Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September: National Chicken Month

I didn’t know that there is a National Chicken Month.  Our farm paper had these interesting facts about chickens:
1.  It takes a hen 24-26 hours to lay an egg.
2.  A fertilized egg takes 21 days to hatch.
3.  A rooster takes 18-20 breaths a minute; a hen takes 30-35.
4.  A chicken can have 4 or 5 toes on each foot.
5.  Grocery store chickens are 5-8 weeks old.
6.  Americans consume about 8 billion chickens a year.
7.  The world record laying hen was a White Leghorn – in 1971 she laid 371 eggs in 364 days.
8.  A fresh egg will sink when placed in water.  Fresh laid eggs have very little air in them.  If you drop an egg in water and it floats, it’s not fresh.
9.  Hens live an average of 5 – 7 years, but can live up to 20.
I thought this was interesting and wanted to share with other chicken lovers.  I know I had a hen, name “Martha Stewart” who lived to be like 7.  I also had a rooster, named “Old Timer”, because someone gave him to us and they said he was old.  He lived many more years here. 
These facts only add to the many fine traits I feel chickens already have.
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Blessings from Wisconsin.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall chicks…those free range hens…

 

Living in Wisconsin, you don’t want to have little chicks this late in the season.  It gets is too cold too fast.  So, lo and behold, here comes a mama hen and a bunch of chicks.  She isn’t a good mama – she leaves some of them outside at night and I hear them “peeping” so I have to go outside and put them in the coop. 

Today when I went out to feed the animals, I saw this cute little chick peeking his head out of one of my huge cucumbers I fed the chickens.  Isn’t that cute!

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Just pecking its way through the shell.

The other night, when I was gone to the Junk Bonanza, my husband heard one of the chicks “peeping.”  So he went to find it – he chased it around the side of the coop – when the little chick saw those huge cucumbers, it stopped dead in its tracks and started pecking at it – he was able to catch pretty easy and put it in the coop. 

Boy, chickens sure to have small brains….

Blessings from Wisconsin.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pressure Cooking - Chicken

I know I’ve mentioned this before, I LOVE to work with my pressure canner/cooker.  Today I made chicken stew over biscuits.  I started with frozen chickens (our own young roosters), put them in my pressure cooker with water and onions and cooked them at 10 lbs of pressure for an hour.  When I opened up the pot, they were fall off the bones tender.  I then deboned, skinned and diced up the meat.  I added diced potatoes, celery, carrots, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup with 1 can of the stock left that I cooked my chickens in.  Baked at 350 till fork tender.  Made my biscuits – I forgot to take a picture of it – too late now it is all gone Smile
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frozen chicken and diced onions (last years garden)
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fall off bone tender – look at golden stock!
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before debone and skinning – diced meat….I also added salt, pepper and parsley flakes.
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Ready for oven. 
Blessings from Wisconsin!
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Liebster Award!

 

Dr. Momi over at http://homesteadingatredtailridge.blogspot.com with this award!
I was so surprised!  Thanks Dr. Momi
 

Liebster" is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Liebster is awarded to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.

How fun!! Now for the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have fun!

So, Here are my 5 picks:

1.  Justine at http://justine-obsessivecreativedisorder.blogspot.com/

2.  Terry at http://ourcrazyfarm.blogspot.com/

3.  Frank at http://franklin-notsofrankly.blogspot.com/

4.  Carrie at http://littlepatchofheavenhomestead.blogspot.com/

5.  Faye at http://theblessedhearth.blogspot.com/

Please check out their blogs and follow them too.  I’ve enjoyed following them.  Most of my followers have less than 200 – so it was hard to pick only 5 – 2 are related to me….

Blessings from Wisconsin!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I Bought From Junk Bonanza

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Cute scrabble purse:  Nostalgic Memories Pocket Book, Booth #349

Dragon Fly Garden D├ęcor:  Autumn Place Arts, Booth #151

Chicken necklace and heart, dog tag and key necklace:  Lisa Souers Designs, Booth #217

Wool felted purse and pin:  Karen Heddens Designs, Booth #201

Witch in old shoe, snowman pin and needle punch pin:  C.J. Robb & Co, Booth #322

Glass ornament with b&w picture, galvanized fall sayings:  Destination Art/The Loft on 2nd, Booth #102

Snap bracelet with vintage fabric – Nancy Polacek Design, Booth #202

Glammed up bobby pins – not sure if it was Vintage Chic or LuLu’s Upcycling Lounge – Booths #203 or 204

The Easter chicks vintage cards, old cigar liners:  Knick Knack Report, booth #170

I bought the old children’s shoes, hen & chick magnet, galvanized pencil holder, owl pin, bingo pieces, rusty stars, the money bag and 2 headbands and old vintage doll from some booths that I can’t remember….sorry.  I also bought some Christmas presents for my girls that I didn’t take pictures of….

