Posted by: Budger | July 5, 2011

Summer in Texas means Peaches

Peaches

It’s summer in Southeast Texas, and that means it’s hot.  Hot.Hot.Hot!  We are experiencing record-breaking heat, and it makes being outside pretty miserable.  But summer in Texas means other things as well.  It also means Peaches!

As a kid, I was not fond of peaches, but as an adult, they are one of my favorite summer fruits.  Last week I had some peaches and some raspberries that I needed to use, and I had received in my email the Food Network Recipe of the day for Blueberry Cornmeal Crumble.  I thought why not?  I could do that with my peaches.  But I had no cornmeal, and I needed it to be gluten-free.  So I decided to try it with what I had on hand.  Instead of Blueberries, I used Peaches and Raspberries.  Instead of cornmeal, I used some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Quick Oats, and I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free flour.  I really wasn’t expecting it to be good.  I figured it would be a failed experiment.  But was I wrong.

It was so good that Budgee said you need to make this again for 4th of July.  So I did.  And it was even better.  So here is the link to the recipe on FoodNetwork.com.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/blueberry-crumble-with-cornmeal-almond-topping-recipe/index.html

I made the substitutions as indicated above, same measurements.  It was incredibly easy, and I can’t wait to try it again with some other fruit.  But for now, it’s summer in Texas, and that means Peaches.  So here is my Peach Raspberry Oat and Almond Crumble.  It was delicious, and it makes the heat tolerable.  Yummy!

Peach Raspberry Oat Almond Crumble

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Posted by: Budger | March 2, 2011

Oh Mickey You’re So Fine

No I’m not having a flashback to the 80’s.  Although I could be.  I remember the first time I heard this song was my senior year in high school while driving with a friend in his new car.  That was a long time ago. Now this song reminds me of my friend Mickey.

I haven’t always referred to Mickey as my friend.  He’s been my co-worker for almost 17 years.  We shared an office together for almost 2 years on a project in Denver.  He has been a thorn in my side.  He has been the project comedian.  He has gone toe to toe with me in disagreements on how a project should proceed.  He’s gotten me escorted out of buildings by the police (this last one I was equally responsible, I hadn’t gone through proper security), and he’s been a cheerleader for me and for the team.  I guess underneath I always knew Mickey was my friend.  I couldn’t stay irritated, mad, exasperated with him for long.  It’s like I told my boss one day…being mad at Mickey is like being ticked off at Santa because you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas.  You’ll get over it eventually.  When I was recovering from my pacemaker surgery, Mickey called and told me to hang in there, and that call meant a lot. 

Mickey was one of the inaugural runners of the 2008 Texas Independence Relay.  He is who I refer to as a charter member.  He was one of the handful of people sitting around the table at happy hour drinking Margarita’s that took me up on my idea, and said, “200 miles?  We can run 200 miles.  Let’s do it.”  He was one of the oldest members of the team, but he ran with the heart of a teenager, and the whole weekend he was his usual Mickey self, whistling, singing, cheering, laughing.  Even when he pulled his hamstring, he didn’t give up.  Just made a joke of it, and went out and ran his next leg.

Later that year, when I heard the news that Mickey had been seriously hurt on a business trip in Egypt and was being flown out on an air ambulance, my heart sunk.  Not Mickey.  Mickey is a life force.  My co-workers and I prayed for Mickey and his family.  We all waited anxiously until we heard he was back home.  And then we all waited anxiously to hear how he was.  Unfortunately the news was bad.  Mickey would be OK, but…   It was a new OK, but the most important part was he was OK.  He was still Mickey, but living life as a quadriplegic.  He was very quickly transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, which is a world-class facility for spinal cord injury.  I was fortunate enough to be travelling to Denver somewhat regularly during that time, and I went to visit at every opportunity.

At the same time we were getting ready to run the 2009  Texas Independence Relay (TIR), and I told Mickey, we will run this race for you.  There were a lot of us that were pretty lost trying to figure out how we could help him and his family.  We were willing to do anything.  But the one thing we couldn’t do was fix the problem.  My life lesson was that sometimes you can’t fix things, but you can be there.  And so the 2009 P2 Pace Makers went out and ran the TIR, and beat their time goal, for Mickey.  I have never been prouder.  In 2010, we did it again, and Mickey made a visit to our Denver office.  We hooked up a web cam link, and I presented him with his 2010 TIR finisher’s medal.  Mickey may not be running ON the course with us, but we’re running the course with him.

Last week, I called Mickey to tell him the P2 Pace Makers were getting ready for the 2011 TIR.  He was excited, and said he will be thinking of us next weekend.  He’s gotten his new van, and he gets to go out now and terrorize the local establishments.  We will be out running our hearts out across Texas for 200+ miles.  And we will do it with Mickey there in spirit.  And so to those who wonder why I take on an extra project of organizing the team while doing a full time job, this is important to me.  It is important to me because of my friend Mickey.  I take this as an opportunity to raise funds for Craig Hospital, bring awareness to Spinal Cord Injury and to contribute to Team Mickey.

So while sometimes Mickey and I didn’t always agree on our projects together, we always agreed to present a united front.  We are a team.  As I wrote about 2 years ago in my post “How can I help?“, to my friend Mickey, you are not forgotten.  I will run/walk/drive this road with you as long as I can.

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