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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do you know the name of this Flower?

It's growing in my greenhouse.

I bet you know what it is. 

Outside?  Don't ask.

It's dreary

But all is well in my Greenhouse.

Snow doesn't want to melt.
Pond freezes over every night.

My Nasturtiums are happy.  They love a cool greenhouse.  
 Do have a wonderful week my dear 
Blogging Friends.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

So, you close your eyes

Your finger is on the button
and you click where it says Finish.

It's a done deal.  You've just spent thousands of Dollars for a First Class Ticket to Europe. 

But this year is different.

We had amassed a few frequent flyer points. 
I tried different agents, some were grumpy, some were non committal, some were new and then, one agent was absolutely perfect.

She made it happen.  Only 100,000.00 points for a round trip, nonstop, first class flight to Paris and on to Frankfurt.

We've been there many times. 
This year is special.

We are celebrating  our 50th Wedding Anniversary in December.

We remember:
Christmas and New Year celebrations at the
Geyerhof, Soprabolzano, Italy. 
Christkindlemarkt in Nuernberg,  
A little Christmas tree remembered in our room at the
Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg.

The Adler Hotel in Niederdorf, beautiful fabrics made by an old gentleman French weaver and sitting by the hand painted Kachelofen warming us,
while enjoying fine cuisine. 

So many ski trails discovered and re-discovered so many years thereafter,
 until we just couldn't find a new trail. 

Everything is set.  We have all year to think about the magic of Christmas in Europe.

This Austrian Farmer is letting his horse pull a Christmas tree sideways across this large field.   Why?  It disperses fertilizer which was left behind from earlier occupants (cows).

Before we go on our trip there will be planting and harvesting the garden.  There will also be lots of time to celebrate with good friends and neighbors. 

Have a wonderful week my dear
Blogging Friends.

Thank you so much for the lovely comments you have left for me. 
You are the very Best.


Friday, February 15, 2013

It was only supposed to be routine

It's the New Year.

Routine blood tests.

Some numbers didn't look right.

A few more tests.
More anxiety, more waiting.

All is well...we are grateful.

Have a great weekend my dear 
Blogging Friends.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cooking School for Lovers

At the Gritti Palace Hotel

Venice, Italy

Our room at the Gritti.

Chef Giacomello' s talented hands at work.

Chef Giacomello, his assistant, and our class. 
Carlo Coco (on the left, in black) expert in gastronomic history, guidebook and cookbook author.
And Antonio (lower right), interpreter and Venice expert who guided us through the backstreets and historic sites of Venice.  

Mr G receiving his Award.

We also learned how to prepare:

White Chocolate Heart with Passion Fruit Jelly
Terrine of Giant Prawns in Curry-Flavored Pastry Case with Pumpkin cream
Banana Mousse with Chocolate Heart and Caramel Sauce
Saffroned "Chiche" in Truffle-Flavoured Robiola Cream served in Parmesan Wafers
Duck's Breast in Honey and Chili Peppers with Whisked Potatoes and Ribbon-shaped Vegetables
Champagne Mousse
Veal Fillet Medallions

Chef Giacomello taught us how to cook and bake with aphrodisiacs and 22 karat gold.

Each day we "tested" our recipes in Gritti's elegant dining room.

After our 4-hour stroll through Venice, each afternoon, we enjoyed a glass of Prosecco at the famous Gritti bar. 

Happy Valentine's  Day
to you, my dear 
Blogging Friends.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

What was she thinking?

My Hen left me a little surprise.  

A little egg  laid by one of my full grown chickens. It should be the size of all the other eggs.  

 I think it was my golden Buff Orpington.  She is the clever one in the bunch.

 How many yolks do you see? 
Yep, that's the little egg.  All complete, egg white and egg yolk,  only in miniature. 

I'm still on vacation but just had to send you a happy Hello. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Teesny, Weensy Break

Dear Friends

I'm taking a teesny, weesny break from blogging. 

Thank you for your friendship.


Friday, February 1, 2013

The Truth about Chickens

for an earlier post

Are brown eggs more nutritious,  No, but it does matter what they eat.  When you give them a lot of greens, the egg yolk will be darker and taste less sulphur like.
do they contain less cholesterol,  Maybe. It is argued that Araucana chicken eggs contain less cholesterol. 
do you think that a hen house needs a rooster, No, not for egg production.
do you know the body temperature of a chicken,  Chicken body temperature normally runs about 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  A chicken heart beats 280-315 beats per minute.
which breed of chickens lay the most eggs,  Leghorns, the world record (1979) was set by a white Leghorn who laid 371 eggs in 364 days. In 1925 chickens laid an average of 100 eggs in a year. 
which breed of chickens lay blue eggs, The Ameraucana and Araucana, from South America. They are beautiful but most roosters are mean.
why are grocery store eggs white, Because Leghorn chickens, who lay white eggs, are the most prolific layers.
what is a pullet egg, It's the first group of eggs laid by a young chicken.  Bakers prefer to use these eggs because they are very fresh.  Large eggs are stored for months before they are delivered to the grocery store. Pullet eggs are not stored.
what is a capon, A young, male chicken that has been neutered, a relatively simple procedure because a chicken is easily hypnotized and their high body temperature prevents them from getting infections.  A caponized chicken grows to be very large and fat. 

how many eggs does a chicken lay in a year, Around 250, but depends on the breed.  Their most prolific laying time is in early Spring.  The time when chickens are thinking about hiding their eggs and sitting on their clutch of eggs.

And most importantly, do they taste better? Every egg tastes different.  Free Range chicken eggs are different from commercial eggs.  Commercially raised chickens are fed a prepared meal and sometimes marigold flower petals are added to make the egg yolk darker.  You are what you eat.  Right?

Have a wonderful weekend my dear
Blogging Friends.

And treat yourself to a big ole breakfast with steak and eggs and hash browns and home made biscuits with fresh butter and dollops of
home made preserves.