Eggs, farm fresh, collected throughout the day, refrigerated still warm from a chicken's butt - you can't get any fresher than that.
13 chickens (a few are roosters); 9 ducks (a few are drakes) - I'm collecting about 8 - 12 eggs a day.
Scrambled Eggs, Eggs over Medium, Hard Boiled, The occasional one used in baking. What else can I do with these eggs? And how can I store them for those months when the birds don't lay as often? If you have ideas, I'd love to hear them. Leave me a message in the comments section. Off I go for an internet search for ideas:
"Egg substitute for use in baking—Before starting a recipe for cookies, cake, etc, combine 1 tsp. of unflavored gelatin with 3 tbsp. of cold water and 2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of boiling water. This mixture will substitute for 1 egg in a baking recipe."
Have an overabundance of eggs? Did you know that you can freeze them? Just crack the eggs into ice cube trays and freeze! Once frozen you can transfer them to a plastic freezer bag.
You could also crack several into a plastic container, and freeze that way too. Just label how many eggs are inside for reference.
When you’re ready to use them, let them thaw in the fridge and use in your favorite recipe. They will stay good for at least 6 months.
Ahhh My goats are sick. (Today is the 7th of December) It started with D (the small dark goat) coughing on Tuesday, Dec 6th. By today she just wasn't looking like she was feeling too good. She stood with her head hung, her nose was snotty. I knew I had to help her and decided to move her indoors. No silly, not the house - into the barn. The barn that is still full of tools, and stuff I don't know what to do with that was left by the previous owner. My brother and I worked on it and took out the wood burning stove that was in the corner, a table saw (and table) something that is either a barbecue grill or a smoker (not sure - didn't have time to inspect it), buckets and buckets and buckets of nails, some barrels that have rope in them, a plastic trash can that was full of brand new still in the package dead bolts and door knobs with locks & keys... I have wood pallets that I've been collecting and used them as fencing, and a piece of ply wood and hinges (also left in the barn by the previous owner) to make the gate. You can see all the stuff we didn't have time to go through and figure out in the back on the shelves. The bikes you see I rescued from the dump before someone could drop them off.
It's a religious barn - very holy. I put up some plywood where it is really sparse and the
So I put straw, some hay, water and a salt lick in there along with D. Usually she wants nothing to do with us, but I was able to pick her up and carry her in with no problem. She just lay down, coughed, slept, coughed some more.
Lady S came by via a trip to Dan's Feed and brought me some antibiotics and gave her a shot. Her ears and tail don't feel hot, so she doesn't have a fever (though I'll be sure when my order from Jeffers comes in).
Lady S also checked out J, she doesn't feel pregnant after all - just fat. We caught her and put her in this little pen too. She'll keep D company. (Goats don't do well without companionship)
Before Lady S went home Diamond started coughing and just after she left D started too. Off I went to Dan's feed myself and picked up some syringes and needles and just like I was shown gave those two goats a dose of medicine too. Maybe I caught it quicker and they won't feel as bad tomorrow as D does today.
So far Chauncey is fine - ornery as usual.
D in the background; J in the foreground
That metal pole you see - it's attached at the ceiling and the floor. There is a HUGE chain attached that I clipped up high. It's for lifting things like car engines.
I like bikes, I like kids - There are none at our farm, but I am ever hopeful. To that end I've been collecting 'kid stuff'... like the two bikes you saw in an earlier photo and the one below. I saw a garage sale in Corona Del Mar a couple weeks ago and this was $5.00. The lady told me that her daughter almost never rode it and since they were moving she was getting rid of it. There wasn't even dirt on the tires! It's a sturdy 'trick' bike with the bars in the back.
Gardening, Weather, Dogs...
Not too much to report on the gardening front (yet) except that my father in law (ok, future father in law) rented a tiller and tilled up the garden! Isn't that just the prettiest sight you've ever seen? So full of possibilities!
It's a BIG plot, if my measurements are correct it's 32 feet wide and 62 feet long... but it looks much longer than it does wide, so maybe I'm off. I'm so excited. I think I'm going to go next door and get some free cow manure (hopefully aged) - I'm sure they won't mind, especially if I scoop it myself.