The blue with yellow flowers tote I bought from Sam’s Club – before this event – but used it there – I had MANY people compliment me on it.  They thought I bought it there – I could have sold many of them….

Blessings from Wisconsin!

Mickey’s Dining Car–St. Paul, MN

What my followers might not know about me is that I am a “foodie”, hence few pictures of me on here Smile
I LOVE anything food – eating, cooking, baking, growing, canning and watching food network cooking shows!  When I found out that I was going to go to the Junk Bonanza, I went on line under Food Network and typed in St. Paul, Minneapolis to see what came up.  I LOVE Diners, Drive-in and Dives – I also think “Guy” is.. should I say it….Hot,  LOVE his personality and one liners too!   I actually think it would be fun to go on a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives vacation – take a week off, start close to home and work my way each day, to one of the places he went to. 
Anyway, I always wanted to eat at one of those dining cars.  I had no idea that there was one in St. Paul.  Now, I wasn’t driving, but Renee took me anyway – If I had to drive, I wouldn’t have went, as I get lost easily.  I am 1/4 Native American, however, the “tracking” gene must have run out by the 6th child – because, I’m am terrible with directions!
Here are a few pictures:
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I love the picture with the lights on.  Mickey’s Diner is on the National Register of Historic Places.  On the back of their menu, they list all of the famous people who have eaten there.  You can read more about them at:  .http://www.mickeysdiningcar.com/
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The grill cook told me that he cooked for Alton Brown and was featured in the episode “Feasting on Asphalt.”  Colorful crowd, others taking pictures too! 
I had their famous “Mulligan’s Stew” with garlic toast and a banana malt, it was excellent. 
I know I am only 45, but I have learned that life is short, so when you have an opportunity to “cross” something off your “bucket list” you should do it! 
Blessings from Wisconsin!

JUNK BONANZA–Early Bird Report

 

My first year to attend the Junk Bonanza.  This huge event is held in Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN.  I was hesitant to go, because I HATE to drive in “big cities!”   So, I asked my friend Renee (who drives a stock trailer full of their show cattle – EVERY WHERE and not afraid of the 94/494 St. Paul/Minneapolis driving) to come with me; she drove!

We arrived with our Early Bird tickets @ 7:40 a.m. – we were like 200 or something in line…

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FOX  news was there interviewing people as well as newspapers…

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The blonde was originally from Eau Claire, WI, she now lives in cities, this was her 4th year.  She LOVES it too!  She shared past stories and tips. 

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When they opened the doors, you could hardly get through the isles.  People were grabbing stuff right and left.  We decided to bypass that crowd and move to the back.  We were one of the first in the back section and did get some good deals. Smile  Renee bought an enameled Sun Drop sign shaped like a pop bottle.  Her son loves Sun Drop and he LOVED the sign!  The vendors were Carter Station, booth #329, I think from Iowa.  Super cool stuff! 

Here are a few other pictures from the show:

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these 2 guys had neat salvaged items, they had hand made picture frames made from old wainscot beadboard and barn board, they had farm implement parts turned into light fixtures.  This was Robinwood Reclaim, LLC, booth #401, I heard them say they “pick” in North Dakota.

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                                                                                                        Now for my personal favorite booth; #322, CJ Robb & Co. also from Iowa.  I also am a folk artist who works with paper mache’, and my art looks similar to this – so to me – this booth had the “WOW” factor!                 

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The artist…super nice lady!  We shared some ideas….Smile

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I was amazed at all the vendor booths – I so need to step up my “game”  I loved the use of space – even vertical. 

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NEAT jewelry – I personally don’t wear much jewelry, but I found this cute chicken pendant this artist made – so CUTE!  This is booth #217, Lisa Souers Designs she is from Washington (state that is). 

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What I liked best about this event was the variety of vendors.  I have been to the wholesale markets and know what is prefab and what is original art….I did see a few “ordered” things, but most of it was original art, galvanized and rusty old, antique, vintage, holiday, hand felted, hand sewn, hand beaded, primitive, glammed, painted, reupholstered, hand made goodness! 

