• 27°

That’s no partridge in a pear tree

Today’s Special

There’s a wreath on the front door for our 4th Christmas in Tennessee.  In Batesville I hung wreaths in all 6 windows across the front for the holidays and one on the front door.  But this house is so different so I started with 3 wreaths since the five windows are not all the same size nor shape.

This year, thanks to the December Southern Living magazine, I also hung one on the front door.  I already had the brass bells and only needed the wreath and ribbon.  Luckily, I found them at the same store, both 50% off!  I attached the bells, made the bow, wired it to the wreath, and hung it on the front door.

Making it even merrier, the wreath came with attached white lights with a built-in battery-operated timer.  The little lights come on at 5 o’clock every evening and twinkle for 6 hours.  Of course, I had to open the front door (remember this) to check at 5 every afternoon for a few days to make sure the lights were on.

You had to know this back story to understand the rest of the story and also that DW had oral surgery last week. (He’s doing well, thank you.) Thursday, I ran to town, when I got home DW greeted me with “I may be hallucinating but I think I saw a bird sitting on top of the wooden tree in the living room.”

(Another backstory: I put a 4-foot wooden tree, a wooden reindeer, and a wooden snowman and more twinkling lights atop the entertainment center in the living room, I call it my “enchanted forest,” you know…for the grandchildren.)

We walked around the house and looked carefully, shook the real Christmas tree and the little artificial one in the dining room just in case a bird was hiding out. No bird, all was quiet, so I proceeded to make me a sandwich.  I was about to take the first bite and pass DW’s bird sighting off on pain medicine, when he called me, in a rather hushed voice, to come to the bedroom. There it was, a Carolina wren.

I quickly closed the door and we proceeded to try to catch her with towels and a pool net, but she was fast and feisty. She’d run under the bed, across the room, under the armoire, then the chest of drawers and then fly up toward the window, landing on the blind.  All the time I was hoping she wouldn’t poop. After a few rounds of this, we finally wised up, threw back the shutters and tore open the sash to open the window wide and in 2 seconds she was out the window.  No harm done.

Now this reminded me of a Batesville bird sighting, years ago when one of us opened the front door and in flew a Carolina Wren. She flew straight to the top of the valence about the sofa. The boys were yelling and pointing wildly. We armed ourselves with brooms and towels and closed the door to the hall but left the front door open, hoping to herd her out as she had come in.

Friday Cat heard all the commotion and came right on in, too. He never missed an opportunity to get in. He saw the bird right away, and in one fell swoop that cat jumped from the coffee table, banked off the arm of the sofa, to the top of the mantel and was about to land on the valence when I grabbed him.  I could just see the valance shredded to pieces and covered with bird poop.  Thankfully we herded the bird out the front door.  No harm done.

Now, there are two common denominators in these two stories…the bird and the wreath. The little sassy bird in Batesville raised her babies in the front door wreath and we learned to live with her.  After they flew away, I took the wreath down, permanently.  It’s not nesting time right now so this bold little birdie must be scouting out possible nesting sites for spring.  I’ve already frightened her and sent her flying from the wreath to the nearby Japanese maple several times when I’ve opened the door.

So, I must ask, if you come to visit, please admire my wreath before you come in, and knock on the front door on your way out!  There’s a wren in the wreath.

Recipe of the Week

Sausage Biscuits

Get everyone to the table for this tasty holiday fare!

¾ pound hot ground pork sausage

2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

1 package dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

1 cup buttermilk

Melted butter

Cook sausage until brown, crumbling into small pieces. Drain on paper towel. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture looks like coarse meal. Dissolve yeast in water; let stand about 5 minutes to soften. Combine yeast and buttermilk, stirring well. Add to flour mixture, stir until moistened. Add sausage and knead into dough. Place dough on lightly floured board; knead lightly serval times to mix sausage throughout. Roll to ½-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch biscuit cutter, place biscuits on ungreased baking pans. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake in 425-degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Biscuits can be frozen before baking. Remove from freezer when needed, put in 425-degree oven while still frozen and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Makes about 1 dozen.  Serve with scrambled eggs, cheese grits and hot fruit for a holiday brunch.