Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tree Huggers

I guess I was looking for a challenge... And it was James' graduation day from Person of Interest. Their season has been going on since last July and it finally ended. Sooo! Cheesecake time.

Kind of time consuming with a lot of steps but on the whole, cheesecakemaking is not as intimidating as I first thought. I don't  have a spring form so I just used my glass pie form and made a half batch. I started by crushing 1/3 package of graham crackers. Melt 3 table spoons of butter and pour over the crackers along with 1 tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix it all together and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

The filling: 1 1/2 packets of cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar, pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 2 large eggs, 1/3 cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Put one ingredient in at a time and then beat it well.

Pour the mixture over the crust and put it in a pan with boiling water and then in the oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour. When it is done turn the oven off and crack the door an inch. Leave it like that until the oven is totally cool and then put the cheesecake in the fridge over night. 

To top it off I just put razzies and some sugar in the food processor and made a sauce. And I am not even lying a little bit when I say this is the best cheesecake I've ever had.

For lunch today we had BLT's with local bacon from Cheese Louise on Route 28 and homemade mayo. We drove up to the Woodstock area yesterday to get some trees at Woodstock Landscaping

 We ended up with a red maple.

A coral bark Maple.

And a weeping willow. This area gets really soggy because of an underground stream so the willow is going to love it!

We also looked around for bluebirds but only found this guy.

I don't think he was so happy to see us.

We've been wondering when to hang the hummingbird feeders. The trumpet vine is starting to pop and we thought we'd wait until it was a little greener. And then yesterday I looked out the window and there he was. First he went to where the feeder usually hangs and when it wasn't there he came up to the window and looked in.

He put the shame on us and 10 minutes later we had hung 3 feeders. These birds really have us on a short leash.

So I looked out the window the other morning and saw this guy. I thought I was still asleep for a second. When I realized I wasn't - we really did have a new guy visiting - I got the camera first. Guy is still hanging around. Then I got the book out. He is a rose-breasted Grosbeak and he was probably on his way up north. He stuck around all day and it was a great treat.

It's getting a little silly I know... all these feeders. And i just added two more of them. I was on a beautiful estate in Connecticut on a job last weekend and the land was not much different than ours. Tom Doyle the owner, a very cool sculptor and regular Ernest Hemingway, told me they got bluebirds. You just have to give them a house and they will come. The house has to be placed in the open. We have seen them up in the mountains and I'm gonna get'em here if I have to hunt them down, blindfold them and bring them myself. But I'm starting with some food.

James once saw an Oriole at 19 Maple Ave. We gotta just get more of them. The feeder looks like something out of fantastic planet.

They are attracted to orange and oranges and drink nectar like the hummingbirds.I'm starting to become a little self conscious about this bird thing.

Cold borscht with fixins is a definite summer favorite! 

Our rhododendrons didn't bloom for very long but they have almost doubled in size already this spring.


Our addition from last fall, a Kouza dogwood, is doing very well.

Azaleas and view.

This Swallowtail is enjoying our Azaleas. Please help yourself!

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