Friday, May 27, 2011

River Fauna

A continuation of the previous post, and general exhilaration at seeing so many native woodpeckers.  Pictures are the Red Headed (above), and the Red Bellied (further down, and seriously mis-named).

A mother Turtle lays her eggs in our yard.

I'm not really sure what was going on here.  I just happened to have the camera aimed at the right moment.

Further evidence that animals do silly things when you have a camera pointed at them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

River Flora and the Start of Summer

Normally Summer would be a much anticipated and happy season.  But not in the Southeast.  It's already reaching sweltering temperatures of 97 degrees.  

Ridiculous.  It's not even summer yet.  It's not even June yet!

These pictures are from the Easter weekend at the River house in Florida.  I'm still behind in all of my postings.  Typical.

My job has forced me to travel a lot in the past few months.  Since March, I have not spend more than a week straight in my apartment.  Hotel living in tough.  Even tougher to blog in such conditions.  I haven't had any opportunity to cook any food for myself.  Nothing but fast food and take out for me.  Not cool.

My intention is to use my day off tomorrow as a spa and relaxation day.  Then back to the grind in a different location.

By the way, I've been promoted.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


It was a beautiful day at the River House.

Fish were jumpin', and the cotton was high . . . .

ok, I may have stolen that line from a Gershwin opera,  but nevertheless, the fish were, in fact, jumping.

And this guy was trying to catch them:

He never ended up catching any, but he sure tried.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Whole Grain White Waffles with Walnuts, Oats, and Cranberries

Yep, I made waffles again.  And they were delicious!

And they freeze exceptionally well, so I can make a whole batch and just heat them up as I need.  Most mornings I can only tackle half of one anyway, so it's perfect.

In other news, I still live out of a hotel in Bluffton, SC.  Luckily, I've had a few jaunts back home to keep me going.  Also, I had a wonderful Easter holiday down in Florida with my family.  More on that later, I promise.  The pictures of the wildlife are too cute not to share!

Back to these waffles:

I took my standard Whole Wheat Waffle recipe and made some variations on what I had available.  I didn't have vanilla extract, so I substituted pure almond extract, which gave it a delightfully fragrant smell.  I also finished off a bag of oatmeal I had lingering about, and some chopped candied walnuts.  The best part was the scattered cranberries throughout the dough.  They've been in my freezer since winter, so look for more creative uses as I try to get rid of them.

Whole Grain White Waffles with Oats, Walnuts, and Cranberries


1 1/2 c Whole Grain White Flour
1/3 c oats
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
1 large egg
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c almond milk
1/3 c melted butter
1 t almond extract
4-6 cranberries per waffle (best to sprinkle over dough before closing waffle maker)

makes about 3 large waffles

Monday, May 2, 2011

Country Breakfast

Just a simple country Breakfast.

I woke up after a leisurely morning of sleeping in at the River House.  My Father had this waiting on me.

Buttermilk Biscuit and Sausage Gravy.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Easter of Pysanky

Nana brought her egg decorating kit, which she had housed in her garage for years.  Every year she took it out with intentions to decorate eggs in this method.  And each year she put it back because it would be "too much work."

This year we stuck it out.  And with amazing results.

Pysanky is the Ukrainian method of decorating eggs.  It is translated as "to write," as you draw lines with bees wax.  It is extremely time consuming, but yields beautiful results. 

There is also an interesting amount of folklore attached to them.
"Pysanky with spiral motifs were the most powerful, as the demons and other unholy creatures would be trapped within the spirals forever. A blessed pysanka could be used to find demons hidden in the dark corners of your house."

"Pysanky held powerful magic, and had to be disposed of properly, lest a witch get a hold of one. She could use the shell to gather dew, and use the gathered dew to dry up milk cows. The witch could use bits of the eggshell to poke people and sicken them. The eggshell had to be ground up very finely (and fed to chickens to make them good egg layers) or broken into pieces and tossed into a running stream."

Silly, right? (taken from wikipedia)

Boiled eggs, apparently, dry up into nothing and leave just the shell.  I always thought they would spoil.  Alas, they do not.  Well, we shall see what happens with these.

And of course, there were some casualties . . .

And we will definitely repeat this next year.  With a little more know-how.

And it was a lot of work.  And very time consuming.

For more information on Pysanky, click here.