2 years ago, we tried a Golden Nugget pumpkin. We found it at McKinnon’s. It was delicious. Last year, we tried growing them. Every one was chewed by a backyard critter and inedible. This year, we decided we couldn’t wait any longer to build a fence around the backyard garden. It seems to be working – the proof is in the pictures.

To prepare:
Wash the pumpkin, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.

Sprinkle each cavity with a pinch salt, a pinch cinnamon, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and a pat of unsalted butter.

Arrange in a baking dish. Pour boiling water to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered, at 400°F for 45 minutes, or until tender.

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No one prepared me for the coop phenomenon that is, “Soft eggs.” Basically, the egg was laid before the shell hardened. The first time I found one, I was extremely grossed out. The second time, I found one, I was extremely grossed out. Actually, each time I found one, I was extremely grossed out.

Let me explain. It is like a little breast implant.

Let me explain that too. It is like a little breast implant, if I were to imagine what a breast implant would feel like. Kind of squishy but with a soft casing…Ok, you know what? Let’s stop there. Anyway, where were we before going to Dirty Town? Oh right. Soft eggs and grossed out.

Apparently, this phenomena can occur when the chicken is ill, doesn’t get enough calcium, or if you scare it.

Yes, you read that right. If you scare the shit out of the chicken, you might just scare the egg out of the chicken. That happened to me twice. I would open the nesting box after coming home later than expected and the chickens have gone to roost. I would see a movement. That would be the egg dropping from the roosted hen onto the coop floor. I put enough shavings down that both times, it has landed without breaking. Both times, in the light of the flashlight, I didn’t realize what happened. I just would see an egg and grab it to bring inside. And both times I was extremely grossed out. The first time, I put my fingers right through the shell. Cuz it is soft. Like a b…Nevermind. Anyway, ewww. The second time I picked it up intact and then had to make a decision about what to do with it.

I had done some research when I found the first one. Apparently, you can still eat it. So, I stood there, outside the coop holding the second munchkin implant, and had a small debate with myself.

Me: “Would I really eat this?”
Me: “It’s pretty skeevy.”
Me: “But it’s just an egg.”
Me: “I know, but, how? How would I eat it?”
Me: “I don’t know, I guess scramble it or something.”
Me: “Ok. Give it a try.”

I threw it as far in the woods as I could, gathered the rest of the eggs and went inside. (Yes. I called my own bluff.)

Side note:

We have been baking the scrap egg shells that are left over after cooking and grinding them into tiny bits with a mortar and pestle and putting them in a dish outside for the chickens. The calcium is supposed to help the chickens create stronger shells. They devour it ( which I think is totally weird) and we haven’t seen a soft egg recently, which is good, however, I do find myself pointing out women to Keith on a more frequent basis and asking, “Think those are real?”


We lost our little DaisyMae last month. It took me this long to get thru photos.

 

 

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Hanging in the sun

Hanging in the sun

2010-11-08 07.50.162010-11-12 07.11.152010-11-22 15.36.112010-11-24 17.56.322010-11-28 10.29.062010-11-28 10.30.18 HDR2010-12-15 20.07.512011-01-01 08.50.402011-01-18 08.47.432011-01-23 09.13.082011-02-02 10.35.042011-02-23 17.58.082011-02-28 13.55.522011-03-02 06.39.542011-03-15 07.30.192011-04-09 19.15.542011-04-22 22.41.072011-04-23 16.34.312011-05-16 15.05.452011-05-24 16.24.472011-06-24 16.18.49

 

 


We love that show-as much as you can love a reality show about murders. We just get hooked every time we see that it’s on.

So, if you are a fan of the show, here is The First 48-DaisyPatch version.

North Hampton, NH

For homestead detectives, the clock starts ticking the moment they are called. Their chance of solving the crime is cut in half if they don’t get a lead within the first 48 hours. It is North Hampton, NH. The owner of DaisyPatch farm returns home late at night and is shocked to discover one chicken hasn’t returned home. He had heard a noise earlier, but couldn’t figure out the sound. The chicken is presumed dead.

Time remaining: 48:00

The owner calls the chicken. There is no reply. He calls again, but still there is no reply.

Time remaining: 46:28

He goes into the house and texts his wife to break the news. She is out of town.

He calls the chicken again. Still, there is no reply. The other chickens in the gang are called in for questioning. He has no suspects.

Time remaining: 46:27

The rest of the chicken gang refuse to to answer any questions. The leads have all run dry. The owner will have to wait until morning to see if there are any clues.

Time remaining: 36:44

It’s the next morning. The chicken gang leave the coop and roam the neighborhood. The owner follows at a safe distance, hoping for clues. He isn’t able to find anything. Investigating the location he thought was the source of the noise, he does not uncover any leads.

Time remaining: 36:21

His wife just received the message and texts him back to see if there is any news. She wants to know which chicken has died. He texts her back that he doesn’t know. She will have to come home to identify the missing chicken.

Time remaining: 00:32

The owner’s wife has come home and has identified which chicken is missing. It was a no-name chicken with distinguishing white marks. They are most likely gang symbols.

Time remaining: 00:04

The clock winds down on the first 48. The chicken still has not returned. With no body or leads, he may never know what happened. The chicken gang now has 8 members. None of them will talk.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a coop of law.


I have discovered the best way to get rid of weeds is to weed. Ageless words of wisdom right there.


shallots

These are the shallots

That almost got washed.

They were in my pocket.

I’m surprised they weren’t squashed.

Picking them was easy

When out tending the yard

Apparently remembering them later

Was the part that was hard.

They made it inside

and into the laundry pile

They made it downstairs

I think they were there for a while.

Gratefully, Keith

Doing laundry so well

Saved our clothes

From a horrific smell.

He fished them out

And brought them to safety

Into the kitchen

Where they try to look tasty.

You see they didn’t want

To be laundered or cleaned

They wanted to chopped

And sauteed or steamed.

Stirred into risotto

Or softened in butter

Anything, anything at all

Related to supper.

So heed the lesson

From this forgetful wench

Remember your shallots

And avoid the stench.


Our garden sucks this year. The squash has been eaten, so I planted some more. That was eaten. The tomatoes are still only 6 inches high – they just aren’t growing. Lettuce was a short season – it went from cold to HOT! and it bolted very quickly. The strawberries were flavorless and the peas were non-existant. Beans are coming up, thankfully. Basil is weak. Garlic is getting harvested tomorrow. Keith’s hot peppers are just as big as when I moved them outside over a month ago. Potatoes are going to be our biggest crop. I did a new style of planting area and I think it will really work for them. Pictures coming soon, fingers crossed.

 

Needless to say, we’re a bit bummed out. It was a gray spring and has been a wet summer and not much really took off. Waah, enough of that. I might go to the garden center and *shudder* buy a big tomato plant. I started San Marzano and Black Plum and was hoping to see the fruits of those labors.

 

On another note, Pinchy, the limpy chicken is out and about. Her limp is slight, but still there. She is getting picked on, but not as badly as I had feared. Stay tuned!

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