Saturday, April 23, 2022

I found some things

 I found some things today, some not very pleasant things, and I'm going to tell you about them.  

But first, you should know that a family of foxes has taken up residence under one of our decks.  There's a mama, a daddy, and at least 5 babies.  They're right outside our bedroom window*, and the foxes have been providing for Hubby a pleasant distraction from work during the past couple of weeks. 

You should also know** that I have mixed feelings about a fox family living under our deck.  The fox family will have absolutely no qualms about killing and eating my chickens, if they get the chance.  In fact, it is likely that these foxes are the ones who injured Rocky and took Buttercup and probably Koko last year.  That was not very nice of them.

On the other hand, if they're living under our deck, we know where they are, and can use that information to protect our girls.  If they were living somewhere else, I might not even know they were around until something bad happened.  Plus those pups are so dang cute.  I watched three of them pouncing on leaves and each other for about 20 minutes the other day, and I was charmed.

So, now that you know that, here's what I found, in order of discovery:

1. Fox poop.  On our deck.  It's like dog poop, but more fibrous: all that fur they eat passes right through.  That wasn't pleasant.

2. A dead chicken (not one of ours), with its head missing.  Very unpleasant.  None of the neighbors that are immediately adjacent to our property have chickens, so whatever killed it took it from at least 1/4 mile away and transported it here.  Having gone to that much trouble, I don't understand why the predator (probably one of our fox parents, since it was in the general vicinity of their den) didn't bother to eat it.  

3. A granola bar, still half in its wrapper, in our garbage disposal.  Also not pleasant.  It was soggy because we'd been using the sink all day.  How did it get there?  I don't even know what to say about that one.

Thankfully, that was it for the day.  I can think of some things I could have found that are even less pleasant than these, so I guess I'm glad those were all the things I found.

How about you?  Have you found anything, pleasant or not-so-much-pleasant, lately?

*****

* Which is also Hubby's "office" window during business hours.  

** You should also also know that foxes are not dangerous to humans unless the foxes are sick.  And these foxes are acting like typical foxes, that is, afraid of humans, so they don't pose a danger to us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Menu plan for the week of April 18

 When I went to the grocery store last week, there were zero hot dog buns.  Zero.  What a random thing to be out of stock, right?  All of the other regularly stocked breads were there.  There were no hot dog buns, so I decided to make my own.

I've attempted hot dog buns in the past, but haven't really had much success.  I mean, I've succeeded in making something that kinda looks like buns, and it does the job, but the family hasn't been impressed with my efforts.

So I found a new recipe, with a new shaping method, and made the buns*.  They look good--like hot dog buns.  I'm pretty sure they taste good, too**.  But I'm also pretty sure my family will prefer the el-cheapo hot dog buns from the grocery store that they're used to.  It's good, though, to be able to make my own versions of items that I'm not able to find in the grocery store.  I feel like it doesn't even occur to most people to even try.

I also didn't find panko bread crumbs at the grocery store last week.  I am so glad I didn't, because the recipe called for 4 T of crumbs, and I would have purchased probably 12 ounces of crumbs, which is significantly more than 4 T.  And then the extra crumbs would have sat in my cupboard for months, or possibly years, getting stale, while I looked at them every couple of weeks and told myself I should figure out how to use them up.  It would have never, ever occurred to me that I could make my own if they'd been in stock at my store***.

Here's what's on the menu for this week:

Supper:

Other:


* * * * *

* I made 10, instead of the 9 called for in the recipe, because the math**** was easier.

** The reason I don't know whether or not they taste good is because we haven't tried them yet.  We need 6 or 7 buns when we have hot dogs and brats for supper, and we already had 6 in the freezer.  I wanted to buy more just in case we needed a 7th, so when I couldn't buy any, I made some.  We did not, in fact, need a 7th this time.

