Tuesday, September 28, 2010

nap quest

I got into a conversation about napping the other day with a couple of friends.  I know this sounds simplistic, but after taking an informal survey of a decidedly small segment of the population (do four people qualify as a focus group?) I've since come to the conclusion that the world is divided up into nappers and non-nappers.

Non-napper types generally feel that sleeping during the hours we're supposed to be awake and productive is wasteful. Time spent napping could be better utilized doing something productive, like checking your facebook page  balancing the checkbook, or  reading blogs emptying the dishwasher.  They employ slogans such as "Sleep is for the weak", or "I'll have plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead", along with copious amounts of caffeine to get them through the day.

A typical non-napper type getting her caffeine fix.

Nappers are generally divided into three camps: the Unabashedly Laid Back,  Guilt-Ridden Snoozers, and Master Nappers. The ULB's talk of the restorative effects of the 15-minute Power Nap. They quote studies that support their theories, and insist that scientists at Harvard have determined that a midday snooze reverses information overload. (wikipedia)  

The Guilt-Ridden Snoozers, on the other hand, also believe in the benefits of napping but due to a childhood spent under the influence of parents who adopted a strict work ethic during the Great Depression, they find it difficult to nap with a clear conscience. A typical GRS can usually be spotted in the prone position with an open book, magazine or newspaper on his or her chest. If caught dozing off, they will insist, "I was just resting my eyes!"
photo borrowed from here

And the third category of napper? Master Nappers are those who have achieved the highest level of Napology. See photos below:

A true Master Napper can nap anywhere, at any time.

This is known in the trade as a Napportunity.

The training to become a Master Napper 
must begin at an early age

and is successful only if practiced on a regular basis.

 Another hallmark of the Master Napper is the Group Nap

where three or more Master Nappers
meet to practice in a warm and cozy place.

Synchronized Napping 

is a highly developed art form

practiced by teams of Master Nappers.

MN's take Nap Form very seriously

but are sometimes mistaken for Unabashedly Laid Back Nappers.

I hope this post has helped to illuminate the plight of all misunderstood Nappers (yawn!). As it is only through understanding and education that we can promote tolerance for all.
Now I really must go and get another cup of coffee, because I'm suddenly feeling very sleepy.... 

Buenas noches

Monday, September 6, 2010

on number thirty five

I love being married.
It's so great to find that one special person
you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
- Rita Rudner

* * * * * * * * * *

Friday, September 3, 2010

another recipe, or you could just sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor's porch...

We are now officially over Zucchini Madness Week at Camp Cactus. The crop has finally slowed way down, now producing only about one zuke the size of a 7 year old's tibia every few days.

A more sane and manageable number, even for a zucchini lover like myself. In all seriousness, there is just so much squash a person can take! So, here's one more recipe, in case you still have a squash surplus.

Zucchini Cake

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups safflower or vegetable oil (not olive oil)
3 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 12 oz pkg chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Coarsely grate zucchini.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, oil, zucchini, vanilla and chocolate chips, and stir together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thoroughly moist. Spray an angel food cake pan (or a 15" x 10" x 2" rectangular pan, or two 9" round pans) with non stick cooking spray and dust with flour.

Dump the whole mess of batter into your cake pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (About 1+ hour for the angel food cake pan, or 45+ minutes for the rectangular pan, or about 30 minutes for the round pans.) Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of pans and finish cooling on the rack before frosting. (Recipe below)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1/2 cups powdered sugar

With an electric mixer (or a lot of elbow grease), cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Slowly add the sugar, mixing until creamy after each addition. Taste all along the way, adding more sugar if you like it very sweet, less if you like it more tangy. (I like tangy)
Frost the cake and lick the spatula!

I forgot a few steps in the photography process, so let's just jump to the finished slice, shall we?