The birds and the bees

The masked berry patch thugs are still hanging around, like a bunch of punks at the corner store.


Someone asked for shot of bees, liturgical or otherwise.

Sorry this is so blurry, but Mrs. Skunk (I think), a newcomer to the Sabine wildflower zone, was bookin’!

It was a beautiful day, yesterday.  But the weather was variable, with intermittent showers.

I had a guest for supper last night.  I made roast beef and Yorkshire Puddings with horseradish and roasted vegetables.  We had a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1998 Silver Oak from Napa.

Since I hadn’t made Yorkshire Pudding before, I had a trial run simply with butter.  I used ramekins, which were a gift from a very kind person of my long acquaintance.

The trial run first batch:

The second batch, for supper, had drippings from the roast added to the batter and also in the bottom of the hot cup before the batter was poured in.

Next time, I think I will make it in the pan itself.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Irenaeus says:

    I’m always impressed with how well priests cook. One of my friends, a farm boy from a very rural part of the country, went off to do studies in Rome and came back highly skilled in the art of Italian cooking. I mean, really, incredibly skilled, like he could have opened up his own restaurant. Me, I’m still using generic elbow noodles from the box.

  2. Cornelius says:

    ” . . . like a bunch of punks at the corner store.”

    What an apt description! One can almost see a cigarette dangling from the truculent beak
    of the one facing us and perhaps some ornithological trash-talking going on . . . !

  3. Corripe Cervisiam says:

    Oooo that looks absolutely delicious! Care to share you recipe father? Perhaps a link?

  4. Trad Tom says:

    This photo of the Sabine Chapel is stunning! The shadows on the ground and the tall pine trees, juxtaposed with the blue sky and its puffy white clouds, is heavenly art at its best!

  5. Kradcliffe says:

    Wow. You’re like the Martha Stewart of priests or something. LOL. Seriously, though – those puddings look lovely.

  6. LCB says:

    “We had a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1998 Silver Oak from Napa…”

    Fine bottle is an understatement. Celebrating 7/7 a bit early with that vintage?

  7. Boko Fittleworth says:

    Isn’t the bird at the top, facing us, wearing the same shades you wear when driving your Bugatti, Father? I recognize them from the pics. Risky business!

  8. Boko: The little thieves.

  9. LCB: Celebrating my name day a bit in advance, perhaps.

  10. Esther says:

    Father Z, Yorkshire pudding in a ramekin is very similar to a popover isn’t it? I think you will like it in done in the pan too.

  11. Dove says:

    Hi Father,
    Your Yorkshire puddings are just beautiful. You should be proud of your results. I always make my YPs in muffin tins but if I were you I wouldn’t change a thing. If you make them in a pan, i.e. just one large muffin, as soon as you cut into it the whole thing will deflate. The individual ones are much more stable.
    I don’t know what your recipe says, but I find that if I make the batter a couple of hours early and keep it at room temperature, the results are better. I make mine in the blender: milk and eggs first, whirl a few seconds, flour and salt after, whirl a few seconds. THen just before using it, whirl it again very briefly.

  12. Lacrimarum Valle says:

    Fr Z, don’t you need a licence to make Yorkshire Puddings outside of the United Kingdom?

  13. david andrew says:

    I’ve only had Yorkshire pudding once, but it was at a pub in York (inside the walls of the old city), and it was more like a large pancake, almost the size of the plate itself, and the roast beef, veggies and gravy were poured over the whole thing.

    A good pint of bitters or ale goes great with it, let me tell you!

    Apropos of the bees and ale, there’s a great pub ale available in cans in the US called Boddington’s Pub Ale. It comes in a tall, slender can with a “widget” inside that causes a wonderful creamy head to form as you pour it out into a pint glass. The bees are a part of the Boddington’s symbol (so you can toast Urban VIII when you drink it!)

  14. Mary Ann, Singing Mum says:

    Wow! That cooking looks simply wonderful- quite impressive.

  15. Dove: Thanks. I did make it ahead of time and left it sit for about an hour. I beat all the ingredients together by hand, and sifted the flour in to keep it smooth.

