Friday, September 9, 2016

A Notable Birthday Celebration

Mary Oliver poet and author
Mary Oliver's poetry is grounded in memories of Ohio and her home in New England near Provincetown where she moved to in the 1960's. Her poetry has been influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau. She is known for her clear and poignant observances of the natural world. Her creativity is stirred by nature. Oliver is an avid walker, often pursues inspiration on foot. Her poems are filled with imagery from her daily walks near her home.

Oliver has also been compared to Emily Dickinson with whom she shares an affinity for solitude and interior monologues. Her poetry combines dark introspection with joyous release. Oliver finds the self is only strengthened through an immersion with nature.

Oliver's honors include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts (1972-1973) and the Guggenheim Foundation (1980-1981). She has also received an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award, a Lannan Literary Award, the 1991 Christopher and L.L. Winship/PEN New England Awards, and the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Prize

Mary Oliver September 10, 1935 
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
― Mary Oliver, from "Thirst: Poems" © Beacon Press, 2007.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” 
“I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.” 
For more inspiring thought provoking quotes follow this link below
Cook's notes: How about a decadent cake to celebrate this occasion? Try this really yummy cake recipe from Midwest Living
with toasted coconut, pecans and caramel. It makes a sweet sauce for a twist on German chocolate cake. So easy!

  • 1- 1/2 cups broken pecans
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Dutch processed or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Toasted Coconut-Pecan Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
  • For cake: Grease a 9 inch round cake pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper; set pan aside. 
  • In a food processor, combine pecans, sugar, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, pulsing until nuts are ground. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend or process till nearly smooth.
  • Spread nut mixture in the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degrees oven about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
  • To serve, cut into wedges and place on dessert plates. Drizzle with Toasted Coconut-Pecan Caramel Sauce.
Toasted Coconut-Pecan Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 jar caramel ice cream topping (room temperature)
  • Spread coconut and pecans in a thin layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 6 to 8 minutes or till the coconut is toasted and the nuts are golden brown, stirring once or twice. Remove from oven. In a medium bowl, stir together caramel ice cream topping, coconut and pecans.
  • Drizzle over each serving piece of cake. 

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