Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Warmer winter food January 15, 2013

Filed under: Food,Nature and wildlife — lauravw @ 2:08 pm

prashadI am looking out onto a garden that is both covered in snow and filled with birds. It’s my day off, and I’ve spent much of it watching the birds and filling up their feeders – and hoping that the extra bird food I ordered will arrive soon. This morning I counted 15 blackbirds on the lawn, which I think is a new record for our little garden. Since then we’ve had fieldfares, starlings, blue tits, great tits, and lots of finches. It’s the finches who are running out of food: the ones in this area are very picky and like sunflower hearts. I’ve topped their feeder up with mixed seed and am hoping they will tolerate it until the new stuff arrives – there are dozens of them out there though, and I fear they will be tapping on the glass to complain any moment now.

But I am safely indoors where it is warm and cosy, and I’ve had time to do some baking – the first time the cake tin has had something in it for a week or two (tiramisu cupcakes, in case you’re wondering). I’ve also been going through a new cookbook and putting sticky notes on the pages of recipes I intend to try. It’s a bit of a new thing for me – an Indian cookbook. I’ve always avoiding cooking Indian food, fearing it would involve buying dozens of esoteric spices that go off before they get used. But I made one recipe at the weekend, and only had to buy two new spices for it (turmeric, and cumin seeds).

Now that I’ve flagged up a few more recipes, I think I’ll only need to add garam masala and mustard seeds, which won’t exactly break the bank. If I’m feeling particularly brave I may venture out to an area not too far from here where there are lots of Indian and Pakistani grocers. I managed to track down one of the ingredients for Sunday’s meal of pea and paneer curry in Tesco – the shop assistant asked me what it was wheh he scanned the paneer through the till, which made me feel better about the fact that I’d never tried it either. I have now, and it was delicious – though one of my wooden spoons is now stained yellow from all that turmeric…


4 Responses to “Warmer winter food”

  1. PinkCatJo Says:

    The birds have been ravenous here in London as well, and we’ve not really had any snow. They made quick work of a load of bread and leftover mince pies yesterday and I’ve ventured out (from my sick bed) to the shed today to put some food out for them. Poor little things! x

  2. Ali Says:

    My mother always has a wooden spoon dedicated solely to curry. You really don’t want to use the same one for making custard! Ask me how I know this….

  3. The bird visitors to our garden seem to have a preference for sunflower hearts, too, but the local shops have run out. Tiramisu cupcakes sound so yummy. No pictures? The new book looks interesting but I can’t buy any more cookbooks as we’ve run out of shelf space.

  4. Debbie Says:

    Lovely blog post as always. Glad it isn’t only me that seems to worry about our wildlife! I bought the visitors to my garden a new bird table for Christmas. I think they are just beginning to get used to it as I spotted a blackbird and starling on it the other day. Fingers crossed the other birds will overcome their shyness soon!

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