Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Toast Fingers
December 2013
This is a recipe story I wrote for my family. As a child of a British mother, one of the cultural treats our family enjoyed for breakfast was soft boiled eggs with toast fingers. This tradition was passed onto my children as well. Hopefully our grandchildren and on down the generations will think of Nana Skilling (Joyce Davies-Conklin-Skilling, who immigrated to the United States when she was 21 years old) when they partake of this fun breakfast.
With love, Laura Marie Conklin-Nielsen-Holbrook
Magic happens when a slice of buttered toast is cut into finger width strips: TOAST FINGERS
Here’s how to produce this sensational breakfast:
Open a plastic bread bag (or make your own bread), remove one or two pre-sliced pieces of bread (or cut a slice of your homemade bread). Take those slices of bread and drop them into the toaster (or broil them in the oven). Push the mechanical lever down.
Now is a good time to reflect for a moment on the original ingredients of the bread and all the people and the good earth that provided it: flour, water, salt and yeast. It’s a blessing. Imagine the synergetic results your taste buds will experience. During this meditation, you must be aware on some level that the toast will jump out at you when its done or will burn in the oven if not watchful.
When the jumping bread has come to rest, and without being too anxious in order to avoid burning your fingers, retrieve the bread from it’s upright position. Lay it gently on a plate and butter it on one side. Don’t skimp here, spread the butter clear to the edge of the bread, making sure every part has a slippery film of this vital ingredient. (Use a butter substitute if necessary). Taking the same butter knife just used to spread the butter, saw off four or five finger size slices of bread. The end is near.
What good is a handful of lonely toast fingers? Not nearly as good without with it’s mate, the soft boiled egg. Take one or more lowly but wonderful chicken eggs and submerge them in a pan full of cold water, make sure the water completely covers the eggs. Bring the water and eggs to a full boil and boil for three minutes. Carefully spoon the eggs out of the boiling water (unless you have burn proof flesh, in which case you can just reach in a grab them) and onto a plate.
I almost forgot to include the egg cup! Dainty as it sounds, it’s the foundation that supports the whole event. Take your hot little egg and nestle it in an egg cup. Sit your hot little egg bum side down, which is easy to remember when considering anatomy and the smaller end, is heads up. Carry your egg cup to a waiting table with a beautiful setting of placemats, napkins, glasses of juice, salt and pepper, flowers arranged nicely in a vase and silverware, all that the Good Fairy prepared in advance for you.
Prepare your mind for some violence, despite the peaceful setting. Eye ball the egg and aim for the top 1/3 or neck if we are still talking anatomy. This is your target. Pick up a butter knife with your right or left hand, you choose. Holding it as weapon, cock your arm back and quickly release with fury, one solid hit to the targeted place on the egg. Instant decapitation is the desired result. If more than one attempt is made, it gets messy.
Keep the cap or head, it’s a delicacy.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. One might think it’s a necessity, but times are changing. Ready your toast fingers for their job. You may have a personal preference as to what this means: lining them up or arranging them decoratively, circling the plate. Let your personality shine through here.
Pick up one of the toast fingers and slowly insert, gentling turning the toast finger inside the egg. Remove toast finger and bite off only one bite at a time, nibbling the egg frosted toast finger to the next joint or about ¾” down. Do not gulp gluttonously! Savor the crunchy eggy bite. Repeat until the yolk is consumed.
Using a teaspoon, gently circle the inside of the egg, scrapping the last remains of the egg. Make sure the inside of the egg is completely cleaned out: WASTE NOT WANT NOT.
Avoid the top edge of the egg shell where small bit of broken egg shell remains! (Unless you need more calcium supplementation and you can bear the crunchy sensation on your teeth).
Don’t forget the cap or the head (we’re still referring to egg anatomy). It is a delectable tidbit of egg white!
It’s a meal in itself!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Message From Grandpa John and Nana Laura

When thinking about what I would like to give my children and grandchildren for Christmas, I thought about a lasting message. Grandpa John agreed to read two messages out of the 12 we prepared for our 12 Days of Christmas. Here's the link to our 12 days of Christmas messages. Enjoy! With Love, Nana & Grandapa John December 13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK3t0tiQSKk December 14

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A book about Pornography is calling to me, so I'm writing it.

I'm writing a book about the painful journey from competing with pornography to accepting I couldn't beat it.
There is a point in this journey that I began to find myself again.
Pornography addiction will destroy a person's happiness, a marriage and relationships if one allows it to.
I know, it destroyed my marriage of 25 years!
When I first realized my husband was choosing pornography over me, I thought I could win him back by becoming more attractive. It became a competition. When I learned to stop competing with it, and return to being myself, happiness and self love returned to my life.
I now find myself in a life that I only thought would be mine if I died and went to heaven. I feel so much love around me. Only when I learned to accept and love myself did I realize that I could be happy in this life and not have to wait.
Because I've kept a journal most of my life, including the decades I struggled with my desire to lure my first husband back into our marriage, I have hundreds of journal entries to sift though and draw from.
Some are ugly, some are enlightening; all are important.
This editing process and review of the life I left behind for a happy one is taking time.
I am thankful for your support and encouragement.
I know I am not alone and I know I have a mission to be of help to others through this journey.
My book is in the rough draft form, I need to complete it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning about PEARS (Hint: don't let them ripen on the tree!)

Few things are as rewarding as growing your own food. I realize that my part is small in comparrison to the creator who made the earth possible for us to plant in and harvest from. Feelings of awe and gratitude fill my soul as I participate in the bounty..
This is the first time my little Bosc pear tree has produced enough pears to actually do something with. I'm very proud of my Bosc pear tree, it has endured 5 years of mostly neglect and some abuse from the llamas, mule and horses (which love eating pear branches and leaves).
This year the pear tree has come through it all and rewarded my family with several dozen beautiful pears.
It was so joyful picking the pears. I used a long pole with a picking basket on the end. A pear is ready to pick when you can pull it to the side and it breaks off the branch. (One of the many tips from the O.S.U. Extension Service)
Last year I waited too long to pick the few pears, they fell off the tree and returned to the earth.
This year, I'm on it!
I picked 4 unripe pears last week to see what would happen. One of them was ready to eat today. The others are still pretty hard. In the grocery store, somebody has already figured out when to pick the pears and what to do with them. I googled "When to pick pears?" and up popped a bunch of information. This is a trusted site.
They say to pick pears before they are ripe, put them in a cold place (30 degrees) for a few days or longer (depending on the type of pear, Bosc is up to 6 weeks), then take them out let them ripen in your house. When we get pears in the store, they have already been in cold storage and are ready to be ripened in your fruit bowl (65 to 75 degrees). If you want to speed up the ripening process, put them in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana and the ethylene gas from the other fruit will hasten the ripening process.