Summer Vacation

Yesterday was the first day of summer.  The gift for me is that it was also the first day of my summer vacation.  School’s out for the summer; wahoo!!  I have aspirations to do some thinking and a little work related to school throughout the summer, but that can wait, right? 🙂

The forefront of my mind (and the back of mind, for that matter) are consumed by house stuff right now.  We’ve had everything moved in since May 31st.  All of the boxes with our everyday stuff are unpacked.  (There’s a couple of boxes with old knick-knacks and “keepsakes” of mine that will remain packed until I find time to sift through them this summer and decide what’s really worth keeping….)  We even bought some artwork that just needs to be framed and tacked up to the walls.  So, the biggest issue these days is acquiring furniture in an effort to make our house more comfortable and livable.  (i.e. to work on truly making our house our home.)  We have a cool old house, so, when it comes to acquiring furniture, we are really trying to purchase used pieces.  We have some leeway in the style of what we buy, too.  Vintage, Art Deco, Retro, and Shabby Chic have all been common phrases in my Craigslist searches.  There’s nothing saying that we can’t or won’t buy new, but the earth lover in me is struggling with that concept since it means buying something recently manufactured, when someone else is trying to get rid of a similar already made item.  And – in many ways, the style of older pieces seems a little bit more developed to me.  (And now for a plug: In case you  might have something that would meet our needs, we’re looking for a small dresser  – well, two actually; one for the entryway and one for the guest bedroom – , chairs for the living room, some sort of seating for the TV room, and some sort of  stand or small cabinet for our stereo and record player.  I already got the table and chairs figured out for the Solarium!)

So, yesterday I stayed busy searching Craiglist and rearranging some kitchen things.  I have a suspicion that today will end up quite the same.  Craigslist and rearranging. 🙂  Although – today my morning started off quite differently than yesterday.  Today, it looks like (and smells like and sounds like) a summer day.  In fact, I had planned to go the gym this morning.  I was in my car, backing out of the driveway and stopped.  I just couldn’t bring myself to exercise inside on a gorgeous morning.  Instead I walked to, around, and back from Greenlake.  The whole walk took me almost exactly an hour and a half.  It was such a nice way to start the day.

I have another summer project I plan to get started on soon.  I really wish I had an explanation or an idea of where this dream came from, but recently I decided that I want to be known for my cinnamon rolls.  I haven’t even eaten a cinnamon roll recently, so I really don’t know where this aspiration came from, but when I think about cinnamon rolls, I realize that they tend to be a bakery item that the public is drawn to.  I’ll bet you all know of (or have eaten a roll) from that one place in your town (or that one vacation spot) where everyone says the cinnamon rolls are “just to die for”.  So, my quest is to find a recipe that becomes my signature cinnamon rolls.  I told Kyle about this the other day and he’s willing and very ready to be a taste tester.  He’s already told me that he wants it to be one of those light, fluffy kinds.  I agree that those are nice, but I’ve also had some really good crispier ones, almost more like a pie crust density.  In fact, that’s sort of how my mom’s cinnamon rolls are and there’s delicious.

I have a question for you, though.  Do any of you butter your cinnamon rolls?  I come from a family that used butter heavily on our morning baked goods.  Maybe times have changed for my parents and siblings, but I still quite often subscribe to method of buttering the whole thing, then adding more butter as parts become exposed from taking bites out of the baked good.  It’s almost worse now, because I tend to buy Smart Balance Light.  I find myself applying even more butter since the product I’m putting on is “good for me”.  In any case…as I conduct this quest for the best cinnamon roll, what are your suggestions for the role that butter plays?  I have a feeling that I should taste and enjoy each roll without butter to really get an idea of its unaided flavor and texture.  But, can or should there be any buttering?  You never know – I might come across a recipe that is bland and tough on its own, but is deliciously enhanced with a dab (or a couple dabs) of butter…

Your thoughts and suggestions on this matter are much appreciated.  🙂

I should probably get going.  Craigslist is waiting for me.

p.s.  I’m really sorry about the long stretch between my last post and this one.  It’s been a wee bit busy in the Morgan household.  I plan to get back at it as much as I can this summer what with summer vacation here and all.  🙂