Dust and Wanderlust & a Recipe for Johnny Cakes

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The month of love continues with one of my very favorite things to talk about.... what lights people up and gets them excited. I also refer to this as your bliss. Or, loving what you love. 

Perfect happiness. Great joy. 
Synonyms: pleasure, delight, ecstasy, elation, rapture, euphoria.

I truly, truly, TRULY believe that this is what life's all about. We were given these loves for a reason. There is no one else on the face of the planet that has the exact same combination of skills, talents, and interests as you do. 

What this means, is that when we take the time to recognize and find space for our bliss, several things happen: 

#1 We become insanely happy. What makes you happier than doing the things you love to do? 
#2 We become peace... even if only for that moment. Peace is addictive, and contagious... and intriguing. 
#3 We inspire others to do what they love to do. (See #1) 

So, get to it. Dig up and uncover your bliss, then submerge yourself in it fully. It's one of the most loving and healing things you could possibly do for the world.

And here's a little secret... by doing this, you fill a void on this planet that only you (with your unique skill set) have the capabilities of filling. Now you're helping the world doubly.  Holla! 

Coming up in the near future, I will be sharing with you some people who are fully submersed into loving what they love. 

Starting today with my girlfriend Michelle and her great love of travel.... a passion that we both share. I could listen to her tell stories of her travels and life experiences all day long. (Did I mention she's an incredible story teller as well?) 

Get ready to be inspired, and get out your shovel. You've got some digging to do. 

The Lovely Michelle

As kids, my family drove all over exploring and learning. When I think about how I grew up, it’s no wonder now that my greatest joy in life revolves around travelling. We’ve shared a ton of memories and laughs that nothing could replace or compare to. And now I love taking my kids to see new places and uncover the secrets and unique traits that those destinations hold.  Together, the kids and I have seen 21 states and I’ve been to 33. And we will eventually see them all and experience all of the one of a kind moments they have to show us.

I have a deep love for my Country and all of the magical places that it is home to. I’ve been brought to tears by snow capped mountains, especially the first time I saw them in Washington. And since then, I’ve visited the Tetons and camped in the Rockies. My stomach flips each time I cross over the Mississippi heading West.

Michelle with her kiddos at The Rockies

 I have stopped the car hundreds of times to capture a stunning sunset or a vast, wide open space.  It never quite captures the beauty, but it serves as a bookmark in my memory of stunning moments in my life.  These pictures serve as ongoing reminders of how blessed I am, and reminders that I’ve made the right choice by following my bliss. 

Nebraska Sunset 

I like to think that the greatest form of love that I can show to my children is to pass along traits that have served me well in my life. I show them unconditional love and support, of course. All of the typical parental “duties”. But I have also given them two gifts, two traits of mine that have gotten me through highs and lows, thick and thin: My wonderment and my wanderlust. 

Wonderment is defined as “to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel”.   Wanderlust means “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.”  Both words are woven into the fabric that makes me who I am and they are parts that I could never function without. They feed my soul every day.  
My travels have reinvented me, redirected me when I needed it most, and reminded me time and time again to come back to what is simple and true.  I came across the quote by Tolkien that said “Not all who wander are lost”. I don’t know if I’ve heard truer words.  In fact, those who travel have been found. Our passion for life has directed us to where we need to be, on the dusty back roads and Americas highways. Through mountain ranges and along ocean drives. We have road dust in our blood, after all.

Be sure to stop by Dust & Wanderlust... Michelle's little corner of cyber-land.

Because I spend weeks of my year in a travel trailer, Im constantly looking for simple yet diverse recipes that are easy to make in a skillet over a fire or on the camper stove (or home for that matter). Johnny cakes go way back. There was a rumor that they started in Rhode Island, but it’s also a very old Native American recipe. They’re simple, easy to prepare and can be topped with anything from butter to syrup to fruit preserves. Not matter where they originated they’ve been part of American home food for a long time. Hopefully, you’ll make them a part of yours.  

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

~ Whisk together cornmeal, salt and sugar (if used).  
~ Bring water to a boil and pour over the meal mixture, whisking to prevent lumps. 
~ Let the batter rest 10 minutes.
~ Butter a large skillet or griddle and bring it to about 375 degrees, just to a sizzle (don’t burn the butter). ~ Add enough milk (1/2 to a cup) to the batter to make it the consistency of mashed potatoes, and drop by spoonfuls to make cakes about 2 or 3 inches wide and several inches apart (they will spread).  Let the cakes gently sizzle on the grill for about 6 minutes or as long as 11 minutes until you bring them to a deep golden brown on the bottom and slightly firm on the top, before turning them over.
~ Add some more butter to the griddle, and/or place a thin pat of butter on each cake, before turning them over and cooking for another 6 minutes (or longer) until they are a deep golden brown color.  
~Serve with butter and honey, or maple syrup.

Oh My Word! I need these in my belly... and I can totally veganize them! ;).... Thanks Michelle!

Besides her blog, Dust & Wanderlust, you can also find Michelle on:
Pinterest (I want to live in her pin boards... she has incredible pictures)

PS Michelle has a really cool perspective and a unique legacy. To read more about her take on life and learn how her great grandmom had a movie made about her, go here

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