Saturday, 30 August 2008

A Hair Raising Tale . . . and a Rice Pudding Reward

My goodness what a time we had here last night at Oak Cottage!!! I think Todd thought I was imagining things here yesterday when I told him there was a bat flying around the kitchen yesterday morning. In fact I almost had laryngitis all day yesterday and a hoarse voice because of all the squealing I had done yesterday morning, all to no avail I might add, because it certainly hadn't awakened Todd to come to my rescue. He may have done had he heard me, but our bedroom is upstairs on the exact opposite side of the house and well, to be honest . . . his hearing ain't what it used to be!!! (there, I said it!)

He spent most of yesterday looking for it, to no avail. Upstairs, downstairs and everywhere in between. I told him they were very ingenuous and that my mother had once gone to pick a dead leaf off of one of her plants only for it to end up being a bat and scaring the daylights out of her. (I think she ended up smucking that one with a fly swatter . . . and probably screamed herself hoarse the whole time!! ) Anyways, I think he thunk I was making up porkie pies or something and had just got done telling me so last evening, when the unthinkable happened. We were sitting there after I got home from work, just getting ready to watch an episode of Little House on the Prairie (the one where Mary goes blind, no less . . . *sniff *sniff) when I happened to look up the stairs and I saw it again . . . yes . . . the bat! Because we have an open staircase it's very easy to see up stairs, and I could definitely see the tell tale swooping black shadow of this creature swooping around at the top of the stairs, quite near to the floor.

Now, bats over here are a protected species. There are no less than 17 species here in the UK and you are not allowed to harm them as their numbers have been decreasing rapidly and they are protected by law. Apparently this is Bat weekend here in the UK, so this incident was very timely to say the least! Yes, thousands of people throughout the UK shall be celebrating this very auspicious event this very weekend and enjoying a variety of special event throughout this celebratory weekend!

Dozens of bat walks and talks have been arranged by local Bat Groups, Wildlife Trusts, countryside rangers and other organisations up and down the country to bring people a little closer to bats and to celebrate the contribution bats make to biodiversity in the UK.

"Bat walks offer people a truly magical way of seeing and hearing bats in their natural environment. The Bat Conservation Trust is happy to be able to share this experience with so many people." ~ Amy Coyte

Those taking part in the bat walks will be using devices called ‘bat detectors' which enable people to hear bats as they fly by. Bats use a sonar sense called echolocation to find their way around at night. With bat detectors, people can tune into the sounds they make and determine what species of bat are present.

Well, there was one present in Oak Cottage last night and much to Todd's distress we had to find it and dispose of it without harming the little dear. I think he still thought I was imagining it as we put the show on pause and he went upstairs. I told him to open all the windows and turn all the lights on because I mistakenly thought if we did the bat would be afraid of the lights and fly right out one of those windows. NOT!!

Todd was upstairs with a feather duster knocking all the picture frames and such to get it out of it's hiding place (all the while thinking it was his wife that was batty I am sure!) while I sat down here looking up on the Internet about how to get a bat out of your house and reading about how they can carry rabies and bite you in your sleep and getting more worried all the time. Then . . . I heard some rather high pitched squealing coming from up the stairs! (the bat, not Todd!) Yes!!! My fears had been vindicated! My imagination had not been playing tricks on me! He had found it.

Apparently it had flown all the way down to our bedroom and he had managed to chase it out of there (thank goodness! the mind boggles at what would have happened if he hadn't been able to chase it out of there!). He had cornered it in the small hallway outside out bedroom door and trapped it under the feather duster. He said it was only a tiny one, even though it had looked quite large as it was flying around. I went and got a towel and we managed to trap it in the towel and shake it out the window, where it flew off, hopefully never to be seen again! Whew!

I then, dashed around the upstairs shooing out all the moth's that had come in, having been attracted by the lights, and shutting all the windows durst another bat attempt to enter our home, which, while quite friendly and welcoming to humans, gerbils and little boys, is not a place that I want to encourage bats to roost!

