Friday, 9 August 2013

Pantry Bounty

I found a nice basket of apricots at the local market.  They were just ripe enough to use and not overripe or with too many green ones.   Because they weren't perfect and blemish free, they were a little cheaper than the apricots at other booths.  So I grabbed a basket and when I got home, I made 2 batches of apricot jam and had a couple of leftover apricots for my snack.  Not only is it a beautiful sunset orange but it's very tasty! 
The cucumbers are ripening despite the weather.  I think if we had a bit of properly warm weather we'd have way more cuks, but there were enough to make sweet relish.  Last year I chopped everything by hand, which made a chunky relish.  I liked it but everyone else felt is wasn't "relishy" enough.  This year I ran all the veggies through the grinder.  I tried the meat grinder first as it has larger grind plates but the darned thing wouldn't work empty, so I finally gave up and hooked up the Kitchen Aid grinder.  The relish is a little finer than I'd like but it's good.   It's definitely not chunky.

Beans are getting frozen although we're almost out of freezer space.   With 44 huge chickens in there this year, though 25 were chopped up into parts, there isn't much room for anything else.  I ordered 36 meat chicks and despite counting them as I dipped their little beaks in the water as I took them from their shipping box, I miscounted and didn't realize we had been sent 38 instead.   They seem to always send an extra chick or two.   I also ordered 4 Rhode Island Red female chicks to replace the 4 year old layers.  Over the past couple of years we've found ways to help keep the meat birds in survival mode.  One is making sure that the water and food are far enough apart so that the meaties have to actually walk to get back and forth between food and water.  We also place the food up high enough that they must stand in order to eat and can't just plop themselves down beside the feeder and eat while lying there.   Finally, we've found that having a couple of scrappy little hen chicks keeps the pen lively with activity and it is that little bit more exercise that we think helps keeps the meaties from early heart attacks and untimely short life spans.   Their lives are short enough  and so I think they should at least have a decent chance at a fairly healthy, happy life, such as it is. In the end though, they are still supper.

1 comment:

Woolly Bits said...

apricots hardly ever make it onto our supermarket shelves here (and they don't grow in the garden either:(). and if they do they are green, unripe and taste like nothing.... pity really, because when they're ripe they're delicious! enjoy your bounty! and those little furry balls are so cute - I can just imagine trying to count them while they're trying to escape:)