Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill
Published in the Freedom Watch October 31, 2005
Thank you Jim, a true patriot who has fought for our freedom on many fronts, for giving us this quote. May we ever be grateful for those who have died that we may be free and for those who have served us so valiantly.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

USB Ultra Sensitive Baloney

I've pouted, I've searched the Internet though I haven't a clue what they are talking about most of the time and I've prayed for a miracle, but alas it isn't to be, my USB port refuses to work. Don't know what that stands for all I know is I have to have it to move my pictures from my camera to the computer. I've even punched the number 3 on my cell phone's speed dial for help. No not the repair man but our oldest daughter Toni. This problem unfortunately is beyond her ability to assist through a phone call. First of all she would have to be able to decipher complicated computer language into something as simple as English or at least Piglatin. And for me, USB port is totally confusing especially now that I went into the inter workings of the computer and found there are a whole list of USB port thing a ma jigs.

This is killing me not being able to use photos that I'd planned to show you but in all things there is learning right? Just right now I don't want to learn it. Ugh!, I've some beautiful apple blossom pictures I wanted to share with you. I may have to start reading up on computers though because we have a natural disaster staying with us. She has the most alluring blue eyes and she is adorably short. In fact she's still wearing size 12 month clothes from last summer at 17 months old. She does this dance when she's excited that is contagiously joyful, just not when it is on the keyboard of our computer. Yes, one day I found her dancing happily on the keys while bent over clicking the mouse as fast as she could. I'm not sure which is worse, that or the time I found her clicking on and off the computer as fast as she could go. We lost the speakers that time. Will our software survive her is a big question.
To make matters worse, we've had lots and lots of rain for our area and the doors in the house have all shifted, OPEN. I can't even effectively lock her out of the room with the computer. I've just installed obstacle courses to slow her down and for me to trip over as I scramble to get to her. So whether the USB went on its own or if it had a little help I'm not sure but alas, I'm going to have to write not show you and so my blogs will change a bit in format and content until I can find a computer wiz to fix the problem. Our favorite handy man lives a 6 hour round trip away and I'm not willing to load up 3 small children to go, drop off the computer, and find something to do while he works. A pleasant enough day for me in the beautiful Black Hill of South Dakota but not a great foursome experience with three car seats.

Couple that with a rousing case of stomach flu that has rerouted food in the wrong direction leaving our clothes line repeatedly strung with bed linens. Tonight, I'm sure the action will heat up but for now AWE... blissful peace - they're all asleep. Oh no, I hear the sound of drums beating. No the Indians are not on the war path though I once was asked by a tourist if the Indians were friendly or if they went on the warpath often. lol I couldn't help but giggle. Yes, there is an Indian reservation up north of us, another south of us, and another one west of us but though we live in what was once called the Old West, the Indians only dress up for pow wows and tourists now. I don't think anyones been scalped since the 1800's. That doesn't keep the spirit of the warpath from occasionally entering our abode. Last night for instance the coveting of toys by cranky sick children broke out into acts of thievery which escalated into a brief heated skirmish. Or like now when our 17 month old white girl beats on the bedroom door like she was thumping on drums to tell us she's awake and wants out.
I finished stacking old railroad ties up on the north end of the garden and fence it to keep out the children, our son's dog when he comes to visit, and discourage the deer and antelope. An electric wire with a solar panel energy giving a mild jolt will run around the top.
Don't think I've sat and done nothing for my skills of holding a child while working were perfected on our three. Couple that with Kirk and the kid's mom and I've had some short breaks, I've been sneaking away for periods of time to rototill the garden - four hours done and four more to go. Enough accomplished that if the ground dries out a bit after ANOTHER rain storm last night, I'll try planting a few things tomorrow, flu bug willing that is. Wonderfully laid plans of planting three weeks ago have gone terribly astray. Wish I could bottle up frustration, I have a huge supply for sell but then who wants it? Now an antidote - that I could sell. But who knows maybe it will be for the best. Sometimes things turn out that way. The moisture we really can't complain heartily about for soon enough the heavens will shut down and the country will dry up turning a pale yellow once more. We don't get very much rain around here.
The plants are out growing the basement and it looks like a rain forest down there. The long stretch in the basement has taught me that for sure the full spectrum light increases the growth rate on the plants over the less expensive florescent grow light. Also the flick your finger at the tomato blossoms to pollinate them if done at the right time sends up a cloud of yellow pollen resulting in lots of tomatoes forming.

