Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

People in Kansas City hoping for a white Christmas got more than they bargained for this year. We had a blizzard Christmas morning and got something like a foot of snow. It has been many years since we have had so much snow in a single storm. This would have been more fun if Elly hadn’t had to work on Saturday! We still enjoyed it though. Basie especially, shown here with a somewhat icy kong.

One of my absolute favorite things is to watch birds at our feeders on a snowy day, and we were treated to a real display on Christmas — flocks of juncos and goldfinches, a dozen or more cardinals, blue jays, a few white-throated sparrows, lots of house finches, and the usual mix of urban junk birds (house sparrows, starlings, and mourning doves). A crow even showed up in the early morning. This afternoon we added another bird to our backyard list, an American Tree Sparrow, bringing our count to 53.

Of course, we did a lot of cooking on Christmas day, another of our favorite things. We went Indian for Christmas dinner (Elly doing most of the work). I made a plum pudding for dessert (how-to post coming soon). For breakfast Christmas morning I made cranberry scones, following a terrific recipe in the Cooks Illustrated Baking cookbook. Lots of butter and cream make for an outstanding scone. (Not a diet food!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Haphazard Loiterer

For myself, being in a manner a haphazard loiterer about the world and prone to linger in its pleasant places, here have I been suffering day by day to steal away unheeded, spellbound, for aught I know, in this old enchanted pile. Having always a companionable feeling for my reader, and being prone to live with him on confidential terms, I shall make it a point to communicate to him my reveries and researches during this state of delicious thraldom. If they have the power of imparting to his imagination any of the witching charms of the place, he will not repine at lingering with me for a season in the legendary halls of the Alhambra.

— Washington Irving, The Alhambra