In the Kitchen:
It is the week of Christmas, every year I plan on giving my family homemade gifts and every year life gets the best of me and I do not do it. This year I did however make homemade caramel candies. The only problem with the “gifts” is that my family is eating them faster than I can package them to give away! So I guess that means I have found a good recipe and hopefully it will make a good gift for our family and friends next year…so if you get some act surprised! The blog that I found the recipe on I really enjoy and am inspired by it, if you have time check it out! http://www.willowcreekfarm.wordpress.com
I received a Christmas gift early! As I mentioned last week our meat birds need to processed. I have been sending emails, making phone calls and asking everyone I know, in order to try and find a processor or someone to let us barrow a plucker. Well the family that I buy my rabbit feed from was able to get me in contact with another family that processes birds for the 4-H kids. I tried most of last week to get ahold of this family and when I had not heard from them by Thursday at lunchtime I had just come to the conclusion we were going to be processing these birds on Friday. When my husband called me during his lunch break on Thursday I told him I still had not heard from the processor and that since he was off on Friday we would just have a processing party. He then informed me that he had to work on Friday. We were out of feed, so the birds had already received their last meal, I had two choices; buy feed or do what needed to be done. Well, I decided it was time for me to put on my big girl panties and process these birds. I did have some help, a high schooler from our church is a hunter and was willing to come and give me a hand for a couple of hours, but neither of us had ever plucked chickens before and I really wanted roasters. I spent the rest of Thursday afternoon mentally preparing for what was going to happen on Friday. I received a phone call at 5:30 Thursday evening from the processor. He was planning to process our birds Friday morning and I all I had to do was drop them off after 9:00. I screamed. Not just a little wahoo scream but a win the lottery scream. I was so grateful to not have to kill, scald, pluck, gut and package these 23 birds, Merry Christmas too me!
Well it has been a sad week and a half. Of Aurora’s 7 kits only 2 are still alive. The good news is that they appear to be very fat and happy. We put a heating lamp directly above the nesting box outside the metal wire cage. I think the babies were getting too cold, Aurora was not covering them up. She had pulled her fur, and she made a great nest but she was not covering up the babies. The heat lamps really seemed to help them, it was funny to go into the Bunny Barn and see the babies “sun bathing” on top of the nesting material, most of the time belly up!
We have a little red hen that is a Houdini Chicken. She gets out of the chicken pen everyday. I know she is not getting out when we go in or out. I have checked the fence line and there is no holes or cracks. How is she getting out? I guess that is a problem we will have to solve this week.
Something that we are very grateful for is that we have been able to sell our eggs. We have a couple family that buy from us regularly, and it is nice to be able to make some spending money. Mostly it just pays for the chicken feed but every little bit helps.
I have transplanted some broccoli plants into the aquaponics system, I will keep you posted on how they do through the winter. Almost everything else has died. All we have left is a lonely beet plant, it seems to be doing well, but the beet is not getting any bigger. We are going to leave it in the system just to see what it does. I was not able to plant seeds this week, there is always the hope for next week, but with it being Christmas I am not optimistic.
Merry Christmas everyone, from our family to yours!