We got new chicks again this year. My plan was to retire 4 of our older hens and get 4 new chicks and then to that every year so we have a constant stream of eggs. I waffled back and forth on it for a while. We love our chickens.
They are our pets.
But I really do have them for eggs, the fact that they are fun is just bonus.
But in the end getting new chicks won out, when I realized, I was running out of time to get them this year and would face the winter without enough eggs.
One day I hopped in my car and drove to DeYoungs to get chicks. We got 4.
An Americana we named Blackberry.
A Rhode Island Red (in the back) we named Rosie,
Another Americana we named Tawny (front right)
And a White Cochran Frizzle, she started as Buttercup, but we renamed her Ms. Frizzle after she started to feather out (in honor of the magic school bus).
I have always wanted a fizzle.
They look so cool!
Look at those awesome feathered feet.
As they started getting older, I knew that we were going to have to get rid of the hens so we would have enough room for the new girls. But I put it off as long as possible.
Daphne teaching Blackberry to perch on her shoulder.
Zelda holding Blackberry.
Ocean with Tawny.
And here is Rosie in front.
Ms. Frizzle is really getting fluffy.
It wasn't too long before I noticed lots of scuffles in the brooder. And then one night I heard the dreaded sound. Some one crowed! I was pretty sure it was Ms. Frizzle. Another time Trip heard one crow. He was pretty sure it was Tawny. I would see the two of them scuffling for dominance, but Tawny won and he would perch on the side of the brooder and crow. So, he was definitely the rooster.
We took them outside once after knowing Tawny was a rooster and it was interesting to watch him interacting with his "hens". He kept an eye out for danger, alerting them if necessary. When 2 of his girls started to fight, he placed himself between them. It made me wish we could have a rooster, so we could have that whole dynamic.
It came time for the little girls to go out to the coop.
We were so sad we had to get rid of him. Luckily, we hadn't gotten rid of 4 hens yet, so when the time came, I advertised 3 retiring hens and one young rooster.
Sunflower and Black Rose had been 2 of our first chickens. It was hard to see them go.
Lacy, it wasn't so hard with her, she was a bit of a punk when it came time to lock up the chickens, and she would run away. And she had never been a good layer.
That day someone came and picked them up the same day.
However, it didn't take long before we started hearing crowing again. Ms Frizzle is really Mr Frizzle. I really wanted to find him a home because he is so cool to look at. I put an ad for him on craigslist, but no one called. After a few days, I got an email, and a wonderful woman came and picked him up. And I can day that I think she is going to keep him. He will make a wonderful. addition to her flock!
She often donates a cookbook and cooking pot/pan to the elementary school auction. I bought the Big Flavors book and 12" skillet this year. I have since acquired a dutch oven,
small fry pan
and a mini pan with lid that is perfect for making eggs to go on an English muffin.
I love them.
And I have discovered a love for anything cooked in the skillet with bacon grease.
Spinach... yes, Green beans... yes, Potatoes... yes.
One of my go to meals lately is onions, red pepper and spinach sautéed in a little bacon grease (it doesn't take more than a few grams to give it the flavor), then scramble an egg and add a little feta cheese and salt and pepper. Yum!
I have also discovered baking in the cast iron skillet, thanks to Julie's book. Coffee cake, birthday cake, baked waffles, it can do it all.
Before re-seasoning my own cast iron, I didn't really know how to take care of it. Since acquiring more, I have learned how and it is really easy. After using the pan, I wash it with water and a brush or scraper, then heat to dry and rub with oil. Or if something is baked on or really stuck, I don't try to clean it with water, I put oil in the pan and heat it then the gunk loosens and I can wipe it off. If I need to, I use a little salt with the oil and scrub it around then wipe the pan out. It is so easy and
I am convinced that food tastes better cooked in Cast Iron.
A couple of weekends ago we went camping at Deception Pass with some of my siblings and their families. We had a fun time and the air force planes flying over head were really cool, the first few hours. They were so close and loud. After they flew through most of the night the first night it wasn't so cool. The rest of the time it wasn't so bad.
We took everyone on a hike to lighthouse point.
On the way back, we all got separated into 2 groups. Our group of Trip, Lilly, Rez, Ocean, Daphne, Harvey, Zelda and Indie, was last. We took a wrong turn somewhere and got lost. After getting a hold of my sister and confirming that Mo and Julius were with them, we enjoyed trying to find our way back. We were out on a little peninsula, so we couldn't get that lost. As we hiked along the bluff, we could see where we needed to get to, it just happened to be about 30 feet below us. We ended up picking our way (and sliding) down the bluff to the beach below. It was all very exciting.