Monday, March 14, 2011

Are You Suffering From March Madness?

March came in like a lamb this year, but I am not too worried about the weather.  March madness is setting in and I am seeing it everywhere I look.  I am not talking about the basketball brackets and snack advertising at the store, although those do make my list.  I am gazing around my own house and backyard.  Evidence of this condition is everywhere.  "March Madness" has taken on a whole new meaning.  Here are a few signs that you are suffering from this mania:

1.  Your calendar is almost black with scribbles and appointments.  Spring means school activities and end of the year programs are underway.  Hopefully, (we all know Nebraska weather) the winter is behind us and now we are all breaking free from our houses and celebrating.  I am slammed with a crazy schedule.  Soccer practices, track practices, track meets, parent teacher conferences, an Extension meeting, two birthdays, classes at the ESU, a family wedding, Boy Scout lock-ins, Sunday school activities, Lent services, and too many events are now penciled in on my calendar.  Am I mad?  I think I might be crazy. 

2.  March is now roaring like a lion, but not in the weather arena.  The sun is shining and taunting me to come out and play and I think my neighbor is also suffering from a form of March madness.  We still have snow drifts up to my knees in places, but it didn't stop him from mowing his yard yesterday.  He was out there,swerving around the remaining snow, puttering around his manicured yard on his John Deere mower.  Like many of us, he's tired of being holed up.  We are all more than eager to grab a rake and get a head start on our outdoor chores.  Seeds are ordered and plans made for the garden.  I think it may be Spring fever, but the great folly might be a better description.

3.  You are seeing green and an occasional leprechaun.  People are parading around decked out in beads, hats, and "Kiss Me I'm Irish" buttons.  No you are not hallucinating.  One of the craziest holidays lands on the 17th-  you know it as St. Patrick's Day.  Towns throw celebrations, paint the town square green, and book the Irish dancers.  A good time is had by all, but the 21 and over crowd enjoy this delirium.

4.  You are reading rhyming nonsense words and making green eggs and ham.  You will eat them, you will see.  March 2nd finds people celebrating Dr. Seuss and his contribution to children's literacy.  Green eggs and crazy hats accentuate this day in our nation's schools, libraries, and daycares as they pay homage to Theodor Giesel.  It's not an epidemic, people just embrace their inner artist and imagine the places they will go.

5.  Finally, you are obsessed with basketball.  I personally don't follow the games or teams, but I know people who do.  Basketball dominates the news, programming, and references on late night shows.  Friends have their teams chosen and wage office competitions.  Sleep is lost.  It's a slam dunk for craziness.

Madness is also defined as nontechnical word for rabies.  I know plenty of people who are foaming at the mouth over green beers and exertion in the Spring air.  Their eyes are blood shot from hours of staring at stats to predict the winning NCAA bracket.  These people are only suffering from March madness.

To help stave off the debilitating effects of Spring, I suggest indulging in a delicious blueberry strudel cake.  We made this recipe a few days ago and the children devoured it.  It is light and full of summer promises.

Blueberry Strudel Cake:
1/2 cup butter softened
1 3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of almond flavoring
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup milk
3 cups fresh blueberries (you can also use frozen)
Strudel Topping:
1/3 cup cold butter
2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and almond flavoring.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the creamed mixture and blend.  Add the milk and when combined, add the blueberries.  Pour into a greased 9X13 pan.

To make the strudel, just knead the butter into the sugar and spices.  When it is the consistency of small peas, sprinkle evenly onto the cake.

Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Happy Eating!

Do you have any techniques for warding off March madness?


Plain Graces said...

I am suffering from March Madness and will be having a give away soon! Visit regularly to get updates.

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