It has been a fast paced season around here and it feels as if everything in our lives has required pressing attention recently.
Our meat flock arrived at the beginning of October and we were off to a great start with the chicken tractor we built …until a possum found it. The design is sturdy enough to keep predators from getting in to the tractor but the possum still managed to kill three of our chickens unlucky enough to be caught sleeping in the corner where we found them the next morning. We caught the possum the very next day and thankfully we haven’t had a problem since.
If you’d like to learn more about why we raise and butcher our own chickens, read my post here.
If you’d like to see the process we use to butcher our chickens humanely, read my post here (it does include photos).
We’ve had our hens and goats separated for quite a while because our smallest goat Eloise fit in the hen house where she’d try to spend all day eating chicken feed out of their food pipe and creating general anarchy for the hens who wanted peace to lay their eggs in their nester box.
We’ve put them together once again …only to find Eloise can still get in to the hen house …she just can’t get out on her own.
I’ve spent more than one morning opening the back door of the hen house and leading Eloise on a walk of shame (seriously, she hangs her head in shame) back to the gate of the chicken/goat run.
When we order our meat flock from Murray McMurray Hatchery we are given the option to receive a free “rare breed” chick, too. This time we received a golden laced wyandotte rooster and he is truly a rare bird! I’ve never met a chicken as social as this one. He chirps constantly and when we let him out of the brooder he’ll promptly jump up on my arm then flap up to my shoulder to perch. He even gives me kisses — seriously, it’s not pecking, he nuzzles his beak up against my face.
I hope he stays friendly so he can hang around the holler for a long time to watch over the hens.
Joe and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary last month. We haven’t had photos taken in so long and I was scrambling during the busiest season for photographers to fit us in. Luckily our first choice was available! Eva Creel is amazing (she even did an underwater photo session with me when I was pregnant with Haven before she moved to Germany several years ago!) and Augusta is lucky to have this talented artist back in the area again!
We love music and collecting vinyl so we spent an afternoon with Eva in a local record shop taking anniversary photos.
Now that Thanksgiving is finally here, I’m ready to swim in my gravy boat on a mountain of mashed potatoes. We recently went and picked out our turkey! We’re blessed to have connected with so many local folks who are also raising/growing food for our community. Ray and his wife Lisa are just genuinely kind people and I love what they’re doing to improve their lives as well as the lives of the animals they care for.
This is our third Thanksgiving turkey raised on their homestead! You can’t beat a fresh never frozen turkey and a cook time of 2 hours.
We’ll soon be taking our goats over to Ray’s and hopefully they’ll have kidds in the new year! We’re looking forward to learning how to milk goats (he has a super simple method involving food grade tubing and mason jars!) and the endless ways to use it (soaps, lotions, ice cream, yogurt, etc.!)
We’ve been looking toward the future and naturally while making major life and financial decisions/purchases, something always goes wrong and a random unexpected expense comes along. Fortunately it was just the washing machine this time, I’m trying to be positive and reminding myself it could’ve been worse. (Like when our daughter was a newborn and I came home from work to find that the water heater had kicked the bucket. We had to replace the water heater and the bathroom floor *cringe*)
Anyway, let’s just say I’m at the age where I finally understand why those people on the Price Is Right are so excited to win major appliances.
Between all the animals, the upcoming butchering, and unexpected purchases on top of regular life stuff, I’ve been a little stressed.
When I’m stressed, I bake.
It’s how I relax.
I’ve been extremely blessed to receive advance readers copies this year for some fantastic cookbooks! I’ve shared a couple reviews and recipes with y’all, including: Soul by Todd Richards and Southern From Scratch by Ashley English.
Coming soon, I’ll be reviewing Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest: Recipes and Stories Inspired by My Applachian Home by Lauren McDuffie and testing out a few of the recipes. I’ll be sure to share one of those with y’all before the book is released in May 2019!
Other food/recipe books I’ve read and loved recently:
Some children’s picture books Haven and I have both enjoyed recently:
Once the butchering is over for the year (only a couple weeks to go) I’ll have a chance to sit down and share some of the recipes I’ve put together or adapted this fall.
If you have an recipe requests or suggestions, please let me know!