for the cookie monsters . . . .
There is no doubt I’ve eaten hundreds of these over my lifetime. These were a favorite cookie that my mother baked and if I ate a few hundred, she must have baked many thousand! Made with old fashioned rolled oats, breakfast cereal, coconut and chopped walnuts, they are packed full of healthy ingredients. How can you go wrong having this cookie for breakfast?
I rediscovered them by chance on an outing last summer. A friend brought a container of them for us to share and the minute I bit into one, I knew it was my mother’s Ranger cookie. When I expounded on the merits of this delicious cookie (and knocked off three of them in no time) my friend graciously agreed to send along a copy of her recipe. In the interim, I was able to locate several speckled and spattered copies of Mom’s note cards with the ingredients she used. When I compared the two recipes, I noted they were exactly alike except for two features: 1) My friend’s recipe was for “School House Ranger Cookies” and called for Corn Flakes; and 2) Mom’s recipe was simply entitled “Ranger Cookies” and she made hers with Rice Krispies.
To be fair to Mom, I made several dozen with the Rice Krispies for a family gathering and they disappeared like I knew they would. I recently baked 10-dozen of them and put them in the freezer. We take out a few at a time, warm them slightly in the microwave and they are heavenly!
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix in cereal, coconut and nuts. Blend dry ingredients into creamed butter mixture. Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, place on oiled baking sheet. When baked, cookies will be approximately 3″ in diameter. Recipe makes 60 cookies. They store and freeze well.
bathed in sunlight . . . .
Flagging spirits in February call for some relief from the cold and snow outdoors. A trip to a tropical island is not in the cards this winter, so we are making do with some glorious blooms in the window. Three amaryllis bulbs picked up on sale after Christmas have just now bloomed and are in their glory. The first one opened in time for Valentine’s Day and now they are all brightening up our winter gloom with 4-8 large flowers on each stalk–nearly twenty blooms total. Incredible! A bowl of white tulips are coming to life and will bloom in March, and the winter standby, a red geranium that has bloomed several winters, along with leftover poinsettias from Christmas, make for a cheery dining room window seat.
leftover Christmas spirit . . . .
The poinsettias don’t seem to be losing much of their vigor, even though they’ve been around since mid-December.
a riot of red . . . .
Summer or winter, this geranium can be counted on to bloom its heart out and fill a space with cheery, fire-engine red blossoms. It’s a keeper!
pink pales in comparison . . . .
A cyclamen covered in pretty pink “birds” has been blooming for a couple months, and brings so much pleasure to the dark days of winter.
a feline among the flowers . . . . .
Bleu has found a sunny warm spot to enjoy his morning nap. Curled around the flower pot, he seems to think he is well hidden. He opened his eyes just as I snapped his picture and is giving me a look that seems to say “buzz off!”
at the water cooler . . . .
New to the neighborhood over the past month, these starlings have inserted themselves into the daily routine with great effrontery. They arrive in swarms to perch in the poplar patch and watch for an opportunity to snatch some corn from the goose’s feeding trough or, worse yet steal from the chicken feed right inside their little house! To add insult to injury, they sit on the tops of the doors, fences, roof tops and even the propane tank and leave behind their daily poop, which piles up so high I have to take a broom to dislodge it. This is not only disgusting–it is outrageous!
anti-starling device . . . .
The starlings appear to be skittery, flighty birds that take off at any disturbance, so it seemed they might not like something fluttering in the doorway of the chicken house. An old bed sheet cut into strips and stapled to the inside of the doorway became my weapon of mass destruction. The chickens didn’t seem to notice this strange apparition in their entryway and I lurked around behind a tree waiting to see what the starlings would think.
“the ku klux klan is here!” . . . .
The starlings began to collect in the treetops to think about this new development. Having grown fat on free lunch and fresh water each day, they will not be easily deterred. Suggestions started coming in for a backup plan in case the bed sheet trick doesn’t work. I discarded the notions of shooting at them with a shotgun; hanging a fake owl from the garden fence; training Rosie to chase them away by barking loudly whenever they arrive; camping out at the chicken house beating on a tin tub to scare them away or finally, four and twenty starlings “baked in a pie!” All of these ideas became problematic in some fashion to the birds we enjoy having around our feeders all winter.
drink up guys, this one is on me! . . . .
An unplanned emergency trip to the store for more chicken feed, and the resulting hit to my wallet cries out for a full declaration of war! Stay tuned.
can this mean spring? . . . .
High winds and warming temperatures have turned the ice and snow into muddy soup and pools of water everywhere. After bitter cold and blowing snow, it seems like a step in the right direction, if only there was someplace to step that didn’t entail a slippery mire that is as hard to navigate as the ice it replaces.
long awaited bath . . . .
The geese are in their glory, with pools and puddles in every direction. The lake forming in the creek bottom is an unexpected bonus and they spent the day bathing, preening, swimming and diving–all the things geese love to do!
If the weather turns cold again, as it likely will, these guys will need skates to navigate all the water. They don’t do any better on ice than human critters, and I witnessed a hilarious site as I was bringing them in one evening. They were hurrying along in front of me and hit a patch of snow melt that had frozen into a little pond. It quickly became a flapping frenzy as they slid across on their tails, propelled by wings with feet thrust forward. They floundered and careened, spinning around and bumping into one another until they finally made it to the edge. By this time I was laughing so hard at their plight I could barely stand. If only I had videotaped the scene!
“Hey, this is our little patch of ground!” . . . .
Three little fawns are grazing for leaves and twigs in the poplar patch. The geese have established a beachhead and don’t appear to want to share this coveted piece of ground that is bare of snow. They are all as sick of winter as we are and the fawns look like they could use a good meal.
“We’ll just go nibble sagebrush” . . . .
The geese put up such a flap the fawns moved on. The little one in the middle was orphaned last fall and we have watched him all winter and prayed for his ability to make it through. He is usually alone when we site him, but this day he has joined a pair of twins who have been weaned recently. Warmer weather will arrive soon, and barring any additional hazards (geese not included), they should thrive.