Chicken Attack on the Blush Family Farm!

This is a repost from our family blog www.BlushFamilyFarm.com

“Last week one of our chickens got attacked by the dog across the street.  In a barefoot and pregnant rage I chased the dog down and despite falling down in the middle of the street and skinning both of my knees and top of my foot, he let go of the bird and ran away.  I banged on the neighbors doors throwing an absolutely fit and have not seen the dog running loose since.  We have a language barrier and have talked to them about their dogs multiple times, this time it stuck.  I was screaming and crying and VERY upset.  Thankfully the bird (named Fire Eyes) survived with a limp, missing feathers and a flesh wound on her back.  She is currently recuperating on our back garden porch away from the other birds so she does not get “picked” on.”

This is an example of one of the many hard lessons learned in chicken ownership.  With free range birds you must be prepared to protect them from predators such as neighbors dogs.  I knew she was in the front yard, but did not force her to go back to our backyard.  This resulted in her being attacked by a dog I knew had been loose several times in recent weeks.  In the future I will be much more vigilant.

Here she is recovering:fire eyes.

Baked Mahi Mahi

This week we decided to branch out and try a new treat – baked Mahi Mahi.  I had never had this type of fish before, so I scoured the internet for recipes that look good.

I found a luau inspired recipe that looked good, but we didn’t have all the ingredients.  I’ll post the actual recipe with a link to the original, my changes will be in (parenthesis). We felt the changes were a YUMMY addition, and suggest if you’re feeling brave to copy ours instead of the origional.

baked mahi mahi

Baked Mahi Mahi

White fish fillets with mild or sweet flavor.

Ingredients:

• 2 lbs mahi mahi (fish) fillets
• 1 lemon, juiced (I did not juice, just squeezed straight from the lemon)
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I minced an entire clove of garlic)
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 cup mayonnaise (I used a cup of cream cheese)
• 1/4 cup white onions, finely chopped (I used fresh chives from the garden)
• 1 – 2 bags bread crumbs (I toasted a slice of bread and crumbled)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse fish and put in a baking dish. Squeeze lemon juice on fish then sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Mix mayonnaise and chopped onions and spread on fish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Serves 4 people.

http://www.polynesia.com/baked-mahi-mahi.html#.UN20NramW2w

The swimming yogi in me

A few weeks ago John and I went to the YMCA to get a membership.  In part due to the encouragement of our midwife and in part because my body simply needs the exercise right now. I have been participating in yoga once a week and swimming once or twice a week.

The truth is, I thought I was about to die after swimming my first three laps.  My arms were tingling and my chest on fire from the workout. I pushed through the burn and was able to accomplish a total of 10 laps in their Olympic sized pool.  This is now my minimum each time I go and I look forward to raising the bar once my body gets used to the work out.

This week I decided to spend one of my pool session with Aliana, our 14 month old, in the 4 foot pool.  This proved a totally different but totally intense workout.  I moved her from side to side, up and down as I paced back and forth in the pool.  I walked forward, backward, side ways and marched.

By the time I was reaching exhaustion she still wanted to swim!  Ali leaned to kick her feet and splash her hands as if she were swimming.  It was a great bonding experience and workout at the same time!

Now, I do try to do yoga stretches on a daily bases at home, but there is nothing better than being child free and zoned into your own body for an hour.  I have participated in the “gentle yoga” and “prenatal yoga” classes and feel great after each.  Next week I am taking Aliana to a mommy and me yoga class to see how she does.

So far she has not taken well to the childcare facility.  We’ve never left her anywhere and the one time John tried to leave her so he could work in the lobby she panicked.  With that being said, my yoga classes are a family affair and John is spending time with the baby in the daycare to get her used to it.  Hopefully she’ll start to see it as a fun safe place and won’t mind an hour to enjoy other toddlers!

I can already see and feel a difference in my body.  My pregnant belly feels more firm and fit, my chronic pregnancy back aches are starting to wane, and I have been sleeping much more soundly at night.

Its has been a really long time since I’ve engaged in any sort of regular physical activity , so I wanted to share my so-far-so-good experience with you and keep you posted as I journey toward true physical health.

What do you do to get exercise every week?

Much love,

Catherine

DIY Fluoride Free Natural Toothpaste

I recently came across this recipe for homemade toothpaste.  Give it a try and tell us what you think!

