Friday, February 15, 2013

Molasses Crinkles

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   Molasses Crinkles are super easy and look fancy with the sparkling sugar on them. They are a soft spice cookie. Perfect for when you want something a little, but not too, sweet.

The recipe is out of one of my favorite vintage cookbooks. The 11th edition 1965 Fannie Farmer with the shiny gold hardcover. Perhaps you have it or your mom had it. My mom did.

It’s not in the current version. Probably because of it’s use of shortening :O or because spice cookies perhaps have fallen out of fashion. Who knows but the editors. I love them.

Set oven to 350

Mix well (I mix really well so it’s creamy like the picture above.)

1c vegetable shortening

3/4c sugar ( I use brown sugar for more flavor)

1/4c molasses

1 egg

Sift together

1 3/4c flour

2tsp baking soda

1tsp ginger

1tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp ground clove

Stir into the first mixture and blend well. Shape into 1” balls with your fingers.(If the dough is too soft to shape easily, cover and chill in the refrigerator about 1 hour.) Dip tops in granulated sugar (I love KAF sparkling sugar. It’s super sparkly.) Arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes.

When they are done, hopefully they will look like these.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wandering Wednesday – Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Zaanse Schans is a traditional village in Zanndam where they preserve and demonstrate the crafts and traditions of Netherlands. There are several museums, windmills, and craft and food demonstrations. You can also see how wooden shoes are made, there’s a bakery, a pewter shop, and a cheese shop to visit. The day we were there the were also having a parade of traditional ships. To get there it’s an easy train ride from Amsterdam and a pleasant walk of about 10-15 minutes.

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Yep that’s a Ham and Cheese Pancake. Delicious :)

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Hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday today. For more information on Zaanse Schans go to there official website here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chicken Chat – Not Snow Fans

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If you haven’t heard, we have had a little wind and snow around here as of late. We did not have as much accumulation as some of the rest of the state. My family on the South Shore still have no power and got a lot more snow than we did. The winds were worse than the snow. We lost power for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, but it came back before it got cold enough in the house to start a fire. Our snow was heavy and sticky. Stuck to everything. Tree limbs were all weighed down with a layer of ice and snow. Shoveling was heavy and back pain inducing even though it didn’t look like much. Now whatever you missed is frozen stiff. It ain’t budgin. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

In anticipation of this fun event, Husband and I prepped the coop and run with a layer of plastic on the three windward sides and added some straw bales to make sure it stayed. We usually leave it open year round. The girls like the view and the roof keeps most of the regular weather out. In the case of a Nor’easter or hurricane this is the set up. It protects the girls from most of the wind, rain, and snow. While leaving one side open so they can see out and the air can circulate and keep it dry in there, which is one of the keys to the deep litter method. Air circulation is also a key to avoiding frostbite.

The girls are not fans of the snow. Husband shoveled a nice path earlier in the day yesterday. So, at the usual time I went out to let them out in the yard. I figured they may follow the path around to the side yard and I would throw them out some treats. Well it started out ok, I got to the run door and they were all waiting by it like they wanted to go out. So, I opened the door. They all looked at each other, had a small conversation, and voted Betty *piranha cow.

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She looked out, tasted the snow.

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She peeeeeked around the corner. Straining to see around the straw bale. “Yep more snow. Maybe if I step out.”

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“Look at all that snow, we’re not going out there!” And that’s as far as they got. Betty turned around and went back in and they acted like the door wasn’t even open. We’ll see if they have cabin fever enough to go out today.

*A piranha cow is the brave (sacrificial) cow the herd sends into the river first before crossing to see if the piranhas are biting. It can also refer to wild turkeys and cars but car turkey doesn’t have the same ring to it :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wandering Wednesday – Cozumel, Mexico

The downtown of Cozumel is not my favorite spot, but on a private beach with no hawkers or peddlers and nice young man to bring me frozen beverages is.

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They are saying we may get a foot of snow at the end of the week.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Under the Weather

Wondering where I've been? I'm having a bit of a sinus infection. It's to the point where I can't stare at the computer screen long enough to write a proper post. Going to the doctor today. Should be back in time for Wandering Wednesday :)



Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicken Chat – Freya’s First Egg!

