Monday, January 28, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The Winter dry spell is finally over! Our lovely little Freya has at last layed her first egg. It only took 7 months.
As with most pullet eggs, it is a bit on the small side. But I am sure that, with time, they will get bigger and rival Betty’s eggs that tip the scale.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The temperatures are pretty frigid here this week. I can’t help drifting off to thoughts of a warmer climate. Relaxing on a beach chair under a palapa while a nice young man brings me refreshments with fun umbrellas in them. The warm salty breeze carrying the calls of tropical birds. Ahhhhh :)
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Betty has been going though a molt. I believe it’s a stress induced molt because she had one over the summer and we had a traumatic incident here a few weeks ago. The house is covered in black feathers. So far it only seems to be effecting her head down to her chest. See her fuzzy down chest feathers. They stick out more when her crop is full. It looks like she swallowed a bocce ball. Her hiney seems to be staying fully feathered.
Her head is looking a little like Moe in Three Stooges with her little black tuft growing back in faster than the other feathers right at the back of her head.
I know once she fills back in completely, she is going to lay all of two eggs and then promptly go broody. That’s ok with me. At this point we need more chickens if we ever want more eggs. I prefer to use the broody method to any other method of integration of new chickens and Betty is a wonderful chicken momma.
We’ve joined the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop :)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Santorini, also known as Thera, is an ancient windswept island in the Aegean Sea. It acquired it’s boomerang/horseshoe shape and sharp cliffs from a volcanic eruption about 3600 years ago.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday today :)
Monday, January 14, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
::scratch scratch look::
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I love Martha’s Vineyard in the winter. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can move and breathe and listen to nature. Especially on crisp clear days in January and February.
Pecoy Point is a bit of land owned and preserved by the MV Land Bank. It’s little hidden but worth finding. The trail starts with a walk through old farm fields, over some marshland, then through a small pine grove, and down to the banks of the saltwater pond known as Sengekontacket or, to the native Wampanoag, Sanchiacantacket or place where the brook flows into the river.
The animals seem to love the shore too. On the left is a deer on the right is some type of shore bird. I love the one on the right. Can’t you just picture it waddling along as it leans in on each step?
The ribbed mussel Geukensia demissa. I have heard that they are not very tasty, but good in a pinch. Harvest only at high tide. You don’t want to eat any mussel that has been sitting in it’s own juices sunbathing.
I found out on this walk that it is still duck hunting season. Surprise! I really thought I had a grasp on the hunting seasons, I know all the deer weeks. Guess someone needs to read up on fowling. Needless to say, there aren’t any pictures of our great winter ducks. Maybe next time when nobody is trying to kill them they will cooperate :)
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Messina is in the northeast corner of the Island of Sicily and is primarily a fishing and shipping port and the gateway to the rest of Sicily by way of ferry from mainland of Italy. There is a fascinating automaton clock tower in the main square that shows a great production at noon each day. The lion roars and waves his flag, the rooster crows while flapping his wings, the bells ring, and the apostles bow there devotion while the music plays Ave Maria. It’s very moving. Speaking of Maria, Mary is the patron saint of the city. They call her the Lady of the Letter. It roots from a letter she sent to the people of Messina that was tied with a lock of her hair promising her protection. She signed the letter “I bless you and your city” which is written on the bottom of a statue of Mary holding the letter at the entrance of the harbor.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday today :)
Monday, January 7, 2013
The local grocery store had bags of Macintosh apples from New Hampshire on sale this week which sent me on a quest to find apple recipes. It’s important to use a recipe that fits the apple. Macintoshes are soft and sweet, they don’t stay too firm when cooked, so a tart, pie, or crisp would not be ideal. I dislike pies anyway and you will never see me make one, unless it’s chocolate. Love a good crisp though.
After some perusing of the extensive (probably way too big) collection of vintage and community cookbooks, my recipe cards, and the usual internet recipe sites I enjoy visiting, I was having an issue. There were always a couple of main ingredients missing from my larder. Until I came across these on the KAF site. I was missing the cinnamon chips and the applesauce. Not a big deal. I could work with it.
I started by chopping up an apple and popping it into a small saucepan with a tiny bit of water and set it on the stove to simmer. The dry ingredients came together with walnuts replacing the cinnamon chips and an added teaspoon of nutmeg for flavor. I made sure the chunks of apple to go in the dough were a little larger than called for due to the easy nature of this apple to break in the mix. I still wanted chunks at the end. The apple in the pan only took a few minutes to soften, and made quick sauce ready to add with the addition of half an ice cube and a quick whisk. The wet ingredients were mixed together and then added to the dry for a wet shaggy dough that was a little too wet. I added a bit more flour until it was still shaggy but could be taken out of the bowl and turned out onto my kneading board. My new fabulous kneading board that was a thoughtful Christmas gift from my sister. It has circles in different sizes and a ruler printed on the top and sides so I can gauge my dough sizes. It’s great and I love it.
As instructed the dough was divided in half and formed into circles of a little under 6” and then divided into six equal wedges. I did not have the crystal sugar to sprinkle on the top, but did have an organic vanilla bean sugar which fit the bill. After sugaring, I put the wedges on a cookie sheet about a half inch apart in two rows lined up in a zipper pattern and stuck it in the fridge for about a half hour to make sure they went cold into the hot oven.
When they were finally done, they were exactly what I wanted. Sometimes scones are too dry for me. These were perfect and moist and had the walnut crunch, the soft sweet pieces of apple, and the cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum!
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Thursday, January 3, 2013
The eggs are, how can we say it delicately, nonexistent. I expect this as we don’t artificially light the coop and they need a certain number of hours of light each day to lay. They deserve a break and we prefer to let nature take it’s course.
About this time of year though, after the Solstice and the Holidays, I start getting antsy. We have to purchase eggs! The farm I get eggs from has hatchery New Hampshire Reds. They slow down, but don’t stop.
All my hope at this point is on Freya for the first egg of 2013. Her comb is turning a redder and redder each time I look at it. She and Hildy are 7 months old now and the daylight is increasing a little bit at a time. Hildy does not seem to be in a rush. She’s too busy being beautiful. I will try and get some pictures of them this weekend when I am home during the day.
Betty on the other hand is molting. She had a molt in late July which is normal for her. She usually has one after a hatch. Hatch some chicks, have a molt while raising them, and carry on with life when the chicks are of age. I think this one was brought on by the extreme stress of the incident with Doris and the animal that attacked them. Doris was her bosom bud. They went everywhere together. Betty was confused for a while of what to do without her and mainly took it out on the younger girls. She seems to have carried on at this point. They’ve all started to sleep on the roost together though it has been made clear that Betty is still the boss. Who knows how long it will take her to molt and lay again. She’ll probably then promptly go broody.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The market in the Campo de’Fiori, translated to Field of Flowers, is held everyday except Sunday. It’s one of Rome’s oldest and most visited markets. If you would like to visit, make sure you get there in the morning. Everything is packed up, swept clean and it looks like it never happened by 1:30.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday this week.