A Delicate Shade of Lady’s Gray and Chocolate Mousse

Sunrise. Do you see that particular shade of barely bruised gray just above the uppermost layer of new light? I hope to find a scarf in that colour one day. Or maybe a full length skirt. It is such a delicate shade. 

Charlotte is back.                                                                                                                            She is still listing to starboard but gamely waddled out into the field and had a lovely day in the cool autumnal sun.                                                                                                               Much as I love that word autumnal I shall soon have to put it back in the book and take out the word: Wintry. Sigh. I am not a wintry girl.

Chocolate Mousse. 

I have discovered that there is NO WAY I can write my Novel while The Bears (Football, not to be confused with Footy) is blaring away in the room next door. My little travelling headphones were not up to the job, I need a noise-OUT pair. So I gave up and read some more of  Last Chance To Eat by Gina Mallet. And then I made Ulisse’s chocolate mousse. When in doubt – cook.

This is so simple and so decadent. Use 8 very fresh eggs. Todays eggs are best.

In one bowl 8 egg yolks beaten, in another bowl 8 egg whites whisked stiff.

Melt 8 oz of chocolate with 3 tablespoons of very strong coffee, then add 1 good slug of brandy.

Beat the melted chocolate into the egg yolks, then fold in the egg whites. This is a very old French recipe, and demands the very best ingredients and all I had was ordinary cooking chocolate bars and rough cooking brandy but still I was having real trouble waiting for it to cool enough to eat. This is light and divine. When you scoop out a portion it is all gorgeous pockets of chocolate air like a souffle.  A very healthy dessert. Gabrielle we must make this when I visit.

Refrigerate until quite cold and set. Eat in tiny portions or you will get as fat and happy as Sheila.

Daisy is milking much better with her new cups, it is a bonus for me to be able to see when the milk stops flowing through the little window at the top of the cups. So there is no danger now of over-milking her. She is happier. The surrogate milkers are happier too. They still come every evening. They chose to start the training early and it was a good choice as it has taken a while to establish a rhythm that works for them and the cow. She only gives about 20 pounds a time now, which is about four gallons a day.  This barely covers the calf and the pigs and the cats and dogs and about a gallon a day for the house. So the days of piles of yoghurt and fresh cheese are over for a while. I am seriously looking at the grass now to see if it can sustain another milk cow.

The chickens are just coming out of their molt, and will soon start laying better again.  When I come back from New Zealand I shall extend their days a little with a light. But there is no point pushing them quite yet. If we all ate eggs in a natural rhythm then there would be few eggs on the supermarket shelves during the deep winter. It is a natural rest time for the birds, (especially after their first year) they need 14 hours a day of light to lay well, but consumers demand eggs all year round and so they are forced to lay with artificial lights shining in their eyes day and night.  However my new pullets (Easter chickens) will toddle along (I get 6 0r 7 a day)and cover for the old girls who need a lengthier recuperation period. And as the days get longer egg production will rise.

The Daily View

Yesterdays highs and lows.

There now. Someone forgot to inform Daisy about the outdated principles of Daylight saving.  Falling Back an hour. In fact my little Paddington Bear brain has trouble getting it together as well. I hope you all have a lovely day.


66 Comments on “A Delicate Shade of Lady’s Gray and Chocolate Mousse

  1. Yum that mousse looks amazing. I love Good Authority, he makes me miss Mary’s Cat a little less.

  2. A listing pig brings to mind some great imagery – lovely to hear she is on the mend.
    And yes we are well and truly autumnal – bright blue day, damp underfoot, perfect bonfire night material 🙂

  3. Cooking is ALWAYS the fallback option…We’re swimming in snacks after this weekend.
    Wonder if there’s room in the fridge for mousse…or pudding…or….or….or….

