Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homestead Braindump

...because I'm too lazy to make multiple posts outta this stuff.

  • When we got home from vacation, we noticed Kung Pao was spending a lot of her time in the nest box. Eventually, we realized she was spending ALL of her time in the nest box.  She got all puffy when you got near (good thing she wasn't a RIR, or we'd never have been able to get to the eggs!), she had plucked all of her tummy feathers and was VERY warm.  From what I've read, the 2 best ways to discourage broodiness are to lower their body temperature and to make them as uncomfortable as possible on the nest.  First, I hoped stealing her eggs would work, then I moved her off her nest several times a day, then I put an ice pack in the nest box, then we started dumping her in buckets of cool hose-water.  Nothing.  She is now quarantined in an elevated dog crate in the yard.  It's drafty, uncomfy and at the very least will hopefully keep the broodiness from spreading.  Although, nick said he spotted another of the girls without tummy feathers.  ugh.  This is definitely affecting egg production.  

Get away from my nest!

Do I look comfortable to you?!?
  • For the last month or so, with our surplus of eggs, I have been on a mission to make mayo.  It's one of those things that I've never had any luck with, but it uses up eggs and we use a fair ammt of mayo, because we use a fair ammt of ranch dressing...which has mayo in it.  First, I tried Julia Child's mayo recipe (not for the first time), and for the first time it actually worked.  (I seriously believe that fresh eggs are to blame for my recent meringue, souffle, poached egg, mayo successes.)  BUT, it was time consuming and messy.  I mean, Im always a messy cook, but this was really bad.  This week, I tried this Immersion blender recipe and it worked wonderfully and was (almost) mess-free...what can I say, I'm a klutz and spilled some oil.  And I love that you make it right in the jar it gets stored in, talk about handy! 

  • My mother-in-law is a pretty awesome woman and she excels in areas where I most certainly do not. Among them is definitely gardening.  A few weeks ago, she was thinning her impressive herb garden and gave me some plants because I am always "trying" to start an herb garden, tho often failing.  I went the conatiner route this time and have thus far managed to keep them alive.  Among the herbs I got were thyme, oregano, cilantro and lemon balm.  I think one is supposed to be rosemary, but neither of the 2 unidentified ones fits my understanding of a rosemary plant.  Lemon balm smells absoloutely delish and I tossed 2 c. of it in the immersion blender with 1/2 c. olive oil, some garlic, grated parmesan and pistachios (pine nuts aren't my thing) to make a pesto of sorts.  Tossed it with veggies and pasta, much yum and a wonderfully bright summery flavor.  
  • Snow peas are in full force in the garden.  I am picking the occasional sweet pea, but most of them have some plumping to do.  I also picked the last of the spinach, which is the end of the greens since the arugula has been done for some time.  In honor of the greens and peas, I have been doing quite a bit of blanching and freezing.  This year, I FINALLY bought a steamer basket.  It's amazing how much simpler it makes that job.  

They're not sickly, they're heirlooms.  They're supposed to be yellowish.  

  • Last night, on the way home from church, Nick and I spotted the crazies thing I've ever seen in the wild: a totally albino deer.  I can't tell you how badly I wish I had something better than my iPhone camera on me.  From now on, the nikon comes to church with me.  Actually, I'm pretty positive that I saw that deer or one of its kin on the first day of deer season, but it was like 5 am and SERIOUSLY foggy, so I wasn't sure that was what I had seen.  Unfortunately, I was on my way to church for the hunter's breakfast and didn't have a gun on me then.  

  • We are gonna have a paint-filled next couple days.  My papasan chair did a number on the bedroom paint, which was made worse by the fact that someone somewhere down the line didn't prime so the paint was flaking in a big way.  The dining room had a security system box in it that we never used, and taking it down left quite the hole both in the paint and the wall.  The horrifically clashing perriwinkle paint in the bathroom is going to be replaced with the leftover kitchen yellow, and we have some exterior wood in serious need of a spruce-up.  More updates on that all to come.  

The End

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