Thursday, July 22, 2010

Family Visits

Son of COG, Daughter of COG and MIss T. are visiting this week. We are having a kind of low key time, at toddler speed. We have been to the beach several times, visited Russell Farm for ice cream and to pet animals. blown bubbles and stuck stickers, and, this morning, we built a teepee out of sheets and bamboo poles, in the middle of the house. I can hear giggles from the other room as I write. Miss T. is pretending to be a dog and going in and out of the teepee. Hysterically funny, I guess.

Naturally, we visited the bookstore and bought a few new books which we have been reading.

Having a quiet but lovely time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blueberry Gelato- Yum

Made yummy Blueberry Gelato last night. Because blueberries can be a little bland, I used honey instead of sugar in my usual recipe. Heavenly!

I had made tuna salad for dinner, after craving it all day. I 'gourmet-ed' it up a little by using homemade mayo and a variety of veggies (carrots, kohlrabi, fennel, onion) chopped small, not to mention imported durum wheat pasta. And it was surprisingly nice, so I didn't really need the Gelato, which was originally intended to distract The COG from the tuna salad. But we both enjoyed it anyway.

Berry Gelato

1/2 pound raspberries, strawberries, blueberries (or not berries but apricots, peaches, whatever)
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar or mild flavored honey

1) put all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth - small chunks of berries will remain.
2) freeze in ice cream maker according to directions.
3) Or use the old-fashioned method- pour the mixture into a bowl in the freezer. Check after 30-40 minutes. When it begins to freeze around the edges, take it out and whisk it quickly to break up the frozen bits. Return to the freezer and repeat this about every half hour until it's completely frozen - 2-3 hours or so. You can use a regular whisk, an electric mixer, a hand held stick blender, or even a fork.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The News from Britain - Sweaters for Bald Chickens

Among the many things I love about the British is their wacky fondness for animals. And this is just one example. Battery Hens are hens kept to provide cheap eggs. Their lives are nasty brutish and short, as they are killed when they start producing fewer eggs, after really sad lives spent in cages in the dark.

So in tender-hearted Britain there are Battery Hen Rescue organizations, which buy them before they are killed and 'rehome' them. One problem is that many of them have lost their feathers. So, a number of clubs have been knitting sweaters to keep them warm until their feathers regrow. Here is one example I found on YouTube.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sugar Art

In Cordes, we visited La Musée de l'Art du sucre - a museum where everything was made from sugar. The end result was amazing, incredible, fantastic but not something you'd care to have in your home. Quite apart from the problems with keeping sugar art whole - humidity, dust and heat being great enemies- they were more amazing than aesthetically pleasing.

Sister Rose and I kept saying 'ohmigoodness' to each other, but never once did we say 'how lovely, I want it,' the way we might have if we had been looking at something like dishes or antiquities. Anyway, I think my favorite one is the simplest - the eggs in the 'cardboard' container - everything made from sugar. Though, the exact replica of a street scene in Cordes is appealing in a Gingerbread Fantasy kind of way.


In France, our hostess always had home made jam. In the past I've thought it was too much trouble, but I really enjoyed these. So this week I've been making jam. I've made 1) Apricot, 2) Peach, 3) Peach-Raspberry, 4) Plum-Sour Cherry, 5) Fruits Rouges (Raspberries, Sour Cherries, and Strawberries).
And the little leftover amounts that didn't fit into the jars, the COG and I have been enjoying on home made bread.

I find it amazing and amusing that an old feminist like myself is so happy these days pottering around the house, making bread and jam and dinner for the COG. Life is funny. Whatever your polemic of choice, it's important to remember, sometimes, to be humble about it.