Friday, February 17, 2012

Projects, Ideas, Weekend

* Edited to add the corned venison. Yep, I'm brining it for two weeks and with any luck, I'll have something to serve Mr. ETB on blackbread with sauerkraut. I've obviously done this with beef, but the venison roast was new territory for me. I can't believe I did this whole post and forgot the most interesting part. That's it, I'm taking my sick arse back to bed.

The Great Backyard Bird Count began today. We have been watching in 15 minute increments.

I'm sick. So. Damn. Sick. Coughing, nose-blowing, all manner of misery. I did what any sane person would do-I defrosted a large container matzo-ball soup, made ice cream, and mixed up the dough for a batch of Chelsea buns to rise overnight in the fridge. I'll update with the results of the overnight rise. I do this with cinnamon rolls, so I don't really see why Chelsea buns would be that different. We'll see.

The nasturtiums and pea shoots growing in my sunny window are thriving nicely. I always feel like I'm cheating winter keeping my window box garden, though I have to admit this winter has been pretty mild. The bay laurel is thriving as well. I love being able to go pluck a bay leaf off my tree in the dining room.

Sunday With a Scientist at Morill Hall is snakes this month. I think I could pass on that, particularly with being ill, but I suppose the kid will want to go.

24 February is public viewing night at Behlen Observatory in Mead (weather permitting).

I have been spending evenings and weekends working on a hand-written/illustrated cookbook for Danny. I've been trying to fill it with basics and funny stories from his childhood. I'm using a large bound sketchbook, and so far (I'm about halfway through it) I really like how it is turning out. The internet and blogs are great, but I I thought he might appreciate something a bit more personal. He's already sworn himself to bachelorhood, and feels prepared as he knows how to make a pot of tea and whip up sardines on toast. Just in case he wants to branch out, I'll have something to present him with.

I made a crumb-topped raisin pie today-and I have no idea why. I loathe raisin pie. I must be having some sort of Illinois nostalgia (scratch that-I never feel nostalgic for Illinois) or I was down to dried fruit in the larder (True, that). Maybe the rest of the family will like raisin pie as they lack the childhood associations.

I made a Ploughman's Pickle last week that turned out terrific. Did I write down what I did? No, sadly I did not. It was just odds and ends of apples, carrots, courgettes..damn it, I never think it worth the bother to write these things down as I go and then I end up with the best pickle of my life and I can't recreate it. I'm going to but a dry-erase board for the kitchen lest this ever happen again.

Kiddo eats half an apple each morning with breakfast. He likes a variety, so by the end of the week, I have various apple halves tightly wrapped in cling film. Today, I fried some with onions, thyme and butter. Perfection.

Are you familiar with puffy drop sugar cookies made with sour cream? They have a sugar top and a raisin in the centre. Last week, I made use of some, halved as mini-strawberry shortcakes with sweetened whipped cream. Everyone thought I was a genius. I was just lazy, but shhhhhh don't tell anyone.

I don't know why black history only gets a month, but I figured one of the reasons I homeschool is to cover material I deem relevant. Monday, we start, Soul on Ice. I'm pretty sure that isn't in the local curriculum. After we cover the American history, I'm going to do an in-depth African history course over the summer. I figured I'd take it by region, chronologically. I had Danny run through listing as many African countries as he could, off the top of his head. He only missed two, so I feel pretty confident he'll be able to keep things like the historical Kingdom of Mali from the present day Nation Mali. Or I'll confuse the hell out of him, and then we'll start over. Again, homeschooling gives me that luxury. I've yet to find a decent general overview African history textbook, so I'll probably use a number of texts and primary sources. I remember getting a copy of Facing Mount Kenya when I was about ten and thinking it was pretty interesting.

I have a squirrel problem again. I don't mind them outside. Sometimes I really miss city living. He can't get into the living quarters of the house-but I heard the little fucker in the wall...again. I could really do without a squirrel in my wall. Ideas? Anyone?

Hey! Have a lovely weekend.


Rio said...

I hear squirrel stew is very delicious. Maybe Mr. ETB would like to give it a try.

Goody said...

I've heard that as well-but you need to avoid eating their brains as it causes some horrible disease :)

Old softie set a no-kill trap. I'm still not sure where he thinks he's going to release it.

Rio said...

Typically squirrel thighs and sometimes backs are used, from what I saw before. Most of them is skin and fur, after all. I wonder if Danny would like to do something with its fur? My dad and grandfather used to tack up the furs from their first squirrels on plaques. That was normal back then, though, I don't know how people feel about that stuff now.

Goody said...

I think a squirrel pelt on a plaque sounds seriously awesome!

So far they haven't taken the bait from either the humane or not-so humane trap. I think perhaps they know we're on to their mischief.