Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30, 2020 Focaccia Bread making

Covid19 Journal
We are ending the month of April with the aroma of 'fresh-picked-from-the garden' Rosemary, some added onions and red peppers.......yum........
Can you smell the scent permeating our kitchen?
Homemade yeast Rosemary Focaccia Bread.......... created by King Arthur  King Ron!

Bread baking has been #1 on our list of  #COVID19therapy activities.
Working with yeast has been a learning process as well.
If you are able to follow directions, the results are a guaranteed success!

BTW........ his apron has now been upgraded to a more masculine, less ruffled one.πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
Ron takes pride in not only following the directions, but adding his own creative touch to the finished product.
Here is the recipe: How to Make Easy Rosemary Focaccia
Thank you Chef Ron! #nocrumbsleftbehind 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April 26, 2020 Bewick's Wren Nesting and Babies

Covid19 Journal
The discovery of a newspaper box housing a bird nest was quite the surprise.
First sighting of the nest was April 15th.

Quiet, unassuming, protective...... all traits of  a mother protecting her eggs.
The BEWICK'S WREN special features include the white eyebrows, and slightly curved beak.
Males and females look the same.
The eggs take 13-15 days to hatch.
For such a tiny bird, they pack a punch in making noise.πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Welcome babies!

Each day I checked on them, like they were my own!
As they say, "Life Goes On"..... and just like that, the baby wrens were ready to move out and move on. It was getting crowded in the nest! It was time for them to spread their wings and fly away.

 And that is what they did.
It was a WRENching moment for me.😒😒😒

Thursday, April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020 Happy 73rd Birthday to King Ron.

Happy Birthday to You 🎡🎹🎢
Happy Birthday to You....
Happy Birthday dear King Ron...🎡🎢🎹
Happy Birthday to YOU.
Well......... here it is........... THE CARD! ⇧⇧⇧ This
dilapidated but treasured CARD, has been around the block.... for YEARS.
It is passed on to the recipient with the next birthday.
Ron is the keeper of the card until then.
It was started in 2006. Dot had given me this card for my birthday.
Ron crossed out my name, and gave it to HER for her birthday.πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
Here is the history πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
It seemed a bit strange this year to celebrate his birthday.......
at home......
with no one here........
but me.
But we made it work......
inspite of the COVID19 shelter-in-place restriction.
Ron started his day off, doing what he loves. shooting his bow!
A long celebratory phone call from Walter, and one from Sarah, brightened his day!
There was a drive-by drop off and greeting in the driveway by Lauren, Andrew, Wyatt.
Thank you Wyatt for Papa's card πŸ’—
And for the eggs from your chickens!!!πŸ’—
And for the key-lime pie and carrot cake from ATHENS CORNER GRILL.
The best part of the celebration came at the end of the day.
A ZOOM party with FAMILYπŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—
Singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY was a hoot!
Zooming is a fairly new experience for us..... but one that will not be our last!
MELT MY HEART πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—.Thanks for making this happen!
Sometime during the day, I had managed to experiment with BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

Thanks to all who sent birthday wishes........ but thanks most of all for family celebrations.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

April 18, 2020 The Baking of CHALLAH

Covid19 Journal
And just like that, so ends another week of #stayathome shenanigans πŸ˜….
For the encore grand finale .....
Voile πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

The traditional Jewish bread is usually made for Shabbat (Judaism's day of rest and seventh day of the week.). 
After making this multi-step,
multiple kneading/rising process,
I've concluded that this is without-a-doubt an act of LOVE.
Prepping time =  4 hours
Cooking time = 45 minutes
This has been a bucket-list baking item for me for some time.
With no place to go, the timing was perfect.
The flavor and shape of this eggy bread make for a superior end result that melts in your mouth.
CHALLAH PART 1:how to make challah dough (recipe here) This recipe makes 2 regular challahs.

Fresh yeast is a must! and it needs to activate with warm water, sugar, before adding to other ingredients.(usually about 10 minutes)
Then adding other ingredients, KNEAD, KNEAD, KNEAD and KNEAD.
Shape into a ball and let rise.
And rise AGAIN.
Yes, there was a tutorial provided in this recipe for braiding! 😁
CHALLAH Part 2: how to braid challah ( there was the standard triple braid, then the 4-strand Challah, and then the 6-strand Challah!)
The fun part begins with the braiding.

Then thisπŸ‘†πŸ‘†πŸ‘† rises AGAIN.
Bake 20 minutes, take out of oven, brush with egg wash, and continue baking for 20 more minutes.
***** Read the recipe before you begin to assure you understand each step.
The aroma of this bread was intoxicatingly pleasing.πŸ’“

Happy Baking............. and yes, we froze one of the loaves! πŸ˜ƒ

April 18, 2020 Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels.

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels

YUMMY.......... Eat your heart out Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa and  Chef Emeril Lagasse. These melt-in-your-mouth Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels did not last long.
I follow King Arthur Flour Recipes on Instagram.
This was a winner! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
Prep time........20 minutes
Yield ..............8 large pretzels
Total time to make........1 hr 10 minutes.

let it rise for 30 minutes before dividing into 8 sections.
Roll each ball out to about 20"
Then............ start the twist!
Before placing them on the baking sheet, dip and cover completely with this mixture:
Here is what the pretzels look like before baking!
YUM YUM YUM...........
******* Be sure to read the recipe before you start!

Friday, April 17, 2020

April 17, 2020 Roanoke Blue

Covid_19 Journal
The Roanoke Valley is showing appreciation for health care workers and first responders during the Covid19 pandemic. Valley Landmarks will be lit up in shades of blue and white Wednesday-Sunday to honor our workers.
Light It Blue is an international campaign, being used to give thanks to essential workers." Hundreds of structures including major sporting and entertainment venues, national landmarks and historic buildings were illuminated with blue lights in solidarity of the nation's gratitude for the tireless efforts of those on the front lines." 
Mill Mountain Star is shining blue and white.
The Berglund Center building illuminates blue and white surrounding the building.
The Well Fargo Tower in downtown Roanoke, fades from white, to blue, to white, to blue.
We are Roanoke.πŸ’™
Roanoke StrongπŸ’ͺ
Roanoke Proud πŸ’™
 Light it up blue πŸ’™
Mill Mountain Star 🌟


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020 Happy Hollow Gardens

COVID_19 Journal
Welcome to Happy Hollow Gardens.
"Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush."
(slush is that VIRUSπŸ˜–)
HAPPY HOLLOW GARDENS is a guaranteed cure for getting in touch with mother nature.
We also managed to accomplish a leisurely walk through the maze of azaleas.
Yes, a walk in this Roanoke County Park is just what we needed.
A neat place to visit, this jewel is a hidden gem right in our own backyard, so to speak.
Today we had the entire dense wooded area almost to ourselves.
The park houses over 800 azaleas on 34 acres of gardens, woodlands, and creeks.

Today the bees and the butterflies were in their 'happy' place!
Bees have a sweet tooth for the pollen and nectar to power their flight and nourish offspring.
Obviously they were not concerned about me taking their photograph while they were busy in flight!
We have visited this lovely garden many times.
Each time, we come away feeling as though we have been in a magical place, a secret garden.
It is always a treat to see nature in it's finest attire.
 In 1985 the land, which used to be a private residence, became a park in Roanoke County.
Happy April, y'all!