Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Vole and Vaisiu Pyragas

V
I apologise if I haven't been to visit you lately. Life just continues to interfere with my blogging. I am trying.

There are approximately 155 species of vole. I just thought a vole was a vole. They are very similar to mice and are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America. I was once bitten by one. Many years ago, in England, we had a cat called Fancy who, like all Bank_volecats, would catch mice and voles and I would periodically endeavour to save them. On this occasion she had a vole and I did save it, it bit me and I nearly gave it back to the cat. They form a sub family with the lemmings and muskrats. The one in the picture is a Bank Vole This is incredible. Voles are small rodents that grow to 3–9 in (7.6–22.9 cm), depending on the species. They can have five to 10 litters per year. Gestation lasts for three weeks and the young voles reach sexual maturity in a month. As a result of this biological exponential growth, vole populations can grow very large within a very short period of time. Since litters average five to 10 young, a single vole can birth a hundred more voles in a year. I am surprised one doesn’t come across them more often.

This sounded an interesting recipe. We used to get a fruit bread in England which Matt loved. I would eat a slice now and again. This sounded quite similar.

Vaisiu Pyragas -- Fruit Bread (Lithuania)

By Sydney Mike
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves: 30, Yield: 2 large loaves

About This Recipe

"This recipe was found on the internet at easteuropeanfood.abVaisiu Pyragasout.com. Preparation time does not include the times needed for the dough to rise several times."
 

Ingredients

    • 2 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
    • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
    • 1 1/2 cups milk, warm
    • 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • 3/4 lb dried fruit, chopped fine
    • 1 1/2 cups light raisins
    • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted ( again)
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar ( again)
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl whisk together yeast, JUST 1/2 cup of the sugar, milk, JUST 3 cups of the flour and salt, combining until smooth, then cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. After the 1 hour, add the 4 ounces of melted butter, eggs, another 1/2 cup of sugar and the remaining flour, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chopped fruits, raisins and nuts and knead until well incorporated, then cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. In a small container, mix 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon & set aside, then grease two large loaf pans.
  5. Divide dough in half and, on a lightly floured surface, roll each half, one at a time, into a rectangle about 12 inches by 16 inches.
  6. Spread each half with melted butter & the sugar/cinnamon mixture, then roll the dough up lengthwise & tuck in the ends before placing them in the prepared loaf pans.
  7. Cover pans with greased plastic wrap & let rise until doubled.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F & bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F & bake 50 minutes longer.
  9. Turn loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. If desired, the loaves can be served plain, dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with a vanilla icing.

Have a great day
Jo (2)

27 comments:

  1. I once heard a guy sing a song he'd written called Vole Love !!!! The object of his affection wasn't returning his love so he'd read that voles were an aphrodisiac and proceeded to send them to her!! It sounds gross, but was one of the funniest songs I've ever heard … never managed to find it since … Great post …
    Fil at Fil's Place - Old Songs and Memories

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    1. What a very odd song. I can't say I ever heard it, not sure I would want to.

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  2. Hi Jo,

    And I apologise for not being able to get here on a daily basis. Thank goodness the amazing alphabet challenge will soon be over.

    I've not seen in a vole in ages. I did have a field mouse decide it was a great idea to live in my house. Took ages before I managed to show the field mouse the door and pointed to the field.

    That fruit bread recipe looks like a good, healthy food source.

    Thank you, Jo and please have a relaxing weekend.

    Gary

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    1. Well sounds like you are very busy with your move Gary. I don't envy you.

      They are cute animals even though I got bitten.

      Not sure about healthy, but I thought it sounded good. Bit like Christmas Cake

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  3. I brushed my teeth next to a vole doing its ablutions once when I was camping in Alaska...hilarious! (http://www.reflectionsenroute.com)

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  4. I would've given the vole back to the cat.

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    1. It was a close run thing for the vole.

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  5. The voles which we are trying to save in the UK is the water vole (Ratty of Wind in the Willows). I haven't seen a field, hunted by owls, for years.

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    1. I wonder if my son-in-law has, he bird watches all time to take pix for his paintings. He is specially interested in owls. Yes, we have to save Ratty, great character wasn't he?

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  6. Voles are cute but I hear they are somewhat destructive to lawns, like moles.

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    1. I don't know if that's so or not JoJo. Sounds like they are getting scarce in England despite their breeding abilities.

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  7. The voles we have here have no tails, but they do a lot of damage to lawns with their tunnel digging.

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    1. I wonder if your voles are related then if they don't have tails.

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  8. Is it just me or is the cooking time and temperature missing... Looks like a mouse - comes from the rodent family I would have let the cat keep it. - We have bandicoots and dunnarts and all sorts of other tiny mice looking creatures in Australia but they are marsupials.

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    1. You are quite right Ida, it was missing. It isn't now. It looks a bit different, but the information is now there.

      Couldn't do that. Not sure I would have even allowed the cat to keep a mouse.

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  9. I'm glad there is not vole (new word for me) in that recipe. I can't imagine getting bitten by one. did you faint? I would have been scarred for laugh--rodent phobia here--but then I'm a wimp. Only my characters are brave. :-0
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. No I certainly didn't faint. It was only a nip anyway. I have been bitten by a chipmunk and a cheetah. In both cases, only a nip.

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  10. When we lived in Ireland, this was my favorite. It had many names and variations. I loved barm brack, made usually at Halloween.

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    1. This is supposed to be a Lithuanian specialty, but I suppose everywhere has their own versions of fruit breads.

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  11. I don't think we have voles in Australia but there are plenty of mice! I used to release them from the mouse trap my mother had set when I was a little girl. My mother would get very angry with me.

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    1. I like voles and am sorry to hear they are disappearing. Good on yer for releasing the mice.

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  12. I am not familiar with voles, so I learned something new today. I generally try to avoid any contact with rodents if at all possible, LOL, not being fond of them. Population could get out of hand very quickly if they were in a place that didn't have natural predators I would imagine. The bread looks interesting; haven't heard about it before.

    Almost done with the challenge :)

    betty

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  13. I'm sorry you were attacked by the Vole. Stupid animals... I'm not sure any of them appreciate it when we save them for near death.

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    1. I guess not. In fact I have no doubt the poor little thing was terrified.

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  14. Left undisturbed voles can take over an area in a short time. I'd like to try that fruit bread. Sounds lovely.

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    1. Only they are not usually left undisturbed I gather. Owls find them pretty tasty.

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