Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Great tit accident, rabbits and goats in the snow

Snow again overnight though not a lot.  It is still trying to snow most of the time but I don't think it will get very deep.  It is cold out there though.  

The rabbits are quite happy out there with their large grassy area and covered run with tunnel to their lovely house.  

Stinky - as I've now named my neighbour's goat because he's still got all his dangly bits and is very smelly - is just tethered wherever they feel like putting him. He has no shelter and has to make do with bushes etc and I feel really sorry for him. 

My goats were curled up on the huge hay pile in the barn when I went up this morning to feed them and it makes me very aware of the poor conditions Stinky has. Animal welfare is not taken as seriously over here and I have to bite my tongue about it - different cultures different rules.

There was a wee drama this morning when a great tit flew into the sitting room windowpane.   The glass is not clean and I am amazed he didn’t see the pane.  He knocked himself out so I quickly scooped him up before the cats got to him and brought him in the warm for a cuddle.  My neighbours had a blue tit fly into their windowpane this week who wasn't so lucky and didn't survive the blow. 

About five minutes later he was chirping and struggling to be free.  I went back into the snowy outside world and carefully placed him on the birdtable.

 A few moments later he was happy to fly off and landed on my house wall.  

My daughter, Libby, makes wonderful biscuits - Anzac biscuits - which I love.  While looking through some magazines that a bowler's wife had kindly donated on Tuesday, I found a biscuit recipe.  I have never made biscuits before and didn't have all the ingredients listed but ended up making this up after reading their recipe:

Ginger and honey biscuits - my recipe made 31 gorgeous biscuits

Using an electric whisk or mixer cream 250g of soft butter with 250g caster sugar.
Add two good pieces of stem ginger chopped into tiny pieces with 2 or 3 tablespoon of the syrup from the ginger jar. 
Add a large tablespoon of honey.
Add a capful of almond extract – optional.
Add 250g of flour – if plain then add baking powder too.
Mix all ingredients together well.
Shape into walnut size blobs and space at least 5cm apart on a non-stick or greased baking tray.  They cook out to about 90-100mm/3.5-4" across.
Cook for about 25 minutes until firm at the edges but still soft in the centre.  Leave to cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  I ended up doing four batches as there was so much mixture.

I have only eaten four so far and the lid of the tin is now firmly closed for a few hours.  

For lunch I cooked stuffed red peppers.  I'd never cooked them before or eaten them before so I made it up as I went along.

Stuffed red peppers
Heat oven to 180°C.
Neatly cut off and retain lids of peppers.  Remove membrane and seeds from inside cavity.  Place peppers in ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.
In oil and butter fry off finely chopped mushrooms, bacon and garlic.  Add lemon juice, pulp from left over roasted tomatoes, finely chopped left over French beans, cooked rice, seasoning and lastly chopped parsley.
Fill the peppers and top with their lids.  Drizzle with more olive oil and cook for a further 15 minutes or until they are slightly charred – not burnt to a frazzle!

Place peppers on flat plate and spoon over the buttery, garlicky, oily juices from the bottom of the oven dish.  Eat with crusty bread and a small salad – I had lettuce leaves from the polytunnel, slices of Granny Smith apple and sliced radishes.

Right - I have just ten pages to read of my Book Club Book.  I saved them for today and I am going to sit with my mug of coffee and read them before I listen to the Archers omnibus podcast.

Three things I like:

1.   Listening to the Archers omnibus on a Sunday morning while I'm cooking lunch.
2.   Trying out a recipe I've never used before.
3.   Being able to take a real close up of a lovely wild bird.