Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snowy backyard visitors and bread

It's been crazy snowy this winter apparently. I have heard from a number of seasoned New Englanders that this is just not the normal weather we have here. As I look out my window, the snow is softly falling, piling up a few inches on top of the already deep and frozen snow that we have in the yard. And tomorrow we can expect 6 to 12 inches more! I keep thinking that it just won't happen to us... we can't possibly get more heavy snow than we've already had, can we?

When I was a kid we lived in Groton, CT. If you've lived in a place where it has the potential to snow, you know that every kid's dream in the winter is that it will snow heaps, that school will be cancelled, and that you will be able to spend the whole magical day outside playing in the stuff. That RARELY happened to us. Yet the kids around here have been out of school so many days this winter I've lost track!

I'm prepared to believe anything of the weather at this point. But we're handling it well. Noah goes to a cozy warm office every day where they feed him breakfast and lunch and have espresso, coffee, cocoa and anything else he could want all day every day. And I don't have to go out in it at all if I don't choose to. Yesterday I woke up to below zero temperatures... and when it had warmed up to 10 degrees I took Tag to meet his friend Tilly at the beach! They had a great time romping in the ice, snow and sand while Renee and I trundled around in our multiple layers with our noses pink from exposure to the wind.

I took some pictures of our back yard creatures for you to experience. We're using the Costco birdfood again, after a stint with BJ's... I like Costco's better, and so do the birds. While we were on BJs we didn't see very much of Mr. Cardinal. We saw Mrs. a few times, but I think there were not enough sunflower seeds for Mr. As you'll see, he's back.

Also, Mr. Rudolph the squirrel (a childhood reference if my sister is reading, which I doubt) finally had his day. Before this current snow we had an icing so the snow around the birdfeeder was not only deep enough but also solid enough for him to hop onto the feeder.

For those of you who comment, do you like this version of this photo or the one below?

In other news, I borrowed a book from the library the other day on bread making, because... while I love Irma and Marion and would NEVER cheat on them (Joy of Cooking, yes, I call them by their first names)... I was searching for something a little more creative in the bread making area.

I LOVE bread. Love love love. So I was intrigued by this book title: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It sounded too good to be true. I brought it home and read the first few chapters about their revolutionary style... blah blah blah... and I decided I would try it. I was a skeptic. I was sure it couldn't be that simple. Bread needs to rise hours at a time. Bread needs to be kneaded by hand or mixer or bread machine... They said no! And by golly, they were right! We've eaten 3 small loaves over the past week, and I have one more loaf's worth of dough in the fridge waiting to be baked. I'm officially converted! The crusts were so crispy and crackly! The crumb was so soft and flavorful! And I got up the other morning, pulled off a hunk of dough and we had hot fresh bread for breakfast!!!!

I hope Irma and Marion don't mind...


  1. I have to admit a teensy bit of jealousy over your piles of snow...but 10 degrees? Oh my...I think I'll pass on that! Can't believe you were out in it (I'm such a wimp). Love ALL the pics...did you use an action or special lens on the first bird pic? It looks like glass! Very cool :-)

  2. Thanks Maggie :) Any effects are added afterwards... Just used my IS Zoom lens to get the shot. I must admit, a little editing goes a long way.

  3. I like the HDR looking one (i.e. the top one) and LOVE the squirrel one AND the Tag covered in snow one!!!

    I want yummy bread! <3

  4. Mmmm...that bread looks delicious! And, I've seen that book too! I didn't get it for lack of cash...could I have the recipe!? How rude is that? And to think...I'm a southerner just like you. Oh well. Hope you are having a wonderful day, love, J

  5. Jackie, I will most certainly send you the recipe. :) Look for it in your FB mailbox. <3


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