*** So easy!  And easy to make just the amount I needed.

**** Yup, I weighed the dough to help me divide it evenly.  I rarely do that, but it seemed important in this instance.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Menu plan for the week of April 11

 

Supper:

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Eating in shifts

 The other day, I was talking with a friend* and she mentioned that her family was going to have to start eating in shifts soon.  Her two children are involved in activities, the times of which mean that the two parents are going to have to divide and conquer, and all the people will not be home at the same time to eat supper.  She said she would have to look up my blog post about eating in shifts to get some ideas.

Which means, I guess, that I have to write a blog post about meals that can be eaten in shifts**.  

So here we go: some meal ideas that can be eaten in shifts:

  • Sandwiches: Another obvious choice.  Cold sandwiches can be made ahead of time, and hot sandwiches can be put together quickly.  Here are a few ideas:
  • Breakfast foods: make the batter ahead of time and store it, covered, in the fridge.  Or make the whole thing ahead of time, freeze, and heat it up when you want to eat it.  Some examples:
  • Convenience foods that can be heated up quickly: these don't have to be preservative-laden foods from the freezer section--you can make your own version, then store it in the fridge or freezer to be heated up later.  A couple of my kiddos' favorites:
  • Almost anything that you don't eat in shifts.  It's true.  You can make something for the first shift, and the second (and subsequent) shift(s) can heat it back up to eat it.  It won't kill them, I promise.

So there you have it, friends.  Hopefully these ideas will see you through your eating-in-shifts period, or if not, at least inspire you to come up with your own ideas.

* * * * * * *

* This is a gratuitous*** footnote.

** I have written about eating in shifts, but only to complain about how difficult it is to come up with menu ideas.  Although, now that I'm past that stage in my life, it feels so much less difficult than it felt at the time. 

*** Gratuitous (adjective): not necessary; with no reasonable cause****

**** In this case, there is a reasonable cause, but it's definitely not necessary.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Menu plan for the week of April 4

 I had a shelf-cooking win this week.  I decided, suddenly, on Saturday evening, that we needed vanilla wafers for Sunday morning.  So I found a recipe, and made some, probably cheaper than had I bought vanilla wafers (even the store brand), and definitely cheaper when taking into account the transportation cost.

They tasted pretty similar to commercially available vanilla wafers (at least as far as I remember), and had a very similar texture, too.  Shelf-cooking is a state of mind.  Or, a game, if you prefer.  If you want a certain food, but you don't have it, or have all of the ingredients to make said food, how can you make it without running to the store? 

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:


Other:

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Happy spring!*

 Well, friends, I did it.  I had the dry pinto beans out, so I filled a quart canning jar with dry beans and weighed them (if you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.  Don't forget to read the footnotes).  All the beans I had, which weighed a little under 1½ pounds, came up to where a 1 inch headspace would be on the quart jar, and 1 inch headspace is the amount of headspace specified in the recipe.  So yeah.  Not sure where they're getting that 2¼ pounds of beans per quart jar from.

It was a full day yesterday.  I spontaneously decided to make and can some chicken stock.  I am not a spontaneous person.  I am a planner, and I don't like it when things don't go according to plan, even good things.  Case in point: sometimes I decide to make cookies and take the butter out of the fridge to soften.  It is not unusual for that butter to still be on the counter softening 3 or 4 days later.  Because I can't make cookies, or do pretty much anything, spontaneously.  

I decided to make the chicken stock, because I was going to be cooking beans in the pressure cooker, and I figured I might as well make the stock first†, since I was going to haul the beast out.  And I already had all my pressure canning stuff out** from canning the beans the other day, so I figured I might as well can the stock.  I felt strange the whole time, because this wasn't something that I had been planning to do, and it feels like too big of a job to just start on a whim.  Yet, there I was.  Acting like a spontaneous person.

I say it was a full day, because it felt busy.  I crossed 11 items off my to-do list, when normally I shoot for 5, and am happy with 3.  The stock was not on the list--nor were the beans.

* * * * * 

Anyway.  It's spring.  Both meteorologically and astronomically speaking. 

I was appalled when I discovered that meteorologists say that spring starts on March 1 and ends May 31.  I mean, everyone knows that the first day of spring is the day of the vernal equinox, right?  And summer begins on the summer solstice, right?

