Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bird Rocks, More Bread and More Lazy Daze!

We have discovered some unusual rocks here at Rockhound that have us a bit puzzled. Our friend John Coxon found the first one and gave it to me. So what's so unusual about these rocks?

For one thing, when you put them in your hand and close your fist around them, they fit perfectly. I mean PERFECTLY, like they had been made when someone took wet clay and squeezed it in their fist and then fired it in a kiln. It doesn't seem to matter who puts them in their hand, they seem to fit everyone's fist.

The other thing that's kind of cool is that they look like birds! We have found quite a few of these and no one seems to know what they are. But we like them a lot.

We have a little family of three of them that we now have as part of the decorations in Cholula Red. Here's a photo.

Pretty cool, huh?

It's been delightful here in Deming. We now have four Lazy Daze here at Rockhound. In addition to us, there's Andy (in Skylark a 2003 Mid Bath), Debbie (In her brand new 2007 Rear Kitchen) and Ron and Jan in a 1996 Mid Bath. What fun to have all these rigs in one spot and be able to compare notes and see what everyone has done to personalize their rigs.

And what else are we up to? Well, my bread making is continuing, and to my surprise, every loaf is better than the last.

Regular readers will remember that I recently discovered No Knead Bread (you can read about it here), and every day I've been making a new loaf. I've been playing with several variations on the two basic recipes, adding different ingredients and varying the rising and cooking times.

So far, I have to say my very favorite addition is 1/4 to 1/2 cup of steel cut oats. Just this little bit of whole grain adds something so special, I now add it to all my breads. I'm thinking of playing around with other grains and will let you know the results (all suggestions welcome).

Another change is I've been adding a bit of yogurt to the liquid, looking for a somewhat more sour flavor. To that end, I'm also working on a sourdough starter so I can make sourdough bread.

I found a great site where you can get a starter that has been going since 1847 (no kidding!) and will play with that, but I have high hopes for my own starter. I'll let you know how that turns out. I did have a home made sourdough starter years ago, but haven't used it in so long I feel like a beginner.

I can tell you that I made French Toast this morning with homemade bread and it was sublime. Tonight we're trying pizza with homemade crust. I'm going to try it with a white sauce, garlic, chicken and smokey provolone. Yum!

Andy decided to try some of the No Knead Bread, but he's going to bake it in a closed container (like the instructions suggest). This way, we'll be able to see the difference between actually following the instructions and my work around method (water in a pie pan in the bottom of the oven, cooking the bread on an open pan).

Retirement is grand, giving all of us enough time to play with such foolishness.

Okay, enough food talk.

Yesterday I promised some bird pictures, so here they are. These were all taken, by Terry from inside the rig (through our darkly tinted windows) so I apologize if they're not as sharp and bright as I would hope (my Photoshop skills are somewhat limited).

Here's one of our House Finches. We have dozens of these little red birds. They are really colorful and active. Terry puts a bit of bird seed on the retaining wall outside our rig, so we have a perfect spot from which to observe them without scaring the little guys.

This guy is considering taking a bath. We had to put this rock in the dish so it doesn't blow away, but the birds seem to love it. It's like the community swimming hole.

This guy starts by just dipping the tiniest bit of his toe in the water,

then decides the temperature is just perfect for a bath.

This is one of a flock of Scaled Quail that liver here at Rockhound. We have never seen these birds here before, but they seem quite proud of the flock at the Visitors Center.

These guys are unlike any quails we've ever seen. I particularly like their little white top knots. Remember you can always click on any photo to see a larger version.

And here's a Pyrrhuloxia or Silver Cardinal. There are lots of these guys here at Rockhound, but we still get excited every time we see one.

Ah yes, Life is Good.

1 comment:

Anne Johnson said...

Gosh, that Scaled Quail picture is so beautiful it put tears in my eyes.