The crammed Cannon calendar chronicles lives in the fast-break lane.

Basketball season means legions of games, hours on the bleachers and pounds of potatoes.

Last year alone, Tom and Gayle Cannon tallied attendance at 89 games. This year, they aren't counting.And potatoes ought to arrive at the Cannon home in hundred-pound bags.

With three ballplayers under the roof, basketball is big business. Quen, a Highland varsity mainstay; Matt, a Highland freshman; and Hyrum, a sixth-grader who plays in the Jazz league, perfected their passing on the Cannon driveway.

A driveway only a bounce-pass away from the kitchen.

Lucky for the round-ball players, their mom grew up Southern - a native of North Carolina. That means Southern hospitality on duty and plenty of food on the table.

Food for the Cannon boys but also food for the entire Highland varsity team.

As members of the Highland Booster Club, the Cannons participate with other parents of team members in pre-game dinners. Varsity players shuffle from house to house, collecting a variety of game preparation meals.

And as Quen explained, "We eat a lot, and we eat anything."

Menus change, but appetites seldom dwindle as the team gathers prior to a game.

Kerry Hicks, a solid center at 6-foot-6, explained, "The best thing about the dinners is to see how different people eat. I've tried new things, but I've never found anything I didn't like."

At home Hicks is a carbo-load man. Bring on the rice, potatoes or pancakes, and Hicks is no longer hungry.

As a child in Mountain Green, Morgan County, Hicks harvested backyard strawberries, then buried piles of pancakes with the crop.

"We moved to Salt Lake, gave up the strawberry patch, but Kerry won't give up fresh strawberries on his pancakes," his mother, Dale, admitted.

Hicks never gives up on eating and, like his teammates, looks forward to varsity dinners together.

Brian Rasmussen, lone sophomore on the squad, admits he enjoys the camaraderie of the dining ritual, but the best part is "the great moms and their good homecooked meals."

For Connie Wayment, mother of another pair of players, Adam and Mac, the home cooking seems continuous.

"I concentrate on meals that will last through the week. I always cook a huge roast, a ham or a turkey on the weekend, then spread it throughout the week. But with the meat, I always have lots of potatoes and gravy. I keep the boys filled up on potatoes," the Idaho native admitted.

Wayment uses homemade bread as another hearty meal supplement.

"Feeding the boys is a matter of a lot of food, but a snack of homemade-bread toast and raspberry jam gets them to the next full meal," the basketball mom said.

Joe Sheffield, senior guard and Air Force Academy-bound quarterback, fills the time out between meals with blender concoctions like Orange Julius.

According to his father, Sherm, "Joe's learned what works for him. He lays off sweets and carbonation. I've offered him something sweet before a game, but he's determined to get the best performance, and he's learned how to do that."

With the output of activity created by a basketball, the amount of calories a player consumes is seldom a concern.

Andrew Nelson, 6-foot-4, 160-pound junior, confessed a total disregard for his caloric intake, as he shared his favorite cookie recipe with Deseret News readers. "I, admittedly, have never baked these cookies, but my mom has baked about a million times, and I, personally, have eaten several thousand - and look how thin I turned out."

Beyond the basics of basketball, the Highland team and team parents share a commitment - a commitment to each other as well as to healthy eating.

And a long-standing commitment to family involvement in Highland sports.

Jeff Judkins, former Highland player and present University of Utah assistant coach recalled the team dinners during his 70's tenure on the high school team.

"I think the team get-togethers started in 1966, when Doug Howard and John Landures and those guys met before the game. They watched TV, had a little popcorn and went home. Then the mothers got involved and they had desserts, too. By the my junior year, in 1973, we were having sit down dinners and as far as I know, they've continued since."

And as Connie Wayment summarized, "These boys are like my family. I have eight of my own, but I wouldn't miss a football game because some of `our boys' were playing. My own sons don't play football, but our other boys do. They become a part of our family when we spend so many years watching them play ball together."

A well-fed family.

Growing teenagers, involved in athletics or not, ought to pay attention to daily nutritional requirements. According to a recent Gallup Poll, "today's teens are aware of the fundamentals of good eating, but their actual eating behavior seems at odds with their nutritional knowledge. For example, while 87 percent of those surveyed said they put a lot of effort into a good diet, 79 percent listed hamburgers, cheese-burgers, pizza and luncheon meats as preferred foods."

Not that fast-food meals are harmful in themselves, but a steady diet of quick-serve dinners may omit necessary nutrients.

Tufts University, in describing the diet of teenage boys, suggests that while they may consume many "junk" foods, that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't getting enough of the nutrients they need. "Teenage boys eat so much of all kinds of food that their diets usually end up meeting their needs."

An active teenage boy, during the peak growth years, may need as many as 4,000 calories to maintain body weight.

Teenage girls, on the other hand, who reach maximum growth at 15, may have to consume less than 2,000 calories to avoid being overweight.

Teenagers involved in athletic competition, weight training and conditioning focus on performance. Widespread national concern about the use of performance-enhancing drugs prompted the publication of a recent University of Utah booklet, "Peak Performance With Steroids," by Cynthia N. Bainbridge and James A. Walker. Written with the support of the Utah State Department of Human Services and the PEAK Academy, department of exercise and sport science at the university, the brochure addresses the subject of steroid use, then follows with nutritional and training alternatives to optimum performance.

