Saturday, 17 January 2015

A Kiss of Frost

Gentle Reader ~~~ the sun is shining brightly in a clear, blue Winter sky and the storms have moved on ~~~

Thank you to everyone who took time to reply to my recent question.  You have given me much food for thought, and some of the replies have surprised me in that the font is easy to read on small devices.  I am not going to reply individually {as I usually do} but I have read everything you have said and am now sifting through the pros and cons.  I think the search will be on for something that is  more easily read ~~~sighs and moves over, once more, to the drawing board~~~ but in the meantime, for the next few entries, I am reverting to something more simple ~~~ and it is now more like my own handwriting ~~~ oh, don't you just love an indecisive Libran?

For three days, a Winter storm raged over our heads, with gusting winds of up to 80 mph.  We did not have snow.  Instead, we had rain, rain, and more rain, with some hailstones thrown in for good measure.  The chimney rattled and shook, the rafters in the roof rafted, ~~~ and my rosemary plant of twenty years was rent in two.

We learned a new word.  Thundersnow.  This is the new buzz word I'm hearing or reading it everywhere, or so it seems. We did not have thundersnow, we just had a lot of thunder and lightening with plenty of rain. No snow.  I would love to see thundersnow, for I know it would give an interesting light for photographs.  I see such beauty and possibility in even the most adverse weather conditions, as long as everyone stays safe and free from harm.

We did have some frost! Not very much, but here are a few quick snaps for you ~~~ this first one fascinates me with all the puddly bits underneath the grass ~~~



This one is just frosty kisses on a delicate moss {the current scourge of my lawn} ~~~



After Hallowe'en, I put my pumpkins {the ones that didn't get eaten} in the garden for birds to peck, and this is what it looks like with a dusting of frost ~~~ I see so much in this and I'm itchin' and twitchin' to do some print making from this ~~~



I do not dead head until the Spring, leaving berries and seeds for the birds to forage naturally, as well as supplementing their food from the feeders. It is important for them to forage too ~~~



Tiny speckles of glistening frost on what I think might be a daisy plant ~~~



One of my favourites ~~~ rosy red and orange rose~hips with a backdrop of a frosty pumpkin ~~~



It is time for filling comfort food, and one of my favourite dishes to make in the depths of Winter is my Broccoli and Cheese Casserole.  It is very simple, and quick too, deliciously tasty, and warmly filling ~~~ here is the recipe ~~~

Ingredients ~
10 oz frozen {do not use fresh} broccoli
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
3/4 cup cottage cheese
2 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon grainy mustard {optional}
salt and pepper to taste
1 oz butter

Method ~
Blanch the frozen broccoli in boiling water for two minutes. Remove and plunge into cold water to prevent any further cooking.  Drain well and set to one side.
Pre~heat your oven to Gas Mark 5 {375F or 190C}
Place the butter in an oven proof casserole dish and put in the oven to melt.
In a bowl, beat the egg and stir in the flour and mustard, salt and pepper if using, adding both the cheeses.  Stir in the cooled, drained broccoli.
Tip the mixture into the melted butter in the hot casserole dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is hot through and the cheeses are bubbling and golden brown.

Serves two with hot with crusty bread as a vegetarian main dish or four as a side dish. It is also very good cold, and reheats well.