But we all know that the equinox is not all it's cracked up to be.  At least, those of us who either read or wrote my equinox blog post know.  And this year, I decided.  Spring started March 1 for me.  It's easier to keep track of, and I'm still feeling a little bitter about the whole equinox thing, so, yeah.  I'm feeling pretty good about it, and I'm not going to let anyone bully me into not letting spring start until March 20 or 21.  So there.  It's spring, and I'm happy about it.

* * * * *

* I feel like this blog post is much more about chicken stock and beans than it is about spring, but I'm keeping the title.  I hope you don't feel too too baited and switched.

† I've been saving the bones from the 10 pound bag of chicken wings I bought because Hubby wanted chicken wings and no one had them except for Sam's Club.  We finally finished the bag on Sunday.  I'm a little sad that I didn't make stock from our Christmas turkey carcass, but I forgive myself, because at the time we were not using much chicken stock, and now, well, we are.  Next turkey, I'm making stock.

** Not to worry, friends.  The canning stuff has been put away, so there will be no more spontaneous canning projects in the near future.


Monday, March 21, 2022

Menu plan for the week of March 21

 I canned a load of pinto beans the other day, because I had the dry beans, and I'm planning use pinto beans this week.  But now that I have 8 beautiful pint jars of shelf-stable, recipe-ready pinto beans, I kind of want to save them.  It doesn't seem right to use 1/4 of them two days later.

So now, instead of using my convenient canned beans for taco bean soup, which is why I canned them, I'm planning to cook about 1/2 lb of dry pinto beans in a pressure cooker first.  Silly Scarlet.

I have my own method for canning dry beans, but I decided to look up the directions in my Ball Blue Book of Canning to confirm that my beans would be canned safely.  The only difference between my method and Ball's method is that they use approximately 2¼ pounds of beans per quart jar.  Y'all.  I use 2 pounds for four quart or 8 pint jars.  

I follow the Blue Book instructions: soak overnight, rinse, cover with 1" water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, and I'm telling you: there is no way you would be able to fit 2¼ pounds of beans prepared in this manner, in one quart jar.  The only way you could fit that many beans in that size jar is if you packed them in dry, and even then, I'm not sure they'd fit†.  And then your jar would explode if you tried to can them, because beans expand when they're cooked.

What were/are they thinking? *

Here's what I'm thinking: we should eat food this week.  Here's what's on the menu:

Supper:
  • Fend for self/Taco bean soup
  • Tacos with all the fixings
  • Spaghetti, green beans
  • Fend for self
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hamburgers or hot dogs, buns, tator tots, grilled veggie (I'll see what looks good when I get to the grocery store)
  • Grilled chicken, salad, veggie (from the freezer)

Other:

* * * * *

† I mean, obviously, now I'm going to have to try it.  I'll report back.  If I remember.

* I suspect that they're confused** about fluid ounces, which is a measure of volume, and ounces, which is a measure of weight.  Because commercial cans of beans contain 16 or so fluid ounces, and a pint jar contains around the same amount of fluid ounces, and a pound is 16 ounces, so they figure a pint jar can contain a pound of beans.

** I feel like, as an authority on safe canning techniques, they should not be confused about this.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Equinox

I've always had this notion that the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (equinoxi?) were called equinox because on those days, we had equal night and day.  Imagine my disappointment, nay, my feelings of betrayal and dismay, when, a few years ago, I decided to check.  On the equinox, I looked at our sunrise and sunset times, and discovered ... I'd missed it.  The day that we had had equal day and night had been a few days prior†. 

Today is our equinox, as in the day we have equal day and night, here near the 45th parallel north.  See that?  Sunrise at 7:19 a.m.*; sunset at 7:19 p.m.  Equal.


Astronomically speaking, an equinox is the moment when the sun crosses the equator**, which means that the Earth's axis is perpendicular to the sun's rays, which should mean, in theory, that everywhere on earth gets equal amounts of light and darkness.  And it's true that everywhere*** on earth gets approximately equal amounts of light and dark on the day of an equinox--it's just not quite equal.

