Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Last weekend I happened to look up while in the kitchen and this is what I saw. If Daddy is home and it's a nice day this is consistently the view through the screen door.
I think it's my favorite.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Once when I was a kid a robin's nest fell from a tree in the back yard. They were the ABC Triplets - Albert, Becky and Cathy. Unfortunately, only one made it to adulthood. When he was ready, we released him and he was gone for several days.
I very vividly remember the day he came back. It was pouring rain and we had been to the grocery store. Albert's (or Al-burd as my brother called him) angry chirping could be heard through the back porch door. He marched in the door clearly irritated to have been in the rain. He dried out, spent the night in his laundry basket home then left the next day never to return.
When I picked up this little bird he seemed to melt into the warmth of my cupped hands. We put him in a shoe box with a dish towel and checked on him a few times. The way his little body sagged - I didn't think he'd make it through the night. Gratefully, I was wrong.
After a 12 hour nap, he awakened with his scrawny neck craning and beak wide open. He was ready for breakfast. We dug some worms and he gobbled 4 small ones down and settled in for a (very brief) nap.
At the rehab facility we were happy to hear that we had done a good job. Our little bird is snuggled in with 4 others of the same age and in time, will be released.
Sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help. I hope she is as proud as we are.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Last Saturday, my friend Owen, Ella, my mom, and I went to the Green Festival on Navy Pier in Chicago.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The rhubarb was a gift from a friend years ago and is full of slender stalks. I've picked some already and can't decide what to make first. Compote, pie, crisp, fool, muffins or cake. I'm leaning towards a Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake.
I am so proud to have gotten the garden in so early this year. Usually the best laid plans don't work out and I scramble to do what I can. There is a lot more to come from our plot this year - we will eat well. Tomatoes, chard, garlic, carrots, beets, Rose Finn potatoes, honeydew melon, acorn squash, raspberries, broccoli and many, many herbs.
I can't wait.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Murray has survived two cats, three kids and one Henry. It's just been in the last year that people say he looks aged as opposed being perceived as a puppy. I try not to get bent out of shape but am quick to defend him, sharing his fence leaping prowess and energetic games of chase.
Murray will be 6 in July and I love him more than you could ever know.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I think it takes tons of courage to be an entrepreneur. It's easy to have ideas and grand plans but really tough to see it to fruition. I am so proud of him and can't wait to watch his business grow!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Last night, I made a great dinner that included this amazing chicken dish, local asparagus and smashed new potatoes. It was delicious and even the Downings not fond of mushrooms LOVED it!
Chicken in Morel Cream Sauce
2 1/2 to 3 c. whole morels (or 10 oz. dry)
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
4 boneless chicken breast, skin on
3/4 c, flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 shallot, chopped
3/4 c. dry white wine
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 T. fresh thyme
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Briefly soak mushrooms in salted water to rinse out any bugs then gently dry. If using dry mushrooms rehydrate in hot water till softened. Slice mushrooms and set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add butter and olive oil.
Season each breast with a little salt and pepper and then dredge with flour. Shake off the excess and add to the hot pan, skin side down. Cook on both sides until golden brown, remove and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add shallot and mushrooms. Saute until fragrant. Add wine and increase heat to high, allowing wine to reduce by half.
Lower heat to medium and slowly add cream and thyme, whisk to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Return chicken to pan and cook chicken completely through. Remove from heat and top each chicken breast with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme.
Enjoy the taste of spring!
Monday, May 11, 2009
I made two filling bases and changed up a few of the ingredients in each. This is ricotta, spinach, sauteed pepper and onion with hot Italian sausage.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Apple blossoms are a close second. He suggested we cut off some branches and plant them in our yard like flowers.
We saw many pretty things. This looked so quaint and gave us more li-lashes to smell.
We heard lots of "honking" geese and even a fire truck. And we did find all the violets we could ever want.
Even though we sat in goose poop while picking our flowers, it was still a really wonderful walk!
Here are a few...
Today, I enjoyed the thrill of the hunt and intuition tells me there will be more.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
They now thrive in my yard with memories of Grandma.
Friday, May 1, 2009
After a quick spray of simple syrup and a tap on the ground the queen is removed and the girls are delicately "dumped" into the brood box. I think my technique needs work but they seemed to have landed safely.
The little wooden box in the middle is the queen. It has a candy plug that she and her ladies in waiting eat through to free her. The others are gently brushed in before covering and setting in a feeding jar to get them started.
I am now the proud mother of another brood. I must admit that I do feel a bit giddy like a new mom. I am constantly looking out the window just to see the hive sitting in the corner of my garden. Anticipating. While I am grateful I won't be awakened every two hours as with a new baby, I do want to constantly check on them.