Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
They also like to eat in the comfort of their coop, so we move the food in there as well. I can check and see in the freshly fallen snow that from the lack of footprints in the chicken yard, they haven't ventured out of their cozy coop.
Just like the songbirds on our bird feeders, the chickens fluff up their feathers to stay warm, taking advantage of their built in down comforter.
Today, some of the eggs were frozen in their shells, causing the shells to crack. However, they weren't leaking because the interior contents were frozen solid, not liquid. An interesting science experiment for kiddos, I think.
There is so much to learn and experience from life on a hobby farm!
Friday, January 24, 2014
Today's story is I need to take a pitcher of hot water over to the chickens because I'm sure their water is frozen. So, signing off . . .
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The garden, a site of such activity, work, productivity, chores, abundance and bounty in the summer, rests peacefully under a blanket of snow. Waiting and resting.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
So this teaspoon of salt-is it just the salt shaker or salt added while cooking? No. It is all that AND the sodium in all your foods, from canned tomatoes to frozen pizza. Tough to keep it under a teaspoon for the whole day, right? Avoiding processed foods is a great start. Cooking from scratch lets you decide how much sodium goes into your dish.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The treatment is to essentially smother the little buggers. So my chicken got a foot massage as I rubbed oil onto its entire legs and feet while my husband held it close and whispered sweet nothings in its ears. Some say Vaseline works - we used Vet Rx, something we had on hand from another chicken malady.
Now think about what chickens walk in and you realize this is gross. And it has to be done every 3 days until it clears up. With mites, the chickens are quite miserable and walk around on 1 foot and then the other. I imagine it is both itchy and irritating. But I am rather itchy after being so up close and personal with this condition.
The fact that we had this problem in the dead of winter is troublesome. You would think the frost would kill off the mites. We add a pesticide to their dust baths in the summer. What are their dust baths, you ask? It is where they scratch around, work up loose dust, lay down and fluff their feathers to get the dust to work into their feathers and have a delightful dust bath. Better than water, they say.
Just sharing the realities of hobby farm life, for any of you considering backyard chickens.
Monday, January 13, 2014
10. Keep a well stocked pantry. Options are good.
9. Keep a well stocked freezer. More options are better.
8. Casseroles are classic. Choose a protein (tuna, chicken, ground beef) - or go meatless, choose a grain (pasta, rice, tortilla), choose a veg or two, and choose a sauce. Bake. Enjoy.
7. Include at least 2 veggies - fresh (yes, celery counts), canned (low sodium please), or frozen (you're bound to have peas or corn in there, right?)
6. Include a grain - the whole thing - bran, endosperm and germ - it takes all 3 unprocessed parts to make a whole grain.
5. Have your go-to short list. Things that have worked for you before, that are your dinner winners.
4. Breakfast for dinner. It works.
3. Soup and sandwich a dinner makes. Soup, sandwich, and salad is even better.
2. PLANovers are the new leftover. Just stick to the 7 day rule for food safety.
1. Don't be afraid to fail. Some dinners will bomb. No worries. They won't starve. You aren't Rachel Ray and no one expects you to be.
Notice that carry out, delivery, and fast food are not on the list. You can do this, within your budget, and with good nutrition in mind.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Advertisers self regulated with the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in November 2006, a voluntary program designed to change the mix of food advertised to children. There are now 18 major companies that have signed on to this effort. But there are two problems. This only applies to advertising during children's programming and standards have been vague. So, this has been mostly ineffective to date and new, more precise criteria have been proposed.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
There is also a recipe for Vegetarian Enchiladas that I think we need to try.
The recipes are all for quantity food production, but for you folks at home, you might get some ideas for substitutions in recipes you currently make. So, yes, try this at home!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
- create a new recipe using the abundant USDA chicken fajita strips that are provided to us at a very low cost-not a bad product but the students get tired of "Mexican This" and "Mexican That"
- work on modifications to a Sloppy Joe meat sauce recipe, made from scratch to reduce the sodium content
- continue to work on basic knife skills as we use more and more fresh produce and seasonings like onion, garlic, peppers and herbs from the school garden which take a little more work than a salt shaker
The scratch Sloppy Joe sauce was a little sweet for me, and we have already modified it, removing the ketchup (which further reduced the sodium) and adding more tomato paste and low sodium diced tomatoes. A little vinegar, brown sugar, diced onion, and black pepper gave it just the right flavor.
The team from the school that hosted the boot camp prepared a baked apple crisp for our work session which was enjoyed by all.
Monday, January 6, 2014
Check it out here.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Specific goals look like this: I will eat a serving of fruit for breakfast at least 5 mornings a week. I will eat slowly and mindfully while seated (not in the car!), without distractions, paying attention to every bite. I will take a yoga class every Monday night.
- Write them down.
- Put them in a place where you will be greeted and challenged.
- Place reminders in your calendar.
- Post a note to yourself on the inside of the door you exit every day.
- Put sticky notes on your mirror, on your dashboard, and on your computer screen.
- Ask a friend to hold you accountable.
- Set yourself up for success.
- And the ultimate motivator: role model wellness for your kiddos.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Here is a "one and done" soup recipe - once you've got it all in the pot, you are done until it is time to eat!
Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup (Serves about 6 bowls of soup)
1 ham bone with a good amount of leftover ham on it
1 bag of split peas, rinsed and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
Sauté the onion, garlic and carrots in a little olive oil. After rinsing the split peas, add them to a large stock pot with 6 to 8 cups of water and the ham bone. Add the sautéed veggies to the split peas, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until peas become mushy and ham falls off the bone. Remove the bone. Cut up any ham chunks into bite sized pieces and return them to the soup. Serve warm.
- The carrots lend a little natural sweetness to the soup.
- Notice that you do not need to add any salt - you'll get plenty of that from the ham.
- Kids can help with this recipe by rinsing the dried split peas and peeling the carrots.
- Serve with a hearty-wheaty-grainy bread and enjoy!