Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring is here, and she brought tulips!

Actually, summer is here. We've had weather in the 80s already.
These were surprise tulips that came up right next to the door. Aren't they pretty?
These are the first tulips I've ever planted. They're in rings around the two trees in the front.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baking with the girls

Not too long ago my two youngest nieces came over for a Sunday afternoon. Mom and Dad needed a babysitter and I was only too happy to have them over. It was one of those cold days at the end of February, and we were getting our last snow (finger's crossed). They brought some video games and books, but eventually got bored so we went into the kitchen to bake.

Proofing yeast in warm water and sugar.

Learning to kneed.

We baked bread and made a cake. This was one of those I-have-no-recipe-and-I-don't-care cakes. We had some apples to use up, so we made cinnamon apple cake with carmalized apples on the bottom. I thought it turned out well for basically making it up as I went. My husband devoured it!

2 cups flour.

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 egg. Look at how gorgeous that blue egg is. We've been buying our eggs from a local woman who raises chickens in her backyard. Someday that will be me!

1/4 cup of oil.

1 tablespoon vanilla

And not pictured is a 1/2 cup of milk.

"Aunt Lisa, I want to stir!"

"No, I want to stir!"

I chopped 3 apples and added them to the bottom of my buttered baking dish.

On top of the apples I sprinkled 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

Then we dolloped the batter on top and spread it out using the back of a spoon. This went into a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes.

This was a very old fashioned cake to my palate. It was good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and lasted well in a covered dish on the table. Not that it lasted long with my husband in the house.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

As promised, the girls!

We have chicks!

They are super cute!

And super fast!

We use mason jar style feeder and drinkers, which is why you can see glass jars in the corners of most of these photos.

They don't all have names. For the most part we're sticking with Harry Potter themed names to go with Albus and Lupin the cats. Not to mention Fred the apple tree. Foghorn Leghorn was the first one we named. She's the loudest. Then there was Umbridge. She wasn't very nice that first day. Luna is the one with the whitest wings, and Buckbeak likes to peck the sides of the box. She will escape!

There are 6 altogether, so we need 2 more names.

There's usually a heat lamp on at all times. It needs to be 95 degrees F in the box for the first week. I had to shut it off for a few minutes to snap these as it casts a red light. I took these very fast so forgive me some sloppiness.

They are so cute when they act like grown ups. They scratch their faces like dogs. They learned how to stretch Friday night. They stick out one leg and one wing. It scared me at first. "What's wrong with that bird's leg?" But once one chick learned how to do it, they all started doing it. It's the cool thing to do. They also love to scratch and peck at the wood shavings.

And sometimes each other. That's how the establish their pecking order. Someday we'll have an alpha female.

They're also learning how to roost. We didn't have anything very appropriate in the house for them to roost on, so we went into the yard and brought in some sticks and stuck them through the sides of the box.

Luna's the only one who wants to practice roosting right now. And she doesn't like to do it for long.

My sister's kids have been over this weekend. They adore watching the girls. I love to go in with my morning cup of coffee and just stare at them. They're always up to something interesting or cute.