  4. Ohhhh, the chocolate mouse looks so delicious, I will definitely be trying your recipe. So glad Charlotte seems better, sans the expense of a vet. Thank goodness for aspirin. (Or the Aleve I sometimes resort to for my arthritic hands this time of year!) We let our chickens rest too. They work so hard for us the rest of the year! I got a color somewhat like the Lady Grey at the edge of one of my pieces in my experiments with torch fired enameling on copper for jewelry. Nature really does it best though!

    • LuLu is actually pouncing on a corn cob, isn’t she hilarious! I bet she wishes it were a mouse, so do I! c

  5. What a delicious post! Recipe and farmy. And those lovely kittens. I’ve pinched that funny pigshadow pic for a poem – hope you don’t mind. The daily view looks incredibly clear and crisp today.

  6. In Italian that beautiful color is called TORTORA. Dove. Maybe I can find you a dove scarf here…I think an Italian scarf would like very much to travel to the American Midwest for a change of pace. The mousse looks beyond yummy. Will try it.

    • Tortora, what a lovely word and it IS dovelike, that shade. An Italian scarf would certainly liven up the Midwest.. let me know what you find and we can sort something out.. morning charlotte..(Tho I keep wanting to write Carlotta) c

  7. Glad the piggie is up and about… but that mousse… that would cure any pig of any sickness… it would cure me of any sickness…. and a whole bowl would disappear before anyone else got a chance….

  8. Yippee for Charlotte! The mousse looks and sounds fantastic but I’m low on eggs right now. Sigh. I’ll have some new layers soon even if they’re banties. It takes 3 of their eggs for 2 normal ones. Your grass looks so lovely and green. Ours is mostly brown since we had that snow. And our power came back on last night. Nice not to have to worry about the freezers. Have a great day!

  9. Glad Charlotte is slowly recovering, bless her. And chocolate mousse is always good for the soul. Funnily enough, where we are in Spain we still have quite a lot of light in winter so egg laying doesn´t fall off too noticeably, but it does in the summer when temperatures are sky high and they are moulting…at least I can catch up with baking when we get back to our lovely eggs!

    • ah.. an expensive cone of silence, but they would be great on the plane too, I bet! Morning Bill. Did you see how wonderfully your Camera House is performing, that is a dream that camera! c

  10. I think TonTon should pose in the daily picture – like a yard statue :-). Then you could say today the snow was ankle/knee/belly deep – like another weather gauge.

  11. the first year we had hens, we did what the poultry book says and provided artificial light. With no bed and breakfast guests to feed and not that many customers in the glen at that time, we ended up pickling 175 eggs – and promptly turned the light out! Nature is best we decided!

    • Wow, they laid well that year! AND I want your picked egg recipe, what does one do with pickled eggs, salads? c

      • Gosh, it’s so long ago now that I can’t remember where I found the recipe! There are plenty on the web however and it essentially just involves hard boiled eggs, vinegar, sugar and pickling spices. We used the a a snack thing, maybe with a picnic or an alfreso lunch. Back in Lancashire, where we come from, there was traditionally a huge jar of pickled eggs on the bar in a pub, although the combination of a pickled egg and a pint kind of makes me shudder! I’ve not seen such a thing in ages though – maybe it’s a bit too ‘common’ for today’s sophisticated tastes!

  12. That’s excellent news about Charlotte and there’s nothing wrong with being fat and happy like Sheila 😉
    Those kittens look very happy too!

  13. I’m smiling all the way through today’s post. A sunrise that fills one with awe. The kittens being kittens, Charlotte walking. Then dessert!! Chocolate is better than almost anything else ….well almost everything else. Virginia

  14. Hi C! It looks like your having a wonderful weather over there. The mousse au chocolat sounds and looks delicious…My mother in Law has a recipe for it (she’s French) but I think hers doesn’t have brandy in it, yours sounds much more interesting 😉
    Have a nice day you too!