I made cinnamon rolls yesterday, a double batch. The kind where you make the dough up letting it rise twice and then freeze them. It's great because you then just pop them in the hot oven from the freezer. I made a batch of sourdough English muffins also. Didn't look too pretty but then working at a frantic pace can do that. The chocolate cake recipe I tried yesterday was a flop. Still looking for a good one from scratch. Kirk made chicken cor don bleu. Can you call it that when all he did is grill the chicken on the barbecue grill and slap a slice of ham on top with some Swiss Cheese?
The house on the other hand looks pretty dirty. Picked up but the bathrooms haven't been cleaned for a week and just today I dusted the living room. Being this dirty really bugs me but it was a choice of outside work or inside this week. You know what won.
When I need a break I kneel down a foot and a half in front of the beehives and watch them work, bring in pollen, have an occasional tiff, and simply rush about. No, I'm not veiled up just sitting facinated-- my bare arms and face exposed. Unless you poise a threat to their home, most bees are quite amicable. Did you know that bees only pollinate one type of flower on each flight? I saw one bee with bright orange pollen attached to its legs but all the others had pale yellow. The apple trees are in full bloom right now and not much else so I'd guess that is the source of the light pollen. Hope you liked the few photos I found already on the computer. They may be the last for a little while. GRRR>>>

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sorry, I'm havng technical difficulties but will try again to get the pictures to load in the morning.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adrenal Failure

See that pocket under my eye? Well, it's accenting a pupil that spasms when exposed to light. The cause is Adrenal failure. What's Adrenal failure ? For that matter what is adrenal? You've heard of adrenaline rushes, yes? That little zinging feeling that runs through your body and gives you the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Okay, maybe that was exaggerating it a bit but I have heard of people lifting super heavy objects off of someone when frightened for the victims life. It was a large increase of Cortisol flowing through their veins that did the trick making your heart beat faster and fueling your muscles with an increase in oxygen. It's the thing that made you leap backwards with amazing speed when your friend stuck a snake in your face when you were a teenager. If they know what's good for them they don't do that now.
Well, this little women, maybe I should rephrase that since I ain't little, this lady's adrenaline rushes just shut things down. The pump is defunct. The supply can't meet the demand or however you want to put it. Give me a stressful task and soon my legs grow weak and I can't lift them. My oxygen levels drop, my heart beat slows to a low enough level to set the hospital's alarm off, and my temperatures drop into the low 95.0 F. I've even experienced hypothermia.
So though you may have never heard of the Adrenal glands, if they don't function you ain't doing nothing honey. You hurt like crazy since the gland produces powerful anti-imflamatories and if you've gone through menopause, they are suppose to take over producing estrogen, and progesterone etc. for your ovaries. Hopefully you don't know how precious those hormones are.
The organ even messes with your sugar levels, and oh my, if you have type one does it mess with your electrolytes and cause dehydration. Three years later my doctor has decided that he was in denial the whole time and yes, though I'm not skinny like I'm suppose to be, DANG!!! That's probably why he didn't think I had it. And despite his efforts to treat me for Adrenal Fatigue, I'm not getting better but worse. In fact, I'm in the beginning stages of Adrenal failure just like I thought. Sometimes its awful to be right. So if you hear me say, " Oh how I love drugs." Don't take it wrong. Those handful of pills taken twice a day and those few in the middle mean the difference between breathing hard and exhausted because I walked across the room while I hustle to the bathroom where I deposit the incredible amounts of fluid I'm drinking while dehydrating and causing my heart to over work; and some what functioning.
What does this have to do with you? Little except if you are under a great deal of stress, you will not likely get Addisons but you will suffer Adrenal fatigue. Sustained stress releases high levels of cortisol continually which "destroys healthy muscle and bone, slows down healing and normal cell regeneration, co-opt biochemicals needed to make other vital hormones, impair digestion, metabolism and mental function, interfere with healthy endocrine function; and weaken your immune system. " Some medical professionals are now wondering if adrenal fatigue isn't a part of the problem with many people who have fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, premature menopause. In other words stress over a long period of time is very destructive. So quit stressing about things. Easier said than done, right?
Why am I reporting on such a depressing subject? It is raining AGAIN though the garden had just dried enough to possibly rototill tomorrow and I'm depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I decided to have a royal pity party. Want to join me? I'm sure your woes are much worse than mine so pretty soon I'll kick myself in the behind and get to work after all, I've 5 more loads of 14 loads of laundry to finish today and I really should start cleaning house. My is it dirty after working outside and neglecting it. No, I'm not keeping up taking care of 6? How do you women do it? How did I do it with 5?
Oh, yeah I forgot to show you what else you get with Addisons. No, not chubby gross knees but these lovely golden brown patches on your joints. This is a self-portrait. I'm sure the picture of me trying to take the picture would be far more entertaining but alas, I'm not that coordinated. My ankles are even darker.
I may not be one in a million but I am 1 in 100,000 as that is the number of people with Addisons. So though some say I'm a rare find, hardly a gem to some I'm sure, I am a 50 year old women doing the best she can with what she's been given. Thank heavens for good doctors and medicine. Today may be the first time I've taken Advil this year as believe it or not I'm not a pill taker. That is except for the large amount of vitamin and mineral supplements prescribed by my natural thinking doctor and the medications he orders to replace hormones I don't produce. I guess instead of a pity party I should be having a thank you party instead for modern medicine and the blessings it has had on my life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Checking the Bees