12/22/11 - I planted 150 garlic in these first four rows.
How cold is it? It's damn cold! Check this out - it was never (NEVER) this cold in Lake Elsinore only 10 miles away from gate to garage.
This was taken at 8:00 AM - Shouldn't it have warmed up by 8:00 AM? Brrrrrr I wonder how cold it actually got through the night.
Major worry for me each night is the temperature. Not because I have plants that will freeze - but because Lucky insists on sleeping outside at night. She'll come in during the day, but wants out at night. So now Max, ever the guard dog, wants to be with her to protect her. Max freezes, shivers, and insists on being where Lucky is. They do have a doggy bed that they share cuddled up together for warmth, but I still worry. Our last Master Gardener class was great! Hands On Training how to trim rose bushes - and even more important how to propagate them from cuttings. Pretty easy actually. Take a stem cutting, cut most of the leaves off, but not all - leave the ones at the top. Snip the tips off the leaves (no I don't know why - the lady who taught us didn't either, it's just what she was taught). Put them in a clear plastic bag with vermiculite in the bottom (one stem per bag). Blow into it to blow up the bag and seal it. (I'm thinking it'll need a drop of water on the stem, but she didn't say). Keep the bag in a room with bright light, but never in the sun. It'll root and then you transplant it. So I decided I'm going to line my fence with roses! I was thinking cactus (ugly); bouganvilla (allergic to it); then roses - beautiful! All are prickly and will create a barrier and will provide some privacy - but roses will work best of all.
Have I told you about freecycle.org? I love freecycle.org. I access it in my area through Yahoo Groups, but some areas you access it directly from freecycle.org. I listed a gas dryer that was left behind by the previous owners and it was picked up the next day. I've posted that I was in need of a pasta maker and had 2 people contact me and offer theirs to me because they didn't use theirs any longer.
So recently there was a post that someone was offering dragon fruit cuttings. I responded and got a couple cuttings - while talking with the guy we talked about chickens and told him about mine. He asked if I wanted some more - and gave me two silkies - here's a picture of the male. The female is gray and just as fluffy.
These two beautiful birds are soon to be living in a cage. Some of my other birds don't like them and pick on them. Rather than be in the chicken coop at night, these two will huddle together outside in the cold. We made the mistake of putting them in the coop - instant attack. We now moved them to another part of the barn. They have lots of hay, food and water and for a bird that doesn't fly, they still have tons of room to roam.
Kevin's ancestry is Norwegian and he grew up eating lefse. With his parents here I took the opportunity to learn how to make this potato flat bread (that looks like a flour tortilla - but tastes totally different). 10 pounds of russet potatoes yielded over 10 dozen and took the two of us over 6 hours to make. They freeze well and are a special treat for Kevin to have around.
Kevin's mom with the lefse rolling pin - you can see one on the pastry cloth being rolled out.
A lefse on the griddle.
If this sounds like something you'd like to try there are lefse kits to buy, but you may already have most of what you need at home already. Just buy a lefse rolling pin and a lefse stick for picking up and turning the bread. You may already have a griddle - you'll notice that mine wasn't round like this - it was a Wallmart purchase. I already had a pastry cloth (square, not fancy like this one), I also had a ricer, but you could always just mash up your cooked potatoes. I found the rolling pin and stick at Kitchen Fantasy in Temecula. I had all of the other pieces of equipment.
Ummm... Did I tell you all about the kittens I adopted? I think so, but if not there are two of them, both females. Both are now spayed (Why don't I ever adopt anything that already is fixed? Oh wait, Lucky was... still.) The idea is that these will be mousers - they are pretty feral even though they lived indoors for quite some time. Trying to catch them is like trying to hold water with your finger tips. They started sneaking outside the day before their surgery and I thought I was going to have to cancel, but they snuck back in when the temperature dropped. Now that they are healed they have snuck out and for the most part have stayed out. I was hoping they'd be barn cats, but I would have had to actually get them to the barn - didn't happen. Now they stay under the house, in the cactus and up in the trees.
You can kind of see Suzie Q in the tree - this is the view from my bedroom window.
And here's Suzie Q (still in the tree) looking down on the world.
Shade blends in well with everything, but here she is peeking out from the cactus.
