Earlier this month I bought some suet and made some suet cakes for the birds.
Suet is beef fat, and can be purchased at the grocery store over in the (anyone?) beef section.
It's incredibly cheap, too.
So, what do you do with the suet?
My parents have always just put the suet out in some sort of suet feeder - some kind of metal cage - and let the birds have at it. The only thing to keep in mind is that if you're going to do that, the weather outside should be very very cold, otherwise the suet - or raw fat - could become rancid. Ick.
So why give the birds suet if it might become stinky and gross?
Because fat = calories = warmth for the tiny, feathered creatures out there, and in the winter, when food is scarce and temperatures are low, every little bit helps.
Yesterday we went to the mountains of West Warwick so the kids could ski.
Bet you didn't know there WERE mountains in West Warwick, but I can assure you that there are, or were, as of yesterday, before the rain came. they may not be the kind of mountains some of their cousins were skiing on out in the great big state of Washington, but my brave kids still tore up the eastern slopes in respectable fashion.
It's sort of a weird feeling - the feeling of not having anything looming ahead. All the holiday baking is done, holiday meals have been eaten, gifts exchanged and opened and played with, wrapping paper burned or put in my paper-making bin, plastic Barbie-imprisonment devices tossed in the trash, undecorated cookies thrown out for the seagulls and the squirrels.
Several weeks ago, before we got all this snow, I was in the kitchen and Julia was upstairs, and she suddenly came running downstairs to tell me that she'd seen a bunny! In the yard!
I was skeptical, since we don't see that many rabbits around here, and when we do, it's usually much warmer, but she insisted that it WAS a bunny, and that I should come see. I got my camera and we went upstairs and into the bathroom, because the window in that room gives us the best overall view of the back yard. We can also see right into the yard of the people living behind us, but I try not to look because they seem to have such an orderly backyard and ours, even at its best, seems kind of unruly.
This will not be a long, image-filled entry this morning. I've got too much other stuff to cram into the next two hours and mainly I'm hoping the winner will get back to me super fast so I can ship these things out TODAY, and thus avoid going near the post office any more this week.
So - at this very moment, my son is cutting out the numbers and pretty soon he will, after crumpling the pieces of paper, pick a winner.
Maybe a month ago Bill mentioned to the kids that at some point we should see if we could spot any Harbor seals on the rocks in the bay. Around this time of year, they show up in Narragansett Bay, and you can even go on Seal Watch trips out of Newport.
But we didn't want to spend money or go out on a boat. We just thought it would be fun to pick a few likely spots and head out on our own. So earlier this week we decided that Saturday morning would be a good time to go - nothing else was planned other than maybe some more baking - and so this morning, after I dropped a bunch of boxes of cookies off at the post office, we dressed warmly (though not warmly enough - I really need warmer gloves...and new boots) and headed for Jamestown.
If you're not already familiar with my daughter's dramatic and horrifying facial history, you need to go to this post and read it first. Or at least skim through the text and look at the pictures. Okay?
I know, I know. I owe you a food post or two, I have another giveaway to announce, and who knows what else.
I will be posting all that stuff later.
I was, in fact, about to start a post about something I baked on Saturday morning, but then something else happened and I felt compelled to interrupt myself with this breaking snippet from my life here.
There are over fifty entries in this contest, and I have to say I had the best time reading them all.
I'll be forcing asking my kids to do the usual writing of all the numbers and cutting them into separate pieces of paper, crumpling them into little balls and then, because people seem to like it when Scratchy chooses the winner, I'll give him the honor.
And once that's all done, I'll be back here with a long rambling post detailing every little moment in the drawing preparation, ending, finally, after hours, with the winner.
We've been doing things a bit differently this year. Decorating the house in a more relaxed fashion. Each day we've taken a little something else out of the closet in the basement and the kids are pretty much doing a lot of the actual placing of things around the house.
I had to help last night - we hung the stockings - all of them, including one for the lizard, who would probably bite Santa if given the opportunity. I had to help with that because the things we hang the people stockings from are heavy and I don't want the kids messing with them. And the pet stockings are hung on pushpins, and I don't want the kids messing with those either.
So I did the actual hanging of the stockings, but the kids have done nearly everything else so far. And it's looking very festive around here.
I had a couple days of feeling overwhelmed and all sorts of other ugly thoughts and feelings, but that's passed now. I worked on some more papery ornaments last night, need to photograph them and then post them.
Not a lot of new and interesting baking or cooking going on, though, at least not with photographs, but I'll try to get back to that next week.
For now, I'm trying to get all my Etsy stuff posted so it has a chance of selling, and then it'll be back to the cookie frenzy.