Chickens & the egg experiment

Have you ever had one of those times when you are in the middle of something and you realize that maybe you just might have preordered too many of something? 

Well that was where I was at yesterday. I went to pick up the second part of my preorder of baby chickens and realized that maybe.. just maybe… 36 new layers added to the farm could give us maybe more eggs than we can eat. But it was too late and you just never know how many will actually make it. And with that, I put them in the car with me and headed back to the farm.

So with all these eggs coming to the farm coop soon once the chickens are old enough to lay, I decided to do an experiment. The experiment was to try hard ‘boiling’ eggs in the oven. With the instructions from Google close by I dove in! 

The first thing is to preheat your oven to 350 ºF. Next is to find the cupcake pan. And if your cupboards are anything like mine, the pan is always the furthest that you could possibly reach without literally crawling into the cupboard! So the next step was to put the eggs into the tins without any water or anything. The picture showed the eggs in the paper liners and with only a couple that I had on hand, I went with that. Now into the oven for 30 minutes. The instructions say that you might get ‘spots’ and I was glad that they added that additional note because I got spots! And as you can tell it didn’t matter if they were in the papers or not. And why do they get spots on them? I have no idea! Toss them in an ice bath for 10 minutes and Shazam! Not only did they get done – but the outside spots went away. Weird! There was a couple of spots on the actual whites once I peeled them, but they were just on the surface and a quick slice with a knife and they were gone. 

So this experiment was very easy and the eggs turned out just perfect! Well other than the spot issue 🙂 

Posted in Baking, Farm animals | 2 Comments

What’s the news?

Well it sure seems like the last couple of weeks just flew by! And it for sure wasn’t because the weather has been cooperating! It’s been flooding a lot and maybe I’m just getting old or something, but I seriously never remember having a storm come through and you get 4+ inches of rain at one time! This last round we were lucky and only got about 1 1/2 inches of rain but not that far from us some farmers got over 4 inches and their fields are flooded. The standing water in the fields will kill the corn which is not good! 

Other thing that happened is that we celebrated our 36 year anniversary towards the end of April. OK, maybe I am getting old! But how great is that? Now it can’t hold a candle to a celebration we just had this weekend. It was Daryl’s sister and brother in laws 50th! You know when I was a teenager and someone was celebrating their 25th anniversary I thought ‘holy smokes’ they are almost ancient people! And when I thought about 50 years I couldn’t almost comprehend it. So with us into the 30 years of marriage and having a party at our house for a 50th – I think I’m changing my mind to what is a long time to be married   is  – maybe if you celebrate your 100th anniversary than you just might be old ! Ask me in about 67 years 🙂 

Rock picking has been on our calendar these past weeks and we even got a couple of loads picked up already. There is some new seed grass planted on the farm and Daryl wanted to have most of them picked up before it came up.  I’ll have to take a picture of the field this week and show you. It looks pretty nice. OK, maybe you need to be a farmer to see the beauty in new grass in a field, but it does look nice.  

I’ve picked up my first batch of chickens the other day and I’m just saying I did a really good job only coming home with what I was ordered.  But I also have to go back next week and pick up the second half of the ones that were ordered. I stopped in at Ma’s on the way home and needed a model holding the chickens. I even got her to stop mowing for the picture which is kind of a shock because she loves mowing! 

Making soap has been high on my To Do List. And with getting around 700 bars made for an upcoming show I am now nervous that someone will buy them! I’ll find out in two weeks. Of course I would like to have made some other ones that I’ve been thinking of to bring to the show but I guess it’ll have to be later this summer to the stores. I bought some goat milk and froze it and I’m just dying to try to get them made along with some beer soap. Both are harder to make than other ‘regular’ soap so it’ll take more time than I have right now.

And Daryl has been busy working up the ground and planting corn and beans. We were visiting the kids today and saw that there is quite a bit of corn up south of our farm so that just makes everyone more anxious to get the rest of the seeds in the ground.

 

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Good Friday – Roamin’ Catholics

How can it be Good Friday already! It seriously seems like the weeks just fly by sometime!

With being a Roamin’ Catholic that means that this year again we were successful in our endeavor to find as many new fish frys that we could each Friday in Lent. We were able to make it out on the Friday but one and all new places again.  Shazam!