  15. Oh, Paddington Bear with blue coat (like big dog’s) and yellow hat (fits a small child) and red boots(also fits small giggling child) We have one in the sunny room.
    Nice to see Charlotte ( what a great pix with the grassy texture in the shadow) and the pouncing kitty. HUG for all – especially you for letting the chickens sleep in the dark.
    (Oh, keep forgetting – if you have an interest in quilts, hop over and scroll down to see some on last week’s post)

  16. As always, I learn something new! I never thought about a “rest period” for the chickens and egg laying supplies being seasonally affected. And then to think of how much milk is used to feed the other animals, shortchanging your yogurt supply. There is just so much to consider, I am learning! I wonder how you will find the quiet you need to write? I’m not a football fan by any stretch and my weekend was also devoted to housing and feeding the football crowd! I continually marvel that for someone who doesn’t care for the sport my life does revolve around college football in the fall. 🙂 And yes, the delicate shade of gray is really stunning!

  17. Celi, you need a NaNoWriMo widget so I can keep track of your progress. I added on to mine, though 1200ish words seems so tiny compared to your masses.

    • 1200 is awesome, i do a lot of blocking (speed writing blocking out scenes) then go back and do the slow work.. that is how my mind works.. I need to find that widget again.. Klaus told me about it.. c

  18. My ‘scroll back for another look’ today belonged to the pussies playing: you have the most relaxed lot of animals ever, Celi, and haven’t they come to feel at home in a hurry!

    • My biggest problem with them, now, is keeping them from being underfoot whilst milking.. it is all about the milk you know Eha.. c

  19. Yay for Charlotte! So long as she isn’t in pain, a little listing in her stride adds mystery. “I love that little wiggle in your walk …” Keep an eye on that girl!
    I agree with Eha. Seeing the pics of the kittens at play are my favorites for today.
    I come here every day to read how things are going on the farmy and to learn a few things. I sometimes forget what an excellent cook you are. Today’s mousse was a good reminder,

  20. The mousse looks yummy! Thanks for the warning. Posting a pic of Sheila on the refrigerator door should do the trick! Glad to see Charlotte is up and around, love the shadow pic. Cooking/baking is a creative exercise that fuels the brain. When you get back to your novel, you will not have missed a beat.

  21. That mousse! I could eat it for every meal and most of the non-meals in between. (One must allow for satiation though.) Happy like Sheila and exercising like mad. Worth it? I think so.

  22. The mousse sounds a good solution to a listing pig, onset of winter and too much music blaring. I hope all of its nutrients went straight into your writing brain!

    • Oh just realised my ignorance on reading other comments. I guess the Bears are a team and not a music group!! (yes, I see that you put this vital piece of information into brackets; just shows what my mind glosses over because of lack of interest)

  23. I always eat, I mean cook or bake when I can’t seem to write.. it puts me in a different “place” in my mind. This little recipe sounds extremely dangerous, I must approach with caution because it could be very addictive for me:) xx

  24. I am sorry I have been away for a bit and just trying to catch up. What is wrong with Charlotte? The chocolate mousse with brandy and coffee has got to be absolutely amazing and addictive.

  25. I’m pleased to hear Charlotte is better. What a lovely dessert. And no, I cannot write with someone watching TV loudly from the next room. I definitely need the house to myself and that is a rare thing! xx

  26. Kitties are too cute! Mousse looks divine and sounds very easy – thanks for sharing. My husband went to the feed store yesterday for oats and hay….I was hoping for a dozen fresh eggs from the farmer who owns the store but he said, “days are too short, no eggs for a while”. I began to think about all those poor chickens who must live with light in their eyes for countless hours just so we can have eggs anytime we choose. Funny, then I read your blog this morning and it’s exactly what you’re talking about. I wish that all Americans would get on that rhythm of natural, fresh and free range! Better for the animals and so much better for us! I guess your bees are holed up for winter now? Mine are waiting later in the morning to venture out as nights are chilly but days are still warm and beautiful.

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