Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hiding Out With West Side Story and Tips!

It is nearing 90 degrees today.  The first hot hot day of the year and it is muggy to boot!  I am beating the heat by hiding out downstairs and watching West Side Story with my older girls.  Seven, my oldest daughter, just finished a week of "Show Camp".  It was five days of acting, singing and dance training culminating in a stage performance.  For the singing portion of the performance Seven's age group did Something's Coming and Tonight from West Side Story so when I found the movie at the library I checked it out.  She is quite excited to watch it.  I was going to skip it but the basement is so cool and comfortable. I'm considering this my afternoon siesta!

I had thought that perhaps I would have more time this week but you can tell from my lack of posts that I didn't.  We suspended school for the week for Seven to do her camp but between shuttling her back and forth and yard work and strawberries, I went to bed late and tired every night.

I canned two batches of jam.  Strawberry and strawberry-rhubarb!  I forgot how much work goes into jamming.  It certainly isn't hard but it is time consuming.  Hulling the strawberries, washing jars, boiling lids, cooking the fruit, waiting for the hot water bath to boil. One tip I learned... always have all your jars washed and ready to go before hand.  Don't start your batch while you have jars washing.  The timing just doesn't work out.  Luckily for me I wasn't too far apart with times and I managed to keep my remaining jam warm but not burnt until the last of the jars were ready.

Another tip... when your baker daughter has acting camp and you think you'll help her out by buying her a boxed brownie mix from the supermarket instead of having her do it from scratch as usual... don't!  Chocolate cardboard... that is what we ate.  We are certainly spoiled by yummy baked goods from scratch! 

Tip three... Know why real farmers wear boots not flip flops?  I do... chicken poo is not always solid and can be quite messy. Ask me how I know.  My foot and right flip flop have never been sanitized quite as much as after that fiasco.

Tip four... when one of your "free ranging" chickens is no where to be found check the furthest, darkest reaches of the barn underneath a pile of bikes.  That is where she will have gone to make herself comfortable and lay an egg!  That's right... my Mrs. Q has resumed laying.  Actually all my adult hens are laying again except for Mrs. P but Mrs. P is growing all her feathers back and she is looking quite nice.  She is even changed in rank.  Mrs. Q is under her now.  But they get along just fine.

Here's a question for my readers with more chicken experience then I.  Is it possible for the backside of a chicken to cluck when an egg is getting ready to come out? I could have sworn clucks were coming out of both ends when Mrs. Q was in her corner.

Finally, in making up for the days I didn't blog (Friday's read and write) I'm reading the latest issue of Mother Earth News and have two books I found at Costco to add to my list of books to read: Bootstrapper; A Memoir- From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm by Mardi Jo Link and Tasting and Touring Michigan's Homegrown Food by Jaye Beeler.  I hope I can find them at the library.

Have a great weekend.

No comments: