Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our Suburban Homestead.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coffe Cake,Urban Farm and other bits.

My days have been starting early here,I think my body knows that soon I will be getting Issac up at 6 AM for school.
I had set aside some of the blueberries to make something with when we were all home and that took a few days.Chance and I are parents of young teens who are hardly home these days.I told Chance that maybe the busy teen years are to prepare us for when we have an empty nest.This morning I had to settle for most of us being home to use the blueberries.I made a Blueberry Coffee Cake (I will post the recipe below).It was a nice breakfast for a slow moving Sunday morning.
Chance and I took a trip into Portland to Urban Farm to buy chicken food.While there Robert asked us to teach another Chicken Butchering Class at his store.This time around the class price of $30 will include a chicken.Robert has a few extras of the Poulets and thought this might be a good use for them.Chance and I are raising 6 of the birds here for Robert. This class will be held towards the beginning of November and you can contact us here if you are interested.
Robert and Chance will also co-teach a tool maintenance class sometime in the fall.This class will cover the cleaning of your tools,how to oil them,sharpening and general care.Robert also has a less back breaking way of using a Hoe which he will go over in the class as well.
If you live in the area,Chance and I will both be working at The Urban Farm Store this Weds 8/12 from 2Pm till closing if anyone would like to stop by and say hello.Pete the Chicken Guy will be there too.I thought I knew a fair bit about Chickens until I met Pete,if you have a question he can answer it.
The garden is feeding us well and no one is sick of Zucchini yet.Although my tomatoes seem to be taking their own sweet time ripening and not abundant enough to can very many of them.I have yet to make my pickles.I went to pick some up after berry picking and the bags the farm stand had were awful looking.The season is just getting going so I still have time.
Thursday is butchering day here,it is time to process the Poulets.I almost killed one this morning when I went out to feed the chickens.One of the Poulets actually jumped up my back and dug her claws into my neck,I was a bit ticked off by this.Dumb bird you don't pick a fight with the hand that feeds you. We are keeping the Poulet Rooster Big Red,I think he has earned the title of pet, a really dumb one but it seems to be his fate.Big Red is the most dimwitted rooster I have ever met,all of the girls boss him around like he's someones annoying little brother.His feet are as big as my hands and he just does not know how to use them and looks at them like "Wow,what are those?"He dose not even crow he honks like a goose.
Once we have our Poulets out of the way we are re doing the Coop.Since we are now fully rotating birds for meats we want to build 2 smaller coops with a divided run inbetween them.One coop will be for our layers and the other for what ever birds we have for meat.I think this set up will make our layers happier and not disrupt the pecking order everytime we get new meat birds.
Rhonda Jean who blogs over at Down to Earth has a great bit about using your chickens to do some of your compost work.Her article is worth looking at if you have chickens and garden as well.I will be scraping up what compost I can when the coop is deconstructed to use on our garden or to add to the big compost pile for later.

Here is the Blueberry Coffe Cake.

Preheat oven to 350
Bakes in a 9X 13 Pan.

Mix in order until there are no lumps in the batter:
2 Cups Flour
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Oil
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk.
Pour into a greased 9X13 pan.Set aside.

Topping:
1 pint or 2 Cups Blueberries Sprinkle these over the batter.

Streusel:
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Butter.
Mix together creaming the butter into the dry.Sprinkle over the top of the Blueberries

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

Before I go did you know when you are baking with glass baking pans you should turn your oven down by 25 degrees? The glass pans hold the heat differently than metal ones.
Rois

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