Yesterday I had a few pleasant surprises. In the morning I received two phone calls from friends asking if I was going to be home. They both said that they were just going to “drop something off.” Hmmm… I wondered, what could that mean?
A short time later the doorbell rang. There at the door was my friend Donna. She handed me a box and said “Happy Birthday!” What? “But Donna, today isn’t my birthday…” She looked at me and smiled and said, “I know that… it’s my birthday.” Donna reminded me that last year I had made her birthday cake… and this time she wanted to share a special treat with me. She calls it “Lemon Posset” and it is absolutely delicious! It tastes like lemon curd mixed with whipped cream… really incredible. What a delightful way to celebrate her birthday!
A short while later, the doorbell rang again. This time it was my friend JoAnn. She had brought with her a brown paper bag which she then handed to me. Inside were many of the ingredients for making one of my favorite treats, Pecan Pie. JoAnn said that she wanted to do something to support my pie journey and sensed that I really liked making Pecan Pies… which is true. What a wonderful gift and how generous of her to go shopping for me! I am very grateful for her thoughtfulness.
The last surprise of the day came in the afternoon when a friend called to offer us tickets to “The White Snake” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was a great show and a nice way to end a day of surprises. And just when I thought I’d received more than my share of blessings, this morning the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor Jae offering me tickets to another show at the festival! How lucky can one person get?
With so much goodness going on, it just seemed right to share some of my good fortune… in the form of a pie of course… with the Ashland High School Nordic Team as they prepare to compete at the State Finals this weekend. I send them all my very best wishes for realizing their personal bests and creating some very happy memories.
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Charles Dickens
A few days ago, our friend Todd emailed us to let us know that his son, Gavin, would be competing this weekend in the regional wrestling tournament which was being held at Eagle Point High School. Gavin is a senior at Bend High School and has been wrestling since he was in the sixth grade. Last year he came in second in his class at the state finals.
Gavin had two matches yesterday and two matches today. He won the matches yesterday and also won the first match today… and then Gavin got to compete against the top wrestler in the country in his class! Talk about luck! Last year Gavin competed against this same guy and was pinned in under a minute. Today it took more than 3 minutes for the guy to pin him. That means that Gavin earned a second place ranking and is headed to the state finals in two weeks.
Bend High School Wrestling Team
Todd asked if I would consider making Gavin a pie as a special treat for after the tournament. Then he said that Gavin’s favorite pie was S’more Pie. Since I have never made a S’more Pie, I was looking forward to making one today. There were quite a few recipes for this pie on the internet. Some of the recipes called for making a chocolate pudding and then adding marshmallow cream, while others called for a ganache filling that was topped with marshmallows.
The S’more Pie that I chose to make used the ganache filling and was topped with mini-marshmallows. That was then set under the broiler until it was lightly golden and then I tossed some chocolate chips on top. It smelled divine – just like it might at a campfire!
Gavin received his pie after the final match but then he was being whisked off to the team bus for the ride back to Bend. He asked his parents to safeguard his pie until he got home because he wanted it all to himself. And he deserves it! Congratulations Gavin on your second place finish and we wish you all the best at the state finals!
“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”
Todd, Gavin, Grace and Parker
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
As parents we are often called upon to volunteer in the various activities that our children participate in. When your children are young and playing soccer, you may be asked to bring juice and orange slices to the games. As your child grows, the tasks become a bit more challenging, but you keep helping because you want to support your kids.
For three years my son was a member of the Ashland High School Nordic Ski Team. Every year the kids on the team were incredible. They worked hard at practices and willingly competed against much larger and better funded teams. It was my son’s freshman year when the Ashland boys won third place in the state finals. When they announced “Ashland” as the winner, my son and one other boy walked up to the podium. The emcee looked at the boys and asked that all the boys come up. My son looked at him and said, “We are all the boys.” Amazing.
The club has grown in the past few years – and so has the parent participation. I have helped in my own way with the team – often by baking scones or bagels for them to eat on the long rides to their meets. There is a bit of work involved but once I have delivered my goodies, I am free to stay home (and warm!). The more dedicated parents go to the meets and since this is a nordic sport, you can bet that they spend a lot of time standing in the cold. Liz and Denny are among the parents that are willing to go to the meets and help wherever they are needed.
Liz and Denny are the owners of Mihama Teriyaki Grill. In addition to helping with the Nordic Ski Team, they have been avid supporters of the Ashland Schools Foundation. Their restaurant is located on Siskiyou Boulevard across from Southern Oregon University.
We are lucky to live in a town where so many people give up their time and talents for the benefit of our children. Tonight I would like to recognize Liz and Denny for all that they do to help our children, and our community, thrive.