Friday, November 26, 2010

Mostly Birds, With a bit of Ice Cream

Oops! Meant to put this up Friday. I got busy with company instead. No, no Black Friday Shopping! I hate crowds and I hate mornings, unless I wake up naturally, so that's not for me.

How nice of Ma Nature to give that house a little bay of its own.

Well, Thanksgiving is done. We had quite the religious gathering, with an Episcopal priest and deacon, 3 Presbyterian pastors and a Presbyterian Lay preacher. We had a blast, telling stories, laughing ourselves silly and eating huge amounts of food. Our friend Jill has the most amazingly infectious laugh. But we were thoughtful, too and we all had a very good time. Now it is time for the serious business of leftovers. We ate fairly late, so there were no turkey sandwiches, but you can be sure they are on the menu for today.

For breakfast we are having French toast made from pannettone, that wonderful eggy, buttery Italian holiday bread. If you've never had any, hop on out to TJ Maxx or Marshall's and get one. We'll be having Earl Gray with it, as I think the lemony taste of the bergamot will compliment the bread quite nicely and is strong enough to handle the earthy sweetness of the maple syrup.

This morning, as dawn was breaking, our company and I watched a herd of 8 deer wander through the back yards. One of the mamas wasn't very friendly and kept lashing out at the others. They weren't pleased and eventually she turned around and went back to her own territory. "Our" deer are used to us talking to them and just ignore us, but the ones who weren't here all summer get spooked if we say anything. I wish that would work with the squirrels. We had three of them at the bird feeders this am, so I turned the cats loose. One squirrel almost didn't make it back to his tree and let loose with the most awful stream of invective! So Meek and Eek are camped out under the feeders and the birds just come and go, happily ignoring them. One of the goldfinches has arrived and is surprisingly gold for this time of year. Must be a male.

Now it is snowing, as has been threatened for a while. The red-bellied woodpecker is on the suet feeder, really stocking up - he's eaten about 1/4 of it. And I was wrong - he does indeed have a red head, but since I have seen his belly for 20 minutes, I can attest to a pale red wash on it. The female doesn't appear to have as much, either on her head or belly.

I will leave you with a recipe from 1889 for Tea Ice Cream - we're not as cutting edge as we thought, using tea to cook with! Written as given.

"Steep 2 ounces of the best mixed tea in 3 pints of boiling cream. In the meantime stir 3/4 pound of pulverized sugar and the yolks of 12 eggs or more until thick: add gradually to the cream, boil up once, strain through a hair seive, stirring until cold. Freeze"

I have made homemade ice cream and this is doable, if you are used to cooking and interpreting old recipes - most of my Christmas cookie recipes are like this or more confusing.

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