Friday, September 26, 2008

Stuffing my happy morning face. . .no wait, what?!

I can say that it usually doesn't take much to make me happy but the blooming last week of my 'Heavenly Blue' Morning Glory plant has knocked my socks off! Mark the calendar: September 18, with more and more blooms opening each day. To add to the beauty some of the vines have intertwined with a dark red ivy geranium. The large blue blossoms only bloom in the early day and live just a few hours. I read that Morning Glory is also called asagao by the Japanese : a combining words for 'morning' and 'face.' One of the reasons I love Minnesota is the defined seasons, each with something colorful and delicious to offer. Not always edible but a feast for the eyes.

Four seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man ...
John Keats

Now that September is nearly gone it is becoming clear how busy she's been burnishing and re-arranging the landscape. This is the area I love to walk behind the lake where I've occasionally seen deer. This week in this very spot below stood one of the twin fawns, bigger, sans spots and sporting a new 'fawn' colored coat. She stopped eating apples and listened to me talk to her for a minute before jumping into the trees. When I walked by I saw three sets of eyes peering out at me: the doe and her twins.

This spot takes me back to the lake--but first to the little pond that is visible at the very middle of this photo. That is where I've watched a family of wood ducks mature this summer. I have not seen them for several days now and am guessing they've flocked and flown off toward the south. I've wished them well and pleaded that they be watchful of hunters.

Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In homage to autumn and the blackening bananas on my counter that just won't go away, I made this yesterday and can say it made me happy:

Spiced Banana Bread

1-1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I used spelt instead)
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ground allspice (which I didn't have)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg beaten
1 bananas, mashed
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. canola oil
1/3 c. fat free milk

Preheat oven to 350. Coat loaf pan w/ nonstick spray and dusting of flour. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Combine egg, bananas, applesauce, oil and milk. Gradually add to flour mixture, until just mixed. Don't overbeat.

Bake 42-45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into 12 one-inch slices.


Granny Smith said...

What gorgeous photos and sensitive, appreciative commentary to accompany them! Autumn is my favorite season, and heavenly blue morning glories are one of my favorite flowers. Save me a piece of that banana bread!

OXOX Phyllis

Queen-Size funny bone said...

all beautiful and they draw you in.

anno said...

Oh, these made me so happy! Those morning glories are gorgeous!

Strider said...

Nice pictures. I love the fall season.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos. I love the colors of the Morning Glory. I've never seen that color before. I love the photo of the two cuties sleeping. I love ALL the photos. Thanks for that delicious-sounding recipe.


Pat said...

Your morning glories are beautiful and I love banana bread, so this was a very nice post to read!

Marianne said...

Your Heavenly Blue took my breath away, so beautiful. My Moonflower vine has started blooming also, mmm, the scent will sometimes have me weeping, it's like no other.
Thank you for that walkabout. :^)
Yum, the bread sounds so good, I may need to pick up some bananas in the morning and so glad to see the spelt in your recipe!

Jay said...

I love your photos! They are absolutely gorgeous, especially the little roads through trees, with the leaves on the ground. Looks like an area I'd love to take my dogs walking!

I've tried to grow Morning Glory, but no luck. I did see them growing luxuriantly in gardens in New Zealand though.

Minnesota looks beautiful. I have a friend there, who tends to call it 'Minnesnowta' in the winter, but I guess that's what you mean by having defined seasons!

Reader Wil said...

What a beautiful post! The photos are marvellous and go very well with the captions. Thanks for sharing.

i beati said...

so lovely - I love the heavenly blue but too hot here..sandy

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Oh! Those colors -- especially that blue!!! (swoon)