New kid on the block

This morning was beautiful. Everything was covered with frost, and the sun was just waking up. It was just below freezing this morning. The sun is warm on your skin, and is a sharp contrast to the cold in the air.

There was even some ice on the pond.

Yesterday we did a lot of running around and went into Kingston to stock up on some groceries and boxes for storing books.

We also got our hen turkey Maggie, a new boyfriend. Our Tom turkey Gobbles passed away in the late spring and I have not been able to find a good Tom since. Finally I lucked out and found a Bronze tom for sale. Maggie is also a Bronze. 

When we got to the place to pick him up, the girl said "is one of you comfortable catching turkeys, because I don't handle them..." I said I was. I handle ours all the time. I wasn't about to make Kevin do it. He brought the kennel we had and set it down next to the turkey cage. There were two young toms in the pen, two hen turkeys, and a huge, and I mean HUGE, full grown tom turkey. The pen wasn't very big but you could not stand up in it. Turkeys do not like to be held, they flap their wings, can attack you with their beaks. I was only concerned about not being able to keep my face away from them. They tried to use their wings but they didn't not try and attack me thankfully, they were not mean. I caught one pretty easily and pulled him out and put him in the kennel. Once you have a proper hold of a turkey, he will just go limp and mellow out and you can pick him up and carry him anywhere (as long as you can hold him, they get heavy!)

His name is Snickerdoodle. Or Snick for short.

Torn Ear didn't show up last night. He's been coming regularly. Two nights ago he showed up and his drop tine was broken and his one eye is gone, gouged out. Kevin got a good look at him with the binoculars. His neck was all scratched up as well. We had seen Deer Norman Monday night and we were temporarily worried Deer Norman had challenged him. But Deer Norman showed up last night with not a scratch on him. I am worried about Torn Ear. Worried because it is hunting season for the next two weeks and worried about him getting through the winter now with his injuries. But it is just the way nature is.

My old doe Goofy showed up on Monday night. I went outside to head up to the barn to put the animals to bed and she was just standing there starring at me. I started crying as soon as I saw her. She left early last year and I thought she had died. She is not alone this year either, she has a fawn again.

Sammy got his first carrot today and he thought it was OK....

Beatrice liked it a lot better!

Last night it was cold and crisp outside and the sky was bright and full of stars. I was standing outside looking at the stars, drawing my favorite constellation in the air, as I do every single night, and I saw a shooting star! It's been a couple of years since I saw my last one and I've been looking for a while. It was beautiful and it came at such a great time. It always makes my heart skip a beat.

Today I made this wonderful cheese and chive Challah Bread. It smelled amazing baking. And as far as bread making goes, this one is on the easier scale.

This recipe is from Cooking light magazine and calls for Fontina cheese or Gruyere, I used Gouda.

1 cup warm 2% reduced fat milk
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
3/4 shredded cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided (about 3 cups)
2 1/4 cups bread flour
cooking spray
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in butter, salt, 5 egg yolks, and 3 eggs. Stir in cheese and chives. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into a measuring cups, level with a knife. Add 2 1/4 cups of bread flour and 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour to yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky).

2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding remaining 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to cover. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch down dough, cover and let rise 50 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, it has risen enough.)

3. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Roll each ball into a rope about 15 inches long. Place 3 ropes parallel to one another and braid ropes. Pinch ends together and tuck under loaf. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 ropes. Place loaves on baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

5. Combine 1 egg and 2 tbs water, stirring well with a whisk. Brush loaves gently with egg mixture. Sprinkle loaves evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

Then slice and enjoy!

We had a simple dinner of baked salmon. I cleaned in the barn most of the day so I was tired and Kevin was busy organizing things. We went out for a quick ride but it was almost dark so we returned home and tucked in for the night by the fire.


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