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Making a Bad Day Better

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Today got off to a pretty sad start. Thanks so much to everyone who sent me such kind messages. We’re still sad, but we know these things can happen. Given that we have woods behind our house, live in a rural-suburban area, and our chickens are free-range, I think we’re pretty lucky this is the first time in 5 years the foxes have gotten in.  (That said, we have agreed to let each other know when we are putting the chickens to bed so we don’t have a situation like last night where we think the other person is doing it.)

So, here’s who remains: a total of 18. Of those 4 are baby chicks and 4 are roosters. We’ve still got the Quicksilver mother, Crooky Beak, and Big Silk. [I’m still peeved that the fox a)seemed awfully greedy b)took the healthy young ones and left the old sick ones behind.] Of the 26 chicks we received in the mail last year very few remain.  Everyone is locked up for the night, but they definitely seemed somewhat traumatized today-rarely straying from the backdoor area, and 3 seemed reluctant/afraid to go back in the coop. (Actually, one of them ended up sleeping under the coop against the wall and wouldn’t go in-don’t worry, she’s still fenced in.) The white mother hen seems to have abruptly given up mothering and only Quicksilver remains with the 2 chicks. She seemed to be the more primary mother all along.

With that event, as well as heavy rains, this afternoon and evening called for some comfort baking and comfort food. First up, ginger cookies. Man, I love this recipe. Super spiced, including 1 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 t ginger, 1/2 t nutmeg, 2 t cinnamon, and 1 cup (or more!) of chopped crystallized ginger.  They made the house fragrant and the texture is perfect.
Ginger Cookies

For dinner I was eager to use some of our CSA produce. Last week we got a beautiful head of cabbage and a nice head of cauliflower. I’m not a huge cauliflower fan, but I have to admit that I could taste a difference in this and that it was really good. Last we I used half of it steamed with a cheese sauce, tonight just steamed plain with carrots.  For the cabbage I cut it in half (planning on coleslaw with it) and sliced it thinly. We’ve been getting gorgeous onions for a couple weeks and I sliced one of those up as well.  Sauteed with caraway seeds, then browned porkchops, deglazed the pan, added back in the veg, covered and cooked til done. I also used farm thyme for seasoning. Delicious! It felt like an autumn meal, but it hit the spot.
Somewhat Unseasonable Comfort Food/Garden Grub
In other happier news, today was Clark’s last day of nature camp.  It’s a day camp for one week and it’s definitely an old school, outdoors, environmental, fun time.  This is his third year and he really loves it.  He has a special friend he sees at camp each summer, too, which makes it even better for him. After we picked the kids up we hiked around a bit, picking the wild raspberries that grow abundantly in the woods. Sweet!
berrypicking
The front of the house is really giving me pleasure this year-lots of flowers blooming, pretty colors, fun gladiolas, a successful mailbox garden, and my new annuals cutting garden.
Pinks and Purples!

Pinks and Purples!
And so, the bad day has gotten better. We may buy some pullets this summer, or we may just see how the chicks do. Tomorrow we’re having a small sleepover for Clark’s birthday, which means you’ll soon be seeing pictures of a Minecraft creeper cake!

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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