Related: http://www.sovereignliving.tv/simple-home-toothachedental-caries-remedy/

Homemade Toothpaste

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbps. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. calcium magnesium powder (optional)
  • 2 Tbps. xylitol or green stevia powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp. real sea salt (optional)
  • 5 -10 drops essential oil (I use peppermint) or several drops ouzo, sambuca, and such.
  • 5 – 10 drops trace minerals (Colloidal Silver)

Source: http://ybertaud9.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/diy-fluoride-free-natural-toothpaste/

 

The Perfect Quiche Crust – In the Kitchen at the Blush Family Farm

Since our recent rooster slaughter, our egg production has more than quadrupled.  Now that we have so many coming in, I’m trying to make lots of egg-based dishes.  Last night I decided it would be quiche!

We haven’t made a grocery store run in a while, so this was an experiment in the utilization of our stored food, our fresh garden food, and a bit of creativity.

I found this recipe for the “perfect” quiche crust and adapted it to fit what we had in the house.  Here it is with my adaptations in parenthesis.

Quiche Pie Crust Ingredients
1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour, sifted (1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour, not sifted)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter (1/3 cup organic olive oil)

3-4 tablespoons milk (4 tablespoons of organic rice milk)

The recipe calls for a detailed mixing of the materials, I personally just added them all together and mixed with my spoon then hands. It was crumbly, but packed nicely into the well greased pie pan. John LOVED the crust.

The quiche ingredients are listed below, also with my adaptations in parenthesis.

Quiche Ingredients
1/3 cup onion, chopped (1/2 a large white onion from garden))

1 tablespoon butter (splash of olive oil)

¼ pound Swiss cheese (no cheese)

4 eggs

2 cups light cream (2 cups organic rice milk)

1-1.5 cups broccoli, chopped and lightly steamed (2 chopped jalapenos, not steamed)

(handful of dried tomatoes from last spring’s garden)

I placed all the veggies in the bottom of the pan and slowly poured the quiche mixture inside. We set our stove to 325, which always cooks hot. We checked it at 35 minutes and the bottom was slightly soggy, so we left it in for about 10 more minutes. The only thing missing was goat cheese, in our opinion!

Here is the pie crust and veggies, before I poured in the egg mixture.

Here is the entire meal before hitting the oven.

The final product.  YUM!

Chicken Jerky

One of the greatest blessings that comes with living on a chicken farm is the ability to experiment with new recipes.  Now, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t eat everything we make, but I sure enjoy making it, smelling it, and watching the reaction of my friends and family when they try it!

This past weekend we had a rooster slaughter and we made a trial run batch of chicken jerky.  It was  a HUGE hit, so today we’re making more!  This time the entire dehydrator (all 6 shelves) is full, and we tried a new recipe in addition to the previous one we tried.

The first recipe can be found here.

The second recipe is a total experiment and I look forward to telling you how it goes.  On Sunday we bbqed a whole bird for four hours on the smoker.  Yesterday we cut off the left over meat into strips and placed them in a bag of barbeque sauce to marinate overnight. Today I added the trail version to the top shelf of the incubator.  Since the meat is already cooked, I imagine this will take a much shorter time than the 5-7 hours the raw meat with take.

I’ll be sure to post an update with reviews soon!

Be sure to read the safety warning at the bottom of our first recipe if you decide to use it – there is always a risk of salmonella when using raw meat!

 

Slow cooker chicken soup with leeks and potatoes

This past weekend we had a rooster slaughter which means lots of kitchen work for me!

My first attempt at chicken soup this week burned.  Whoops.  So today we decided to try something new.  Using the slow cooker instead of the stove!

First we cut off strips of meat from the chicken to turn into chicken jerky.  More about that here.

I searched online and found a recipe that sounds like an excellent solution to my burnt-on-the-stove problem.

Here is the recipe (originally posted here).