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The Winter dry spell is finally over! Our lovely little Freya has at last layed her first egg. It only took 7 months.

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As with most pullet eggs, it is a bit on the small side. But I am sure that, with time, they will get bigger and rival Betty’s eggs that tip the scale.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wandering Wednesday – Somewhere, Anywhere Warm

The temperatures are pretty frigid here this week. I can’t help drifting off to thoughts of a warmer climate. Relaxing on a beach chair under a palapa while a nice young man brings me refreshments with fun umbrellas in them. The warm salty breeze carrying the calls of tropical birds. Ahhhhh :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Molting Betty

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Betty has been going though a molt. I believe it’s a stress induced molt because she had one over the summer and we had a traumatic incident here a few weeks ago. The house is covered in black feathers. So far it only seems to be effecting her head down to her chest. See her fuzzy down chest feathers. They stick out more when her crop is full. It looks like she swallowed a bocce ball. Her hiney seems to be staying fully feathered.
Her head is looking a little like Moe in Three Stooges with her little black tuft growing back in faster than the other feathers right at the back of her head. 
I know once she fills back in completely, she is going to lay all of two eggs and then promptly go broody. That’s ok with me. At this point we need more chickens if we ever want more eggs. I prefer to use the broody method to any other method of integration of new chickens and Betty is a wonderful chicken momma. 

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We’ve joined the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wandering Wednesday – Santorini, Greece

Santorini, also known as Thera, is an ancient windswept island in the Aegean Sea. It acquired it’s boomerang/horseshoe shape and sharp cliffs from a volcanic eruption about 3600 years ago.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday today :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chicken Chat – Playing in the Compost

The girls don’t get let out quite as often as they used to. We all like it better now when I am there to supervise. When I do open the run door they make a bee line for the compost and the big rhododendron it sits next to which they feel safe near for cover. They love shredding through the leaves and finding special chicken treasures.
::scratch scratch look::
::scratch scratch look::
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Betty was shy, she’s still molting around her head and neck. She looks quite the sight.  

I've joined the Tilly's Nest: Down Home Blog Hop :) 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pecoy Point – A Winter Walk

I love Martha’s Vineyard in the winter. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can move and breathe and listen to nature. Especially on crisp clear days in January and February.

Pecoy Point is a bit of land owned and preserved by the MV Land Bank. It’s little hidden but worth finding. The trail starts with a walk through old farm fields, over some marshland, then through a small pine grove, and down to the banks of the saltwater pond known as Sengekontacket or, to the native Wampanoag, Sanchiacantacket or place where the brook flows into the river.

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DSCF0456(2)Brave souls in their dry suits quahogging.

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The animals seem to love the shore too. On the left is a deer on the right is some type of shore bird. I love the one on the right. Can’t you just picture it waddling along as it leans in on each step?

DSCF0462The ribbed mussel Geukensia demissa. I have heard that they are not very tasty, but good in a pinch. Harvest only at high tide. You don’t want to eat any mussel that has been sitting in it’s own juices sunbathing.

DSCF0466(2) I found out on this walk that it is still duck hunting season. Surprise! I really thought I had a grasp on the hunting seasons, I know all the deer weeks. Guess someone needs to read up on fowling. Needless to say, there aren’t any pictures of our great winter ducks. Maybe next time when nobody is trying to kill them they will cooperate :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wandering Wednesday – Messina, Sicily

Messina is in the northeast corner of the Island of Sicily and is primarily a fishing and shipping port and the gateway to the rest of Sicily by way of ferry from mainland of Italy. There is a fascinating automaton clock tower in the main square that shows a great production at noon each day. The lion roars and waves his flag, the rooster crows while flapping his wings, the bells ring, and the apostles bow there devotion while the music plays Ave Maria. It’s very moving. Speaking of Maria, Mary is the patron saint of the city. They call her the Lady of the Letter. It roots from a letter she sent to the people of Messina that was tied with a lock of her hair promising her protection. She signed the letter “I bless you and your city” which is written on the bottom of a statue of Mary holding the letter at the entrance of the harbor.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday today :)

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