Monday, November 22, 2010

Yes, I Feed Them Cheerios!

We have had two resident rabbits for a number of years now.  They periodically "change" ~ we have had a black one and a brown one, a black one and a grey one, and, most recently, these two brown ones.  Cottontails.  One is very tame and comes right to us, the other is a little shy and waits until his/her buddy has approached and he/she knows it is safe.  The different pairs have burrowed in the garden and we have seen a few babies (which are the cutest things) but the hawks soon grab them.  Cruel but necessary, I suppose.

I also put out carrot peelings, broccoli stalks, etc. for them but they prefer Cheerios and crusts of my homemade bread.  Bunnies after my own heart.

The tame one pokes his/her head right in the door ~

It is snowing like crazy right now.  I am not getting out of my jammies today (again).  The bird feeders are full and it is wonderful to watch all the activity.  There are juncos, a flicker (on the suet feeder), a varied thrush, towhees, pine siskins.  I haven't seen any chickadees today.  Perhaps -4C is too cold for them.  I know it is too cold for me.

This is what I will be working on today ~ Kinsol Trestle Vest 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Cakes

I made these cakes about six weeks ago and they are presently in their sherry-soaked cheesecloth blankies in tins in the garage.  I must bring them in today for a little top-up of Harvey's Bristol Cream.  

The recipe is my grandmother's and whenever I make it I return to childhood memories of the tasks I was charged with.  First of all, I would chop the fruit.  The cherries had to be halved and the pineapple cut into chunks.  The candied peel came already chopped ~

Mixed up in a large bowl with currants and raisins, soaked with sherry and allowed to soak overnight ~

Add in the nuts, eggs and flour mixture ~

My next job was to line the pans.  Mum taught me how to carefully cut the parchment paper (which in those days was brown) so that it fit the pans.  I loved this part ~

 The mixture is so stiff you have to get in there with your hands to get every piece of fruit and nut coated ~

Then into the oven for a long slow bake ~

And, voila ~

Once they were cooled, my next job was to soak the cheesecloth in brandy or sherry (I used sherry this year) and wrap up the cakes ~

The tins I store them in must be at least 50 years old, passed from my grandmother to my mum to me ~