Saturday, November 27, 2010


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. It is one of my favorite because it is about gratitude, family & friends, and FOOD - one of my favorite things!  We were delighted to have my sister Sandi here to share this holiday with us. She drove here from Denver on TG day so we had homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade bread sticks for supper on TG.

the imperfect but tasty breadsticks - they are more uniform when the bakers haven't been drinking wine!

rolling out the sourdough breadsticks - yum!

Thanksgiving supper of fresh chicken noodle soup & sourdough breadsticks Plus fresh peach pie
Then on Friday we had the full TG meal which Sandi helped prepare. It included turkey breast (there were only 3 of us and we still had plenty of leftovers. The breeders have developed one strange bird with the huge breast.).  We had dressing (recipe from Wine Country newsletter called "Mom's Dressing") and it was a hit for the 2nd year, baked green bean casserole (thanks to Martha Stewart )made from scratch including the fried onions that came from our garden, butternut squash and carrots with a cocoa/cayenne topping, and cranberry/blueberry relish finished off with peach pie! Yum!

We played Sequence and finally a good ol' family favorite - 500 Rummy. Boy we get excited over that card game.
Sandi got the tour of the ranch, met the Dots for the first time, gathered eggs and got to pet a couple hens including "Goldie" who was so happy to see me since they are now free range again once we got the flower beds planted with bulbs and covered with chicken wire. I have to admit it is fun to have an animal like you enough to come running when you enter the yard. Sandi is taking several dozen eggs back to Denver.  When I gardened this summer, I put up produce with the idea of sharing with her. As you can see, she benefited from the bounty of the summer!

Eggs, homemade bread, homemade ketsup, jams of many flavors, pickles, pickled beets, marinara sauce and cherry pie; endamame, corn on the cob and some meat locally raised round out the bounty she is taking home.

At the Dot House gathering eggs

Checking out one of the Dots nestled in for lay'n

TG day opened with below zero temps and high wind but today it is 52 balmy degrees and no wind. Lovely!

The guinea fowl are enjoying the sun

The guineas have all bonded and during the extremely cold nights the babies hide under the wings of all the guineas not just mom because they are getting too big to fit just under mom. The babies are big and strong enough to fly now so they share the upper "penthouse" of the guinea shack where it is warmer and they have the mirror. Even with the cold weather, they continue to be very active during the day patrolling around the perimeter of the ranch.

Project Feeder Watch has begun and I submitted my first count just before Thanksgiving. Our feeders and trees and birdbath were filled with birds since the very cold weather. We have cardinals, chickadees, white breasted nuthatches, juncos, goldfinches, house finches, Harris sparrows, house sparrows, bluejays, flickers, and robins.  Some of these birds will stay all winter and others will move on and return in the spring. We'll see other types of birds who will winter here and some who are just passing through. We are still seeing geese flying V's over the ranch. It seems so late but it has been so mild - no snow yet this year in central Nebraska.

Here are pictures of some of our regulars........
The Northern Flicker that my cousin warned me about; she has one that put many many holes the size of a CD into the siding of her garage - so they are a nuisance. We'll watch him closely. I've only seen him at the water so hopefully he doesn't take a liking to our house. Mark saw him harassing our guineas outside their house so that won't fly at all. Anyone have flicker solutions?
white breasted nuthatch enjoying the bath

Cardinal in tree; one of 4 pairs living here

                           Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!


Janet said...

Sandi is one lucky lady to not only have a great sister, but take all the food home. But that is what it is about, sharing. We had 36 at Joyce's house, way too many kids and noise. ha But the next evening we reminisced with Gina and some of her family home from PA, IA, and NE. It was a good weekend, now I'm in SF to do some shopping and a few things on the house. Happy Thanksgiving. And thanks for sharing the pictures.

Anonymous said...

I see you put Sandi to work!!! We had a GREAT time in the mountains of NC with Lee, Bonnie, Matt, Christ, & gang for Thanksgiving, which you and Mark could have join us.