Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More snow before it goes

2009 Extra Challenge - Clue number 2:
Paul is not a runner!

I decided to get some more photos of the snow as it's such a rare event! You won't be surprised to learn that my running has been on the treadmill this week as the lanes are treacherous.

Everywhere is looking so beautiful this morning as there has been a heavy frost (-4 or thereabouts so not too heavy). The sun is making everywhere sparkle as if the snow has been sprinkled with silver glitter.

There is a mist rolling up the field from the woods which looks quite ethereal.

There were beautiful ice crystals standing upright on top of the gate post.

The metal field gate looks amazing - as if it's grown hair overnight. Perhaps Jack Frost has knitted it an overcoat out of mohair!

The horses are really robust. Neither of them like their lovely snug neck covers so I only put them on at night - if I leave them on during the day they just rub and rub until bits of their mane come off.

Both of them had white tips of ice on top of their ears and their whiskers had little ice diamonds on the end of them. These have now disappeared 'cos they've had their brekkie but Esther still wanted to show everyone her magnificent muzzle!

Kizzy was just about to have a good old roll in the snow when she spotted me with the camera and got straight back up again - rolling is very private don't you know!

These fruit trees look as if they've been dipped in icing sugar.

This is the "birdy tree" which is just outside the lounge window. I've been refilling all the 5 feeders each day this week as the little birds especially need all the help they can get in this cold weather. Of course all the birds disappeared when I went near but usually the whole hedge, tree and ground are alive with birds

This week the tree and feeders have been visited by great tits, coal tits, blue tits, long-tailed tits, chaffinches, gold finches, green finches, blackbirds, robins, nuthatches, goldcrests, tree creepers, starlings, lesser spotted woodpeckers, jackdaws, magpies, crows and even a thrush! The ground is the territory of the ducks, moorhens (although they do like to creep through the hedge which looks most peculiar!), blackbirds (who find the feeders difficult), pheasants, dunnocks and pied wagtails.

I love the way that the ice outlines the leaves on this rhododendron. There's still a bit of snow left on it from the other day and the big fat red buds contrast beautifully against it.

As a gardener, the thing I love about winter is the promise of things to come - even in the toughest conditions the buds are standing there just waiting to burgeon into magnificent flowers.

Georgian Kachapuri Recipe for Shannon - Warning, they are very moreish and can damage your waistline!

Bread mixture :
225g white bread flour
15g fresh yeast (or a sachet of dried yeast if unavailable - just follow the instructions on the packet)
150ml lukewarm milk
25g softened unsalted butter

225g grated cheese - a hard cheese such as cheddar works well
225g Taleggio cheese cut into small chunks - or possibly mozzarella (you need a good gooey melter!)
1 beaten egg
15ml butter if you're forgetting cholesterol worries! (I sometimes leave this out)
Ground black pepper and salt to taste (I don't use any extra salt because the cheeses are quite salty)

egg yolk

This mixture makes 4 generous sized buns.

Grease a Yorkshire pudding tin with 4 holes.

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cream together the yeast and milk and add to the flour, mixing to form a dough then knead in the butter. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic then stick it back in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (1 - 1/5 hours).

While this is rising, put the cheeses and butter if using into a bowl, season and mix in the beaten egg.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly then divide into 4 pieces. Roll each out into a circle (about 7" diameter) and place over the holes in the tin. Divide the cheese mixture equally between them. Fold up the overhanging dough and squeeze it together to form little sacks. Cover and leave to rise again fro about 30 minutes.

Just before baking, brush the glaze all over. Bake for about 25 minutes at 180C then leave in the tin for a few minutes to solidify slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool a bit. Serve warm.

Philippa and Paige:

This is gorgeous little lady is Paige.

Thank goodness the little cardigan fits and isn't she a cutie? Awwwwwwh.

Philippa really looks like Granny Val too!

1 comment:

Shan said...

Lovely photos as usual, and thank you SO MUCH for the Kachapuri recipe! I shall try it today.