Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is it summer yet??

I know that Memorial Day marks the informal start of the summer season, but I have a week and a half left of work before summer vacation and it can't come quickly enough.  Although I don't like to be one of those people who is always complaining about work (I know I have it good and I appreciate my job), here goes:  My students are whining, slacking off and plagiarizing.  I'm tired of sitting at the cafe at our fitness club grading papers instead of working out.  This weekend, big sister asked me, "Mom, if you're the teacher, how come you're doing homework?"  Believe me, June 8th can't come fast enough.  Oh, wait, I guess it better not come before I get all this crap amazing student writing graded.

So, let's talk about summer.  I've been talking to anyone who will listen about all the things I want to do this summer:
have lots of friends over
eat vegetables from big sister's garden
swim every day
 run another half marathon (or maybe do a triathlon?) by the end of the summer
cook good food
take a road trip to Oregon
enroll little sister in swim lessons
go to the beach
invite family visiting from out of town (and cousins who live in So Cal) over
get back on a bicycle for the first time in almost 2 years
read books that have nothing to do with grammar or my classes
read more books aloud to my kids
walk to the park
go to farmer's market

How about you?  What's on your summer list?

Maybe you should put "get an ice cream maker" on your list.  Those cuisinart ones get cuter and cheaper every year and they don't take up that much room!  Come on, give it to the man in your life for Father's Day and then you can make your own ice cream . . . without all the yucky ingredients that you can't pronounce that are in a lot of store bought ice cream.

A few weekends ago, we had friends over for dinner.  This was before my "no sugar until Hawaii" idea and I made great homemade ice cream.  I hope it's the beginning of many batches . . . up next will be homemade Cherry Garcia ice cream!  I liked having a recipe that uses cocoa powder (easier and faster) but the texture wasn't the best I've ever made.  I added about 3/4 cup of heath bar chunks (my favorite ice cream add-in) but you could do nothing, nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter cups or chips, white chocolate . . . lots of ideas!

Cocoa Ice Cream (about 1.5 quarts)

1/4 c. powdered unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
4 c. half and half (or 2 c. whole milk & 2 c. cream)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chopped heath bar (optional)

Whisk the cocoa, sugar, water and salt together in a saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until boiling and then simmer for 2 minutes.  Whisk in the half and half and heat just until bubbles appear around the edges.  Temper the egg yolks with some of the cream mixture and then add back to the pan.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.  Chill until cold (overnight is fine) and then put it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Okay . . . off to grade more essays.


  1. I'm with you sister. I just told my husband that I didn't know how many more papers I could read before I just felt like crying. Always, this time of year, I begin to think I need a new career. Usually the summer helps, but I'm teaching two classes this summer. Pray for me.

  2. I will pray for you! I debated teaching a 5 week course during August but decided against it. I haven't been this discouraged in awhile but public speaking and debate classes is never quite as bad as reading papers that make you feel like your students don't care / didn't learn / are big fat cheaters.

  3. Ok, I'm convinced. I'm putting ice cream maker on my Christmas list. Oh wait. Its only June. Oh well, ice cream in the summer of 2012 is something to look forward to. Maybe a nice inclusion for Thurs night family dinners? We can make it a game, what kind of ice cream this week? And I can keep it GF.

  4. On my summer list: run a B&B, run the financial side of a business, and try not to run out of steam! Seriously, I hope to get to the beach and share pool time with the little people in my life.