into a bucket on the table. The two men told me that they come drink coffee here every morning. Other residents do too. This keeps the cafe semi-open. Well, that's good to know. I think I'll make Thursdays "Schnetka days".

Small towns...I love them. And I love schnetka too. Who wouldn't?

Schnetka Recipe--This is a cinnamon, sugary, creamy, pie crusted, delicious pastry. It's best served warm along with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco
1cup water (as needed to make dough)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar

1cup sugar
1 cup cream
1tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, 1 cup sugar, 1tsp salt, Crisco, and water and roll out on flat surface to make a 20 by 22 inch rectangle.
Spread with butter, sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar mixed with 2 T cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of brown sugar over the top.
Cut into 4 by 4 and 1/2 inch squares and roll each square.
Spray an 11 by 15 inch pan heavily with baking spray or grease it well.
Place schnetka on pan leaving small space between them. ( A jelly roll pan works great)
Mix together 1 cup of cream, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Pour this mixture over the top of schnetka.
Sprinkle with more sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on type of pan)
Remove the schnetka from the pan immediately, turning them out on a plate or tray. Here's roughly what they look like. Sorry you can't taste them.

An older spelling is schnitke, or schnetke.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Sparrow of His Eye

Yesterday I told you about the birth of little Rachel and I was remembering my niece, who had been born prematurely also. That niece is an artist now and has just finished this picture of a sparrow. It was on her blog. Strangely enough, the blog I sent you to see yesterday--written by the little baby's aunt--is called "Sparrow Flies", and quotes the verse about "His eye being on the sparrow." Isn't life ironic?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Little Girl

Two of my former students got married--hey it happens quite often here--and we were all excited to find out this fall that they were expecting their first child around the middle of February. Well, to make a long story shorter...the little girl came early and weighs 2lbs 1.5 oz. Her new auntie is a senior this year in my class, and she is bringing pictures every day. It so much reminds me of when I was a new auntie and my own niece was a 2lb baby. The pictures are amazing. She has posted a couple of them here, so I stole one for you to see.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Go Read this Poem

A few months ago, Elijah wrote a poem from the viewpoint of the Prodigal. I've been nagging him to put it on his "very seldom written in" blog. (He posts as Blackstubble--an alias, just like Elijah is an alias). Well, anyway, he finally put it up today. Here's the post. You might as well accept the fact that moms brag on stuff their kids do. It comes in our mom contract.


Our Sunday Scribblings Prompt was "Winter"

The coldest winters I ever spent were in Gunnison, Colorado.
True...true... with the sun shining brightly, and hardly any wind, it didn't always look cold. But it was.

I remember crossing the Gunnison River on the way to school. Some days it was generating steam like a nuclear power plant...chunks of ice floating throughout. The steering wheel under my gloved hands was so cold it made my bones hurt, and the seat beneath me was firm, like a bench of stone. Even though the engine had been plugged in all night, the car was slow to shift gears--fluids were like refrigerated honey, I guess.

My daughter had learned the hard way not to wash her hair in the morning. One morning it froze on the way out to the school bus. Not realizing that, she reached up and grabbed it, only to feel a chunk of hair break off into her hand.

We wore long underwear beneath our clothes...all winter long, even under the long dresses that we wore to church, where we sat on heated pews. Nobody stayed home because of the weather. I remember one Sunday when the temperature was thirty six degrees below zero. We were all there. Just another Gunnison cold day.

With winter came white streets. They stayed white until April, and those who cleared the snow had to pile it high in a snow yard, because it would never melt, not until May or June even. There was lots of sledding and ice skating and snowboarding in the cold, cold sunshine, but if you held your coffee cup in your hand too long, you would see it ice over on top.

In the basement, frost began creeping up all the outside walls, making us realize why water lines needed to be buried deeper than ten feet.

Summer was slow to arrive and always seemed like an uncomfortable visitor, cringing under occasional snow flurries that were dashed in her face. Dahlias bloomed with a crisp intensity, bold and beautiful, throwing all the energy they possessed into the few short weeks they were did all the other flowers. There was no spring...just less wintery winter. . .fall was golden aspen leaves sprinkled liberally with snow dust...short and powerless to stop the coming cold white world of winter.

So how did we survive four years there? Well, inside was reasonably warm...standing around the fire...and the people were winter in those friendships. It makes all the difference.