Slowcooker chicken soup recipe featuring chicken, carrots, celery and potatoes.
Ingredients
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs)
unrefined sea salt (as needed)
ground black pepper (as needed)
2 leeks (white and light green parts only, sliced thin)
2 bay leafs
1 yellow onion (peeled and chopped fine)
6 carrots (scraped and sliced into rounds 1/4-inch thick)
6 celery ribs (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
1 lb potatoes (peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley…
Instructions Rinse the chicken, inside and out, then pat it dry and season it well with unrefined sea salt and ground black pepper. Place the chicken in a slowcooker with leeks and bay leafs then cover with water. Cook on low for twelve hours. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery and potatoes to the slowcooker and continue cooking on low for an additional six to eight hours. Stir in parsley, pick out large bones and serve….

Read More at nourishedkitchen.com/slowcooker-chicken-soup/ © Nourished Kitchen

Here is a pic of the soup in progress – notice the chopped up chicken for the jerky 😀  I’ll update this post with finished pics and a review!

Preparing our bounty – in the kitchen, post freeze harvest

Well, after much research on each of the peppers and tomatoes we harvested early due to the freeze (see post here), we have decided what we are going to make with each.

Cayenne Peppers

The cayenne peppers were grown for medicinal uses and culinary. All the freeze harvest peppers are green and did not have the opportunity to vine ripen. We decided to use these peppers for culinary purposes only. Half of them we will pickle green and the other half we will attempt to ripen and dry for cooking spice.

These are the cayenne peppers we will allow to ripen then dry out for cooking spices!

I do have 3 red cayennes that I harvested last week, they are drying out nicely. I will save some of the seeds from each pepper to plant in the spring and save the rest for medicinal purposes.

Tip:when drying peppers, slice  the blade of a knife through to allow air circulation to the core. This will help prevent mold and  decrease dry time.

Jalapeño Peppers

The jalapeño peppers we are going to use fresh in the kitchen. Tonight we had delicious appetizers – nut thin crackers with goat cheese, local peach jam, and a slice of fresh jalapeño. Amazing!

Jalapenos for cooking!

Tonight we are also adding them pasta and in the morning I will add them to eggs!  They are hot hot hot! Yum yum yum!

Green Bell Peppers and Green Chile Peppers

The green bell peppers and green chilies are currently in the process of becoming mini goat cheese stuffed peppers. YUM!

Here are the peppers on the left (pasta sauce ingredients on left).

You can find therecipe here. I’ll post an update on the results!

update: DELICIOUS!

Here is a picture of the yum!!!

Green Tomatoes

The green tomatoes are going to be used in three ways. Some will be left to ripen, some will be pickled (I have not decided on a recipe, but I know at least one jar of spicy by adding cayenne), and the final use is green tomato pasta sauce, currently in progress.  The recipe for the sauce canbe found here. I’ll post an update with pics and reviews of each 🙂

 

Here are the tomatoes for canning (and the peppers).

Here is the sauce in progress.

Blush Family Farm – Frost Harvest, Post-Slaughter Update

 

Well, today our peppers and tomatoes were drooped like crazy from the first freeze.  I went ahead and harvested all the fruit except the green traveler’s tomatoes because that plant had minimal damage (I did harvest from the damaged branches.  Here is a photo of our tomato/pepper loot from today.  I also have a pile of large traveler’s tomatoes that fell off while rearranging the vine last week that are about to turn red.  I’m thinking salsa!

I plan to dry the cayenne peppers for medicinal use – will they still be worthwhile since they are harvested green?  The others are green bell, jalapeno and I the name of the long large peppers slips my mind (I’ll update this post when I remember!).

The 16 eggs are also from today.  We were down to about 5 or 6 a day and could not figure out why.  Then we noticed the roosters were literally harassing the hens and fighting over them to mate.  We slaughtered four roosters this past weekend and the next day our egg production increased to 12 eggs, 13 eggs and today 16.  We’re back!  Click here to read about the slaughter from the perspective of the cook!

I took photos of the garden and the damage that I’ll post sometime over the next few days at www.blushfamilyfarm.com.

How did your garden fare in the freeze, Texans?

 

update:

Since tumblr is jammed up today, I’m adding some additional photos here instead of the Blush Family Farm blog (not of the freeze, just the loot).  In hindsight I decided to harvest the rest of the travelers tomatoes so the plant could focus on healing itself totally, even though it was minimally damaged.  I’ve added photo of the loot updated with the new tomatoes as well as a small bunch that had fallen off the vine last week and is nearly ripe. The second photo is baby Aliana snagging a tomato for a snack!