Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

Happy New Year everyone!  I wish I could say I rung in the New Year doing something exciting but exciting  isn't really appealing once one hits their 40's and you realize most of this holiday is hype and excuse to get drunk (nothing wrong with that of course, HA).  I do normally use it as an excuse to get a head start on my birds for the year but my cold I believe is now a sinus infection so have been house bound since yesterday when I left work early.   I'd do some kitchen window birding on Sunday after I finally mustered up the energy to get out there and re fill the feeders which all birds greatly appreciated.

One of my two Downy Woodpeckers who now inter mingle with my two Hairy Woodpeckers all fighting for their share of the two suet feeders.  At first I really liked this but now it can make for some confusing birding as I'll look out the window and see a Downy and then two minutes later in the same spot will be a Hairy so it makes me question my ID but what else is new.

The American Goldfinches I once described as peaceful and gentle have proven me wrong with frequent squabbles over the thistle feeder even though there are plenty of other spots for perching as you will see above.

This year has been my best season for Northern Cardinals with up to 16 at a time sometimes which is wonderful with the snow as they all really pop as you can see.

Enjoying breakfast with the Dark-eyed Juncos.

Who appreciate the wild bird seed I throw out to them along with the American Tree Sparrow who's been in my yard every day since the day after the storm.

Despite being sick I knew I had to attempt to get my abundance of citrus canned and preserved considering I spent over $15.00 for it all and needed to prepare it at the peek of freshness.

I've been looking forward to this since November and pictured how nice my house would smell and I'm sure it did but I would never know with my cold!  The first thing I'd can were Meyer Lemon and Lavender Airge-Doux which basically means sour and sweet in French.  The Sour is vinegar, the sweet is sugar and the bonus is an entire bottle of French white wine!  After preparing you hot water bath them and let them sit for a month and then you can use it with roasted chicken or pan seared scallops with the only preparation being putting them in the food processor and then in a sauce pan with a tad of butter and then Bon Appetite!

I'd be useless yesterday so tried to make up for it today as I also have 15 pounds of organic carrots I need to tend to so made some pickled carrots which was a simple brine with dill seed and whole cloves of garlic which used three pounds of the 15.  I'd use another three pounds for French Carrot Salad and dehydrate another 3 lbs for soups later this year so managed to get it done and use my new dehydrator no less!

Next would be candied lemon peel from the peels of the Airge-doux.  I thought this was going to be a pain but it was the easiest and tastiest thing I did all day so will be doing this more often as they taste just like lemon gum drops seriously!

And last but not least lemon marmalade which wasn't half as difficult as I thought it would be but it is a three day process but worth it in the end.  The bottle in the center is my lemon candied peel with the jar above them my dehydrated lemon peel for baking.  Thinking I'm done now with my Meyer Lemons but that's subject to change considering my obsession with them of course.

The birds would keep me entertained today as I cooked and canned including my new friend the American Crows who come to raid the real suet cage.  The little buggers have been known to grab an entire cake of suet and take off with it and I know it should annoy me but it doesn't as it makes me more in awe over how clever they are.

I'm looking forward to 2013 and have yet to sit down and think of any new bird goals I want for the year except continuing to try for my boreal birds as well as better understanding of call notes with warblers in particular considering I've only got 4 short months to learn them all!  I already miss them as winter boredom sets in so it gives me something to look forward to!

Take care all.


Amy said...

16 cardinals, I'm sorry but that is just crazy. :) Happy New Year, Kim! I enjoy following your blog though I am not big on commenting.

dAwN said...

Oh..can you share your lemon peel recipe? Hope you feel better soon! Happy New Year to You!


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