We then settled in and watched the Little House program whilst eating bowls of rice pudding . . . me, happy and content to know that my fears and imaginations had been vindicated and Todd . . . just happy and content to be tucking into rice pudding, and feeling secure in his position as the hero of our home! Yes . . . he is my "super" man!

This rice pudding has long been a favourite of mine. It speaks of home and comfort and cosy evenings in. The recipe comes from an old hand written pink notebook that my ex mother in law gave me back when I was a young bride. Sometimes I think that old things are the best things of all.

*Creamy Rice Pudding*
Serves 4

This lovely pudding is easy to make and so very delicious. You can add the raisins if you like, which I sometimes do, or you can just opt to serve it warm and topped with a bit of fruit jam as I have done here.

1 ½ cups cooked rice
1 cup whole milk
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup heated whole milk
1 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup raisins (optional)
Grated nutmeg
Red fruit jam, such as cherry, raspberry or strawberry (Optional)

Place the cooked rice, 1 cup of milk, beaten eggs and the sugar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Cook stirring until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat immediately. Add the ½ cup of heated milk and the butter, vanilla and raisins if using. Let stand for 30 minutes. Spoon into bowls to serve. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top and serve with a spoon full of fruit jam on top if desired.

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  1. Oh Dear Marie what a nightmare.You are a very brave lady,I am sure I would have had to leave the house until it was found LOL!!The Rooster too had one in the communal hall back at the flat one week he came home from work.Luckyly as he opened the very large window away it flew instantly.Thank goodness I wasn't around.Three Cheers for SUPERMAN Hooray Hooray Hooray LOL!! Have a wonderful Bat Free weekend.The rice pudding looks delicious just like my Mother used to make and myself when I do.Mmmmmmm.Take Care God Bless Kath

  2. Oh my goodness, Marie
    Like I said in my comment on your last post.... I've heard of bats in the belfry but not bats in the bedroom. Good for Todd. I'm glad that he proved that you are not "batty" after all. (Of course I never doubted your sanity)

    I love rice pudding. I've been having trouble with tummy aches for a couple of weeks. This pudding sounds like just what I need.

    I've been trying to vote for you. It took me 4 tries to register which I finally was able to do but now I am waiting for an email so I can vote. They make it too hard... but I will keep trying... I'm on a mission now.

    Have as good weekend.... I suggest you keep your windows shut.

  3. Yes (like Kath) I'd have left home till it was found and gone!
    Lovely yummy looking rice pud Marie!

  4. enjoy watching them at dusk flying by my window, but I certainly wouldn't want it indoors either, Marie.

  5. Can't say I am actually afraid of bats, in fact I think they have such pretty faces, but being so fast (them, not me!)I wouldn't like one in the house. Now all those moths I WOULD have left home for!

    We had a red admiral butterfly in the bedroom last year which only showed itself when I went in there. Keith didn't believe there was one, but I kind of shhut him in there til he found it and got rid!

    Aren't we daft?
    love, Angie, xx

  6. P.S. - like Grammy Staffy I'm also on a mission! Why do they make these things so difficult?
    Angie, xx

  7. Bats are not welcome in the pond. We find little ones at work all the time because they live on the roof and they're always getting stuck in the production department (those people are all blood suckers anyway, they belong together) or in the trees or sidewalk. I used to rescue them until one of the editors told me they were sick and that's why we could see them...if they were in my house I don't think I'd be so polite.

