Monday, January 15, 2018

End of Winter Break Wherein All Hell Breaks Loose

On January 2nd they went back to school with a setting wolf moon.  Then we had a number of cancellations and delays due to frigid temps, icy roads and not enough snow to sled upon.  The man cub  had a sleepover and the following day he landed in the ER from an unexpected asthma flair.   We hunkered down and photograph the visitors in our well stocked feeders.  The flowers from our solstice party bloomed, and over the course of these cold, wintry weeks,  I baked a peach tart, chocolate banana tea loaves and a Palermo Pizza.  And, as is our tradition when we are lacking sled worthy snow, we took a day trip to a ski lodge to go tubing.

Full wolf moon setting at the bus stop

Robin Goodfellow

Eastern Bluebird

The finches

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Titmouse, Finch & Junco

Sassy Wren

Nuthatch and Dove

Ms. Cardinal

Mister Cardinal

Dark and decadent chocolate banana tea loaves: I had a tropical nightmare of overripe bananas that I didn’t want to waste so I made this treat from one of my favorite bakeries in NYC named Once Upon a Tart. I remember walking down the street one summer day and seeing a man burning decades of paint off the old and beautifully carved woodwork that donned the storefront door and window. I sat myself down on the sidewalk and watched while chatting him up. He told me they were restoring the shop for their new bakery. I came back the next day and watched him remove paint from the metal ceiling tiles. The thought of a tiny bakery on my block made me swoon and it quickly became my haunt. Many years later, when I moved to VA, I discovered they published a cookbook and in it, the recipe.

* Sfincione sans anchovies: When I lived in NYC, my most favorite pizza joint was Ben’s in SoHo. It was the only place I knew that made the Palermo pie aka Sfincione. Traditionally served on New Year’s Eve, it’s topped with tomato sauce, caramelized onions, sheep’s milk cheese and breadcrumbs. Here in VA it was a challenge to find good pizza in general, let alone Sicilian, and there is NOT a single sfincione to be had anywhere. I nearly forgot about it until my friend Marybeth posted a photo of one that she made and the memories of the bliss filled bite came flooding back in vivid detail. I hit the interwebs and searched for a recipe, determined to make that slice of heaven. And I did. And now I’m eating a left over slice for breakfast before we head to the mountains to go snow tubing with friends.

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posted by Wendy at 10:37 AM


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