Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blueberry Muffin recipe

The weekend is here, and with that comes baking. Kaitlyn is here from New Hampshire to spend a week with Mandy, so last night I made Sticky Buns and Blueberry Muffins to have on hand for a quick snack or breakfast. I made a pot of Vegetable Bean Soup this morning and headed outdoors to shovel a bit around the barn and greenhouse, as we are supposed to get another snowstorm tonight and tomorrow, and I did not want the weight of the snow from the other day plus an additional 6 to 8 inches that is expected with this storm to wreak havoc on either structure.

I just finished putting together an Ice-Cream cake, as I am having Sunday dinner tomorrow night, and need to make a batch of coleslaw to go with the Pulled Pork I will slow-cook tomorrow. I am the only vegetarian in my family... my three sons, daughter and their significant others will tolerate meatless dishes, but when all get together, they prefer something more substantial!

So I am off to make coleslaw, but thought I'd give you my recipe for the muffins. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Blueberry Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl, sift together
2 cups of Flour
1 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds

In a second bowl, combine the following wet ingredients
1 cup Milk
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Lemon (or Orange) Juice
6 Tablespoons melted Butter
2 cups fresh or frozen Blueberries

Beat wet ingredients well, then add the dry ingredients, stirring only til just incorporated. Put into paper liners in your muffin pan and sprinkle heavily with Cinnamon-and-Sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's snowing again!

As I headed out for a walk early this sunny morning, my ears tuned in to a chorus of birds that I was only vaguely familiar with. As I passed by the crabapple tree nearest the barn, I saw it was filled with a flock of Cedar or Bohemian Waxwings. They were busily dining on all the crabapples that I never got around to stringing and drying this past fall. I only wish I had turned around and gone back for my camera, as it is rare to see these lovely birds, for they only pass through on their homeward migration, where-ever that may be. Their visit is brief... perhaps an hour or two, as they stop to rest and eat... and then they are on their way again. I have missed them the past two years, so this was a lovely sight.

Now it is evening, and snow has been falling softly for several hours. We are expected to get 4 to 6 inches by tomorrow, which will cover all the bare spots and give the remaining dirt-spattered snow a fresh, clean covering of white! The temperature has been in the upper thirties and low forties for many days, which has compacted the snow and topped it all with a slick, hard crust. I shoveled out a pathway to the greenhouse in anticipation of seed-starting, and I am pleased to say that it has withstood the heavy snows and icings of this winter without collapsing! Now I need to call my neighbor and have a chat with him about rigging up some type of heater to maintain the temperature during the night...

Well, til next time, and I'll leave you with a snippet of verse from the tome "Rhymes of Vermont Rural Life" written by one of my favorite poets, Daniel L. Cady
How pleasant winter used to be, when snow was cheap and ice was free!
No cold, no frost, could then subdue our hearts or make our boozums stew;
The drifts shut out the evidence, tis very true, of wall and fence,
But that was satisfactory, too, for snow was made to waddle through.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Wishes to You!

I had to stop in to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day! Hope yours was filled with love, happiness, and chocolate! (Or at least something sweet!) Thanks to my brother, I spent the last two days delivering Valentine's Day arrangements for a local florist, with Mom's help! I have never seen so many roses in my life!

Our snow level has drastically been reduced due to very warm temperatures in the 40's over the past several days. I've seen a half-dozen robins and at least as many bluebirds this past week... spring will be here eventually. But I've lived in the North Country long enough to know that a sizeable snowstorm often occurs in February or March, so spring is a ways off yet! Still, I have been thinking about what I want to plant in the gardens this year, and am itching to use the greenhouse we built in the fall.

Well, I apologize for such a short post, but I am headed to sleep! I'll be in touch soon! Til next time ~Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Sunday, February 1, 2009

For The Birds

Sigh... February 1st!
We had another snowstorm just the other day which brought with it another foot of fresh powder. Alas, still no packable snow for snow-sculpting! But we may have a storm heading our way in two days, so I'll hold my breath and cross my fingers just in case!

I've been trying to get in an hour's worth of snowshoeing most days. It is so beautiful in the woods, and the snow is quite deep; so the first paths take a while to stomp down, and during the night, the deer secretly make their own improvements to my trail. Last week I bundled up 2-year-old Anthony, (my middle son's girlfriend's little man!) wrapped him in a blanket, plunked him on a sled, harnessed myself to the front, and headed to the woods. We spent over two hours studying deer and coyote tracks, checking out holey tree stumps and trunks, peering down miniature snow tunnels to see if we could get a glimpse of the little mice who had tip-toed into them, and listening quietly to an unseen pilated woodpecker working high amongst some buggy branches. We had a lovely time, and Anthony did not wish to head "home"!

It is part of my daily routine to keep the birdfeeders full, and because of the cold temperatures and all the snow, before I head to the barn to take care of all those birds, I first restock what the wild ones have depleted. There are over 75 bluejays, at least as many finches, 6 crows, a pair of cardinals, several red and grey squirrels, and a large assortment of snowbirds (juncos), woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice and sparrows that visit daily. The crows arrive almost precisely at 8 am, though the bluejays seem to be the first to feast. The others come and go as the day presses on, along with the two deer who often visit in the late afternoon to tidy up what's left under the feeders. I offer no fancy mixes to the wild ones... seperate sacks of black-oil sunflower seeds and cracked corn are the main-stays, supplemented with smaller amounts of safflower (for the cardinals), peanuts (for the squirrels), suet cakes (for the downy woodpeckers), thistle seed (for the finches), and occasionally (when my co-op has a sale!) sunflower hearts to mix in with the black-oil. I'm not sure if I or the 7 cats enjoy watching the antics at the feeders the most! I've included a photograph snapped from the side porch of some of the finches on a recent visit. Til next time....