Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kitchen closure

At least some kind of closure. 2/3 of if is done.

Doors ready to be put back on.

The yellow doesn't bother me so much now and the floor....eeeeeeehhhh.... it's fine.

Starting to wonder about blue walls though. Too many colors? 

Oups. Right, that's the side that isn't done... Och Kajsa det är där kylskåpet ska stå. We will get to it, one piece at a time. 

It's back to work time for both of these crazy kids so we'll see when the next break happens. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2 birds and some bread

George's banana nut bread

(Inget för mamma kanske men vi andra kan ju tycka om...)

Named so because it is going to be given to George the neighbor who plowed us out yesterday. Since it was the first time I made it we had to taste it before handing it off...

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/8 of a teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
3 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time. Sift the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Stir in mashed bananas and walnuts.

Pour into greased and breadcrumbed pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour at 325 degrees (162.778 degrees celsius to be exact). I did mine in a shallow baking pan and 1 hour was enough, if its made in a loaf pan it may need more time.

The birds are going crazy outside and I got snaps of two that I haven't caught before. This is ahmph... the tufted titmouse. I don't name em - I just shoot em. With a camera that is.

This is the red bellied wood pecker. Pretty lousy shot but it's a miracle I got this one. We think he belongs in London 1977 wearing Doc Martens. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Country Winter Living 101

Woke up at 5.44 am to no power. It was a restless night and when we looked out the window we realized why. It was like a war zone out there and snow had performed a hostile take-over.

Poor Cali-Ebba, her first New York winter. She don't know what hit her.

Question #1: What happens if we don't get our power back and our pipes freeze? The answer of course is: turn on the generator that every self sufficient country dweller keeps in the barn for such emergencies. Plug in the space heater and heat em up. Right.

Question #2 immediately followed by Question #3: How the hell are we going to get our car out so we can go and buy a generator before they are all sold out?

We made some feeble attempts at clearing the drive way but it was pretty useless. Also a giant branch was blocking it. Around the bend comes George who is the foreman at the Minard apple cold storage next door with his little tractor-plow. Without saying a word he just mangled King Snow along with branches and all. Very neighborly of him! In the 20 seconds that I saw James talk to him he managed to get out of George that he really enjoys banana nut bread so apparently I have to bake that now. Recipes anyone?

So that solved the first issue, the car was loose. Off to Lowes. Of course not a genny in the house. A friendly young man named Joe called every Lowes in the Hudson Valley and finally found us one in Chester 45 mins away. Whatayagawnado? Get in the car and drive to Chester, that's what. Montana boy likes to put the Nissan in 4 wheel drive and drive in the snow anyway so here we go.

We got a generator, flashlights and water. 

And since we spent so much money on emergency gear the power was naturally up by the time we got back home. Oh well, the snow is still bucketing down and who knows when we will need this stuff. At least now James is a little more even with our neighbor Tommy Toys. He's got every gadget in the catalogue and is prepared for a meteor strike. Now they can talk about BTU's, horsepower and chainsaw brands. 

Anyway, with power on in the house we could relax and just try to tackle a little bit of shoveling.

And it's still coming down!!!

The Swede in her correct element.

Also Clintondale has seldom looked more beautiful!

When I cooked broth the other day I drained the vegetables and unfortunately I couldn't find a good use for them. So the best way to not feel wasteful is to give it to these guys. They trudged right through the waste high snow for funky turnips and mashed up carrots. 

It also gave us the opportunity to say hi to the lammies again. We saved some veggies to give to mom.

And this time I just happened to have my camera....

And this guy about knocked me over in the snow cause James was ahead of me with the bag.

That's all folks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snowed in!

This is awesome! And no signs of stopping!

19 Maple Ave.

Snow capped ice cream parlor chairs on the patio.

Maple Avenue

South Street

This is some Narnia sh-t.

This house on South Street just came up for sale. Gorgeous trees and a great view... on a not so snowy day...

Fast Times at Maple Ave

Be it to test my will power. 
Or wanting to get a kick start on feeling healthy. 
Or wanting to cook up a hearty veggie broth. 
Or kicking caffeine. 
Or saving a penny or two on food.

Any and all reasons are good for doing a 3-5 day fast. 

Two years ago James and I did the master cleanse. We drank nothing but lemon water with cayenne paper and maple syrup in it for 2 weeks for me and 3 weeks for James. After 2 weeks I had amazing energy and felt (yeah, and looked...) like a million bucks. We were redoing our apartment and weren't working so the timing was perfect. We had also been doing a lot of traveling to places that involved lots of beer, sausages and fried food.

Almost done with New years pork fandango Tallinn country style. 

Big beers in Tallinn

Puerto Rico: Those coconuts are filled with rum and also just TRY to order something in Puerto Rico that ISN'T fried. 

So needless to say we needed a healthy break.

As long as we stayed inside and kept busy it was great. The food smells of the outside world were taunting as all get out, especially Gray's Papaya hot dogs on the corner. Every once in a while we would open an old jar of cashew butter and smell it. 

Anyway, that whole experience was a little too hardcore (we would start every day by drinking a liter of salt water which is known as an oral enema...) and we won't be going through that again but I have been looking for something I can do 3 days every 6 months or whenever I feel sluggish.

So I'm following a regiment my sister sent me. My winding down day consisted of raw veggies and soups and teas. Day 1 started with chamomille tea.

After that something to help the digestive system... (Bleech for prune juice but surely better than salt water!) For lunch I had miso soup that I'm making with paste and water and in the afternoon more tea. 

In between lots and lots of lemony and orangey water.

I had  planned on this fast while being in the city and picked up an array of veggies from our market on 9th Ave btw 42/41. We got big fat carrots, celery, onions and turnips (rova) and a red pepper. Mostly to make the picture nicer. I also put some garlic in there and salt and a handful of peppercorns. I fit about a gallon and a half of water in the pot and it cooked for about 2 hours.

And it all boils down to this. Very good actually. Dinner is served.

Today is Day 3 and I'm hungrier than I've been. May start to wind back up tomorrow with some veggies. The only craving I have is for tomatoes. Big fat juicy tomatoes by the slice with salt and pepper on them. Gawd I'm making myself crazy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

(Clever Title)

We picked out shades for the living room. (Yikes the place is called Country Curtains! Who are you and what have you done with Linda?!?!) We are getting them for all 3 windows in the living room and the smaller window in the dining room.

Kitchen is full steam ahead. The Yuck Yellow is slowly becoming just a bad memory ... but there's pictures to remind us. 

And here is the beginning of a white kitchen. We haven't decided if we are living with yellow back splashes and counter tops yet but we are pretty sure the walls will be Canyon Blue by Ralph Lauren.

The pastryshop has become a sweatshop where the cabinet doors are getting done.

It was a bird filled morning and I finally snapped a shot of a Starling basking in the spring like sun. Gorgeous morning. 

And a black capped Chickadee in the bush.

And the same guy having breakfast. How do you do.

White breasted nuthatch, ladies and gentlemen.

The mourning doves don't come to the feeder but the minute I put some seed and the left overs of the Toft Sisters bread on the ground they flew right in.

Mr. Finch. Mr. House Finch.

Slate colored Junco

This house just came up for sale. We love the chippy chimney. Looks like a lovely property as well.