Now I’m sure that you’re thinking that it doesn’t sound so hard with all the Catholics in our area to find new places, but it can be challenge! Once again we traveled in all directions and had a lot of fun!

Seriously I’m not sure if the fish is the best part of the night. I think just hanging out and trying new restaurants and local spots,  along with seeing what entertainment the towns have to offer – is what makes it fun and is something that I look forward to every week!  

But all good things must come to an end. From celebrating Ash Wednesday on our way to Aruba this year,  to plates of lobster and shrimp at Red Lobster – What a Feast! I’m thinking when they came up with that slogan ‘Lobster Feast’ they were probably thinking of us on any given Good Friday!

 

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It’s a dog’s life

Are you wondering what our dogs have been up to? 

Well if you are … I’m here to tell you not much ! 

With the weather hopefully turning warmer soon, the amount of time that the dogs will be coming in the house will be less and less these next few months. Hopefully we’ll be able to hang out with them in the yard and on the front porch. 

So what do they usually do when they are in the house? Well Kaiser usually sits way too close to the TV watching dog shows. (all my years of yelling at the kids to move back is still coming in handy!)

And Ms. Reno usually is pretty much passed out most of the time until she hears the chickens go by the house and then she seems to perk up! She really doesn’t like to chase them, just likes to watch them. 

Sometimes I think our dogs are kinda spoiled. 

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Happy Birthday Daryl!

Another Birthday in the books and what a fun time we had getting everyone together for Daryl’s birthday! Now when I say that we get everyone together our way might be a little different than what others think that might mean. When I say that we can ‘get together’ for a birthday it usually means that we will be using our computers to skype.  And that’s exactly what we did tonight to sing Happy Birthday to Daryl and to be with him to blow out his candles and open up his birthday presents.  

And if you look closely at the candles you’ll see that they are brand new and that have never been used before. Yup, I bit the bullet on that one because I was so tired of making 9’s into 3’s and 4’s into 1’s! I’m not sure if you have done this before,  but I’m here to tell you that for the new ones I spent a whole $2 and added them to my shopping cart on Tuesday. Seriously they were only $1 each! I’m thinking that I should have bought the whole display!

So for supper tonight we had Daryl’s favorites – meatloaf (his mom’s recipe) boiled potatoes with butter, green bean casserole, and then of course later birthday cake and ice cream 🙂 It was fun to see everyone and to get together!  Happy Birthday Daryl!

 

Happy Birthday to a fun loving, hard working, great guy!

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Happy Birthday Daryl!

Today we got to celebrate another family birthday and what a fun time we had getting everyone together for Daryl’s birthday. Now when I say that we get everyone together I’m thinking that our way might be a little different than what others might mean. When I say that we can ‘get together’ for a birthday it usually means that we will all be using our computers to skype to each other.   

And that’s exactly what we did tonight to sing Happy Birthday to Daryl and for us all to watch him blow out his candles. And if you look closely at the candles you’ll see that they are brand new ones and have never been used before. Yup, I bit the bullet on that one because I was so tired of making 9’s into 3’s and 4’s into 1’s – so I spent a whole $2 and added these two candles to my shopping cart on Tuesday. So I’m thinking new candles are almost better than a birthday present right? 🙂

So for supper tonight  we had Daryl’s favorites – meatloaf (his mom’s recipe) boiled potatoes with butter/salt & pepper, green bean casserole, and then of course birthday cake and ice cream!It was fun to see everyone and to get together even if it was electronically. Hey it still counts in my book!

Happy Birthday Daryl!

 

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Holding my breath!

Lately every time that No Ears gets pregnant we hold our breath! The reason is because she is getting up there in age and seems to get milk fever before she has the calf. So she’s usually so weak and let me just say it’s pretty scary for both No Ears and myself! 

Her last calf she had gotten so sick and was down for a couple of days. And then of course she had given birth to the calf Luna at that time out in the field in the rain. Yup, pretty much the worst circumstances. So when I asked the vet if there was any kind of birth control for cows first they looked at me like ‘did you drive here by yourself’ and then with a kind of smirk said to just keep her away from the bull. OK seriously, how many years do you have to go to vet school to learn that! Well since they are nice in that office, I just smiled and held my breath hoping that her age will help us get her out of this situation. 