The amount of vendors, the rooms, the booths, they just wind their way through the venue wonderfully!  I loved the extra touches that the staff did – like the photo op area (I forgot to take a picture) the extra decorating – like burlap and corn bundles on the chairs in food area, cornstalks in the entry and here and there at different spots. 

Excellent event!  I would love to be a vendor – someday – either way, I will be back!

Blessings from Wisconsin!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Can’t Waste Them–Overgrown Cukes

So, I haven’t checked on the cucumber plants in awhile – wow how did I miss all of those cucumbers.   I can’t let them go to waste, so I decided to try and can something with them.  I made one batch (7qts) of a cucumber salsa – at least that is what I’m calling it.  I want to use it  fish or lamb.   I also had 2 cabbages to use so I added them to the next batch and made a kraut slaw mix – I hope it will taste good on baked potatoes or on top of a salad.   Here is what I made today: 
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huge cukes….wash and peel, make sure to save this for your chickens!
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slice in half and scoop out seeds
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Then I sliced them on my Christmas present – a Kitchen Aid slicer.
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Dice them…I also added onions and peppers
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lightly salt them, cold pack in jars and add a brine (I made mine with sugar, water, white wine vinegar, celery seeds, garlic and onion powder, parsley, tumeric and whatever else looked like a brine herb) pour brine in jars to 1/4” put lid and rim on and give a hot water bath for 5 min. to seal.  I sure hope they taste o.k. 
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Till later, God willing.  Blessings from Wisconsin!

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Fun Weekend-Art in Park & Jefferson Wool Festival

We had a busy weekend!  In Wausau, WI, near our home, they have what is known as Art in The Park, Artrageous and Birds in Art.  This event, Birds in Art, was started by the Forrester family and Owen Gromme (famous bird artist) it is held at the historic Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.  This event brings in artists from all over the world!  This event is separated into 3 different areas.  We were able to go to the vendor sales and I hope to go to the museum exhibit later on.  We had a lot of fun!  Here are a few pictures.
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That is Magally, my friend.  For MANY years, she and her husband and Lisa and I were vendors at this event.  Her husband, “Jimmy” passed on almost 2 years ago.  Dimitrious was his real name, he was from Greece and Magally is from Cuba – they met in New York and moved to Wisconsin in 1994 or 1995.  We miss “Jimmy” and all of his hugs – he would always hug you and kiss each side of your face.   Magally does too.  Wisconsinites – aren’t use to this Smile.
Then on Sunday, Anna showed 3 sheep at the Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI.  This too attracts people from all over the world.  They have dog hearding, spinning, shearing, carding, knitting, crocheting, felting, needle punch …. on and on….demonstrations and classes.  They have 2 multi-purpose buildings full of vendors with all things wool for sale.  I didn’t get too many pictures, as the youth show had 3 show rings going at once and I had to listen and run between the barns for each of the classes she was in.  Her showmanship class, ages 15 & 16 had 25 exhibitors in it.  She placed 8th overall.  Not too bad considering the 7 ahead of her show sheep all summer.  We had the “lightest” and “heaviest” sheep in the market show….so, no ribbons.  And Dottie, the Sufolk ewe, was in the wrong class – we slick sheared her and this was a wool fest…..so instead of Sufolk she should have been in the meat type breed….oh well, no ribbons this time.  We did have fun!  Thanks STACY for hauling our sheep!  Bless your heart!
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This is Mallory, Stacy and Kevin’s (our sheep leaders) middle daughter.  She placed 2nd in showmanship and won a pretty big ribbon.
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The first in line is Kaitlin, Stacy and Kevin’s oldest daughter.  She is an excellent showman (woman) and placed 1st at the Wisconsin State Fair!
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This is Jon, Anna’s boyfriend, showing “Speckles” 
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Here is Anna – every picture of her I have on my blog – she is wearing the same show outfit…she does have others…..but this pink shirt matches her pink “bling bling” belt. 
The best part of being in Jefferson, was that we had to pass Madison on the way home.  Probably my favorite place to eat – anywhere – is in Madison.  It is called “Smokin Jon’s”  - now this big girl knows BBQ – this is the BEST anywhere!  It is just a small “hole in the wall” – Jon’s parents use to live in Madison and found this place 20 years ago.  They have won LOTS of awards for the best in Madison and best sauce in all kinds of competitions.  We need to nominate them for “Diners, Drive Inns and Dives!”
Till later, God willing.  Blessing from Wisconsin!
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