Thursday, April 28, 2011

Feasting With The Prophets V

Week #5: Lorenzo Snow

Favorite Dessert: Yorkshire Pudding

Apparently, the writers of the news article didn't seem to think it was a problem to list Yorkshire Pudding as a dessert. Neither did I, until I realized:

Yep, that's roast beef and gravy. Not a dessert.

So I looked ahead at some of the other prophets, and things like oyster stew and boiled wheat (what the) are popping up everywhere. To keep the dessert train going, we'll be replacing those weeks with fun alternatives.

This week, we were watching Julia Child making a crazy chocolate cake and laughing at the weird things she used to say ("It's smells chocolate-y." "It's so shiny!"). Later, I was sitting at computer, stumped at what to do for dessert the next day, and I remembered Julia's cake, and thought it would be fun to try. And so, six hours later:

Raspberry Chocolate Genoise Cake!

This is a three layered unleavened cake, filled with chocolate creme fraiche and raspberries, topped with whipped cream, covered in a chocolate shell, topped with chocolate ruffles, and dusted with powdered sugar.

I am not going to post the recipe on here because it's just ridiculously complicated, but here's the link to it:

If nothing else, just go to it and listen to Julia talk as she bakes. Totally worth it.


Easter was pretty low key this year. We kept it contained to our ward's Easter Egg Hunt and big potluck brunch, a big Easter dinner with family and friends, and Easter baskets a few days later.

Wait, that doesn't sound low key at all!

At our church's egg hunt, where they had 700 eggs hidden for like 30 kids. The women who run our primary are amazing.

Baskets were (of course) forgotten in our rush to get there on time, so we had this lovely number instead.

Tyler and Evelyn reveling in their loot.

Big news: Jamie let Grandma hold her for a half hour. And she smiled for most of it! Anyone who has gone through separation anxiety with a nine month old knows that this was an Easter miracle.

Tyler and Jamie were supposed to be posing for Easter picture. I guess handfuls of candy and eating the flowers work, too!

We had a pretty fantastic Easter program on Sunday. Normally, I don't seem to hear much of the speakers because I'm in and out with Jamie and Tyler, but I got to hear all of the youth speaker's talk, which was one of the sweetest talks I've ever heard. I don't even know this girl's name, but her love for the Savior just beamed out of her as she spoke about his death and resurrection. Her emotions more than anything reminded me what Easter is all about: Christ overcame death. And because of what he has done for us, everyone can too. All of our loved ones who have died will live again because of the atonement. Thank you, girl, for reminding me!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The newest member of the Hinckley family

Except for a short stint last summer, we have always been a one car family, all through our almost five years of marriage. No more!

Introducing, his own words, "Tyler's new, big, red car!"

We love the space, love that it is a Toyota and we love love love that it is not a minivan. (No offense to all those minivanners out there.)

Visitors from the West

Grandpa Eatough flew into Dallas for a quick business trip last week, and we packed as many fun things into those 48 hours as we could: Tex-Mex, Wall-e, crazy thunderstorms, and of course:

The Angels came to play against the Rangers, so we had to take my dad to see L.A. humiliated. But...

here's my dad on the phone with my mom, and they are both laughing because the Rangers got spanked on their own turf.

Tyler shook it off like a trooper:

Cracked some peanuts for Grandpa to eat (none for Tyler, thank you)

And conned Grandpa into going outside the stadium to look at the trolleys.

Watching Wall-e, and quite ready for bed. Thanks for playing, Grandpa, we miss you already! (And happy birthday yesterday, too)

Life and Stuff

I found this platoon of oranges in our living room during naptime one afternoon, lined up in orderly fashion and watching Finding Nemo.

Tyler was not pleased to wake up and find them at ease in a bowl in the kitchen.

In other news, it hailed like crazy last week:

McKay braved the the hail to gather specimen. I could hear him outside yelling "Ow! Ow! Ow!"

That was a week ago, and we've had two big storms pass through since then. Tyler LOVES watching the lightening. During the storms, he stations himself on the window sill and alerts us everytime a bolt cracks across the sky. "Ooh, that was a BIG lightening!"

Monsoon season has arrived!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Feasting With the Prophets IV

Week #4: Wilford Woodruff
Favorite Dessert: Cherry Nut Cake

Wilford Woodruff didn't seem to have an overly active sweet tooth, but he did lead an interesting life. He was likely the first fly fisherman in the Rocky Mountains, and he was the prophet to whom the American Founding Fathers appeared:

"Before I left St. George, the spirits of the [Founding Fathers] gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.” These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. . . . I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others."

