Thursday, December 4, 2008

simple morning chores - simple yummies

i was out doing my morning chores. filling the wee chicks feeders (an everyday affair), changing all the creatures - chickenchica layers, bunnie, 2 kitties - water out and checking the level of their foodie munchies. the wee chicks needed a good bit more of wood chip bedding so we played a little game - run over there, now run over there, jump over the big pile of chips and woops over the feeder too.

woooo! jump over the feeder? do that again... and sure enough not one but three performed the same trick. oh boy those wings are really working for you aren't they? yupper, these guys and girls are in the hopping take air stage. they come down fairly quickly but it has just reinforced the need to prep a better room divider in the shed. the screen is just about 24" high and at the rate that they are growing, i figure that they will be over that anytime now. jumping over the screen would be bad bad bad because there is no food on the other side. that possibility makes the building and install of the divider weekend priority number one. i do hope they can hold off until saturday - pleeeeeease.

other than that, it's been work and meetings and work at the university. i'm not complaining. we are in a busy time as we near the end of the semester. we are soon to enjoy the winter break which will be nice and will offer time to catch up on home projects. the weather is finally feeling like winter. we will be experiencing 32˚ evenings for the next few days anyway. i find it refreshing and the crispy air make the morning chores move that much quicker though the air feels much warmer once in the coop with the girls or in the shed with the wee chicks making time for chatting and observation. bunny is doing well, he was gifted with another big mushy pile of hay today. he's been constructing himself a den and i thought additional hay would benefit his efforts.

from the garden -
i've been enjoying more great greens and radish. i grew the helios yellow/white radish. ohh are they good - very crisp and sweet with a hot-ish finish. i would highly recommend their flavor to any radish fans out there.

i don't know about you dropping temperatures trigger my desire to bake bread. the warmth of a home and the smell of baking bread just seem to go hand and hand. i was up early enough to get the slurry prepped.

i started with some rye flakes. they look just like oatmeal, a bit darker in color. i then added organic bread flour (white and wheat), a sprinkle of bread yeast and a dash of salt. i mixed it all together before adding in the warm to the touch water. i will let this sit for the day then i'll split the batch in two and use one for loaves of bread and start feeding the other as you would a sour dough starter. rye has a sweeter/tarter flavor than wheat and oat and i've read about other folks doing the same with rye flour in effort towards a sour dough starter. this will be my first time trying this out. i will be adding potato water soon. at the moment, the potato water is cooling. once it is at a temperature that will not kill the yeast, i'll stir it into the slurry.

so what with the potatoes from the potato water? easy folks, potato salad. look at that yummy goodness steaming hot. there are a few eggs in there courtesy of the chickenchicas. the cooking water has drained below into a bowl. here is the mix for the potato salad.

a glug of apple cider vinegar, a good tablespoon of mustard powder or wet mustard if you've got it. i like my mustard with a bit of a bite so vary the input if you like a milder flavor. on with the ingredients - salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped up eggs. just mix it all together and you are done! if you want a bit of sweetness, add a few chopped up pickles. i enjoy potato salad hot or cold.

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