Monday, October 4, 2010

Hot Dog Bun Pie

I would never have joked about Hot Dog Bun Pie if I had known how heavenly it is!  And when I say heavenly, imagine my eyes rolling skyward.  It is an incredibly yummy and crazy easy dessert. 

After joking about its unusual name (in fact, its unusual being) in my last post, I decided to make it for a gathering of friends last Friday night.  That afternoon, I gathered all the ingredients and was set to assemble and bake it about 45 minutes before I needed to leave.  Having done all that and with plenty of time on my hands, I sat down to play with my son.

You know how sometimes you can tell when your children need your attention?  Not in an emergency kind of way, but they just need you to interact with them and share in what they are doing.  This was Roland on Friday.  He came to the living room where I was sitting and brought a book that folds out to make a train.  Roland loves trains.  “Train?” he said.  Roland has autism, so he doesn’t always say much or understand what I tell him.  But when I managed to correctly read the signs and say, “Roland, why don’t you bring your train over here and we’ll play,” he got it quick.  So we played with the train.  Then we played with toy cars.  Roland also loves cars.  We drove them up and down pretend mountains, through tunnels, over hills and many other prepositions and places.

How I long to always be this kind of mom.  The kind who says, “Come here. Let’s play!”  Far too often the words that my children hear are “I’m sorry, Mommy has to work.”  “Mommy’s busy.”  “Mommy’s tired.”  No parents ever want to be defined by these words.  None of us, whether parents or not, mean to put off the people and things that are most important.  So why do we?  (I don’t think I have to ask if.)  Given our human tendency to postpone the things that matter, I probably don’t have to explain how I cherished my time with Roland and his toy cars.  Right up until I heard Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News and realized that it was an hour past the time I thought it was.

I was late.  Very.  Fortunately Hot Dog Bun Pie is quick to make.  It requires hot dog buns, open and face down in a dish.  Pour over it melted butter and a mixture of milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla, then bake for 20 minutes.  If I had chosen a different recipe, I probably would have been stopping for pound cake on the way to the gathering.  My host was extremely gracious at my overdue arrival.  The other guests were brave enough to try the pie and they loved it. 

On Saturday morning, I made the Southwestern Chicken.  This delicious recipe is also very simple.  It requires little more than opening a few cans and putting things in the crock pot to cook for several hours.  After setting it up, I went with my family on an outing which I will blog about later.  Maybe I’m not such a bad mom after all.

Both recipes are quick and easy; two very popular things in our world today.  Time – not in general but what we have of it – is a fleeting thing.  Though limited, it is not scarce.  It is simply like the finest of sand running through our fingers.  We can grasp as tightly as we want to, but it will escape us eventually.  It will keep moving on whether we like it or not.  We can only hope to be mindful as it runs its course through our lives, and not brush off or casually toss away our time and its possibilities.

On Friday night, when I told friends that I was late because I was playing with my son, they all agreed that it was a very good cause.  They were both kind and right to say so.  But I have to ask myself, if I had had my head screwed on right and had known what time it really was, would I have done the same thing?  Would I have used my time the same way?  I sigh as I think probably not.  But in hindsight, I can easily recognize the gift in the error.  The miracle of time spent wisely and well.  May we all be guilty of such mistakes.

Blessed eating!

Hot Dog Bun Pie
(“If you like egg custard, you will like this!”)
4 hot dog buns                                  2 c. milk
½ c. butter                                          4 eggs
1 c. sugar                                             1 t. vanilla
Open buns and lay face down in a baking dish.  Melt butter and pour slowly over the buns.  Combine sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour over the buns.  Bake at 350o  for 20 minutes or until done.  Serve warm or cold.  -  Learvene T. Bass

Note from Nancy:  I tossed some raspberries on top for added color and flavor. 

Southwestern Chicken
2   15¼-oz cans corn, drained
15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
16-oz jar chunky salsa, divided
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 c low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Combine corn, black beans and ½ cup salsa in slow cooker.  Top with chicken (I brown mine first). Pour remaining salsa over chicken.  Cover.   Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours. Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover 5 minutes for cheese to melt.  My kind of recipe – only 5 ingredients & very little prep.  -  Marilyn Johnson