An exciting day on the homestead! Yesterday I put in nesting boxes for my hens, and this morning I noticed that someone had re-arranged the straw bedding into a little nest. Since I didn’t see an egg then, I closed the box back up and let them be. This afternoon, though, I checked again and found one little brown egg in the straw.
I built four nesting boxes from leftover plywood, which should be enough for my 11 girls. Since I wasn’t sure what the best size was, I made them one cubic foot each. This is big enough for the hens to get in easily, but tight enough for them to feel secure. The box is built onto the wall of the coop, so I don’t have to disturb the birds by opening the door to collect my eggs.
The top board lifts off to give me access without having to disturb the birds too much.
See the egg! Second box from the right.
Of course, this egg was not saved for later. We fried it sunny-side up, with just a little salt. So much more flavor than store bought, although it is a bit smaller, at 1 ounce. I gather that they will get bigger as the hens mature.
In other news, we butchered all but two of the roosters. I will be writing about that in the next week or so.
It’s been a while since my last post, and a lot has happened in that time. First of all, I moved again, this time to Tampa, Florida. I went to college in Saint Petersburg, just across the bay from here, so this is somewhat like coming home for me. Yesterday, I had an experience that I felt was worthy of my first blog post in a long, long time.
As you may know, Florida is just packed with invasive animals and plants from all over the world. Some of them are not so bad, living out their lives without doing too much damage. Others, like the pythons, snakeheads, and Brazilian pepper trees either consume or out-compete native species. Yesterday, I was fishing in one of the lakes near my house and while fishing for bait with a net I brought in this marvelous looking non-native fish. Continue reading →
A few posts ago I promised you a recipe for Jackrabbit. Having played with a few dishes, I decided today to try making Jackrabbit Sausage. Ace’s parents gave me a meat grinder for Christmas, and this seemed like a good way to try it out. Since I don’t have a sausage stuffer, I decided to make bulk sausage instead, but if you wanted to this could just as easily go into links. Continue reading →
Here’s a recipe a tried recently but hadn’t taken the time to post on The Homesteading Hippy: Grilled Baby Octopus. I bought them during one of my regular visits to our oriental market. The reason I am posting this now is that I just bought some jumbo squid and plan on using some of the tricks I learned with octopus to cook them. Continue reading →
I’ve been playing with the idea of making my own mustard for a while now, but hadn’t found a good store to buy ingredients since I moved to Tucson. Today, I struck gold when I visited New Life Health Center, a natural foods store here in town. Not only did they have bulk grains for my baking, but they also have a bulk spice section. I bought whole brown mustard seeds and yellow mustard powder, and went home to start my first ever mustard-making experiment. Continue reading →
I was at an oriental market the other day and found a package in the seafood freezer labeled “Cooked Silk Worm” and could not resist. It seemed way to far up my alley not to try. My alley is a strange, twisted place… Continue reading →
***Warning – Some pictures and descriptions may be a bit graphic***
Over the last few weeks, I have successfully collected, prepared, and eaten my own escargots. Here in Southern California, we have an invasive snail known as the Milk Snail, genus Otala, imported from the Mediterranean. Since the climate here is very similar to Spain and North Africa, they took off and have been doing massive damage to agriculture. They are also one of the species used for human consumption.
I do not like to buy seafood, when it is so readily available and I’ve already paid an arm and a leg for a California fishing license. To that end, a couple posts ago, I talked about my first experiment cooking and eating limpets. I found out that the limpets were too chewy to cook whole. This time, I tried a different recipe that has worked well for whelks in the past. Continue reading →
I just finished a 1-gallon (4-liter) jar of pickles, so I decided to make my largest batch of ginger ale so far. If you’ve seen my previous post on ginger ale, you know that this recipe involves fermenting the ale long enough to flavor it and to carbonate the drink, but not long enough to make it alcoholic. I tweaked my old recipe after I tasted it, and I would like to share my updated recipe with you all. Continue reading →