And she let me get a better picture of her - zoomed in from my bedroom window.
When we got Scraggles, Max (male dog) took on the role of mother for him. Now that we have the kittens, Scraggles (male cat) took on the role of mother for them. He sleeps outside with them at night keeping an eye on them. Then comes in and crashes all day long. He snuggles them, wrestles them and forces them to learn to climb trees. Shade is the scaredy cat and Scraggles pushes from behind making her go out on limbs over and over. Suzie Q just scrambles up trees like she was a cat... oh wait - she is. They are so beautiful, I wish they would let me cuddle and snuggle them - but then they might not turn in to good mousers if I do that.
I write this site over a period of time, I don't just sit down and write everything at once... so when I started this the goats were sick - D was on her knees and unable to hold her head up. Everyone is fine now, but the does seem to be getting skinnier and skinnier - Chauncey is getting thinner too, but not as much. Stopped in at Dan's Feed and Seed and asked for advice. I'd been giving them alfalfa hay, alfalfa pellets, bermuda grass, and 4-way - along with fruits, vegetables, chicken food that they swipe and the frequent weed, leaves and bark from trees as we take our walks. Yet they are still getting too thin. It was suggested that I give them Goat Ration - it's sweet and will entice them to eat more. Diamond is the one I'm really worried about - She's the thinnest. It also turns out that 4-way is taxed and goat ration isn't. Go figure.
How well do you know me?
If you know me more than in passing you might have guessed that I'm a clutz. I tend to cut, burn and fall down on a regular basis. I thought I was doing really well lately but as I was about to tell you I haven't done those things lately I realized that I have. The cut was from fishing line (more about that below), the burn was on my finger from the toaster oven and well - when I was preparing the barn for the little goats when they were sick I fell off a bale of hay and hit some sort of metal stand that was in the barn. Well, the clutziness goes on...
eww, hairy toes. I can't even see that with my eyes when I look at my foot (getting old) - not that I look at them much either, but eww... Anyway as I was about to finish this update so that I can publish it, I dropped my computer. Thank goodness no one else was home because I screamed in pain for at least 3 minutes. The first 2 1/2 minutes were involuntary and was primal, the last 1/2 minute had curse words attached to it... really bad ones.
I'm so excited, I'm trying to get in to a new class and I'm just about to bust. Did you know I'm taking a Master Gardener class? Well I am, so now you know if I didn't already tell you before. But now I'm hoping to get in to the Master Food Preservers class. It'll be held on Monday nights for 13 very intensive evenings. We are told to bring our favorite chopping blade and an apron. Mine are ready. There are more students trying to get in than there are spaces available... so Santa if you're reading this, I'd really like to get in to this class please. I've been a good girl this year, honest. (ps - I got in.)
In addition to taking classes, I've also been giving them. (2 so far). The first was on how to can cranberry relish. The last class was how to make your own home made bread. I had bread rising, dough I made up there, and bread finished and ready to eat. To keep everyone interested I had 1/2 pint jars that I filled half way with heavy whipping cream and had everyone shake it until they were either exhausted, or had butter - everyone succeeded and it was fun - and tasty too - they all ate their bread with their own home made butter. It was a lot of fun to do.
Candy Cane Lane
We took the 15 North to the 91 West to the 110 South and exited PCH. We drove for ever and turned right on Roberts Street/Avenue - and into a fantasy world we were.
Each year the neighborhood goes all out: lights, decorations, music - they sell candy, popcorn, water, hot cocoa, hot dogs. We parked and walked around just admiring their handy work. I love it every year.
Christmas at the Farm
Christmas at the farm is going to be a quiet affair. We barely have the tree up and unpacked boxes are in every corner it seems. We did find some large outdoor Christmas balls to hang from the trees. I tied some fishing line to the ball and tossed them up into the trees trying to get them to go over the branches (without a ladder). It took me hours. Before I got pretty good at it after awhile. I was getting hit in the head, ornaments are banged up from hitting the gravel drive, fishing line kept cutting my finger in the same location as I would swing the ball back and forth then release. But OH the finished sight is beautiful.
Can you see the ornaments through the gate?
Isn't this fun looking?! I'm so pleased with the outcome.
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis