Monday, November 4, 2013

Give Me A Lift

This time of the year in the US it is not unusual to see Canadian Geese flying overhead, usually in a large "V" formation, with one bird in the lead and the others trailing behind it in two diverging lines.

Why do they fly in a “V”? Because it would be too hard to fly in an S! Just kidding. Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves two important purposes:

First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest. 
If geese fly in a group and arrange themselves correctly, then every one behind the leader gets a little extra lift and doesn’t have to flap as much to maintain altitude and forward momentum. The less they flap, the more energy they conserve, and the farther they can fly.

The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in formation may assist with the communication and coordination within the group. Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason.

Something Told The Wild Geese
by Rachel Field
Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered,-"Snow."
Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned,-"Frost."
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened 
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,-
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.
Comfort foods conjure up different foods from person to person but no matter what the dish you indulge in it makes you feel good all over. A potato side dish is taken to a new level by adding in cream with smoked Gouda cheese. 
Gouda Potatoes Gratin
recipe adapted from
serves 4-6
  • 4-5 large red potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 6 oz. Gouda cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 TB. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried Rosemary
  • fresh Rosemary sprigs for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Lightly grease an oval baking dish or a 13 x 9 pan
  • In the prepared dish layer half of potatoes, 1/2 of the cheese and spices, add rest of potatoes
  • In a pan melt butter and saute onions and garlic until fragrant and golden
  • Pour over potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Combine cream with half and half and pour over the potatoes
  • Add rest of cheese
  • Bake covered with foil for 60 minutes, remove foil and cook till potatoes are tender about 15 minutes more
  • Garnish with sprigs of Rosemary 

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