So cool.

Wilford Woodruff Cherry Nut Cake


2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 cup walnuts, whole
1 pkg. candied cherries

1/2 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup corn syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans; set aside. In bowl of mixer, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add to sugar and butter mixture alternating with buttermilk. Fold in nuts. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Invert cake onto wax paper and cool. While cake is cooling prepare filling. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar, milk, and corn syrup. Cook until a soft boil stage or 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once filling has reached soft boil stage, take off the burner and beat until golden and thick enough to spread. Spread filling on first layer of cake (not on sides). Sprinkle whole walnuts and candied cherries over filling. Place the next layer of cake on top of the walnuts and cherries and repeat the process.

(Sadly, the cake did not survive long enough for me to take pictures of people enjoying it.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Out in Them Thar Hills

Last week we headed south of Dallas to a little town called Ennis, outside the Dallas metroplex and in the country. This town is what I pictured when McKay first told me he was from Texas: giant water towers, rolling green hills, places like Bubba's BBQ, and cows and horses everywhere. This is where they hold the annual Bluebonnet Festival.

Big welcoming banners over Main street.

Munchin on the state flower. Don't tell the sherriff.

We have official verification from posting these pictures on facebook: these kids are cute!

I loved Ennis! We're starting to look around the Dallas area for a place to put our roots down, and (gasp!) get a real house. I'm sure I'm romanticizing the Texas country, but I can see Tyler and Jamie running around in bluebonnets every spring, and riding their bikes down country roads in the summer. I'd probably hate it after a year, being stuck in the country with hospitals and family and Walmart more than ten minutes away and being eaten alive by bugs, heat and humidity every time you step outside.

But can you blame me for wanting to look out my kitchen window and see this?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Tree

Bird's Nest

Among the trees
Is a bird's nest,
And in the nest
Her three eggs rest.

And in each egg
--Hush, you'll be heard!--
There lies asleep
A tiny bird.

H.N. Bialik

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feasting With the Prophets III

Week #3: John Taylor
Favorite Dessert: Applesauce Cake

This was our first sugary dessert! President John Taylor was known to have a sweet tooth: in fact, he was a big reason that the sugar beet industry started up in Utah. Regular sugar was too expensive to import from the U.S., costing almost $1 per pound to transport. So the Utahns tried their hand at processing sugar beets into refined sugar, which didn't turn out well. But we got an Applesauce Cake out of it all and Sugar House, Utah, where (funnily enough) my friend now lives and works in a bakery.

Applesauce Cake Recipe:


1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup chilled applesauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


1. Cream butter or margarine with sugar. Add applesauce; beat well. Stir in flour, soda, and spices. Add nuts and raisins.
2. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until done. Serve warm.

We topped ours with cream cheese frosting, and it was delish.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Come One, Come All

Our good friends invited us along to the CIRCUS last week.

I don't think I had ever been to an actual circus. I was so excited that when someone flagged us down outside the parking lot and threw pamphlets in our car I just assumed it was a helpful parking attendent giving us programs.

Thanks for ruining the circus, PETA.

Regardless, we had a really fun afternoon. It was kind of a low budget circus, so the death defying acts were really quite terrifying, either because the eqipment didn't seem safe enough or the circus folk weren't good enough. We were pretty sure someone was going to die in front of us.

These silver spandex guys fell so many times, it was so scary.

This guy is a contortionist. McKay thought it was cool. I thought it was kind of gross.

Oh, by the way, we rode an elephant.

An elephant! Yes, our fun was their misery, but what fun it was! Just kidding, this elephant looked pretty happy to me. He got these huge snacks everytime he dragged another passel of kids around the ring.

I felt a little silly up there with all the little kids: I think I was more excited than Tyler. He kept asking where the elephant was, so I'm not entirely sure he knew what was going on.

Dancing elephants!

This girl gave up part of the way through the elephants dancing. A circus is no match for jetlag! (This was about 48 hours after our plane landed from California.) Speaking of jetlag, we all followed suit and crashed when we got home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Building Cathedrals

It's been one of those weeks. Rather, one of those months where the runny noses and dirty diapers and tantrums never seem to end. Feeling rather sorry for myself and my lost 20's, I wiled away naptime googling "tired of being a mom," hoping to find some sympathy. Instead, I found this:

The Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder, one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.