But, of course, there are other factors involved, including the fact that light is stronger than, and overcomes, darkness††.  I mean, there are science-y words for it, but that's what it comes down to.

Fun fact: Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica switches from polar day (when the sun is always above the horizon) to polar night (when the sun is always below the horizon) around March 23, which is also not the equinox.  

* * * 

† We also do not have our longest night on the winter solstice or our longest day on the summer solstice.  Talk about feeling betrayed.

* That feels untrue, since it's over an hour later and I haven't seen the sun****

** The celestial equator, which is an imaginary line in the sky above the equator.

*** Not the south pole, obviously.

**** Because it's cloudy, not because the sun didn't rise, but it feels like the sun didn't rise. 

†† The presence of something (light) drives out the absence of something (darkness).

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

March is practically over.

My favorite mystery shops are released four times a year, in January, April, July, and October.  That means that the shops are listed and are available to be requested for assignment four times a year.  The shops are assigned on a first come, first served basis.  There is someone,* some faceless mystery shopper colleague**, in my area against whom I am always racing to get, at least, the shops that are closest to me, and so it behooves me to know when those shops will be released.

Unfortunately, the shops are not always released on the first day of the month.  Sometimes they'll be listed a few days before the first of the month; sometimes they will become available a few days after the first of the month.  And they're not always listed at the same time of day, either.  It's not a consistent day or time, is what I'm telling you.  I have fallen in to the habit of checking for shops more and more frequently as the beginning of one of those four months approaches, so I don't miss them.  These are my favorite mystery shops, after all.  They are easy and pay well with a generous reimbursement, plus I get to surprise people sometimes--I enjoy doing them.

I found myself ramping up my checking-for-mystery-shops about a week ago.  You know, around the 2nd or 3rd of March?  And every time, there would be nothing, and I would look at the date and realize that April is still most of a month away from now.  My brain thinks that March is mostly over.  I don't know why, but it does.  Even now that I've realized what I'm doing, part of my brain still thinks March is mostly over and those shops will be showing up any time now.

It's not, you know.  March is not almost over.

* * * * * 

Speaking of March, we're coming up on that week of minor March holidays: Pi day, Ides of March, 3/16 Day***, St. Patrick's Day... Am I missing any of them?  Probably.  Then there's the spring equinox, after a few days break.  Oh, then 3/21: countdown day.  Anybody going to celebrate any or all?  Let me know in the comments.

* * *

* It could be more than one someone, I suppose

** When I am in a location that I know is mystery shopped regularly, but am not, myself, currently mystery shopping, I always wonder if someone else in the room is conducting a mystery shop right at that moment.  It's weird and interesting to think about.

*** For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.    

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Why not use it?

 I have this bowl.  It's so pretty, with its butterflies, flowers, and dragonfly, and a cheerful yellow interior.  I like it a lot.


I obtained this bowl several years ago because of Kohls cash: I don't remember now whether it was to reach the threshold to earn Kohls cash* or if it was purchased with Kohls cash.  Since then, it's lived, decoratively, on top of a kitchen cupboard.  I have rarely, if ever, used it.  At the time, I thought the bowl would be dual purpose--used both for decoration and as a serving bowl.  But y'all.  It is very rarely that I make enough of a single type of food to justify getting this bowl down to serve it in.

You may recall that I'm following along** with a spring cleaning challenge.  The first day of the challenge, a week ago, I was supposed to clean our kitchen cupboards***, and as part of cleaning the kitchen cupboards, I took down the d├ęcor above my cabinets, cleaned the tops of the cabinets, and washed the various bowls, pots, and casserole dishes† that live up there, including this bowl.

Do you have space above your kitchen cupboards?  I really like being able to put stuff up there, first, because I feel like I don't have a whole lot of storage in my kitchen, and second, because I think it looks nice to have pretty things up there.  But by george, does it get icky up there!  It's dusty, of course, because ...well... I don't dust, and I especially don't dust up there.  But it's also sticky.  It is very sticky dust on top of my cabinets.

