In a few days, this month will have Marched on by.  The first quarter of 2019 will be history.  Didn’t the year just get started?  Someone once explained that the reason time seems to speed up as we get older is because each year is a smaller fraction of our lives.  In other words, when we are four years old, a year is one-fourth of the time we have existed.  When we are fifty, a year is one-fiftieth of our days.  It makes sense, but it still feels like time has grown wings.

 One of the benefits of being on the longer side of life is grandchildren.  Sometimes their actions remind me so much of one of my children – usually, it is the parent of the child involved, but not always.  The oldest of my offspring loved to use big words; most of the time he applied them correctly.  I recall an incident when three-year-old Jonathan was listening intently to a lengthy explanation from his dad.  Once Bob completed his father-to-son talk, Jonathan replied oh, so wisely, “Dad, I realize that.”

Jonathan’s son Elijah, who is three, loves to use big words himself.  He continually amazes his parents with his ability to utilize them correctly.  Jonathan’s wife, Heather, is often astonished when her son spouts words she doesn’t expect to hear from a three-year-old.  Heather and Elijah went to lunch at Arby’s one day.  They sat in a booth, with Heather on one side and Elijah on the other.  Since they were usually accompanied by the other two members of their family, Heather declared, “This side of the booth is all mine!”  Elijah replied matter-of-factly, “No, it isn’t.  It belongs to Arby’s!  And besides that, it’s attached!”

Another day, Heather was conversing with Elijah.  Elijah burst out laughing.  “Mommy, you used an alliteration!”  Heather couldn’t believe she heard what she thought she heard.  “What did you say?”  “You used an alliteration.”  Still in a state of disbelief, Heather asked again, “What?”  “You used an alliteration,” Elijah answered for the final time.  Sure enough, in the course of her conversation, she had put two words together that started with the same sound.

The downstairs bathroom of that Ray household has two doors – one that enters from a hallway and one that is accessed from Elijah’s bedroom.  Even though he knows this, Elijah will leave his room and go to the bathroom via the hallway door.  Heather explained to him that he could use the door in his bedroom if no one else occupied the bathroom.  One day he did just that, announcing to Heather, “I exited through the other door!”

Before March exits 2019, I need to remind us all that it is National Flour Month.  (How’s that for a transition?!)  Somehow, I find it quite easy to locate recipes that include flour.  It is hard to decide which ones to either try or to repeat.  I attended a dinner at my church last week; I had signed up to take soup.  That morning I discovered a recipe for Upside-Down Pecan Cake, and so I prepared it and took it to the dinner, too.  It was definitely yummy!  Two bread recipes round out this week’s selections; one is for yeast rolls, and the other for a quick bread loaf that can also be made into muffins.

Upside-Down Pecan Cake


2 cups toasted pecans, chopped

1 cup shredded coconut

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons salted butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


2/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with aluminum foil, making sure it hangs over the ends.  Grease with non-stick spray.

Mix together pecans, coconut, brown sugar, and cinnamon; spread in prepared pan.  Combine melted butter and vanilla; drizzle over pecan mixture.

In medium bowl, beat softened butter with 1 cup brown sugar on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until thoroughly combined; add vanilla, mix well.

Sift dry ingredients together.  Add half to mixture in bowl; mix well.  Pour in milk; mix well.  Add remaining flour mixture; mix well.

Pour batter over pecan mixture in prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen; let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Invert onto a serving platter, using foil overhang as needed.  Gently remove foil.  Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Beautiful Brown Rolls

2 cups boiling water

1 cup quick-cooking oats

2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Melted butter

In a large bowl, combine boiling water and oats; cool to lukewarm (110 to 115 degrees). Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in warm water; stir into oat mixture. Add the eggs, molasses, oil, sugar and salt. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide into 36 pieces and shape into rolls. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Brush with butter. Cool on wire racks.Yield3 dozen.

Quick Brown Bread Loaf

1 cup white flour (preferably unbleached)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup molasses

1-1/2 cups buttermilk

1 egg, beaten

Mix by hand.  Stir white flour, baking soda, and salt together in mixing bowl.  Blend in brown sugar and whole wheat flour.  Add melted butter, molasses, buttermilk, and egg.  Beat vigorously until batter is smooth.  Pour into a greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.  Allow to stand 20 minutes.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  Test for doneness.  Turn loaf out onto wire rack to cool.

Variation:  Use for muffins.  Pour batter into greased muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Test for doneness.