No such luck! Luther the bull kind of likes her so of course she was going to have another calf. AND GUESS WHAT? She did have a calf, and she didn’t get sick or in trouble at all this time. I’m so glad because every once in awhile Daryl will say that we will have to sell her and when I give him the stink eye and say kinda mean things back to him if he ever sells her (shock right?) so see she’s still the best mom in the yard! 

And what is her newest calf’s name? Well April of course!  

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WIND

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

OK, maybe a little too much drama going on here, but as everyone knows I do not like wind – especially when it’s been blowing for the past few days at 40 to up to 60 mph. Now I’m sure that there are reasons that people like wind – the first example that I can think of is being on the beach in ARUBA and it’s around 85 to 90 ° and as it gently blows over your face to help keep you cool. Yup, that’s a good reason for a gentle breeze. 

But guess what? We are not in ARUBA anymore and does it really have to be so windy that it has blown semi trucks and trailers off the roads? I’m guessing no!

But it is drying off the fields to get ready for Spring planting so I guess I’ll just have to live with it. And now that I’m laying in bed with the wind howling outside and rain hitting the windows I could only wish I was back on that beach with a light wind blowing across my face.

 

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It’s getting to be that season again

Well winter should be about done. Thank goodness! But with winter on the out and spring coming in that means one thing on our farm. 

It means rock picking time! 

Daryl told me the other day that he was going to go out and pick up a few of the big ones. 

Humm… kind of looks like an over achiever to me!

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Getting my green on!

I saw a recipe on Pinterest the other day that I’ve been dying to try. OK, once you see what I wanted to try you might think that this girl needs some better hobbies!

But what I wanted to try was to make a homemade dishwasher soap. Yup – just like living on the edge.

So with my recipe in front of me I started to cut up the lemons and then added water into the pan so that it could cook for around 20 minutes or until they were soft. Next step was to blend them up to almost a paste. After a really good blending in my bullet blender the lemon mixture was way too thick to strain so I added some additional water to see if that would help. This step seemed to take a lot longer to me and the next time that I do this I think I’m going to use my juicer! It should be faster but still get the job done! But for now I had kind of a mess. I pulled out a second strainer to ‘pre-strain’ the mixture. Yup, I officially had a mess going on in the kitchen. But the recipe did say that it was a little time consuming so I just need to go with the flow. OK,  next add the salt and vinegar and now all it has to do is boil and get thick. Well this is where I didn’t ‘go with the flow’ so well. I’m sure I should have boiled it longer to thicken it up but I needed to move on with my day. The final product wasn’t as thick as they said it was going to be, but I think it’ll be OK.

The funniest thing about the whole process is that one of the comments for the recipe is that it’ll make your house smell absolutely wonderful. Huh. Our house just smells like soap.

  • Update I have used it a couple of times and so far so good. I used 3 Tbsp per load or one good pour and then keep the jar in the fridge.  I think I’ll make some more again but use the juicer thing instead. I can always throw it in the dishwasher to get it clean 🙂 

Why it should work: “Lemons have many properties that ensure clean dishes, from the citric acids that help to remove mineral and hard water deposits to the lemon oil in the rind with bacterial and cleaning properties from limonene – a component used in many commercially prepared cleaning products. Add white vinegar’s cleaning power, and salt as a scouring agent, and you’ve got a complete dish cleaner. The white pith and rind also add pectin, a natural thickening agent”

 

Ingredients

  • 4 medium lemons
  • 1 ½  plus 2 cups water
  • 4 ounces white vinegar
  • 1 cup Kosher salt (I used table salt without Iodine)

 

Instructions

  • Cut the lemons – including the pith and peel – into chunks about 1/4 inch thick. Remove all seeds. You should have about 2 cups worth.
    • Place the lemons into a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cup of water.
    • Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. There should be less water, and the mixture should be a little syrupy, with the lemons very soft. Stir frequently, adding more water as needed.
    • Pour the lemons and liquid into a blender and add the other 2 cups water. Blend at a high setting until the mixture is very smooth.
    • Strain the liquid back into the saucepan.
    • Add the vinegar and salt and stir thoroughly.
    • Bring to a boil at at medium setting and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should thicken a little – something like applesauce.
    • Allow it to cool completely in the saucepan. Stir if you notice any crust forming on the top (it will be due to the salt.)
    • Store in a glass container. It will make a gel.

 

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