You long time followers may remember that I had to feed the bees last fall and through out the winter since last summer we lacked sufficient blossoms in part due to droves of grasshoppers who ate everything in sight. At first I fed sugar water from the outside of the hives as the temperatures dropped...

Then knowing that wouldn't work when the temperatures dropped down low, I ordered for the first time feeders for the inside of the hives. These black tubs substitute for frames in the hive which would have honey. Inside the tubs I poured thick sugar water that eventually crystallized. I put in one for each hive and refilled them before December hit and the below zero F temperatures.

Since there was still plenty of sugar water when I topped them off the second time I figured 1 sugar feeding frame would do. The sticks are for the bees to walk along and helps so they don't drown in the sugar water. This spring when the temperatures rose, be it that they rose very very slowly, I began to feed outside the hives again. The grand daughters came and it stayed cold with snow being a frequent visitor so the inside feeders remained. Today, I took a peek at them and went through the hives looking for brood. This feeder still had plenty of sugar. It was the weaker hive in the fall, meaning less bees. When spring cleaning began in the hives, the stronger hive soon had a large pile of dead bees at its entrance leading me to know that there had been starvation as a probable cause.

Yup, I knew I'd blown it. Sure enough when I looked inside the sugar feeder was empty. See those bees with their behinds sticking out. That is a sign that the bees starved to death. The perils of learning. Unfortunately, if you keep stock, bees, etc. you are going to make mistakes that costs lives. The hive luckily did not die out and is recovering as the queen is producing brood.
The once weak hive is doing great. The queen is busy laying eggs and when she gets rolling can lay up to 1900 eggs a day. Sorry the picture isn't bigger but peer into the open cells. See the white? That is larvae. The bees you see busy are female workers called Nurse Bees. They feed the eggs and larvae 1300 times a day on average a mixture of honey, pollen, and water and I complain about fixing 3 main meals and snacks each day.
The pollen you see on the bee's legs is put inside cells next to the eggs, larvae, and pupae.
That is the orange cells you see. Bees being efficient they aren't going to store pollen way off yonder if they have to fix that many meals a day. The cells you see closed are pupae that will hatch in 8 to 10 days. As the number of bees grow in the hive and hence the capacity for caring for the young and hauling in food for them and the working population then the number of eggs a queen will lay per day increases. Otherwise, she is just laying eggs destined to die. In fact it is the increase in pollen that stimulates her to lay eggs. That's why when I saw lots of pollen being hauled in last week I knew the queen would be busy.
It is amazing watching a queen lay eggs as she tucks her behind into a cell and bloop out comes an egg just that quick. Off to another cell she goes to repeat the process. With thousands of bees in a hive ,how do I know who's the queen? Well, her body is longer than a sterile worker. Or you can cheat and have the breeder mark the queen with a dot of paint. We did that for years. Quite handy when your hive is really full of bees and their climbing all over one another. With these hives it isn't a problem because they never became that populated last summer and hence they aren't that many bees now. As for the guys, well, I didn't see any as most are killed when winter hits. The girls get tired of feeding the lazy bums and either quit serving their meals so they starve to death or rip their wings off and dump them outside the hive. Cruel maybe, but the guys are perfectly capable of doing some work, but don't. A little tom foolery with a new queen is about all their good for and she then is fertile for a good 3 to 4 years and they just need a few around just in case the queen is lost. Those they produce come spring. I really can't blame the girls as they work really hard preparing for winter to just give the honey away to some lazy good for nothings. Yes, the Little Red Hen and I have much the same attitude.
See these larger sealed cells at the bottom of the picture? They will be drones since larger cells means larger bees. That is why I've got to order some new brood chamber frames as the old ones I have are a bit cluttered and will produce smaller worker bees. Not as big a bee as the drone but nice beefy girls that can do the hard labor. Maybe that's why the ole gal is laying in the pretty new honey frames just above the brood chamber. Yup, one of many many things I've to add to my To Do list. Typically the queen will lay her brood in the center of the frames in a circle. Is she laying in a normal pattern is one of the things you look for when you check out how the queen is doing? This and how many eggs is she laying for the number of bees in the hive. Lazy queens get replaced by particular bee keepers. You don't disturb the queen but rarely. Only if the sounds from hive are a angry disgruntled buzz that means the queen died, or you suspect that she isn't doing her job. The risk of checking you out too often is that you destroy the area some every time you go in and the bees are busy cleaning up your mess and not getting their other work done. Also you run the risk of killing the queen by smoothing her as you move things around, a bad bad move; no queen, no hive.

