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 cats, 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.about.com. Preparation time does not include the times needed for the dough to rise several times."
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add chopped fruits, raisins and nuts and knead until well incorporated, then cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- In a small container, mix 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon & set aside, then grease two large loaf pans.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover pans with greased plastic wrap & let rise until doubled.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F & bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F & bake 50 minutes longer.
- Turn loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- If desired, the loaves can be served plain, dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with a vanilla icing.