  16. David: Yes, I think I will go with a stout or ale next time rather than the wine.

  17. Lacrimarum: I’ll take my chances.

  18. Padre Steve says:

    This post makes me hungry!

  19. Jayna says:

    What kind of camera do you have, Father? That photo of the chapel looks absolutely divine (no pun intended, I swear). It’s almost like a painting.

    How you taunt me with your lurid tales of real food! I’ve been living on cereal for a few days now, the very thought of Yorkshire Pudding is making me salivate.

  20. Fr. Z: if you don’t mind me asking, what kind of root vegetables did you prepare and at what temp did you roast them. I’ve seen some books recommend very high heat for a short period – like 500F, or a lower slow-roasting temp. Yours look very good!

  21. Wow! That posted fast!!!! Nicely done with the new blog, Fr. Z

  22. Patrick says:


    Your Yorkshire puds look quite fine. When we make ours, we make them straight in pan, with plenty of hot dripping. We do not mix the dripping in the batter, only ensure that there is enough in the pan so that once you pour in the batter the dripping rises up and over the top of the batter. Works well.

    The hard part these days is getting a decent piece of beef with enough fat to it to produce a decent amount of dripping. By the way, the veg looks pretty good too.


  23. Diane: Carrots, big chunks of onion, parsnips. I used a high temp, indeed at 500F for a short period, together with the roast, and then when I lowered the temp I removed them and kept them covered in the small dutch oven they were in. The remaining heat finished them off. They were perfect, I must say.

  24. Great bee pics!

    Might I suggest the addition of bee hives to the farm?

    Actually, Latin literature has much to say about bees.

    Bees are often seen in Sacred Scripture, in the papacy, in…

    Ergo… Skip the stout or ale and GO FOR THE MEAD!

    You can make that yourself as well.


  25. Sharon says:

    Why didn’t you cook the meat??

  26. Limbo says:

    Fr. your Yorkshire puddings look just great ! I am amazed you could get a porcelain ramekin hot enough for them to rise like they did. I too make mine in muffin tins.
    I think you’ll be sorry if you go to the larger pan, a large one will deflate when cut.
    The smaller puds look great on the plate don’t you agree ?

  27. Fr. Renzo: A great idea. However, there is limited time and energy in my life as it is.

  28. Sharon: Why didn’t you cook the meat??


  29. Limbo: Thanks. The ramekins will get just as hot as the oven. You just have to give them a little more time to warm up. Also, they will retain heat better than a thin metal pan.

    I should try the pan method at least once, I think.

  30. Brian Day says:

    Fr Z,

    Not speaking for Sharon, but I would guess that she likes her meat cooked “well done”. She saw pink in the meat, and thus the comment.

    Personally, judging by the color of the meat, the roast was cooked a little too much. There is plenty of pink (medium), but not a hint of red (medium-rare).

  31. Brian: Yes, the roast was a little more done than I would have preferred. I usually opt for rare and this was closer to medium. However, it was mostly the timing the puddings that caused this, I think. Since I had never made them, I was pretty focused on their production. In the meantime, the roast continued to cook for a bit too long even while it was tented on the cutting board. Also, the roast was fairly small. Still, it turned out pretty well.

  32. Lacrimarum Valle says:

    Father, you could go for the full Yorkshire method : reserve some of the batter, cook a second batch of puddings whilst you eat your main course, and then eat the second batch for dessert with stewed apples and custard. Yum yum. No wonder we in the UK are so blessed in the avoirdupois department.

  33. Lacrimarum: Yes, that occurred to me yesterday after a friend called to tell me there was at that moment on the Food Network a show about the chemistry and history popovers and related items. There were some pretty interesting menu ideas based on the this useful little device.

  34. AMDG says:

    ” fine Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1998 Silver Oak from Napa” Fine indeed. This Cab has been my favorite California Cab since the 1984 Silver Oak (my first taste of this excellent). Wow kapow!

    Nice touch with the Yorkshires… We usually only do these around the winter holidays and always in the tin so as to be able to get the drippings hot enough. Nice!

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