Friday, January 30, 2015

Speaking of Chicken...

Puck and I didn't build snowmen during our recent "real" snow, like all the neighborhood kids, but we did get out there and make some tracks and pose for photos.  It was a lovely snow, but it didn't last very long.  The invasion of neighborhood snowmen are now sad dirty snow blobs with bits of sticks and rocks embedded in them.  

I keep a pair of Brandon's rubber boots by the back door, and every morning I slip my feet into them on my way to take out the compost, feed the chickens, and collect the egg.  Three chickens, one egg.  Pitiful.  I'm not sure why I prefer to wear Brandon's boots instead of my own, since his are at least four sizes too big and I end up waddling around the yard like a duck, but somehow it just seems right.  Especially since the boots are so big my giant fuzzy socks and pajama legs easily slide into them.  Sometimes I imagine the dog and chickens are embarrassed by my outfit, and that makes me laugh.   

Snow elephant!  The elephant and the stand were gifts from my aunt.  She gave me the elephant before I even had a yard to put it in, and once I had a yard, she gave me the stand and all the parts to make it into a functioning fountain.  Water comes from the upraised trunk and pools in the basin below.  I've been contemplating the elephants new location at the farm.  It resides near the house right now, because it needs electricity to run the water pump that makes it a fountain.  But when the water leaked out and the pump stopped working, we never fixed the fountain part and it became a planter.  But, if we are going to move it, that would be my opportunity to fix it, right?  I wonder if I could make it run on solar power? 

Doesn't the coop look cozy in the snow?  

June's black feathers seem so dark amid all that white snow, that she's like a black hole.  Like the absence of chicken. 

Speaking of chicken... I ended last weeks juice fast by cooking one of Joe's delicious giant chickens.  I wasn't the only one who was excited by this, and I had to keep a close eye on my sneaky kittens while the chicken was resting in the sink.  This chicken weighed more than Ditto, so it would have been funny to see him try to eat it, but I hadn't juice fasted all week just to let the cat get my reward.  Pst!!

I had intentions of cooking the chicken in my Instant Pot, but the chicken was too big to fit.  Then I remembered the dutch oven that Shanna and Byron gave me for Christmas last year.  It worked perfectly!  I cooked some chopped sweet potatoes and onions on the stove top for about ten minutes, then placed the giant chicken on top, oiled and seasoned it, and put the whole pot in the oven to bake with the lid on.  

The dutch oven is cast iron with a pretty blue enamel.  It weighs a lot, especially with the lid.  The chicken weights a lot.  The whole thing combined made me glad I've been doing my back exercises regularly, because it was heavy, but totally worth it.  We had chicken in meals all weekend, I made three batches of chicken broth from the bones, and I made a black bean soup with the leftover chicken and broth for Brandon to eat this week.  That was one big chicken!

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