So as sad as it was to see that I nearly starved to death one of the hives, it was also fascinating. No, the hives are not ready to leave home yet and travel to alfalfa pastures. That means ornery bee that kept buzzing angrily in my ear when I went to feed them sugar water better change his attitude. I wasn't veiled up anymore and I just about squished him. Our grand daughters like to sit with me out in front of the hives just five feet from the entrance and watch the bees flying in and out. Mister groucho bee had better change his attitude.

If you missed me and what was once regular blogging, I hope to be back up to speed the end of next week. That's the plan anyway as my full-time babysitting will become part-time. Oh how I have missed my projects and blogging about them but know that even though I haven't posted I haven't sat on my toosh either. Okay, that wasn't exactly true as the 16 month old has her two eye teeth coming in and just wants to be held and the middle grand daughter has some serious emotional issues which require lengthy rocking chair time. It's a really sad story but what I want to say is I become a Grandma, not a nearly full time Mom again next week when our daughter and her three little ones move into an apartment. Though the grand daughters will spend many hours here, I will have some time of my own also. So beware, all those things I wanted to say and didn't have time to; yeah, here they come.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brenda's Photo Challenge

This is for Brenda's photo challenge again. Don't know if I'm a bit late or not. Life is soooo crazy.
But I hope that you enjoy these photos of the sunflowers from last summer.

I look forward to this years crop. The first two are wild sunflowers and the third is a volunteer that started from our bird feeder.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Food Preservation

A friend came over today and wanted a mini-food preservation class. It's May and we've had lots of snow. It wasn't coming from the garden. So I thought and thought and decided yes, I needed some dried beans canned and I'd do some fruit in the dehydrator. In went a couple apples. Love them since they are Braeburns which means naturally sweet and no added sugar is needed. I also don't dip them in lemon juice or anything. Cut them into quarter inch pieces and on to the trays they go. The don't turn brown in my dehydrator because it has a temperature dial which means they can dry before they get to that point. Sorry, no photo since it is still in the camera and it has been a couple really tough days meaning if this doesn't get up real quick the kids won't let me. That was the case yesterday. One extremely emotional child and the youngest is teething. Joys, NOT!
Knowing the kids loves dried bananas I sliced a bunch of them. Really, they don't look this brown. No matter what I did, the lighting excentuated the darker tones.Since I've a project in mind for the future, I finely grated some carrots and dried them. My thought is that I'm going to use them in wheat bread, muffins, and try making carrot cake with them. When ever I make carrot cake with fresh grated carrots, I never like it. I hate to admit it but I like the store box kind better. My goal is to not use a box cake mix from the store this year. Tomorrow, I'm going to put another batch of carrots in since there isn't much and they would be great in stews too. So many possibilities for them. Since I was grating, I tried to grate a red pepper and a green pepper. The fine grater didn't work. I used the coarse grinder and then the even coarser box grinder. Nope, I ended up chopping them into small pieces with a knife.
The plan is to use them and some finely grated carrots in cheese crackers. The wheat crackers I made this winter were good but it lacked the intense vegetable flavor I sought. Drying should entensify the vegetables and hence the crackers.
With this sinus infection I was craving fresh lemonade and I'd found some for a pretty good price. The girls got the opportunity to see how citrus juice is made and to add a twist I cooked sugar, water, and frozen strawberries. Then I strained the syrup and added it to the lemonade.
Then I finely grated the lemon rinds
and dried them. I've always used the store bought kind and looking at all those lemons I just couldn't bring myself not to use them to their full potential. We'll see how the flavor is. My only question is the pesticides that might be on the lemons but I thought what the hey, I'll see how it works and then if I ever get the opportunity to have some pesticide free ones I know what to do. For all I know the kind I've been buying has it also. I don't use much.

