Country Kitchen: Winter Bird Watching Time

Country Kitchen: Winter Bird Watching Time
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One year for Christmas, my daughter put a bird feeder on her list.  Both grandmothers gave her one.  So we hung one feeder in the front yard, where the smaller birds, like the chickadees, seemed to congregate. The other we placed in the back yard, where the bluejays and woodpeckers dined.

Bird watching is a fun activity for children and helps develop their interest in nature and the creatures of the outdoors.  Shut-ins find much pleasure in watching bird feeder visitors outside their windows, too.

My mother, when she had Alzheimer’s, enjoyed the feeder on our front deck.  Her mind was still active enough, at that time, so she could reminisce about birds in her past.
Birds in Quilts

Recently I had a project of researching bird designs and patterns in quilts and found that bird names, especially those of domestic ones, appeared in many designs over the years.  Quiltmakers of days ago often named their patterns from things in their everyday life.

So names like Duck and Ducklings, Goose Tracks, Flying Geese, Fox and Geese, and Bird of Paradise found their way into quilts.

My Enjoyment of Birds

From Mother I learned to appreciate and enjoy the birds around our farm home and to discover those in other parts of the country wherever Jim and I have lived and traveled.
I’ve written about birds in poetry and story and included them in my painting, book illustrations, and poetry.

One of my friends finds the poems, “Lord Baltimore Oriole” and “Red-Winged Blackbird” her favorite pieces in my anthology for children, Tales of Adventure & Discovery. (For more information about this book, e-mail me at:

ENCHILADA CASSEROLE for winter meals- Brown 1 pound ground beef and drain off excess fat.  Mix together the beef, 1 small chopped onion, and 1 can chili con carne without beans.
Spoon into the center of 10 flour tortillas, cover with grated cheese and roll up.  Place tortillas, folded side down, in baking pan or cake pan.

Mix together 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can tomato soup, ½ cup water.  Pour soup over tortillas and top with more grated cheese.  (The amount of cheese will vary, depending upon cook’s choice.) large enough to hold all.

Bake at 350 degrees F. until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes.  Serve with tossed salad or coleslaw.

©2009 Mary Emma Allen

About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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