  8. Hi Marie! Don't you wonder how it got into your house in the first place? It could happen again! I had to chuckle as I read this entry about your night angel! I love bats... became more educated about them several years ago after one got into my house one winter evening. My husband was at work. I was alone to fend for myself. I waited until it settled down to catch it... it was so small. Fortunately, its visit came at a time when I was seeking out the deeper spiritual meaning of otherwise uneventful occurrences in my daily life. I dedicated an entire page in my visual journal to the bat who caught my eye that evening, causing me to do a search on the internet for the symbolism. I was pleased it had come to me. This sparks a lot of memories. I had to catch the little critter myself, (with a towel) and put it into a plastic terrarium. Called animal control. I will never do that again. Next time I will let the bat go, like you did. If I'd had a digital camera, I would have taken its picture as it groomed itself. Rice pudding... my favorite dessert. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Bats terrify me! I am quite sure I would have done exactly as you did. Thankfully they are not protected here in MO. They are good about eating lots of bugs, we had some around our old house in the back yard. That rice pudding looks fantastic!

    Much love, Raquel XO

  10. I tried to vote for you Marie, but the link took me to the list of Best Food Blog bloggers choice nominations. I couldn't find yours on that page. Do you have a link that can take me directly to your voting page? I will come back later to try again if I don't hear from you.

  11. I am so glad you or should I say Todd rescued the little bat. It would have been so scary having it in the house when you went to bed Well cone Todd. Have a great weekend. Love Joan.

  12. Marie:
    You've got my vote. That story was enough to win me over for a life time. I've been laughing hysterically. I can just imagine it all, the dynamics of wife and husband, the husband wondering what it is now that his wife needs and wants, the Little House show on pause, the bat in the worst worst place of all-the bedroom! Oh, that was quite a great story. We have so many bats in our area and when we night swim we really get a great view since they swoop so close to the water. We have bats in our chapel and when it is our turn to clean it at night, I must say that it is quite spooky. Anyway, have a great weekend and don't rent any vampire videos!:)

  13. I don't think I have ever heard of bats in residential areas. I have only seen them when we go camping in the mountains. I can't imagine having to chase one out of my house.
    Your rice pudding sounds divine... I think we may just have to try it soon...

  14. Dear Marie, sorry but you make me laugh! I had in my house some visits too!! Im sure your Todd is a superman and a gentleman!! normally hubby scared me when Im nerveous with some this visits!I think sometimes he is nerveous too!! and we all scream!! I didn't have bats but....little mouses!! yes sometimes come by the waters out!! brrr! I love mouse only in draws Marie!!
    This rice pudding look absolutely nice and yummy I hope to make later Hubby is buying rice all the time when I ask him some things always buy rice! Before go to make some things I will see the recipe.
    Has a lovely weekend adn rest with your superman, xxxxLOL Gloria

  15. hahahaha....'the bat, not Todd' I think I will pass on the 'bat walk'. They give me the heebies.

  16. I'm so glad you got the bat out of the house. I'm a big fan of wildlife but I'm a fan of them staying outside!!!!! We had a snake in here a few years ago. NOT in my house thank you! I love rice pudding!

  17. My, that was some day for you and Todd. He (and you, too) deserve a big gold star on your forehead. I love to settle down with homemade rice pudding too. Best comfort food ever!

  18. How I laughed! I kept thinking about the poor bat! Yesterday I read Peter Rabbit to my granddaughter, and as I read your tale this morning I kept thinking of the little bat's Momma telling it, "Don't go near the house! Your Papa got caught and taken away in a terrarium." Poor bat, scared and trembling as Todd sought it out. No wonder it screamed when discovered! haha

    And oh, yes, I was trying to think of a nice dessert to make for my husband and your post reminded me of how much he loves rice pudding! Thanks for the inspiration, Marie. Happy Sunday to you. (Although it's almost over by now, eh? I'm in the Chicago, IL, USA, area. and it's not even 7 am yet.)

  19. A mouse with wings?? Oh my, I think I might have fainted! I'm so glad you got rid of it!

    As for the rice pudding... I cannot wait to try this recipe. I am a HUGE fan of rice pudding! Looks heavenly!

  20. OH I Love Love LOVE rice pudding and enjoy a good recipe! Thanks so much!~G


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