Friday, January 9, 2009

January 9th, 2009; Banana Bread Recipe

I took a much-needed walk late this afternoon, and I couldn't have picked a prettier time of day to go! A full moon followed me as I went along, even though darkness was over an hour away. Every branch and pine needle on every tree and shrub was encased in ice; remnants from another storm earlier this week. The wind was howling through the woods, which made all the branches tinkle like fairybells. The road was covered in the fallen and broken bits of ice that looked like a million shards of shattered glass, and the fading sun shimmered off every piece along the way. I was about part-way around the lake, and was approaching the spot where I most often see a pure-black squirrel... and was just thinking how I hadn't seen him in a few months... when suddenly I spied a black critter slinking over the ice-crusted snow. It wasn't the squirrel, but looked like a mink, yet it was ebony black. It was too small and slender to be a fisher, and not two-toned in color as a weasel. When it caught sight of me, it bolted across the field and into a small culvert. That was that! I couldn't help but make a mental note to secure the barn doors especially well when I closed the chickens in for the night. It was nearly dark when I came home, so I headed to the barn to do just that! I collected nine eggs tonight, including two goose eggs. I have never known the geese to lay this early, as they usually only lay in spring when the weather is warmer. I am rather puzzled by this, and also find it curious that the chickens are still laying even a few eggs with such frigid temperatures. Is anyone else experiencing any peculiarities in their neck of the woods?

I made a batch of Banana Bread yesterday, and though I'm sure you have a million recipes for it, I'll include mine, which was given to me a few years back by my friend, Stacey. I hope you don't mind the additions I made! I can never leave a recipe alone...

Laura's Banana Walnut Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine 4 or 5 mashed Bananas, 1/2 cup Vanilla yogurt, 1/4 cup Canola Oil, 1 & 1/4 cups Sugar, 2 Eggs and 1 teaspoon of Almond (or Vanilla)Extract. Beat til well-incorporated, then add 2 & 1/4 cups Flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon Baking Soda and 1 cup broken Walnuts. Stir gently til dry ingredients are just incorporated with the wet, and pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day... 2009

I opened the kitchen door this morning to toss out a handful of kitchen scraps to the half-dozen crows huddled underneath the bird-feeders, and I startled (and was startled by!) two yearling deer who have discovered the cracked corn that the bluejays scratch out of the feeders. The older doe who accompanied them over the summer is nowhere to be seen, so they are on their own now. They visit throughout the day, and are becoming accustomed to the crows, dozens of jays and even the Sumatra hens that fly over from the barn to glean what they can from under the maple tree.
We had dinner at mom's tonight... a wonderful way to usher in the New Year with lots of family feasting on ham, turkey and all the fixings! Blessings for a wonderful New Year. xox ~Laura