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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chicken Butchering Day,5minute Ice Cream and more.

Top left: Veggies from the garden,cucumbers, green bell peppers and yellow crook necked squash.
Top middle:The chicken tea cozy my friend made me.
Top right: Chicken guts to be tossed.
Bottom right: Giblets from the chickens we butchered today.
Bottom left: Chicken feet for soup stock.Our apples on the counter.

I feel like this photo is a good summary of our life and the bounty we are growing.It also shows a good days worth of work.

Whew,it was busy here today.After getting my morning routine done it was time to butcher the Poulets once Chance was home from work.
But before we went to work we had lunch first,BLT's made with our own tomatoes and home cured bacon.(I love bacon and who dose not?) We were fairly happy with the bacon Chance cured and smoked,it was a bit salty for us and we'd like it to be a bit sweeter.Both of these are easy to fix,Chance will have to tinker the recipe next time.
Last night Chance and I had separated the meat birds from the layers. We don't feed them for the 24 hours before butchering to allow time for their Gizzard and intestines to empty,so you have to put them in a safe spot.We kept Big Red though,he has earned his life,is an endearing dork and maybe come spring we will have some of our own chicks.We butchered 5 hens,it took around 1 1/2 hours.I took a bunch of photos that just did not work.The one above worked best it summed the day up,food harvesting.

After this next paragraph there will be a photo with blood.

Below are a couple of photos showing the mess after.It seems that most people have this idea that Chicken Butchering is messy, it's not.Each bird only bleeds out about 1/2 cup of blood,if you leave your bird in one place after the neck is slit, the blood stays in one small puddle.We put a plastic tote with wood shavings in it under our Culling Cones to catch the blood.The photo is after all 5 birds were done.The other photo shows the feathers.See its not all that bad.

I am not going to show the rest of the process,I feel like it's one of those things you need to see and do as a hands on thing.And explaining the gutting photos,what a nightmare! Forget it!If you are wanting to learn we do teach others.
Young Sol came to me as I was plucking the Chickens and asked to make "5 Minute Ice Cream, all you need is....." Well he read me the list but I was a bit busy.Once we were done with the chickens I asked Sol about his ice cream idea.It was so simple I thought "well, why not?"Here is the recipe he found on Instructables.com,
All you need is Heavy Cream,Sugar,Vanilla, some Fruit, and a blender.I bought a pint of the heavy cream and we ended up being able to make 3 batches equaling maybe a little over a quart of ice cream.For the fruit we used some of our frozen blueberries.The bag of berries did not have quiet enough berries for the third batch,we made Vanilla for the third batch.We pored all 3 batches into a carton and mixed it all together with a handful of whole berries.I made the boys wait until after dinner to have some, by then the ice cream was kind of like soft serve.I added the recipe to my notebook.
I was just saying to Sol that he comes up with some of the best things to try out.Last fall we made Lollipops part home school science part Halloween goodies.We just made that excellent Coconut Milk Cream Pie and now 5 Minute Ice Cream.
Somewhere in my day I had Issac grate some Zucchini for the freezer.He was intrigued by the whole idea but thought it was clever.He also put some tomato sauce in the freezer for me.Once I can get Issac to stay home for a day,he actually likes working with me in the kitchen.
Oh,the boys and butchering.we gave them the choice,to help or not.Chance and I chose this life style and parts of it we don't push.Issac went away to run errands.Sol stayed indoors but did get interested once he saw that the gutting of the birds did not involve blood just some cool looking stuff.
We ended up not working at the Urban Farm Store yesterday,we were rained out.I guess most people are fair weathered farmers/gardeners and don't go to the feed and garden store when it rains.I did go into the store to shuffle around some chicks.I am still not totally clear on the whole story but I now have 10 chicks here but only until their owner picks them up on Sunday????? See I am a bit puzzled about this deal and will come back to it when I find the missing piece namely the owner of the chicks. I suppose I should be more firm and assertive.
We have pushed the Cobb Oven building farther out.We need to rebuild the chicken coop,it needs revamping and repairs.There's also some fall chores to do,like find,cut and stack more firewood, to do before the oven can become the latest feature here.The boys will return to school,even Sol is looking forward to returning to a new public school.Oh and I need to find work for pay outside of home some where in there.The To Do List just never ends, we get one job done and there's another to take the first's place.
It has been raining here,HOOPLA, I am loving it.I am not to sure if people who don't live here get it but the Oregonians who are born and raised here LOVE RAIN.My bones were starting to dry out and I was getting a bit cranky but now I am clam and full of spitfire.Ok so those two go against each other but that's where I am at.

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