By now you’ve selected your hatching eggs, you’ve set your eggs in your incubator, started picking out baby chick names (naming them all flowers would be really cute) and now comes the best part. Today we’re talking about the very last three days of incubation (called lockdown) and hatching. The actual hatching part. Also known as THE BEST PART!
It’s that time of year again! The time of year where we schlep through the woods to tap maple trees, collect sap and spend hours upon hours of boiling it down in order to make sweet, sweet maple syrup. This year we’re stepping up our game by increasing our taps from 100 to over 200. We’ll also be doing something very special with our finished syrup but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see what that is! We’ve been storing last year’s syrup away like squirrels and we’re almost to the very end of our stash! So I thought that this week would be a great time to make something special with our homemade maple syrup. With lots of syrup, fresh duck eggs on hand and a sudden “heat wave” (50 degrees!) that meant one thing and one thing only…. dessert. Sweet, creamy, most excellent dessert. In my belly. Now.
It’s the beginning of January but the middle of cold and flu season. And there’s a crap ton of snow heading our way. We have a lot of friends that are sick, so we didn’t want to risk one of us getting sick then being snowed in together. Passing the nasty flu virus back and forth between the two of us. Forever. To prevent such catastrophe, I decided to whip up some super homemade chicken noodle soup. With our own pasture-raised, free range chicken, homemade broth and homemade egg noodles. I’m pretty sure this recipe has some sort of curative gypsy curse voodoo powers. And even if it doesn’t, and we still end up with bodily fluids flying out of every orifice of our bodies and 12″ of snow outside; at least we have this soup. With one pot, you can make your own homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade chicken broth or homemade chicken stock. It’s magic.
Last week I started a new series all about my adventures in cooking for boys. Last week was all about beef and blue sliders, this week I’m giving you a recipe for the morning after. You know the drill, everyone comes over in the afternoon, drinks well into the evening. Maybe the party moves from the porch to the swimmin’ hole and we gather around a giant bonfire. Maybe there’s another beer run. Maybe a push-up/arm wrestling contest. Maybe that’s followed up by a real wrestling contest. Maybe everyone strips down to their skivvies and jumps in the creek. Maybe an entire handle or two of Jim Beam is consumed. Maybe some Jagermeister as a night cap. Maybe some folks don’t make it back to the house. Maybe they just sleep wherever they fell down. I mean…maybe. No matter how the night goes, the morning always ends up the same… the kitchen is trashed and all of the boys are slowly starting to wake up, and crave bacon like zombies craving brains.
When we first got into raising chickens, we researched many different breeds. We knew that we wanted to get buff orpingtons because they’re a great utility breed. Then we were gifted three Easter Eggers and immediately fell in love with them. But we knew we wanted to raise a whole flock of one specific breed to keep in a dedicated coop. A breed that was really special, unique or rare. It wasn’t long before we discovered the marans breed. They’re a rare breed that lays a coppery-chocolate colored egg, which is really badass. They’re also James Bond’s favorite egg… mega badass. We had to have them.
I really wanted chickens. I wanted them really bad. The farm already had a great coop on the property inside a large, fenced in chicken run. All I had to do was insert chickens… and learn how to take care of them. One Saturday in May, our good friends John and Lanette brought us over five chickens and the rest is history. I had chicken fever. Here’s a looksie around our coop.