Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More on trees, and Tuesday Teatime with Pumpkin Pie

The interest in tree and leaf identification continues...

The back story to today's activities is this: at least month's nature center class, S was so taken by the nature hunt (ok, so he liked the hunt and he was a little put-out at not having been able to be in charge of his group's clipboard) that he came home that day and created his own nature hunt.

This morning, we pulled out his version of the nature hunt, and went hunting! Our first task was to find ten different trees. We got a good start with the ones in our own yard.

Once again, I learned something, too! That tree in the front yard (being measured by my trusty arborists in the photo), which I'd thought was a white oak, is actually a red oak -- oops! By S's measurement, it's 67 years old (one year per inch of circumference). In this case, that age reference is on the optimistic side; the tree is about 2/3 younger...

After lunch, we turned our attention to Tuesday Teatime! Since I had some pumpkin in the refrigerator, it was a simple decision to try out Kristie's 10-Minute Pumpkin Pie. With two bakers predisposed to kitchen rivalry, it took us a little more than ten minutes to assemble. Still, about an hour after we started (that includes the baking time), the house smelled great, and we had a fine-looking pie, fresh out of the oven. It's a good thing I snapped a photo right away -- as I write this post this evening, there's, um, a good bit less left in the pie dish.

The pie's flavor and texture are wonderful. Our version didn't form much in the way of its own crust - I prefer pies with crusts, as it turns out - but that's certainly not a deal-breaker for this recipe. Thanks again for sharing it, Kristie.

For our Teatime reading, we enjoyed "Der Herbst steht auf der Leiter", by Peter Hacks. Here's a sampling of this poem:

"Der Herbst steht auf der Leiter
und malt die Bl├Ątter an,
ein lustiger Waldarbeiter,
ein froher Malersmann."

The poem took us back to Google: the poem says "kommt ein frecher Zeisig". S asked what this was, and I didn't know. A Zeisig, as it turns out, is a bird. :-) In English, it's a siskin, a member of the finch family.

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