"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Pioneer Day...Ducks

One of my very first posts on this blog was this one about how we celebrated Pioneer Day last year - our first year as a married couple. We got to spend time with Trevor's family and do what they were doing and it was great! This year we're out here in Ohio on our own with no ward Pioneer Day activity or family or Pioneer Day parades or anything, so we got to start deciding what our own traditions that we want to start with our current/future family will be.

After some discussion and searching Pinterest and Google for ideas, we concluded that Pioneer day traditions and plans will be way more fun once we have kids, but we still came up with some ideas to do this year, and build on in years to come. We decided to make corn bread and homemade butter, and while we shook up our butter and waited for the cornbread to bake, we'd both choose an aspect of pioneer life or something to research online for about 15 minutes (what they wore, how they preserved food, what they did on a typical day, how they did laundry, etc), and present our findings to each other while we ate our yummy pioneer snack and appreciated the convenience of modern living!

But this is me and my husband we're talking about. So of course our wonderful idea didn't turn out quite how we planned it. Story of my life.

Pioneer day fell on a Tuesday this year. I didn't end up getting home from work until about 7:30, and I was greeted by my wonderful husband putting together the final preparations for dinner! Hawaiian haystacks! Which has to do with Pioneer Day because...the pioneers probably thought about Hawaii every day of their journey across the plains and wished they were there instead. Ok, dinner actually wasn't part of our plan, but it still felt like a celebration :)

So, after our scrumptious feast, we made cornbread. I thought I had my mom's recipe that I love, but it turns out I don't, so we just used the Betty Crocker one. You can't go wrong with Betty Crocker, right?

Well, 2 ingredients away from finishing the batter I realized that we don't have baking powder like the recipe calls for, just baking soda. Blast. Trevor offered to run to the store and get some, but I was feeling lazy and didn't want to waste the gas for 1 thing, especially since we had already made an extra trip because we forgot to get cornmeal. So I just looked up a conversion online, and it said about 3 tsp of baking powder for each tsp baking soda. The recipe called for like 3 or 4 tsp of baking powder, so that's like 9-12 tsp baking soda. Problem solved! So I started dumping baking soda in, and realized several spoonfuls too late that I had the conversion backwards...

Yep, our cornbread was going to rise to the moon! (not one of my finer moments in math, I must say)

Please note the use of the past tense in "was". Our oven had a few things to say about that.

Our oven doesn't like me much. The first time I tried to bake cookies (oatmeal chocolate chip!! :), it wouldn't heat up enough and I had to turn it up to 500 degrees and leave the cookies in for a half hour to bake. It was dumb. So I said something to the maintenance man on my way to work one day. Apparently the oven didn't like that I called it dumb and broken, and decided to take revenge.

The cornbread was supposed to bake for 20-25 minutes. After 10 I could smell it so I checked it and it was burned. So I pulled it out and gently tapped the top to see if it was done and the whole thing fell like I punched bread dough or something. So I turned the oven down 150 degrees and put it in for a little longer to un-rawify the middle.

It ended up looking like this.

A bit too dark on the outside, but definitely not the ugliest cornbread ever, right? Just really dry and crumbly. So I dished myself up some and started eating. The first bite wasn't that bad.

But by the second bite...SOO GROSS!!!! It tasted like there was some chemical or something in it, and I couldn't even force myself to swallow it. I spit it right out, and kept on spitting for like forever until I finally got the taste out of my mouth. It turns out baking soda really doesn't taste that great in large quantities...

And so, we decided to celebrate that we have enough food to not have to eat our icky cornbread/baking soda bread, and go find some ducks to feed it to instead. 

But then we couldn't even find any ducks. So I guess this should actually be called happy Pioneer Day to the trash. Oh well, at least it'll be pretty easy to top our cornbread tasting experience next Pioneer Day!

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