After the carrots and lemon rind were dry, I put in peach/pineapple blended fruit to make fruit leather. It was peaches I had canned in 2007. They weren't as pretty and peachy color having turned a slight shade of peachy brown which is normal but not so appealing in the bottom of your bowl. They say you are to use prime quality fruit to make your leather but this remake means the peaches are greeted with great enthusiasm and used up.
Then since I was out of canned dried beans, ( Is that an oxymoron?) I began canning. This is a mixture of beans but I've got Kidney, Navy, Black, and a few others to do. They are so handy for refried beans, ham and bean soup, chili etc.

Time to go make supper so I'd better close. Hope you had a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Feed Trial

A zillion chores to do before we could leave for Casper for our son's surgery. One of which was to unload this sack of feed, 2,000 pounds of it or 1 ton. We of course couldn't lift it so we borrowed a tractor to do the lifting.
With livestock feed being so expensive and new costs with extra mouths to feed, we have been looking for ways to save. An opportunity arose to buy this feed and we hope much more of it in the future. It is a combination of peas, wild oats (the dark wild rice like grains you see), oats, and wheat. They call it screenings because the grain is small and the chaff is still incorporated in the mixture. In other words, it hasn't been cleaned. For human consumption, they clean the wheat 3 or 4 times. Cleaning does not involve soap and water but the removal of the dirt, and chaff. In the olden days, that meant tossing it in the wind and letting it carry away the chaff which was light but today it also sifts the smaller grains from the larger ones.

Wheat being high in protein is an excellent feed for chickens. Remember the egg white consists of mostly protein but I also plan on feeding some to the goats and beef. It has proven and excellent feed for beef as my dad and brother can attest.

Snowflake is practicing the penguin walk. (It) not knowing what sex, squatted and then shuffled backwards while flapping its wings, a hilarious move which sent our oldest grand daughter into peels of laughter. Unfortuneately, we found Snowflake dead this morning in the chick cage of unknown causes. I suspect of the pasties though it was only a light smear. Being gone yesterday for our son's surgery, left them unattended. Such is life. All is well with our son but the surgery was a long wait, 5 hours, which was at first suppose to be 2 1/2 to 3 but due to some complications ended up being much longer.
The hatch wasn't nearly as good with 75 percent hatching and loosing two. A couple glitches in the incubation period really made a difference. I put some eggs of a friends in and she had ony a 50 percent hatch. She feeds lots of corn and not much else. I'm thinking the protein is really important. I did loose 1 chick during hatching and Snowflake. What I find interesting is that the chicks born to the Buff Orpington rooster and the Austrolorp hens were all black
with some having a hint of brown or they were black with only a hint of yellow. Look at Snowflake here. The chicks from the Austrolorp rooster and Buff Orpington hens had lots of yellow intermixed with black. Yet the combination of breeds was the same, Buff Orpington and Austrolorp. Not that there aren't a few other hen combinations such as my Wyadottes and Barred Rocks but the change in color with the two breeds is facinating when switching the roosters. I think I could get in to genetics if it weren't for all the nasty Algebra that goes along with it.

I must say that this batch must be more intelligent than the last for I catch them reading the paper more often. lol Or is that sleeping?
This is definitely a full blooded Austrolorp chick. Well, I think it is.

Since this is the only yellow chick, I believe this is a cross between the Buff Orpington rooster and a Buff hen. Semen can last up to 20 some days. It is just after 10 days that the chances of it goes way down.

