Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Becky's Newest Happy Hens

On July 6th I received an unexpected call at around 10:30am from the post office letting me know the 15 chicks I ordered from MyPetChicken had arrived! They were supposed to arrive the week before, but the Easter Eggers that I ordered weren't available so they held the order until they could ship them all at the same time. Lucky for me, I have a very flexible job and I was able to drive into town to pick them up right away.

When I arrived at the post office, I wanted to open the box while I was there to see if any were D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival). MyPetChicken guarantees them for the first 48 hours. A refund is issued for any chicks that don't survive during that time period. Unfortunately, one little lady didn't make the trip. One of the postal workers said, "Maybe she's just sleeping." The poor little thing was stiff as a board and almost as flat as a pancake, so I told her I was pretty certain that wasn't the case. Sad, but it's bound to happen. The first few days are touch and go. I always have a little knot in my stomach when I go to check on them in the morning for fear that one may not have made it through the night.

When I got the girls home, I quickly cleaned up the brooder and got everything ready for them. Broody, Marilyn and Brookie (my Silkies) weren't as excited about their 14 new roomies as I was, but they didn't seem homicidal either, so that was a plus! The new chicks were loving the new space...running about, drinking, eating, resting, and exploring.

Out of the 15 chicks, I had lost 2-Easter Eggers and a Welsummer by day three. The two that died after they arrived were showing signs rather quickly that they may not make it, so I was prepared for the loss. The rest of my girls are doing well. They've been growing like weeds and developing unique personalities. Stand-by for updated photos!

I was amazed at how easy it was to identify each different breed by the markings at such an early stage. Here's a breakdown of the different quantities/breeds I ordered:
5-Easter Eggers
3-Barred Plymouth Rocks
2-Speckled Sussex

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blueberry Peach Crisp!

This recipe is divine. The key here is to use FRESH blueberries & FRESH peaches...This is the perfect time of year to do just that!

Travis always teases me because I am a recipe changer. I can hear him now, "Can't you ever just follow a recipe?!?!?!" I find several recipes ...tweak them, combine them, take the best of one and leave out the worst of the other until I am satisfied with the result. So, maybe I should title this one The HodgePodge Fresh Blueberry & Fresh Peach Crisp! Serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream on top. You're going to thank me for this.

As you're sure to notice, my photography skills are a bit amateur...the picture really doesn't do this crisp justice. I think I need to hire Deborah Tynan to do my food photographs for me! You may also notice that I was unable to snap a shot of this dream before someone (I'll blame this entirely on my husband) started digging in!

2/3 c. All-purpose Flour
2/3 c. Rolled Oats (I use Quaker 1-minute oats)
3/4 c. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
6-7 Tbsp. Butter (room temperature)

Put it all in a bowl, mix it, mash it....with your hands...until it's all crumbly. Set aside.

Ingredients2 Pints FRESH Blueberries
5 FRESH Peaches (Blanched, Peeled & Sliced)
3/4 c. Granulated Sugar
4 Tbsp. All-purpose Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, peaches, sugar, flour & vanilla. Pour into a 2-1/2 qt. baking dish-lightly greased (with real butter). Evenly spread topping over fruit. Bake 40 minutes...until the topping is light brown and the juices are thick & bubbling through around the edges.

Oh, this is heaven.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I must apologize for my 3 week sabbatical. With all the rain around here this year, we've had an extended "spring" season at work which has required long hours for Travis and little extra time for me. However, after practically inhaling two scrumdiddlyumptious ears of sweet corn this evening, I felt compelled to tell you all about it!

I wait patiently all year for the sweet, crisp, delicious bicolors that are grown locally. Sure, you can get frozen corn on the cob year round or buy the semi-fresh early stuff that comes in from Florida, but once you've had the local stuff...nothing else will do!

You can roast it, grill it, boil it...even eat it raw! The popping noise that it makes as you make your way back and forth like an old-school typewriter is like a party in your mouth. No mushy, rubbery sweet corn here!

Working at a farm cooperative has its benefits. I meet so many local producers and many of them stop by with fresh, sweet treats like the corn I enjoyed this evening. One of the producers that we service, Ingersoll Farms, has some of the best in town. They have roadside stands all over; just look for the gigantic wood cutouts of smiling sweet corn pointing the way!

If you haven't already, go out and get you some...And, don't forget the butter!