As I was washing the sticky dust†† off the bowl, I thought to myself, "self, you never use this bowl, because it's too inconvenient to get the step stool, climb up, grab the bowl, say, 'ew. This bowl is sticky,' and wash it before using it.  You should get rid of this bowl."

And I almost did.  I had it in the get-rid-of-these-things pile.  I was about to take pictures to post it for sale, when I decided I liked it too much to let it go.  But I was also determined to not put it back up on that cupboard.

Instead, I decided to use it.  I cleaned it and stacked it with my mixing bowls--which is a much more appropriate use for this size bowl††† than serving‡.  Last night I mixed up mini waffles‡‡ and delighted in using my bowl.

It had never occurred to me that I could use my pretty bowl for something other than looking pretty.  But I'm so glad it finally did.  This is my new favorite mixing bowl, and it makes me happy when I pull it from the cupboard to use.  That yellow interior is so sunny and bright--it's like I have a little bit of sunshine hiding away, just for me.

Do you have anything like that?  Something that seems too pretty or too nice or too valuable or too sentimental or too ~whatever~ to use?  I don't know--I feel like you'll get much more enjoyment from those things if you actually use them.  Give it a try?  Let me know how it goes.

* * * * * * * 

* This is not something I do anymore. I have spent way too much of my life wandering around Kohls looking for something to buy using Kohls cash.  If I earn Kohls cash, ok, but I will not go out of my way to earn it.

** Loosely following--following in the sense that I receive the emails and considered printing out the 31 day list.  So far, I've completed day 1.  The challenge has moved on without me to day 8: clean bathroom counters and sinks, which doesn't seem much like a "spring cleaning" task, but it does make me feel better about skipping the last 6 days of the challenge.

*** The challenge did not specify if this was supposed to be inside, outside, on top, or all of the above, so I chose to ignore the insides, concentrating on the outside and top.  One day is not enough time to do inside, outside, top.  It's not even enough time to do all of the outsides.  For me, anyway.

† Also, a serving platter (from my grandmother's china), a pretty pie plate (which I do use), and an oil lamp (which we use when the electricity goes out, for an extended period of time, when it's dark).

†† I don't know how to convey to you how sticky this stuff is.  It does not go easily.  It feels like it's permanently bonded to the surface, and it takes quite a bit of soaking, scrubbing, soaking, scrubbing to get it off.  It's not as easy as, say, I'll just wipe this off with my soapy dishcloth.  Nope.  

††† About 6 quarts, I'd say?  It holds about the same as my second-to-biggest mixing bowl.

‡ I'm not a serving bowl person anyway.  The food I make generally gets served from whatever it was cooked or assembled in, because my main objective in life is to generate as few dirty dishes as possible.

‡‡ Hence, the batter drips in the photo.  You were judging me for posting a picture of a dirty bowl, weren't you?  Well, the dirtiness--it's kind of the point.




Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Do you spring clean?

 What does "spring cleaning" mean to you?  What comes to mind when someone says that phrase?  And regardless of what "spring cleaning" means, do you participate?

My understanding* is that spring cleaning was a thing because people heated their homes by burning coal, and over the winter coal dust would settle on everything.  And now that most of us (in the US) don't heat our homes by burning coal, spring cleaning isn't strictly necessary, especially since we're keeping our homes tidy and clean through regular cleaning and maintenance†.

There's something about spring, though, that makes me want to do things like pull out my fridge to clean behind it, get down on the floor with a scrub brush and toothbrush to get into the cracks and corners that my mop doesn't reach, and wash the baseboards**.  

I'm pretty sure the thing about spring that makes me want to do things like that is the fact that there are approximately 485 bazillion spring cleaning challenges and lists out in cyberspace at this time of year.  This year, I am following Taylor at Stain Removal 101's spring cleaning challenge.  

I'm also not really following, but seeing Jordan Page's Productivity Bootcamp spring cleaning challenge on Instagram.  This week in JPPB, challenge taker-on-ers are supposed to be cleaning bathrooms, and the tip she gave was to take the toilet seat off to make it easier to clean those hard to reach spots.  Dude.  I take the toilet seats off once a month (except the one whose bolts are rusted into place) and even that isn't enough to keep 'em clean.  I cannot imagine what a year of build-up would look like.

