Monday, February 28, 2011

Is it over yet? Seriously is it over?

Well when we last spoke we talked about the chickens. That deed has been done. I now have 5 beautiful chickens to roast in my freezer. We are thankful for that!

We also ordered new baby chicks in fun varieties! We got anything from Speckled Sussex to Auracauna! They will come to us in April hopefully when the yard has melted (we got another foot yesterday thank you very much) and the coop has had its spring cleaning. We have a brooder area inside the coop and therefore the little fluffers will only be inside the house for a week before getting shuffled out to the brooder area. This,w e have found, also makes the transition to full coop MUCH easier with the larger hens. (Also, I suspect our trouble makers are now in the freezer.)

Also, our incredibly sweet Roo, Mike the Jersey Giant has taken a turn over to the dark side where he now is in the KILL THE HUMANS camp. This is not acceptable. Hopefully he will get over himself or he may find himself ruling a different roost or joining the freezer camp. Can't have a 15 pound rooster coming at you. NOPE!


The family has been sick, with cold after cold. Hopefully we are on the way out of that now, Harry has caught my cold (sorry hun) and Noah has had to have surgery (noah the great dane puppy) but other than that we are ok!



Yesterday to combat the sick and to make people smile I found a quick recipe online for coffee cake which my family loves. Since I am now trying to make everything from scratch, I had to bake it myself! I found this recipe. I really dig it. I would say though the cake is a bit dry so don't overcook it (i suspect i may have).

Sour Cream Apple Coffee CakeImage by Cool Librarian via Flickr



Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender to the size of small peas.
  3. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg well, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Stir carefully until just blended.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Drizzle top with melted butter.
  5. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of cake. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.





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Monday, February 7, 2011

Walk the Walk


I had been carefully writing this entry in my head all day (Sunday) while I went about my life and of course when I get the time to sit down and write it, I forget how I had written it.  The way I had written it was very graceful. oh well, I guess I will just jump right into it.

My family is big on self sufficiency (we talk the talk) and as part of that project we obtained our chickens.  As a refresher, last year we had a lot of trouble with them, we had a NH that cannibalized and we butchered her and consumed her. We did it all at home, just D and me and it was not as hard as we had thought but still not our favorite task.  My point of this entry though is that this year we are going to reduce our numbers again by ½. I know it sounds terrible because we named some of them and yes we loved them and cared for them for 2 years. I have already placed an order for 6 new chickens and I have already made the ‘call’ to a local processing plant.

I admit being slightly nervous about this and our flock will be significantly reduced until April when the new chicks come and they wont lay for 6 months after that, which will slow down the egg business here quite a bit.  We are doing it now because I only have a few to go and they have another “farm” processing a larger quantity at the same time. This saves us a bundle and well its just the right time.

I also admit being slightly sad about it but I have to remind myself that they will be feeding my family after 2 years of running around in my back yard, being carried around and getting to eat all the wonderful scraps from my garden as well as uneaten foods from the table. That they in fact have had 100 times better of a life than a chicken at a large processing plant, who for their short lives do not even get to see the sun, eat only bagged feed that has been carefully selected to maximize their growth. No, I shouldn’t feel badly at all. I should feel thankful. A life is a life though and so I am a struggling with this a little.

Thank you chickens for the last 2 years.