Monday, October 26, 2009

A Week With Family

Last week I was in Duluth taking part in the busy lives of B, W, E, and M. We wore raincoats and slopped though the mud when we went out - in mostly cold rain or drizzle - but it didn’t stop us.

Miss M’s class (see photo) shot off homemade rockets at school and B & I were there to watch hers (made with pink and purple duct tape) launch.

I shopped for a variety of items I can’t get at home and also with B & the kids for everything from groceries and clothing to plumbing supplies.

We sampled a fun variety of foods throughout the week. In the “eating out” category, W. and I tried a spicy pumpkin soup with our sandwiches at the Red Mug coffee shop just over the bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. B. & I tried and liked the China Star restaurant in Hermantown – talk about fast food! (And it was a dine-in place.) We brought home V.I.P. wholewheat crust pizzas (very good). I also had a subpar lunch at the West Duluth Grandma’s, but the company (Bonnie D.) more than made up for the quality of the food. At home our more exotic meals included ruffed grouse with wild rice and a breakfast of venison sausage with waffles and eggs prepared by W & E. The venison sausage, which came from W’s younger brother, was lean and very tasty. Dan F. gave us the fresh grouse and wild rice. I prepared it by stuffing the breasts with apples, then wrapping them with bacon.

No rock hunting, photo shoots, or knitting this trip, but we did get in a game of Bananagrams before W had to leave for the cities Wednesday evening. Both W and B had classes in the cities, which was the main reason I was there. The time flew by. It was a nice change of pace to temporarily be part of a family and their very full schedule.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Tough Weekend For Birds

Originally uploaded by Minnesota Daybreak

It was an unfortunate weekend for birds around here. On Friday morning as I sat in the sun room I noticed a dead bird laying on the walk. When I finally went out with a ziplock bag to pick up that bird (a fledgling blue jay), I continued to hear a bird cry that I'd been hearing all morning and realized that it was quite near. I looked around and there in the landscape rocks behind me was a baby blue jay (fluffy, wobbly, and very weak) less than half the size of the fledgling that I had just picked up. I quickly got an eye-dropper and water to try to re-hydrated the little one. Soon, with the help of C.C., (and having done some research on the internet) I made him a nest out of a cottage cheese container and started feeding him canned cat food. We attached the "nest" to a nearby tree where we'd seen several blue jays, but after looking him over they ignored the poor little guy. All this started before noon. I made many calls trying to find help for him, but nobody was interested in a baby blue jay. Fortunately, a lake neighbor (from the Florida Keys) with good experience in rescuing birds was interested and volunteered to try to keep him going and growing. She was an answer to prayer. Last report he was doing great. That same afternoon we noticed a loon not too far out from the docks and acting strangely. I took several photos of it and the following day, when we noticed him out there again, my son took more photos capturing some of it's odd behavior. He seemed to have an injured leg or perhaps have fishing line or something tangled around his back end. He looked more distressed the second day and didn't seem to be able to dive. I made a series of phone calls and finally got a wildlife officer. He came out, but by the time he arrived over an hour had passed and after much searching we couldn't find the loon that evening.

Sadly, I have just learned that the baby blue jay died sometime last night.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

This morning LuAnne brought me some rhubarb and I decided to make my Grandma Tolstead's Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake. I used her original recipe, assisted by a revised version that my uncle, Bob Tolstead, had given me. I was having trouble figuring out what to do with the lists of ingredients until consulting his version. By the third and final phase of ingredients, I realized I was short a quarter cup of sugar and was thankful for my neighbors coming to the rescue, thereby saving me a trip to town. It turned out tasting just as I remembered it... Dee-licious! Anne & Carolyn Carter, LuAnne & Ev White, and Carol & Dave Peterson joined me for tea shortly after it came out of the oven. As might be expected, having friends here to share it with made it taste even better. It has only dawned on me in the last hour that this is "Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake" and so I had served it wrong-side up. If any of them noticed the upside-down cake wasn't upside-down they didn't mention it to me. It was a very nice way to spend an otherwise rather gloomy Memorial Day.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Rookery

There is Great Blue Heron rookery on Long Lake that has been in the same area for many, many years. I stopped by yesterday to try to get some photos. The herons were not exactly thrilled to see me. When I got out of the car with my camera in hand they all ducked down in their nests and refused to peek out. I could hear an occasional bit of muttering from them. (If you have ever listened to herons you know what I mean.) After awhile I gave up, got back in my car and drove slowly around a loop and back to the rookery area. This time I parked beyond it a bit, then got out and walked back toward them. That's when I got several photos of them... a few ignoring me, some glaring at me from their nests (well, at least keeping a sharp eye on my movements) and one that was afraid to land in it's nest on it's first few approaches because of my presence. If you would like to see the full set of photos just click on the title to this entry.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rudi's Stone-Ground Wheat Bread

Rudi's Stone-Ground Wheat Bread

Today I made Rudi’s Stone-Ground Wheat Bread from Bernard Clayton’s “New Complete Book of Breads.” With cracked wheat, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds in it, along with whole-wheat flour, bread flour, molasses, and honey, it is nutritious, rich, and tasty. If you bake this I suggest you use greased, non-stick loaf pans. The egg wash can drip down and make it stick in spite of greasing glass loaf pans. (Yes, this is why I only photographed one of the two loaves I baked.) The not-photographed loaf had one unsightly end, but it still tasted great!

First Rising

First Rising
Originally uploaded by Minnesota Daybreak
This is bread dough rising in my favorite bowl. :)
I love the aroma in my house on days when I bake bread.

In the past I baked bread in a bread machine.  It tasted good, but the shape of the loaf wasn't very appealing or useful.  I've switched to making bread with a Kitchenaid mixer doing the harder work of kneading the dough.  Other than that, the process is much like my great aunt, Elsie, used when I was growing up.  She always let me 'help' with her baking. Good memories and good eating.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Cross Reference

"Christianity is not a religion of rules. It is the religion of divine example." -George Hodges

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lake Ice Report - April 17,2009

The lake ice has that dark look it gets before it goes out, but no big cracks across it yet.
NorthEast View

This is a pile of burned logs that were left on the ice in front of Glattley's place.
Mess in front of Glattley's2

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kasper was groomed this week

I thought I would start posting here again with this very short entry.

Kasper, "the shaggy dog", had a bath and a haircut at Angie's Groom & Board. He looks, smells, and feels SO much better!

This is a "before" photo:
Before 1

This is an "after" photo:
After 3
There are more photos of him on my Flickr pages.