Thursday, March 10, 2016

Homemade sandwich bread

There is nothing like fresh, homemade bread. We make rolls, Italian bread, etc pretty often but I have never made sandwich bread. Well, I take that back. I tried once, and it was nearly impossible to cut because it was so soft/airy. That experience left me hesitant to try again.

We have been out of sandwich bread for 3 days, and I can't get to the grocery until Saturday.  I couldn't take it anymore, so I caved and tried a new recipe hoping it would at least make a decent sandwich. 

I am so glad we were out of bread, because it forced me to try again. And this time - it was DELICIOUS. The perfectly soft, perfectly sliceable, perfect sandwich bread. The only flaw in this bread is that it is all white flour and has refined sugar in it. But I was desperate for a good bread that wouldn't crumble or be a brick, so I sacrificed health for today. ;) I will come back to link the recipe, I believe it was called Amish sandwich bread. 

The recipe made two 9x4 loaves, and one loaf was enough for 5 sandwiches and 5 pieces of "taste testing" slices. (And they passed the test, even for the 3 crust-haters). 

I can't wait for lunch today...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tinker toy covered wagon

Jujubee is using Oak Meadow 4, and one of the projects last week was to build a covered wagon with a milk carton (box). Well, we didn't have one. I have to say, her creativity on sourcing materials was pretty good!  It turned out adorable, and her Mini American Girl doll seems to like it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hatching our first chickens

In addition to our new meat birds, we are also going to be hatching out some eggs from a local friend. We went to see her farm on Monday, and picked up 24 fertilized barred rock eggs. 

(See that adorable feather?  That was on one of the eggs). My friend has 15 Barred Rock hens and 1 Rooster (he was gorgeous, too!) and we got to see them, and listen to his crow. She also has 4 cows and 2 pigs that we visited. So cool. 
We dropped these eggs off on Tuesday, and they should go into the incubator Wednesday. With any luck, we will have a nice batch of chicks in 3 weeks!  We plan on keeping 1 rooster, and approximately 5 hens - if there are that many. We'll see how it goes!  

When you just can't stand grocery store meat any longer

Two years ago when we started raising chickens, I had zero intentions of ever having meat birds. I wouldn't even read the broiler section of farming books that I was reading. "I don't have to worry about that" I said to myself. Only egg layers here!

Never say never, is my new motto. Meet the newest chicks on the farm. 

Sorry for the redness, the heat lamp makes everything a lovely shade. We went to Tractor Supply Company this weekend to get supplies for the eggs we will be hatching, and came home with 8 extra items. These are Cornish Rocks, which are specially bred to be raised for meat, and meat alone. Even if we wanted to keep them beyond 8 weeks, their bodies would begin giving out on them. This makes me a little sad. When I purchased them, I didn't connect these Cornish rocks with the hatchery Cornish cross breed. I was thinking they weren't the same, and were probably less of a meat only type. I was wrong, these are exactly the same. 

Maybe it is better this way, for our first time. Since I know they can not live longer than a certain amount of weeks, I can't back out of taking them to the processor. Keeping them would be even more cruel. 

They are definitely not as active as our first baby chicks, and barely walk around the brooder. Eat. Sleep. Poop. 

Even so, they are pretty darn cute. I'm hoping that once they feather out, we will stop thinking how adorable they are and detach a little from them.