Saturday, January 28, 2012


Bird brains. You never really can understand what goes on behind those eyes. Sometimes they appear to be very dim bulbs indeed. Other times, they must think that we're the stupid ones.

We've been getting this certain brand of chicken feed that was completely organic, corn free, soy free, etc, etc, etc... and it was based on raw split peas and legumes. Sounds pretty good huh? These chickens were living the dream; at least I thought. For years the spring chicks would get to about 12-15 months and stop laying eggs altogether. Why? Why do the girls always go on strike when they get that old? Do they reach some know-it-all, rebellious teenager stage at this point? I didn't think so.

What do you know about raw legumes and digestion for humans? Raw legumes are an anti-nutrient; they pull nutrients out of the body as you digest them. And I knew that. But the thought hadn't exactly translated over to chickens. Poor girls. A friend of mine brought that to my attention. She brought it on herself as a personal task to figure out why the chickens weren't laying.

So we sought out a different feed for the poultry products. And we found one that will work for now. It's not organic, but it will do for now.

The chicken are laying more than 2 dozen eggs a day. Even though we've been trying to be creative with egg uses (lots of hard boiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, mayonnaise, etc), we have quite the surplus of eggs right now. I think that the chickens are happy now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Peanut sauce w/o the peanuts

I"m on a diet. The 'Primal Diet' to be exact. Meat, veggies, more meat, a little fruit, even more veggies, seeds/nuts, and then some more meat with a salad on the side. You eat like ancient man. Do I agree with the philosophy and basis of the diet? No. The constant references to evolution are bugging me. Do I think that it's a healthier way to eat? Yes. Grains, starches, legumes, and sugars have always been in my life, and I've paid the price. At least that's what the lab results are saying.

But if one is to only eat certain foods, won't it get boring? Oh yes. That's where the cookbooks come in handy. They are the spice of life, quite literally. Take broccoli for example. How long could you eat steamed broccoli and it stay interesting? Well, search no farther. Your green florets will take a little trip to SE Asia with this little (altered) recipe from Mark Sisson's book Quick and Easy Meals on page 67.

You will need:
- Broccoli (enough for the whole clan to have a hefty serving or two)
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 5 T almond butter
- 1/2 T honey
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 2 T tamari (soy sauce w/o the grain)
- 1/4 tsp chili oil (the original recipe calls for double that; my tongue would not forgive me if I used that much)
- water

Cut the broccoli into florets. Steam the greenies until it reaches desired tenderness.

Mix remaining ingredients execpt the water together in food processor until they form a smooth, albeit thick, dressing. Slowly add the water, tablespoon by tablespoon, until it reaches desired consistency. You will only need about 3-4 T of water.

Double the recipe. You'll want more.

Enjoy! You can use this as a veggie dip for carrots, drizzle it over your meat (it is most excellent with grilled chicken), or whatever you want to put it on! Hmm... wonder how it tastes on chocolate.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chocolate Chips

It seemed to be a normal trip. Go to the food, pick up the food, haul the food home, unload the food, put all the food away. Done deal, right? Nope. Well, actually, yes, except for the last little bit.

I had just poured in an entire 1 lb. bag into the chocolate chip container in the pantry but the chips looked ever so slightly different. Only one way to investigate: taste test. Lo-and-behold, what I thought were chocolate chips were not chocolate chips at all. They were carob chips.

Now, before I proceed, you must understand my relationship with chocolate. I love it. The darker the better. I get antioxidants and endorphin releasing powers running through my system. Carob on the other hand is a chocolate impostor. You take a handful of the bits only to be thoroughly disappointed when your taste buds react to the not-so-chocolate-y-ness. Bleh.

Back to the story. We needed to return the bag since it obviously wasn't what we thought it was. There was only one problem - the carobs had mingled with the chocolates. I had just unintentionally created much more work than I had anticipated. I handpicked every piece of carob and put it into its rightful bag to return. An entire pound of the things. Oy. This was a job that required chocolate and patience. But I survived with the help of chocolate which was conveniently at hand if I picked out the carob.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

RIP Kevin?

Y'all read about Kevin, right? You'll want to catch up here.

We were bringing in the chickens. And the geese. And Kevin. Yeah, she still gets her own room in the barn -  complete with heat lamp for those really cold nights. Anyways... We searched the entire barn for Kevin that night. No Kevin. We looked outside the barn. Still no Kevin. We checked in the carport. And still no Kevin. We searched the barn again. Even the loft. Yet again, no Kevin.

What were we to do? Chickens are coyote fodder around here. They're fair game for any predator that comes around.

We just about decided that if Kevin didn't come in, she wouldn't be in that night. If she was at the barn door in the morning, all the better. That would save some tears from certain someones the next day.

I don't know what impulse told me to check over by the garbage cans in the barn, but I did. There was only one can open at the time, and I heard a faint cooing coming from inside. Lo-and-behold, Kevin was inside. Goodness knows why she decided to roost in a garbage can for the night, but she did. Now she just roosts on the gate and saves us some hassle come bed time.

So long for now!