Sunday, November 05, 2006

Power Outage

toasty roasty...right when I updated to the new blogger version and was trying to choose a new template. Just as good, as I can focus on content instead of style. Nothing much to report on daily life here. It's the same old same old, playing with kids and eating a lot. It's gotten quite cold and we've started using the fireplace - it gets the place nice and toasty.

Today, Maddie and I made an Apricot Almond Bread. It turned out delicious and looks like a low fat recipe, with only 2 T of butter (see recipe below). My sister has loads of dried fruit and nuts in the cupboard that I thought I'd help use up. And Maddie loves to bake - she's good at mixing things and dumping things into the bowl from the measuring cup/spoon. In this picture you can tell that she has done her own haircut - she cut her bangs so short it looks like a mullet!

Coffee the catOn Wednesday, we went on a walk and spotted Coffee, a local cat. The girls preferred her to the dogs that were nearby. Wubby is slowly overcoming her fear of dogs, I believe. She was comfortable petting a nice, big one for a bit on the bridge. She loves walking to the bridge because there are always some ducks there that love to be fed. Edo brought some stale bread, but the girls always eat it for themselves - they don't understand that it's really old bread (and shouldn't taste that great). We try to lead by example but after a while just ended up throwing the bread ourselves.

le ragondinThere is also le ragondin - there was some discussion as to how this is translated in English. The best guess was a muskrat, but the concensus was that this wasn't right. We came home and looked up and the common name is a coypu or nutria. Never heard of either! Not that I really knew what a muskrat looks like. Anyways, they are both semi-aquatic rodents that are similar in appearance - except for the tail.

Maddie's drawingMaddie does a lot of drawing and coloring. Her people tend to look the same with 2 eyes, a nose marked by a straight line, outlined hair, a short torso, incredibly long legs, and a belly button. However, she did a really nice one a couple weeks ago that seemed to have a lot more character. It reminded me of some other work I've seen by adults. Another day she was coloring in a picture and these words came out of her mouth: "This is going to be more beautiful than the sky, and more beautiful than an Indian, and even more beautiful than a chinese person."

For life outside of France, I've finally gotten some tickets to leave and will be going to India in a couple weeks. My return tickets to Paris are for mid-March. The in-between bits are still unclear but I have confidence that things will work out.

Apricot - Almond Bread

40 min to prepare, about 1.5 hours to bake
Yield: 1 large loaf, or 1 medium loaf and 4 muffins
Moist and tart with apricots and crunchy with almonds, a little sweet, but not too sweet.

butter for the pan
1.5 cups thinly sliced dried apricots
1.5 cups water
2.5 cups flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 T softened butter
0.5 cup real maple syrup (or honey)
1 egg, beaten
1 t vanilla extract
0.5 - 1 t orange rind (ok without)
1 cup finely chopped almonds (or thinly sliced)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C. Butter a large loaf pan.
  2. Place apricots and water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 min. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and allow to cool for about 15 min.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients (except nuts) in a separate bowl.
  4. Stir the butter plus honey or syrup into the cooled apricot mixture. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, oragne rind, and almonds. Mix minimally but well.
  6. Spread into the prepared pan and bake about 1.5 hours, or until a probe inserted all the way down comes out clean. Try 40 minutes for muffins. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then rap the pan firmly a few times on its sides and bottom. The bread should slip right out. Cool at least 15 minutes more before attempting to slice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Be careful Lin! When I was four years old, I tried to pet a duck, and it bit my finger. Clearly, it scarred me for life.