Monday, August 25, 2014

I Know You Have Better Food In There...

...come on, let me in!
Look what a mess our little friend has made kicking breadcrumbs from the platform feeder. I'm not worried, he'll have it cleaned up in no time at all. We are now having a nightly visit from this fellow, right as we sit down to our evening meal there he is, peering through the glass doors. He isn't the slightest bit shy. I've taken to calling him, Blondin after the pet squirrel in Doreen Tovey's books *.
Now I need a pair of Siamese cats to keep him in line.

I want to thank everyone for your kind words of encouragement of late. I do try to keep my moaning on the blog to a minimum, and I do appreciate the kindness you've all shown me. I can deal with just about anything (tornado, moving house, unemployment, major illness, dental work, bank hackers) but toss a sick kid into the mix and I just get overwhelmed. I mean, obviously I don't just shut down, and I do deal with it, but this cycle of asthma/virus/asthma/virus has been going on since April. I know a good part of it is his asthma medications which suppress his immune system making him a magnet for viruses three states away. On the positive side, he's been tearing through reading which is great (believe me, when I was nine I wouldn't read Moby Dick if I had been sealed up like the boy in the bubble) but it has been a very, very, long spring and summer. I'll get him to the fair on Monday come hell or high water, but it will probably be a very quick visit, and then straight home. We'll see.

As for my friend the squirrel...

I can hardly blame him wanting in the house, what with all the wonderful aromas wafting out the window. Faced with more rosemary that I can dry and give away, I had to get creative.
I spread a layer of red grapes on a baking sheet with a (very) generous amount of rosemary. I tossed it with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkled it with salt. An hour in a 300 degree F. oven did the trick. When cool, I worked them into a bread dough with about a cup of semolina flour and extra olive oil for a light texture. Here's what I got
I did steam in the oven to get a crackly crust, though the breads themselves are quite light. I'm planning to serve these with cheese-maybe something like Havarti. So that took care of a few sprigs of rosemary-now to figure out something to do with the rest of the madly growing plant. We won't discuss the madness that is the out-of-control oregano.

I don't think I ever showed you the bottles I bought within a week of each other (ever notice how thrifting goes that way?). Both were from Goodwill (one in Iowa, one in Nebraska) and I think the folded bottle is particularly nice. It is almost feline looking.
School is starting again, which will be nice to have a routine if only to keep me from obsessively baking and scrubbing floors (my kitchen floor is brown-if I never scrubbed it again, I doubt anyone would notice). We're starting with WWI, so I'm sure I'll work some baking into the lessons by way of a Trench Cake or some Anzac Biscuits. I'm less sure how to work floor scrubbing into a lesson, but where there's a will there's a way.

*If you aren't familiar with Doreen Tovey's writing, you're in for a great delight. Yes, they're children's books but you would have to be a terribly grumpy adult to find fault with them. I'm as grumpy as they come, and I find them charming so if that isn't a ringing endorsement I don't know what is.


Sue said...

Your Squirrel Blondin is pretty cute. We don't have Squirrels in NZ, well not that I am aware of, certain we don't. OMG your bread looks fabulous and the thought of feasting on that and some cheese has me all in a drool.

Bibi Maizoon said...

You torture me with your gorgeous bread!
What I wouldn't give for a crusty loaf of European style bread!
All we have here in Nepal is some cake like sweet squishy white stuff that isn't good for much other than 'pan perdue' or French toast. (I wonder if the British taught the Gorkhas their love of tinned beans & squishy sweet white bread?)
I only have a toaster oven that stubbornly refuses to heat up to only 325F so baking my own ain't happening.
Crispy Anzac biscuits sound YUM!
You know I used to be a asthmatic wheezy sneezy snotty mess when I lived in California, that all went away when I moved to Nepal.
Unfortunately with the yearly monsoon we have typhoid, cholera & amoebiasis outbreaks though.

Goody said...

No squirrels? I suppose it makes sense-they can't swim, and it isn't something settlers would import. They're just rats with bushy tails anyway ;)

On the farm I had my battles with squirrels getting into the house, so I'm fine with this guy provided he stays outdoors. They can do real damage if the get in a kitchen cabinet (apparently they like to eat crayons and antacids-plastic container and all, or at least our squirrel did).

I laughed so hard at your comment! No asthma, but typhoid, cholera, and amoebiasis! Poor gal, you're going to have to build a brick oven in the yard to bake in.

Curtise said...

Danny's had it rough, and when kids have a shitty time, you can bet your arse there's a mum in the background bawling her eyes out too. But behind closed doors. And then getting on with it, because that's what you do. So I'm sending lots of love to you both, and a massive pat on the back to Danny for his amazing reading (Moby Dick is virtually unreadable, in my opinion - sooooo dull!)
Blondin the squirrel is a cutie (as long as he never has access to your house), and as for the bread, it looks divine. Cool bottles too - you know how I love me some old coloured glass ware. xxxx