Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Lesson From “Leave It”: Raisin Scones

I am not a huge fan of breakfast. A glass of milk stirred together with Carnation Instant Breakfast will usually suffice. I typically only eat a full morning meal when I stay with my parents (my mom makes the best morning feasts!). But since I’ve been trying to get back into running, I’ve needed to find something to fill my stomach and give me a little extra boost of energy in the morning. I found a recipe for homemade granola in the Everyday Food magazine that I am absolutely in love with. I put it over plain, non-fat yogurt with banana slices and top it all off with a drizzle of honey. Yum!

Before I had too many consecutive granola-breakfast mornings and got burned out on my new favorite food, I turned to the box for some inspiration on how to change up my morning routine. My search led me to Raisin Scones. Although they are not the healthiest morning meal, scones are a nice treat that I love to give myself every once in a while. I’ve noticed, however, that a truly great scone can be hard to come by and sadly, this recipe was an example of that.

I’m not sure if it was the combination of buttermilk and nutmeg that I didn’t enjoy or if it was because I swapped Craisins for raisins and the taste didn’t mix well with the nutmeg, but these weren’t my favorite. I was pleased to discover though, that scones are a lot easier to make than I imagined. Now I just need to find a better recipe. Perhaps I’ll come across one in a recipe box yet to be discovered (I’ve acquired two more recipe boxes from antique stores, but there isn’t a scone recipe in either one). 

Another morning routine that needs some adjusting is my workout. I had a pretty decent schedule of going to the gym in the morning, but then the weather got nice and I felt guilty leaving Murphy at home. So I’ve been passing on the gym and have been taking him for walks instead. “Walk” is a term I use loosely here, because honestly, our morning jaunts have absolutely no redeeming athletic quality whatsoever. Murphy, being a retriever and a male dog, has his nose attached to the ground throughout the entire route, raising his head only to watch squirrels play or plan an ambush when a cat dares to cross his path. He stops to smell everything – trees, stop signs, piles of leaves – then lifts his leg on each to claim it as the property of His Highness, Sir Murphy of Minnesota (90%  of the time he’s lifting his leg, but there’s nothing coming out to label the spot as his). I spend most of the walk pulling on his leash and telling him to “leave it.” I swear that the people in my neighborhood think that’s my dog’s name. I keep reminding him that I’m trying to walk all the way to France and it’s going to take a long time to get there if we smell every lamppost along the way. He doesn’t seem to care.

He’ll pick up the pace for a few blocks, enough to raise my heart rate and get me excited about finally finding a good rhythm, but then he feigns exhaustion, stops, and looks at me as if he’s about to collapse. Anyone who comes across us at this point must think we’ve walked about 20 miles and that I’m being inhumane to make him go on. Little do they know that this dramatic display typically begins as early as the end of the driveway…at the beginning of the walk. I lean down, cuddle him up, urge him to go on and start the countdown: “Only three more blocks, Murphy. Come on, you can do it!”

But this act never fools me, because I know that as soon as we make it back home and I turn him loose in the yard, he’ll run around like crazy. Usually he runs in circles as fast as he can with a squeaky toy in his mouth, biting hard enough so that everyone in a five mile radius can hear that, yes, Murphy made it home safely from his walk. Maybe I should just skip the walk and join him for laps in the backyard. I’d have to pass on the squeaky toy though. Maybe this is his way of helping me get to France. Maybe he’s trying to tell me that sometimes, in order to make progress, you need to go off course and try something different. It might be like combining buttermilk, Craisins and nutmeg: a good attempt, but it falls a little short of the goal. But other times, what might seem crazy, such as running in circles in the backyard, just might be the ticket to get you to where you want to go. Because if you run enough laps, pretty soon you’ve run a mile…then two…then three, etc… To my neighbors, it might appear a little odd. But Murphy doesn’t care, he’s running like no one is watching. And what do they know anyway, they think his name is Leave It (well, except for the ones who live close enough to hear me yell “Murphy NO!” when he’s digging holes).  

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I can relate, only Odie is shorter and fatter and prefers to get baths. :-)