I have also been using up the Christmas left overs and made some delicious marzipan mincemeat palmiers and will share those with you next time!  In the meantime, remember, despite the Wutheringly Wild Winter Weather ~~~

~~~A Gardener's Work is Never Done~~~

22 comments:

  1. The top of the pumpkin is stunning, I love the simple beauty in things like that.
    We have just had a gentle fall of snow & hail stones yesterday but it is all quiet now, just cold.
    I do not dead head too until the Spring, it is fun to see all the birds & squirrels gathering in the garden.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Dear Michelle ~ oh! how I long for snowfall! We seldom see snow in the west for we stick out, just ever so slightly, into the Gulf Stream which keeps snow at bay. You know it is bad if we have snow!
      Yes, it is fun to watch all the wildlife in the garden
      ~~~ Deb ~~~

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  2. Hi Deborah,
    Oh how beautiful the photos are!!
    And YUM!!! That looks delish! I wonder if it would be as tasty gluten free? I think it would be worth while for me to try :-)

    I chuckled to myself when I realized that my last comment probably was left right while you were changing the font!! tee hee!
    Sending warmth, Linnie

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    1. I figured you had seen the original font given you great comment. I may remove the post as it seems irrelevant now and it was simply to get feedback on the font, which I loved dearly but if it isn't readable on screens then there is little point.
      I don't see why the dish wouldn't work gluten free as long as gluten free flour is absorbent, for the broccoli gives off quite a lot of water and the flour helps absorb it. Also, as mustards sometimes contain gluten then you'd have to either omit or find a suitable replacement. Nothing is impossible!
      Speaking of which, I must find a way to retrieve my older frosty photographs which leave these ones in the snow!
      ~~~Deb~~~

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  3. First I'd very photogenic and at least should kill some garden nasties.

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    1. Thank you , Sue. I'm afraid we had no frost last winter whatsoever, and I know you know what havoc that can wreck the following spring when the bugs all emerge! So far, this is all we have had. We need to get below freezing for a week now, at least. ~~~Deb

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  4. Love this blog, Debs. The font is very appealing and like hand printing. A winner! Your frosty photographs have wonderful design possibilities and can't wait to see what you come up with. I'm going to try your broccoli and cheese casserole. I haven't tried one with cottage cheese and mustard. It sounds interesting. I'm also looking forward to your marzipan mincemeat palmiers. I have some mincemeat leftover and would like to try something different. Thank you again for sharing. xo

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    1. Thank you! I think this font will have to be my second choice keeper! Do try the casserole, it is quick and easy and quite delicious. You can add whatever you like, too, some crumbled bacon even on top. ~~~Deb

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  5. Deb, your photographs are just beautiful! The frosty designs are just beautiful! Your broccoli casserole looks delicious. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, and of course add cheese to a dish and I'm all over it! Glad you are safe and sound after your storm. ♥

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    1. Hi Martha Ellen ~ thank you! I do wish I could find my earlier photographs that I took with my older camera though. I'm still searching through *that* collection now ;) ~~~Deb

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  6. Oh, Deb! It's magical to see the kiss of frost in your garden! The moss glistens in the frost and the pumpkins are in their glory. Your rosehips are the most beautiful color! After a cold walk through the garden, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole would be so yummy! Thanks for sharing one of your favorite recipes with us. Looking forward to more delights from your cozy kitchen! ♡

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    1. Thank you, Dawn ~~~ yes, frost brings such a change to a garden and I am bringing on some special grasses in the hopes that we will have a proper frost sometime in the future. The pumpkins are now collapsing and the birds are pecking away at the flesh and seeds daily ~~~Deb

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  7. Deb, I love seeing your frost photos. We rarely have that kind of frost here. It's usually just ice. And I can hardly imagine 80 mph winds! Are you near the coast? I'm sorry to hear about your Rosemary plant. Twenty years is like losing an old friend! You do live in a wild (and wonderful most of the time) place.

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    1. Hello Cathy ~ we haven't had much frost at all the last two years now {and we really need it for the gardens as it helps kill back the pests and slows down new growth} but I do so enjoy the kind of frost, which lends itself to photography well.
      Yes, Rosemary moved house with me three times. There is still a little life left in the old girl, so we shall hope for a recovery in Spring.
      Less than a mile from the sea ~ and the wild Atlantic winds have nothing to slow them down as the thunder towards us ~ you get used to it, and it isn't every day ~ but today is gloriously calm and still! ~~~Deb

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  8. Great photos. And thanks for the recipe. My kids will love this!

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    1. Hello Lisa ~ thank you, I hope they do enjoy it! ~~~Deb

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  9. Beautiful photos! I do believe the moss is my favorite. I have some of that moss in my yard, too.

    I love broccoli and cheese together, this sounds like a recipe to try soon. I think I have everything I need to make it.

    Take care, my friend, in those winds. Don't get blown away! And I hope Rosemary makes a comeback in the Spring.

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    1. Thank you Darlene! I have plenty more moss, many different varieties ~ it seems to thrive all around here! I wonder why?
      I hope you do try the recipe, I think you will enjoy and it is so quick and easy too. ~~~Deb xo

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    2. I made this for lunch today. It was delicious! I asked Tom if it was a "keeper"? He said, "oh, yeah!". We ate it all and both wanted a bit more, so next time I will double it. Methinks that leftovers are not a bad thing!

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  10. Here in Michigan we get Thundersnow often enough. It's a very strange phenomena. Cant imagine it in England. I just found your blog. I had to copy the poem and print it out. I can see why its a favourite.
    Janice

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    1. Hello Janice ~ I would love to see Thundersnow, I can just imagine it being very strange indeed. I'm pleased you like the poem. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you will come back and read the poems I shared today ~ this time they are my own words! ~~~Deb

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments