Friday, February 5, 2016

Getting Ready

Starting the Day

Happy Friday

Grace, Haley, Kaya, Kirsten, Lanie, Melody, 2 or more

[Normal breakfast clatter and chatter]
I hear there's a new girl on the way.
But, I'm the new girl?
You can be the old new girl.
Hey, no one's older than I am. (laughing)
(Imitating Fred and George Weasley) We were new girls...together. (giggling)
(wistfully) I remember being new girl.
I was new girl longest. I mean, technically Melody was, but she was really only girl. None of us will ever be only girl.
You'll be "new girl" the shortest time. 
I haven't learned everything yet.
And now you'll have someone who will be learning with you.
True.
Time to head out. Let's go!
[Breakfast clean up clatter]

Xyra Note

In case you are wondering, we had Shoo Fly Pie for breakfast today. It's really good with hot tea, milk, coffee, juice...

This is a Pennsylvania Dutch treat. A molasses crumb cake with a layer of molasses goo at the bottom. This one wasn't from our favorite baker, but had a thick "wet bottom" that was not too sweet. There are a lot of recipes out there for Shoo Fly Pie some call for molasses while others call for table syrup and still others turkey syrup. All give a slightly different flavor to the cake part and the bottom layer. If you should search, be sure to specify "wet bottom."

Best wishes,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tea Review: Barry's Tea IB

Thirsty Thursday #6

Barry's Tea

Irish Breakfast

Hey, Kirsten, let's try Barry's Irish Breakfast tea this morning.
Ooo, sounds nice.
This box has unwrapped bags.
We'll have to find an empty tin to store them.
They're tagless too.
So we need a longer spoon to remove it.
Check. What makes this different from other teas?
Hmmm, the package just says, "select blended black teas." Let's look online while it steeps.
Okay. I see we're to brew for 3-5 minutes.
I've set the timer for 4 minutes, but just look at the color it already has!

Wow!
(Grace brings laptop to kitchen)
The Barry's Tea site doesn't list Irish Breakfast. I'm guessing from the photos that this is the Original Blend.
Sounds right. The company is from Cork, Ireland. (giggles)
Oh, I see in the tags for this page is "Irish Breakfast." (giggles)
Good.
Says, "We select our Original blend from the Assam valley of India and the gardens of Rwanda and Kenya, but it's the bright freshness of the African leaves that make this tea so refreshing."
Sounds interesting.
How are you doing with the bags?
Okay. I have all the bags in this tin.
Great!
(timer beeping)
Done!
Smells, I can't quite describe it. All I keep thinking is warm and lively.
A beautiful red color to the tea.
But it's not "red tea" like most people call rooibos.
Right.
I like how the red stands out in the cup.


First Taste: Plain
This is good. Robust.
Maybe too robust. (giggles) Would be good unsweetened over ice.

Second and Third Taste: Sweetened
I'm going to use table sugar in mine. I like it. Takes some of the edges off, but leaves the main character.
I'll do honey. Mmm, smooth. Switch!
Oh, I see what you mean. The honey does change the character a bit, but not too much.
The sugar is nice, but I think I still like the honey best.

Fourth Taste: Sweetened with Milk
Time to add milk. (giggling)
Jinx! I like the milk with the sugar. Creamy and robust at the same time.
Milk and honey is a good combination, but I think I like it best without the milk.

So if you are looking for a nice strong tea to start the day, try an Irish Breakfast blend.
And fix it your favorite way. The flavors will stand up and refresh you.

Xyra's Note

Since the Irish Breakfast blend is stronger than standard English Breakfast, do not oversteep. However, you can re-steep.

Happy sipping!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Good Ideas Go Awry

Behind the Scenes


Vocabulary

Awry
Pronounced: ə-rī or uh-rye
Part of speech:  Adverb and adjective
Definitions: 1) Away from the appropriate, planned, or expected course; amiss, wrong
2) Out of the normal or correct position; askew, crooked, lopsided, uneven, etc.

In our case, the first definition is best. Our plan did not go as expected. We had a great idea for a photoshoot, but forgot about how light works; especially with all the snow.

Photo Oops!




This is why you want light in front of the subject...in spite of possible squinting issues.

Have you had a perfect setting result in an icky picture? When? How did you recover? What did you learn?

Best wishes,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Checking the Feeder

Snow is still Deep

Feeding the Birds

Grace, Kaya, Lanie, 2 or more

We try to help our feathered friends when food is hard to find.
After the big snow we hung out a birdseed man.
I wonder if they have found it?
Let's go check!
Come on, Tatlo!


Hmm, doesn't look like it's been touched.
Oh. well, it's here when they need it.
True.

Do you feed the birds or other animals in your area? If yes, all year round or just in the winter?

So glad you stopped! See you again soon! A bientot!

Groundhogs 2016

Happy Groundhog Day!


I went outside to check on the groundhogs and their predictions.



One saw his shadow and the other did not. Can you tell which one did/did not and why? I guess we just have to wait and see what the next 47 days bring weather wise.

The official report from Punxsutawney Phil is he did not see his shadow; look for an early spring. I wonder what the fellow in Buffalo predicted. Do you have a groundhog ceremony in your area?

Outfit Note

Love this coat from Nana Kestrel. Not sure why they think it's a raincoat; doesn't seem to have that slick feel or coating. Definitely a lovely trench coat. Perfect for today; it's going to be in the high 40s low 50s.

Best wishes,