Some recent happenings (and good eats)

We recently attended the Stark County Beekeepers Association‘s annual Basic Beekeeping Class & Seminar.

001_beeschoolIt was awesome! And so inspiring. We learned a ton and since the seminar we’ve been plotting and planning. We’re going to start with just one hive and see how it goes. I am looking forward to seeing how the bees help our gardens and I am especially excited to have our own honey!

We also recently traveled to Cincinnati for a little getaway and we discovered some very, very fine pizza.

Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria

002_strongsbrickovenpizzaI LOVE pizza and am always on the hunt for good pizza. I am a lover of the thin crust, NYC style pizza and it is hard to find. I choke down pizza from Ohio chains and it rarely satisfies. But this pizza – half pepperoni/ half margherita – it satisfied. Oh man. I wish I had a slice right now.

This past weekend I noticed the first sign of spring –crocuses! Woohoo!

005_crocus2Another sign of spring – increased egg production. Our hens have really picked up the pace and we’re getting a couple dozen eggs a day.

003_eggsBesides eating and selling lots of eggs we’ve also been sticking some in the incubator in the hopes of hatching a few more laying hens. So far we’ve hatched three.

012_newchickieMike’s saying we have two hens and a roo. Blast! Keep your fingers crossed for no more roos!

006_mikecandlingeggsAnd since we have so many roos right now we’ve been candling the eggs. Mike and I are fine with eating fertilized eggs. And really, you should be too. They’re perfectly fine and not weird at all. I promise. Once they go in the fridge it all comes to a grinding halt anyways. And if you don’t believe me take to the Googles and look it up for yourself. If we do notice the initial signs we either put them in the incubator or  consume them ourselves instead of packaging them up for sale. But for real, they’re fine to eat. I swear.

Oh, remember we put our Christmas tree in the goat barn so they could snack on it? This is what our canaan fir looks like now. Ha! Looks like the goats consider old Christmas trees to be some good eats.

004_eggsandxmastreeAnd speaking of good eats we had one whole broiler left in the freezer so I pulled him out and we had a pretty killer Sunday dinner this week – roast chicken.

I consulted my ATK cookbook for a little inspiration but as usual decided to wing it. First I melted a little coconut oil in big skillet and added some chopped turnips (thanks Breezy Hill), carrots, potatoes, and onions. You’ve seen this before – the vegetable rack.

007_roastchicken1_2I stuffed the cavity of the bird with a chopped onion and two sliced up lemons. Then I made a spice rub of salt, pepper, and dried thyme. I loosened up the skin of the bird and rubbed it down with butter and seasoned it pretty heavily with the rub. I started the bird breast side down (a la ATK’s method) and then after about 20 minutes at 450F I flipped it over.

I roasted him at that high heat for another 20 minutes and then reduced the heat to 400F and kept roasting until the bird reached an internal temperature of about 165F. Once we got there I removed the chicken to a plate and covered him with foil to rest and finish cooking.

008_roastchicken2There was A LOT juice! Maybe from all the lemons? In any case, I used a slotted spoon and removed all the root veggies to a baking sheet so I could could crisp them up a bit in the oven. And while Mike carved the bird I made a pan sauce with all that juice. I just put the skillet on high heat and reduced the juice by about a third. Then I whisked in a tablespoon of butter and seasoned it with a little pepper.

This was a big bird so we opted for the breasts. We saved the whole legs for another dinner. I added the breasts to the skillet and basted them with the pan sauce.

011_finishedThis was sooooooooooooooo good. It also reminded me that we need to order some broiler chicks and get started on some 2014 meat birds!

 

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About Barton Farms and Gardens

My husband and I are bringing an old family farm back to life.
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