We are having our second spring here in the hill country, when everything blooms with relief after the summer heat. The air is crisp and dry, just chilly enough to make a small fire seem cozy, so we bake a lot of granola as an excuse to keep the oven set at 200 F. for hours at a thyme... mmmm... smells like heaven to me! My recipe is not very sweet, yet it is full of nuts and chunks that require careful tooth maintainence after every snack. Have you tried BrushPicks? They work great. My dentist said I am his Most Improved patient ever! Now if we could just do something about my hair, oh, this dry, frizzy weather!
So many butterflies in the yard for almost-November. I saw a Mourning Cloak on the Rue bush, they hibernate in ice balls overwinter and are also the first ones you see again in the spring:
Fave Science Factoid # 77: I, myself, personally witnessed several large specimens of this species sucking up a glob of exactly the same irredescent purple/brown/blue of their wings, from a fresh, juicy dog turd. Well, it was slightly ripe, enough to turn blue. No lie. I'd heard that the yellow butterfly's colour comes from its excrement, so it must be true? What a lovely shade of blue!
Fave Science Factoid # 44: African Swallowtail Butterflies have photo receptors in their genitals. so when the male achieves darkness he knows he's hit the mark. I read that in National Geographic, fave X-rated 'zine.
Back to the bead mines, Santa is a slave driver.
Recipe of the Week
Makes 8 cups.
In a big bowl, mix 1 stick melted butter with 1 cup brown sugar. Beat in 3 eggs (optional, but they make the clusters bigger). Beat in 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. vanilla (we like double vanilla), 1 tsp.cinnamon, ginger, or allspice, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus 3 cups old-fashioned oats and 1 or 2 cups of chopped nuts. Sliced almonds are my favourite, though this is the season for fresh pecans, yum. This should be a big ball of crumbly dough that almost sticks together.
Spread evenly on a big cookie sheet and bake at 250 F. until it smells done, take out and set the pan on a sheet of newspaper, scraping and turning the chunks to expose undercooked places. Return to oven and bake another 1/2 hour more or less, until it almost smells like it might be burning, then turn off the oven and let it sit there a long time until cool. Right, yeah, sure, it gets half eaten while the pan is hot around here!