Anyway, today in SR101, we're supposed to be cleaning our kitchen cabinets.  So I took all of the small appliances out of their cabinet and vacuumed†† it, decided not to do the switcheroo I have been contemplating (moving the small appliances to a hallway closet and moving the bulk/overflow food storage††† to the lazy susan in the kitchen), and then mopped my kitchen, dining, and entry areas, before plopping myself down on the couch to write a blog post*** about it.  And, after all, the floor is wet in there, so I can't be expected to clean cupboards now, can I?

I timed myself mopping the floor.  And by timed, I mean I forgot I wanted to time myself, but I was listening to The Greatest Showman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and I started sometime during A Million Dreams, and ended right near the end of Rewrite the Stars, which I love and can play on the ukulele****.

I wanted to time myself because it always seems like such a laborious and time-sucking process, mopping, but I have learned through timing myself doing other things, that usually things I think will take a Really Long Time, don't.  Unloading the dishwasher, for instance--that takes less than 5 minutes.  Seriously.  I didn't believe it either, but there it was.

I do think I'll clean at least some of the kitchen cabinets today, especially since this blog post is coming to an end, but I'm not sure if I can muster up the endurance to get through them all.

OK.  Floor's dry.  Here I go.

* * * * * 

*Based on what, I am not quite sure.  Something I read or heard, no doubt, but I'm fuzzy on the specifics, including the validity of the source.

† Ha!  As if.

**Which I didn't realize was an actual thing that people do until recently-ish.  I thought washing baseboards was strictly a made-up job used to punish children.

†† Because the toaster is stored there.

††† Oh, how I wish I had an actual pantry.  We had one in our first house, and I didn't appreciate it the way I should have, the way I would, now.

***Still my favorite chore avoidance technique.

****Also a favorite chore avoidance technique.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Menu plan for the week of February 28

 Hey, friends, guess what?  I finally used up the rest of the lasagna noodles.  What's that?  You didn't know I had lasagna noodles to use up?  Yeah, so I did a mystery shop--I'm pretty sure it was in 2020--where I had to order things from a store and pick them up curbside.  I don't know why I included lasagna noodles in that order; it was probably optimistic past me misjudging my future self.  We don't eat lasagna around here.  

I used some of them last year to make lasagna roll-ups, which are easier to customize (no cheese for this one, no sauce for this one, no sauce or cheese for that one, and no noodles for the other one), but I don't think anyone particularly liked them*, so I wasn't up for a repeat.  I broke the lasagna noodles up into approximately farfalle-sized pieces, and used them, along with some actual farfalle, to make pizza casserole.  It was pretty good.  And maybe I will remember not to buy lasagna noodles anymore.

Here's what's on the menu for this week:

Supper:

Other:


*And they were a pain to make.  Very futsy.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The late winter egg report

 Earlier in the winter, I blocked off another one* of our three nest boxes, leaving just one open.  It was mostly because with only one hen laying, I could, and by blocking off that nest box, it would stay clean, which meant I wouldn't have to refresh both nest boxes during the winter, which would save time and pine shavings.  The closed nest boxes on each side also served to insulate the open nest box a little, which kept the eggs warmer a little bit longer.  We've had zero cracked eggs** this winter.

It's closed, this nest box.  Blocked.  Inaccessible.

Charlotte, Charlotte, Rocky, Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte

Except that, Charlotte has accessed it.  At least twice, because that's the number of times I've found Charlotte eggs in the "inaccessible" nest box in the past two days.  She's not skinny*** enough to squeeze through the little crack between the front and side walls, so she must be hopping over the divider from the open box to the closed one, through a space that's a right triangle about 12"x8"x[whatever that makes the hypotenuse]".  That's 48in², by the way.  A piece of letter sized paper is 93.5in².  The little flying contortionist. 

