Monday, 29 August 2011

The Possible Pecking of the Pecan Pie

We are continuing our saga with the chickens – simply because they offer hours of amusement. 

Our little black hen is still sitting on her eggs in the pot pourri basket in the dining room. We had a group of 14 wonderful people staying for the weekend, so there has been lots of food and fun! Little hen was not disturbed in the slightest by all the party noise and mayhem going on just two feet from her nest. Such a dedicated and special mother!  She sits there day and night as still as a stone, only going out for half an hour a day to stretch her legs, grab a bite to eat, a drink of water and fluffing her feathers.  Then after her ablutions she sneaks back into her nest, shifts the eggs around, as they need to be turned every so often and there she lies looking after her brood.  Actually, it is quite comical to see her off the nest because she has a genuine problem with walking and looks like a cat with socks on.  She can’t quite decide what to do with her feet after all the sitting!

On Saturday for dinner we served roast lamb, venison pie with vegetables and two puddings – one of them was Pecan Pie (this is a pecan producing farm, so all our guests get a pecan pie experience at least once!).  While I was out of the kitchen, one of our guests, Linda, who was sitting on the stoep like a dassie in the sun with her knitting, heard a noise in the kitchen and found our darling, cheeky (foul) fowl “Chicken Pie” in the kitchen on the counter sniffing around for a tasty morsel.  The Pecan Pie was cooling on the counter and she was fast approaching it with serious intent when she was shooed out of the door.  I then came in to hear of this near disaster and on telling the story to my daughter, Kate, we decided to name the incident “The Possible Pecking of the Pecan Pie”!  I was relieved to see that she had not started on her snack and the pie was unscathed all thanks to Linda, “The Protecter of the Pudding”!  It was enjoyed by all and soon the recipe will be posted on this blog for all to enjoy.

Right, enough about the chooks and on to the change in the weather.  Spring is springing and it is just bloody marvellous!!  Everywhere there are signs of new life.  Newborn lambs, blossoms, pale green new leaves on the trees, especially the willows.  There is almost no sight more heart-warming for me than to see than the willows coming back to life after a hard, cold winter.  Having grown up here in the valley, I have always had a soft spot for willows in particular.  We had them in our garden and one of our favourite playtimes was grabbing a branch and swinging over the furrow – so much better than a jungle gym!  Also, they were very climbable so we spent many an hour pretending to be monkeys and other creatures.  My ‘cuz’ Alan did the best impression of a monkey – but more of his antics as a child another time.  A legend and still naughty to this day!!

Oh, so much to tell you and so many recipes to share!  Today’s recipe is for Easy Cheese Puffs.  And the name describes them to a T.  I made them for breakfast this morning to wide acclaim. So here goes:

Flour                      - 1 cup (250 ml)
Baking Powder    - 1 dessert spoon
Cheese                  - 1 cup (grated Cheddar)
Milk                       - 1 cup
Oil                          - 50 ml (mixed in the milk)
Salt                        - small pinch
Cayenne Pepper - small shake
·       Mix all the ingredients together
·       Put into muffin tin
·       Bake at 180 deg - +- 20 minutes

 See how easy it is?  They can be baking while you set the breakfast table or if a friend pops in for coffee, while she (I am presuming it will be a she, but you never know!!) is talking, you can mix a batch while the oven is heating and the kettle is boiling and you are hearing about the latest shopping expedition/bargains/husband irritations (but don’t we just adore them!? – most of the time!) you can sit down and enjoy soft cheesy puffs with butter oozing out of the centre and forget about any angst for a few minutes.............. YUM!


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