Friday, July 6, 2012

Caution: Aggressive When Threatened

Hard to see isn't it?  
     How did this happen so quickly, or how had this gone unnoticed so long?  Easily missed by the inattentive and walked by many times on the way to the fowl, this paper creation draws and repulses.

     The white-faced or baldfaced hornets have found what they must consider the perfect building lot.  Location, location, location.  Near a field with flowers and a pond with water, what more could a hornet ask for? Maybe to be left alone by the humans.

 One entering the nest. 
     The design of the nest can't help but draw attention.  Waves of paper ridges create the outside walls that draw the viewer cautiously close.  Hornets are not exactly friendly and are very aggressive when threatened or think that they are threatened.  Who can read the mind of a hornet?  How close is too close? It is said that one hornet is the guard hornet, so it would be foolish to touch the papery creation.  Tempting it is, but necessary to resist the desire to feel the paper or tap it to hear if there is a hollow sound. A foolhardy choice that would be. It is best to keep your distance.  However, the intriguing design can draw one in for closer inspection.  Not for too long though.  It is a game of chance.  How close can one be and still not be considered aggressive?  With the likelihood that there are between 400 and 700 inside it's not worth finding out.

Easy and especially good to avoid cooking on a hot day.               
                          Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 pounds total) (used chicken breasts sliced horizontally, removed skin)
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (root end left intact)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced into rounds
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
½ cup raisins

1. Combine cumin, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and
1/2 teaspoon pepper in zip lock bag; add chicken and toss to coat. Heat
oil over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until golden, about 4
minutes; turn and cook 2 minutes.

2. In slow cooker, place onion, garlic, and ginger. Add
chicken, skin side up, then top with tomatoes and their liquid and raisins.
Cover and cook on high until chicken is tender, 3 1/2 hours.

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