My 16 month old grand daughter is asleep in my arms. My how you learn to multitask with little ones and so I'd best go lay her down and skidaddle getting some things done before she awakes. Hopefully, I'll get to work on the garden today. It's time to plant and I'm not anywhere close to being ready. Well, peas and cold weather crops at least. The weatherman is promising high 60's and even some 70's. Of course not many of his promises does he keep but one can hope. As long as it isn't snowing and the wind howling it has to be an improvement.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Little Ones

Miniature Hyacinths
Not much else is blooming except the dandelions are starting and a few small prairie flowers.The bees are bringing home the pollen. See their legs with the clumps of pollen on them. This is for the brood. Hopefully they aren't just storing it for I hope the queen is starting to lay eggs building up the bees numbers. More bees, more workers to fetch nectar to make honey. I will check the hives this week to see whats happening inside. The weather needs to be warm or I will chill the bees and kill them as I will go through the hive looking for brood and egg laying, not just open it and peek inside.

Oh yeah, we're cute and mom loves us. The kitten seems to be saying as HE recieves a good washing.
He was the only one outside playing when I went to the corrals yesterday with my camera. How do I know it is a HE? I peeked.
No, he's not hissing but meowing at me. As for his father, I never saw him. His other four siblings, I don't know what sex they are since I haven't picked them up but three of them I can tell you who the dad is. Yes, a litter can have kittens from different fathers. Could be where they come up with the saying" Tom Foolery". I never saw the Siamese male but the yellow kitten is sure to be Sue's, a male tom who lives in the hay stack. (I know Sue. That is a story I'll have to share with you.). There is a grey kitten and it is sure to be Percy's, a grey tom that was a kitten last year. Then there are two black and white kittens. They are definintely from the all black male that comes around whenever the girls come into heat. He takes up residency in the hay shed with Sue and Percy. Only unlike them, he's just passing through. Yeah, one of those love-em and leave-em kind of guys. Let's see, that makes four one night stands only she didn't do them in four nights.
Since female cats of breeding age are called Queens does that make her queen of the hussies for my does this girl get around. With having had a few female house cats and lots and lots of female barn cats, I can see why they're called a queen but I'd really like to know the story behind the name.
As for the mother of the other set of kittens, Cinders, a must more classy dame, was smitten by the black visiting tom. She has the cutest three little all black puff balls. She's all black and the males all black but he's short haired and she has medium long hair. What a sweetheart she is. A good mouser too which raises her ranking pretty high in my book.
You might remember these little ones of the neighbors.
They are growing up fast.

Eight little goslings waddling after folks.
Our three grown children are here for the weekend to celebrate our youngest's birthday. He's turning 26. You can stay looking young but your children will definitely age you by their birthdays. I'm going to go and enjoy. If I don't post before Tuesday, know that our son is having surgery on Monday and I'm thus occupied sitting in a chair keeping watch.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Wonderful Surprise

It's Today and Claire, bless her, was right. Don't you just love blog friends? We peeked inside and yup, the chicks were beginning to hatch.
Aren't they cute? These are the first three to arrive. Seven more are in different stages of hatching.

Even when they are all wet and rather yucky, they are cute.
How can you not love a little face like that.
We shall see how many hatch this time. I'm just thrilled that any are arriving at all.

As for the last batch, they are getting big.
A few are really friendly and don't mind being handled as long as food is involved.
As for those Apple Cinnamon Waffles
I did indeed make them again only this time I put everything in one bowl except the whipped egg whites in the cup and the flour. I mixed all the ingredients except those 2 and then added the flour followed by folding in the egg whites. Couldn't tell any difference doing it that way. Didn't think I would but then the first method lent itself to better photography.
I did change the recipe like I said I would and yup, it is much better. The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of vanilla. In the last experiment I dropped that to 2 teaspoons and this last time down to 1 teaspoon along with adding a 1/4 teaspoon of cloves.
Oh yeah, it brought out the apple flavor. Next time, I think I'll try using brown sugar instead of white. It probably won't make much difference since the amount is so minute but when I made an apple pie last night, I used brown sugar instead of white and loved the caramel flavor it added.
Your probably wondering if I ever leave a recipe alone. Actually I do but not until I think I can't improve on it any more.
Stayed tuned because we had a beautiful day today after the 6 or 7 inches of snow melted and I've some great baby animal shots. I'll try to get those up over the weekend. They are ready to download but I need to grab my purse and head over to my father's house to pick up our first load of wheat screening. Bye for now.