Though geared specifically to participating athletes, the basic premises of nutrition in the booklet apply to teenagers as a group:

- Guideline 1: Fifteen percent to 20 percent of the diet should be quality protein prepared with low-fat cooking methods like broiling.

- Guideline 2: Fat should be kept at 15-20 percent of the diet, particularly near performance time. Fats found in butter, sauces, gravies and sweets require a longer digestive period, and thus, may impede athletic ability. Fats used for energy production in the body are the ones that are released from the body's fat stores.

- Guideline 3: Remaining calories should come from complex carbohydrate sources like whole-grain cereals, breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates fuel the body with energy during sustained as well as explosive, demanding activities.

- Guideline 4: Consume most of your calories early in the day with a hearty, well-balanced breakfast and lunch."A large meal eaten in the evening has a greater tendency to result in fat weight gain than does a substantial breakfast."

- Guideline 5: Rather than eating three oversize meals in a day, eat moderate amounts and subsidize with healthy snacks throughout the day.

Note: For further information, contact the PEAK Academy at the University of Utah, 581-8687.

*****

(recipe)

Mom's cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon sugar

Filling:

8 eggs, separated

11/2 cups sugar

4 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine crust ingredients and press in bottom and sides of 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.

Beat egg yolks until thick and pale and gradually beat in sugar. Slowly add cheese, then lemon juice and lemon peel. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold in. Turn into the crust-lined springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until barely set. Remove from oven and increase heat to 400 degrees. Combine sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and spread on top of cheesecake. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn off oven, open oven door, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill overnight. Makes 16 servings.- From Jeff Hamula

Spaghetti Casserole

1 pound vermicelli, spaghetti or other pasta

2 pounds lean ground beef

3 tablespoons sage

2 teaspoons oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Sprinkle of garlic salt

Accent, optional

3 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups cottage cheese

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup minced scallions or green onions

1 tablespoon green pepper, chopped

Cheddar cheese, grated Cook pasta and drain. Brown meat, adding seasonings as you cook. Stir in tomato sauce and remove from heat. Combine cheeses, onions and green pepper. Place in layers in casserole; pasta, cheese mixture, meat mixture, repeat ending with meat. May top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 10-12 servings.

Thai Fried Rice

1/4 cup oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup chopped meat of choice

6 cups cooked rice

6 eggs

3 green onions, minced

Soy sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic in oil. Add eggs and scramble. Add meat and rice and mix; while shaking in soy sauce till all rice is covered and brown. Add chopped green onions, salt and pepper to taste. Can add cabbage for color and variety. - From Kerry Hicks

Wayments' Peanut Butter Bars

2 cups sugar

2 cups light corn syrup

2 cups peanut butter

12 cups "Special K" or cornflakes cereal

1 package (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Combine sugar and corn syrup; stir until dissolved. Blend in peanut butter and pour over cereal. Spread on greased 10-by-15-inch cookie sheet. Top with chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes or untilchocolate melts enough to spread. Cut into squares.- From Mac and Adam Wayment

Grilled Marinated Turkey

4 turkey breast fillets

2 tablespoons salad oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Add turkey fillets to sauce. Stir well. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 6-8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Remove fillets. Cook over moderate coals. Brush with marinade during cooking process.- From Quen Cannon

Spaghetti Sauce

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1-2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

3/4 pound lean ground beef

4 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt to taste

1 small bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until transparent. Remove onion and garlic; set aside. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon oil and saute the mushrooms for 5 minutes; set aside. To the same skillet add the meat and saute until brown.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan heat the tomato sauce, paste and water. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, meat, sugar, celery, parsley, salt, bay leaf, basil and oregano. Cover and simmer for 2 hours; remove the bay leaf and serve. Serves 6.

Sugar Cookies

11/3 cups margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

6 tablespoons margarine, softened

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of almond flavoring, optional

Milk to make spreadable consistency

Soften margarine; cream with sugar, vanilla, eggs and milk. Blend in dry ingredients. Divide dough in half; wrap in wax paper and chill at least one hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface to 3/8-inch thick. Cut in desired shapes. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes, or until edge begins to turn golden brown.

For frosting, blend ingredients, adding milk a little at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cutters.

From Andrew Nelson

Pretzel Salad Dessert

2 cups crushed pretzels

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup melted butter or margarine

1 box (6 oz.) raspberry jello

2 cups boiling water

1 can (6 oz.) crushed pineapple and juice

1 package frozen raspberries

1 carton (8 oz.) frozen dairy topping

1 cup sugar

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese

Mix together crushed pretzels, 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter; spread into a 9-by-13-inch pan, pressing firmly to bottom and sides of pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes; let stand until cool.

Mix jello with boiling water until jello is dissolved. Add pineapple with juice and frozen raspberries; chill until soft set. Mix together softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and thawed dairy topping. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled pretzel crust, pour jello mixture over the top and spread evenly. Chill until firm. Makes 10-12 servings.