The Homestone

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chickadee dee dee

What a life!  So lucky we are.  Surrounded by crown land, we enjoy a whole forest of Christmas trees that decorate themselves with bits of leftover autumn 

and then the finishing touches delivered by frost and snow and if you come along at just the right moment you'll be rewarded by the most energetic little decorations in the guise of chickadees flying smartly from branch to tree and calling brightly to anyone who will listen. This photo is borrowed from one of my favorite bird sites All About Birds  
 Perhaps this winter I will get some nice pics of our own chickadee 'decorations'
Speaking of decorations, I think it may have been a farmer who came up with the idea of   metallic Christmas tree tinsel ...
In late October we brought the bales in off the back meadows.  The big round hay bales sit high up on the forks at the front of the tractor.
As the bales brushed past trees in one tight spot in particular, just at the beginning of the path that leads from the creek, strands of hay were snagged and hung up on the tips of branches. 
A few days later a good hoarfrost lit up the meadow and those strands of hay dangled like the finishing touches of tinsel deftly placed by my mothers hand. 
I didn't get a good photo but it's a sight I'll not soon forget. 

It feels like Christmas this morning after snowing all day yesterday.  The sun is coming up bright and beautiful on our winter white world.  David and I will be going on a walk about shortly to take it all in and take some photos too.

Till later and as always, warmest wishes and thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sad days and comfort food

The sun was shining on the meadow today like only a December sun can shine.   

About 6:10 this morning I opened the kitchen side door that over looks the meadow and was greeted by the back and forth calls of our coyote pair.    

Life is returning to a more familiar rhythm for us after a really tough few weeks.

Many of you know about our recent difficulties but for those of you who don't, and without going into great detail ~ please accept our apologies for being slow to respond to your emails.  

Quite suddenly and very sadly, David's father died in hospital on November 16th.  Charles had fallen at his home and fractured his hip.  He underwent a successful surgery but a series of postoperative complications were just too hard on his 88 years.  He was tremendously loved and will be sorely missedDavid also landed in hospital in November and is now awaiting a date for another surgery on his back and a hip replacement.     

As with any adversity there are up sides and there is always much to be thankful for.  

When life gets tough ... one of my coping stratagies is either to clean something or to cook.  :)  

This cornbread is way up on my list of comfort foods.  It's so easy and makes an ordinary pot of soup or even an uninspired salad into a delicious and enjoyable meal.    

Here's the recipe.  With love.   

Cornbread ~ Nick's favourite.
Use a 9 inch baking dish or a shallow 1 quart casserole for this cornbread. Combine a tablespoon each of butter and oil in pan and place in or on the stove for a few minutes to melt the butter and warm the dish.  In a bowl mix the following ingredients together and then pour into the hot baking dish.  Return to a hot oven (425) for about 30 minutes until set.  The recipe doubles nicely too using a 9x13 pan.

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 egg (slightly beaten) or substitute 1 tablespoon ground flax seed and a bit of water roughly equivalent to an eggs worth of moisture.  (A vegan trick I learned that I often use in place of an egg in baking). 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1  1/2 cups yogurt  ( I prefer a heavy 6% Balkan yogurt as it gives the cornbread a firmer consistency and less of the pudding consistency that it takes on with limper yogurt ~ both taste great though)

That's it.  
And thank you all so much for your warmth and good thoughts and prayers during these difficult times we've just come through.  We are looking forward to a sweeter gentler month ahead.