And I guess I can't blame her.  No one's going to bother her there.  Except me, if I happen to open the top while she's in there, which I try to avoid.  She's got privacy.  No predators are gonna disturb her.  Not that they would anyway because the closed off nest box is part of a secure chicken coop.  But privacy, and safety.  Maybe it's time for curtains on the nest boxes****?  Like at the beach, where there are curtained changing cubicles?  I even have some cute chicken fabric that I bought with no project in mind, just because it was cute, but now I don't know what to do with it, so it's sitting in my fabric storage, being pretty, but not being used.

Anyway, Charlotte's been laying eggs all winter, mostly 2 days on, 1 day off, but today is day three of a three day egg laying streak.  Yay!  I got two eggs from Toasty Crunch about a week ago, but nothing since, and Rocky gave me an egg three days ago, after weeks of being in the open nest box pretty much every time I went out to the coop.  Nothing yet from Esther.


Toasty Crunch, in October, before the snow.
Esther in the background.

I've ordered new chicks for the spring.  I hesitate to tell you about it, because of what happened last time I got new chicks*****, but I'm too excited not to.  Even though I'm attempting to be cautiously excited, it's gotta come out.

So we're supposed to be getting a light brahma, a cream legbar, a prairie bluebell egger, and a blue laced red wyandotte at the end of April.

Bubby has wanted a light brahma for a while.  If you've ever seen a video of a huge chicken emerging from a hen house, it was probably a light brahma rooster.  Bubby wants a brahma because they are big and fluffy and have feathered feet.  He's planning to name her Fluffer Nutter.

We're getting the cream legbar and prairie bluebell egger because I want blue eggs.  Nuf said.  I'm thinking about naming the cream legbar Amelia Egghart, and the prairie bluebell egger Bluebell or just Bell, but I'm open to suggestions.

A blue laced red wyandotte has been on our wishlist practically forever, just because they're beautiful.  I'm thinking about naming ours Henry, after this safety chicken in New Zeeland, but again, I'm open to suggestions.

Unfortunately, the delivery date that has both a light brahma and a blue egg layer (our top priorities) as options just happens to be the weekend we'll be out of town attending a graduation.  My good friend Brenda assures me that she'll keep my babies safe and sound at the feed store until I can pick them up three or four days later******.

So that's the egg report, the new chick report, and all I've got to report, for now. Thanks for reading.

* * * * * * *

* One of the nest boxes has been blocked from the beginning, because we haven't needed it (rule of thumb is one nest box per 4 laying hens--the highest number we've had laying at once was 6).  I use it for storage, and while I definitely want to have all the chickens, I'm dreading the day we have to open it up and I have to find a (less convenient) new storage space.

**Zero cracked eggs because of them freezing in the nest.  More than zero cracked eggs because of inattention on my part during collection.  I still don't know how I managed to drop that one...  

***She is skinny, and the smallest of my hens, with the best food to egg conversion rate, but not that skinny.

****Don't laugh: it's an actual thing.  Ok, you can laugh.  But seriously, google it.

*****It was 2020, after all, so maybe that explains the weirdness.

******What my good friend Brenda actually said was, "I can probably make that work," so who knows.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Menu plan for the week of January 17

 Know what I find satisfying*?  Scraping ice or packed snow off the driveway when it comes off in big chunks or sheets.  Know what I find less-than-satisfying?  When the packed snow or ice does not scrape off the driveway in big chunks or sheets.

I know there's a lesson in there somewhere.

But while we're waiting for that lesson to present itself, I'll tell you what's on our menu this week.

Supper:
  • FFS/Restaurant take-out mystery shop (if you sign up, tell 'em I sent you--I think I might get a referral bonus)
  • Tacos
  • FFS
  • Leftover pork fried rice (I'm not a big fan of pork chops, so we always seem to end up with about 3/4 of a chop leftover, which I froze the last two times--finally took the time to find a recipe to use them up.  Bonus--we also have some leftover rice and leftover veggies that will work well for this dish), steamed broccoli (Hubby got a new seasoning blend in his Christmas stocking and it makes steamed broccoli taste over the top amazing)
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, raw veggies, chips
  • Grilled chicken, salad, a vegetable of some sort

Other:

* This is just one of the many things I find satisfying.

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