Monday, October 22, 2018

I Bake Because I Love You

The youngerchild takes Latin. Last year the fun project was gladiatorial combat using cardboard armor (and weapons) that was graded on its period accuracy. This year, they will be escaping Pompeii, or trying to, during the volcanic eruption.

Snacks for the class were optional.

Originally the youngerchild asked for Lava cakes but we realized they needed to be baked and served immediately. That wouldn't do. Then we discussed cupcakes with lava colored filling. That led to the inevitable...cream puffs with lava colored filling.

Here's what I know - 1. I am terribly out of practice. 2. One full batch of pate a choux makes a whole lot of cream puffs. And swan bodies (I'm freezing those, thinking about Thanksgiving which is not that far away). 3. My hands aren't as strong as they were while I was in culinary school (see #1, above). 4. Swan heads don't need to be baked for 20 minutes, 15 minutes will do (the first batch burned, whoops!). 5. I have clearly forgotten how to make fondant topping. I did manage to save it after it broke, just barely, and half a batch is just enough for 3 dozen cream puffs. 6. I'm dreading starting my new kitchen and desperate for it at the same time.

Anyway, here are the lava puffs. And I'm exhausted. They literally took all day.

I love you, kiddo.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Notes on a Long, Cold Week

In the ever-fluctuating weather of New England, it's been REALLY COLD. And sometimes rainy. But COLD. It was 33˚F this morning. However, now it's a balmy 57˚F and I needed to get into the hives.

I'd planned to take the feeders out entirely, particularly since Beeyonce's hive hadn't really been taking as much syrup. I took advantage of this nice weather and got in there, removing the feeder and moving the false back closer to the combs. For Phoebee's hive, I'd planned to do the same but since they were a younger colony and the weather is supposed to be a little warmer over the weekend, I gave them a new jar of syrup. One more, before the cold sets in for real.

Recently we also went apple picking, in the rain, although the rain gods were kind and it only drizzled while we were out in the fields. I made a pie for the elderchild's birthday but haven't even decided how much applesauce I'm going to make. We're eating our way through the rest for now and I'll see how much applesauce we need before I start going crazy. We haven't been eating through it as quickly as we used to. I guess as the kids grow older they don't see applesauce as a snack.

Yesterday I picked up the penultimate farm share. I didn't spend a lot of time in the fields but did get a whole lot of kale and parsley. There were squashes and potatoes and brussels sprouts and all sorts of terrific autumn veggies. I'm a little inundated with escarole but I will make another batch of soup with some of it. Tuscan-style escarole and white bean soup is one of my favorites.

What I should be doing is taking advantage of this great weather and cleaning up the yard a bit. But I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Maybe I'm a Disney Princess?

I think he's a yellow-throated vireo. And a young one, at that.
Today as I drove into the parking lot at work I saw a little yellow fluff on the parking deck. It didn't seem like a leaf to me. After I parked I went back to see if I was imagining things and, no, I wasn't. It was a little bird.

But he was just sitting there! So I picked him up, thinking he was hurt. He sat in my hands and let me pet him and seemed maybe a little dazed. Maybe he'd hit the windows above? I couldn't see a nest up in the building above the parking deck, so a window was the most likely reason he was just sitting on the ground. I checked out his wings, made sure they both extended fully, and wondered if maybe he needed to sit in the sun until he could warm up and be ready to fly.

I carried him over to the sunnier part of the parking deck, near the trees. Then I decided to try to give him a little toss, to see what he might do. He fluttered a bit and landed in my hands. I tried again. This time he fluttered his wings, took off, and flew into the nearby trees.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Thing of Beauty

Our dishwasher arrived today.

It's shiny and quiet and, most importantly, doesn't leak. I'm so happy!