Saturday, February 21, 2015

Luke, Get the Tauntaun!

Hi Everyone!

Did you miss me?  I've been having technical difficulties with Blogger, and I may be moving this blog to another service because not being able to upload photos makes my blog, well, not my blog.  I find the photography at least as fun if not more so then the writing.  Right now, it just won't let me upload photos and I'm having not much luck figuring it out.  Grrrr....computers are your best friend or your worst enemy, honestly!

Winter has been very hard here at Grace Note.  We're ready to fetch the tauntauns!  If I could post the pictures for those of you not able to look out the window at the frozen world that is New England, you would see why.  The snow is now half way up the bottom floor windows, which is about 5 1/2 feet up.  Most of that fell in the span of 2 weeks and we've also been dipped into subzero weather for far too long.  It's becoming a problem with the morale around here.  I'm usually knee deep in gardening and chicken catalogs.  Not this year.  I can't even see the end of the snow tunnel here.  We wanted to wait to get the chickens until we'd be able to put them out in the outdoor pen after a few weeks in the house.  We could do that if the temps stay up high enough at night for us to have them outside.  Since the little chicks coop is currently full of over five feet of snow, and we're predicted 5-8" more inches tonight and another 12" possible on Wed...well, not feeling too optimistic about the chances of chicks arriving before June.  Planning this early for that is a bit tough since it's a bunch of time between now and then, a really, really long time.  And I would usually be putting some seeds in to have some seedlings ready to go when the ground warmed, but I'm looking at snow almost half way up the sliding glass door windows in our dining room.  We usually put the flats of seeds on the floor as it's the best sun.  Right now, the sun doesn't reach the floor because of the snow level.

Cabin fever has set in badly, feeling a bit hopeless, but that comes with the tough winter territory.  On the up side, we've been warmer this year with the new stove, that has been a blessing.  That along with the three cord of wood I got last summer, dry and wonderfully full of blessed BTU's.  Some days, I need a diversion to keep spirits up, not just for me but for the guys in the house as well.  Today's diversion included a yummy banana cake right from the Bob's Red Mill Baking Book.  Thought I'd share that with you in case you were needing a diversion of your own.

Banana Cake

makes1-8"x8" cake

1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c soy flour (I used all purpose since I have soy issues)
1/2 c ground flax seed meal
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c soy milk (I used almond milk, but any kind of milk will work)
1/3 c honey or maple syrup (or you could use cane sugar as well)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 med ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
3 T unsalted butter
1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8"x8" baking pan or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, flax seed meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, honey, egg, vanilla and bananas.  Combine milk mixture with the flour mixture until combined.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan.  Combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over the batter.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack.

Hope everyone out there is doing okay in this long and cold winter.  Our dog is the only one that seems to still be excited about new snowfall these days.  Keep on keepin' on! We'll get through it!

Enjoy a little comfort cake,