Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Babies, Berries, Good Food and Fun

Garden Potatoes, Onions and Basil in Olive Oil
Just a little of this and a little of that this time around.

I was having a fit for potato chips one night, so I sliced up some fresh potatoes from my garden, sliced in an onion, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and sauteed in a cast iron skillet. Killed the want for potato chips just fine :-)

I went for a lovely evening walk down to the lake with my daughter and of course got distracted by all the blackberries coming in all along the way. Picked some here and there, along with some apples and pears and thought "Hey! I'll make a nice Blackberry Baked Halibut. Gently baked in our own blackberry wine, the fresh blackberries and our own basil...absolutely stunning.

Baked Halibut in Blackberry Wine w/ Blackberries & Basil


Smoked Goat Ready for Canning

Last week I picked the last of my raspberries. I think I got about 2 gallons or so. Not bad. Most are in the freezer right now, I'll probably make jam out of the majority of it. Delicious!

My big blackberries on my property will be coming in soon. I've been picking a few here and there, the ones that are ripe, but there are thousands and thousands of berries on these plants. I will probably get another 100 gallons this year if last year was any indication.

A couple of weeks ago we smoked up a whole bunch of goat to can in jars and it turned out fantastic! One little thing was bugging me though...I really thought we would have more than we got. Turns out I was right because my husband forgot to bring in ALL of the meat from the smoker. We figured this out after a couple of nights of outdoor campfire in the yard, over near the smoker. Egad! The smell was none too nice, yuck! But at least I know I was right! I was starting to complain a little bit about the amount of goat we had for canning. It really should have been more. He said, well, that's all there is. Hah! :-)

The horseradish is coming in beautifully. It should provide us with a nice yearly bit of horseradish for years to come.

Lastly...we had some of our chicken eggs incubated by a friend with an incubator because we need to get our flock up a bit and cull some of the girls out. It's also nice to have chicken in the freezer. So, we gave our friend 24 eggs. 18 hatched, 14 survived. We also had a VERY broody hen who beat me up every single time I went in to gather eggs. So we thought, why not, let's just let her have her eggs. So we moved her over to where the new babies were and she sat nicely on her eggs while the new ones were in their baby box. We were concerned she might try to hurt the babies, so they stayed in their box. But the time comes when they just get too big for the box. We decided to see how she would react if we let them out.

Funny thing. She thought they were hers. She still sat on her eggs but they just weren't getting a full throttle sitting and some were disappearing. We think she may have eaten them, but maybe not because the shells were gone too. Rats? Hard to say. But none of the eggs she was sitting on survived but she sure thought those other babies were hers and she has fully adopted them. To the point where my husband tried to pick one up, it fussed and she came flying at him and pecked his arm a good one! Don't mess with Momma's babies!

She really is a very good Momma. Show's them how to dig, how to catch stuff. It's really neat to see. And they pile in with her at night. I went out to pick some lettuce, beets and berries for a salad and I heard a ton of fussing in the little baby house. Looked in and the babies were all fussing because they each wanted to be close to Momma. So cute. She was very patient, gently clucking. Believe it or not, there really are 14 babies in there somewhere! I just love this stuff!
Momma chicken and her adopted chicks