September was one of those months where I told people “Just wake me when it’s over”. It was crazy busy. October ended up being just as busy; I traveled for work three weeks in a row. Needless to say, I’m pretty darn happy to have survived and I’m looking forward to a much quieter November. This is a bit of a random post since I’ve been out of the blogging groove for so long.
On My Nightstand
I just finished reading a fantastic book; Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child by Elva Trevino Hart. It’s a heart-warming book (no pun intended) about the resiliency of a little girl who grew up in a migrant family. Elva is the youngest of her siblings. Several years separates her from the second youngest in the family. She grew up watching her sisters and brothers do back-breaking work in the fields along with her parents while she spent hours at the edge entertaining herself. At times I would feel sorry for the family, Elva or one of her siblings. But, just when I would start to get sad, the writer brought me back to the joy and humor that they also shared. I found myself wanting to check in with little Elva at the end of each day and I was never disappointed. Each chapter was a treat–written in the voice of a matter-of-fact little girl. I was also moved by the adult Elva’s experience straddling multiple cultures; in her case the culture of poverty and field work to the culture of white-collar work and a middle-class lifestyle. Elva reflects on the differences between her childhood and that of her siblings. By many accounts, her upbringing was more privileged as she had access to resources her siblings didn’t.
The Yakima Valley is rich with migrant children and adults who grew up in migrant families. Barefoot Heart gave me a glimpse into the daily lives of those who want better for their children and work harder than you or I could ever imagine to put basic food on the table and to provide educational opportunities for the next generation. If you are looking for a new book for your nightstand, check it out and let me know what you think. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
On The Menu
The weather in the valley is just now turning. Halloween was 65 degrees which was a rare treat. We’ve had snow on Halloween but I don’t ever remember a warm October 31. There are reports that snow may be on its way. In spite of the warmer temperatures, I’ve been making Cheesy Potato Soup and Apple Puff Pancake. But I also love a good Cheese Strata for breakfast on a cold fall morning. This is a dish you make the night before and refrigerate. It’s great for Christmas since you just pop it in the oven in the morning. You can stick with basic egg and cheese or kick it up by adding bacon, ham, veggies. The options are endless.
Egg & Cheese Strata
6 slices day old bread
3 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Butter bread; cut in small cubes. Arrange bread cubes in buttered 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle cheese on top. Blend eggs, milk and seasonings, pour over bread and cheese mixture. Cover. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 70 minutes or until golden brown.
Autumn on Instagram
My mom is a huge Instagram fan and user. It’s fun to see what she posts–usually photos of the grandkids. But she also loves capturing fall photos because it’s her favorite time of year. These are some of my recent favorites:
Happy November friends. It’s good to be back.