Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Baking Day

I love baking day. The apartment smells amazing and I, of course, have to taste test everything!

It seems we never have snack food in the house but both Dustin and I often just want something small. Today was the day to fix that. After my revelation that one didn't actually have to buy pre-made truffles, I began to wonder what I buy off the shelf because I assume I can't make it as well, or even at all, at home.

I decided on a cracker. Who doesn't love crackers? You can put tons of yummy things on top or just eat them plain. Originally, I wanted to make a saltine or club type cracker. In the end, I settled on a Graham cracker. Now, I hate Graham crackers. Maybe it's from all those years working in a nursery. It seems Graham crackers are the toddler snack of choice. But the blog where I found the recipe claimed these homemade Graham crackers were much better than the store-bought ones. That they would be more nutritional, flavorful and not crumble over every surface in sight. I have to say, it was right. These crackers are amazing. I had three and felt like I'd eaten a full meal. It was a strange sensation, but a good one. I will definitely be making them again.

I also made two loaves of Challah, which is usually what happens on a baking day, and a batch of very yummy and surprisingly healthy Apple Muffins. I have a lot of whole wheat flour sitting in the freezer and really wanted to use it up in something that wouldn't have that whole-wheaty texture/taste. You know the one. The one that tells you you're eating something healthy and that's really the only reason you're eating it. These turned out really well. They're definitely a breakfast food, not a dessert, but really good. The only change I made in the recipe was to cut the apple into chunks instead of shredding it. Chunks give the muffin more texture and keeps it moist longer.

I was going to make a batch of chewy granola bars but, alas, I didn't have nearly enough rolled oats for the recipe I wanted to use. Next week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Budgie Birdie

My husband and I have started to train our bird, Spring. Spring came to us as a refugee this past fall. She was four years old at least. Her former owners kept her fed and watered but that was about it. She didn't have a whole lot of human interaction and, as budgies are flock animals, has some mental damage because of that.

Spring has finally become comfortable in her new home and we like to think that she's warming up to us, too. She acknowledges the fact that we're alive, which is more than she seemed aware of when we first got her. She also seems interested in what happens outside of her cage, which is an improvement. At first, you could almost drop a book right next to her cage and she wouldn't even notice. I think never being taken out of the cage for the first four years of her life caused the "world" to become a cubic foot.

She loves running water. She sings to the dishwasher, she sings to the sink, she sings to the shower. She has begun to sing to Dustin. He'll whistle a three note ditty and she attempts to whistle it back. She even 'practices' his whistles when he's at work during the day. It's really the cutest thing. She is mated to the small bell in her cage. She spends hours snuggled up with it and 'preening' it. Sometimes they get into lover's fights and that's always a hoot. Especially, when the bell wins. :P

She will sit on your finger and feel safe when she's there, it's convincing her she wants to get on that's the problem. I have brought her out of the cage on my finger twice out of I don't want to tell you how many attempts. She'll eat off your finger but not out of your palm.

Training will be a slow process. But for a four year-old, pretty-much-wild bird, that's kind of a given. How to cause a five inch creature it should care about the world and accept two towering giants as the flock it's never had? Patience, lots of patience.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I just finished my first ever pair of crochet socks! See and admire!