Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6th - on the farm & a little about the 4th, too

One of my very favorite women in the world has become a "boutique farmer".  She is single-handedly leading me from the path of being afraid of birds to a limited affection for chickens [as long as they are in their chicken area behnd the fence].  I've learned more about chickens than I ever imagined.  Do you know that baby chicks arrive via the mail & if you accept not knowing their gender - they're less expensive? Guess how you find out their gender?  Two ways - an expert [don't ask] or wait until one of your new bundles of fun greets the dawn with a cock-a-doodle-doo.  I am not joking here!  Now - back to my gal pal that has these chickens.  She's a city girl -- no --> not Springfield or even Boston.  She's a New Yorker!  This is so far out of anything that I could imagine her doing & yet [no surprise as she's an avid reader] she has educated herself on all things poultry.  Of course - her motivation for owning chickens has to do with wanting to eat organic eggs (a noble rationale).  From there I can only smile.  Most of us would be happy with our boring chickens laying boring eggs.  Nope - the chickens have to be "pretty" & the eggs should be a rainbow of pale pastels.  Size is not the primary factor here --- pretty is the important adjective.  Now - I thought this had to do with her personality - she's a redhead that loves pink.  All girl.  But ......... nope.  I buy my eggs locally at the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  I'm usually the first one there (sometimes before some of the vendors arrive) & I buy my eggs from an older gentleman.  When I asked if my eggs were laid by "pretty chickens" his response [without any hesitation] --- "all chickens are pretty".  I rest my case.
Today I spent time with DS in the kitchen teaching her to make jam.  Someone taught me to make jam & I was passing on everything I know to be true.  She has jam eaters lined up.  I told her my clause when giving out jam -- I'll give you a jar & if you give it back when it's empty - I'll give you another one.  We picked up fresh, local blueberries & my plan is to make blueberry jam this weekend.  Depending on what I find at the Farmer's Market tomorrow - there might be another batch, too. 
I don't like the heat, but I do love the fruits of summer.  I can taste the sunshine in the fresh berries that grow in New England during a short growing season.  We'll have fresh corn tonight & might even have some steamed wax beans.  They are a treat for everyone in our family. 
For the 4th of July we had an eclectic meal -- spiral ham, red currant onion chutney [yummmmmmmmmmmm], mashed potatoes, local zucchini & cornbread.  I wanted to jazz up the cornbread recipe a bit so I added some local dried chili, fresh scallions & cut some fresh corn off of ears that I'd cooked the night before.  I really liked the flavors that came through.  We had some cornbread leftover so it's going to be transformed into corn bread stuffing.  For dessert - I made a lemon cake & we had it with fresh blueberries, strawberries & whipped cream. 
Katie made a pie to take to her Dad's for the 4th.  She's got magical hands when it comes to pie-making.   This pie was blueberry, blackberry, raspberry & strawberry.  We made the crust together & while it was chilling worked on the filling.  I'm trying to hand over all of my favorite pie-making techniques to her.  She (at 12) can make a lattice crust to rival any baker.  From what I hear - her Dad said it was one of the best pies he'd ever had.  I've sworn her to keep the pie secrets until she passes them along to the next generation.
Time for me to plan my next project.  I might go & work on the 2 Travel Journals for Susan.  They need to go in the mail on Monday.  I might kick my feet up & start reading.  David is waiting for a friend to go fishing & the girls will be home by 4:00.  Where does the free time go?  Enjoy the weekend!


  1. Hi Kim....oh my goodness it is 00H26 and you are making me hungry!!i might go and boil an egg!!
    I hope you are well...and if I were closer I would have loved a jar of jam...and i would collect a whole lot of jars for you too...hoarder that i am.

  2. Thanks Zeffy -- Keep reading & I'll bore you with all my household stories ;-) I'd LOVE to bring you jam ~