I never know what I'll post on this blog until pretty much the second I upload an image.
But tomorrow is January 4th, which is Joe's birthday, so a bright orange Oriole is very apropos, as it's his favorite color, and they're pretty dramatic birds all around. This beauty is enjoying the peanuts here in our yard.
Since I didn't have time to paint this vibrant creature, (and I do plan to at some point!) I thought I'd at least share this photo of him with you. Isn't he gorgeous? So dramatic and striking, I think. Below is his mate, the attractive but decidedly less ostentatious female, and she is contemplating a dinner of suet at the moment:
Some of Joe's kids will visit tomorrow evening again, and we'll all sing an off-key Happy Birthday for him. His standard request is a pizza and beer for everyone, and they'll relax and enjoy as he opens presents.
Then, in a few days, it's Eric's birthday (my son,) so I just finished baking some of his favorite cookies to send to him tomorrow via the US mail. They're baked, snuggled into plastic wrap, nestled into a round tin, and they'll be cushioned and packed up to send off special delivery so that he gets 'em in time and they're still fresh. I'm also including a tin of toffee for him. He'll have gifts, but these cookies were always his favorites growing up.
These beautiful birds visiting us bode well for the New Year--when I first saw one, about a month ago, I thought it was just migrating through our area, but they've been here continually, so I think it's safe to say they're here to stay, which pleases us no end.
OK, so here's the old recipe from years ago in Southern Living for some delicious cookies. I've been making them like forever. Trust me, you want to make these sometime. They're very easy and they're so good, and your kitchen smells fabulous while they're baking:
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Then, add the butter, blending until it's coarse like a pie crust dough. Add the egg and then the molasses, mixing all ingredients until they're thick and pull towards the beaters.
Once the dough's all mixed, form little quarter-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet, about 2" apart. (The recipe calls for rolling the balls in sugar again, but I never do--your choice!)
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven immediately and cool on wire racks. Enjoy the smells that permeate your house and then steal a few for your coffee or cup of tea!