Sunday, April 22, 2012

Moved Hen & Chicks with other Hens & Chicks

How confusing is that title?!?!

We had 2 hens hatch out and then about 2 weeks later had 1 other hen hatch out 10 chicks.  Well, she was a little testy with the others and very protective.  So we stuck her in a dog house and put up a piece of board so she or the chicks would stay apart from the others, but still see and hear them.  Our hope and prayer was that we'd be able to integrate them in with the rest.  The other 2 hens were sorta mothering together and all was well...
 She has these 2 little light yellow with fuzzy feet chicks...we're pretty sure they are the ISA Brown/Buff Orpington crossed with the Dark Brahma.  Then she has 6 little brown Partridge Cochin and a few may be Silkie/Cochin.  Then 2 little black and grey chicks from our black bantam hen.
We love how fluffy they get when they walk around their babies.  All is well, they are mingling very nicely together ~ Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Can't believe it ~ my Mom is turning 60?

How can that be?  My Mom never acts her age.  Mom never looks her age.  I love my Mom, she's so silly and so full of life and energy that she puts me to shame.  Well, that is a saying, she never shames me of course...she's a good Mom.

So, I'm trying to surprise my Mom, she never gets to read my blog, so I get to put it out here ~ so everyone...SHHHH.

Many years ago, in the early 80's, Mom cut out some strips of material for a Log Cabin quilt.  She didn't get it put together, so in the early 2000's, I put the top together.  Thanks to Oak Lake quilters for showing me how!  Now, we were going to hand quilt it together in the cool winter days, all snug and warm by the fireplace...well, it didn't happen either.  What DID happen was time ticking by and Mom getting older by the minute!  MY OH MY!

 Can you see how thrilled she is with her daughter for taking so many pictures when we do things?
 Here she really is happy with her daughter...I bought her something for her flower bed
 She even thinks this scruffy dude is A OK.
Now back to the it is on my bed, just before I realized that the backing I bought was TOO SMALL!  UGH!  I had to buy all new backing.  Not our favorite color, but it will work out just fine.
 I phoned an Auntie who is a quilting queen around here and got a referral to someone who machine quilts for others!  TA DA!  I dropped the quilt off and it is being worked on as I type and do other fun things like sew aprons....boy, I'm being productive!
The dear lady in Williams Lake who is quilting this for me charges $2.50 sq ft.  There are over 60 sq ft of quilt here and I thought it would be neat to have friends dedicate a sq ft, but Dad says not to ask to money... ah it's good how some things never change.  So I'm hoping Mom gets at least 60 cards for her b'day.  So whoever is reading this and knows Mom, her B'day is just before Mother's Day.  You can comment on this if you need an address to send it to!
Can't wait to surprise her with this!
UPDATE ~ That quilting lady is an Energizer Bunny ~ she had the quilt done on Saturday already!  Now to pick it up somehow and finish the binding!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just another day in Paradise

No animals were harmed during the taking of this picture or afterwards.

Hope you enjoyed a few smiles at our expense...couldn't resist some of these!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

An exercise in futility

Our darling daughter decided it was great fun to help Nana wash her truck.  Then I mentioned she could try her hand at washing our van ~ she was more than happy to oblige!

 With approx. 30 kms of mud/gravel roads to town it seems futile to even wash the van
Hard at work!
Ah, the joys of spring!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

All chicks hatched!

Day 21 is drawing to a close and all viable eggs hatched ~ only 2 eggs weren't viable and they were both the green Americauna eggs.  Interesting.

We have moved both hens into separate large dog crates with waterers and chick starter and a bit of hay for a nesting spot.  They sure love on their chicks!

Here's some photos for those of us that love these little balls of fluff.  We don't know exactly what cross breeds these are yet, just what the hen was...we definitely have one chick from the Brahma rooster "Mr. Bean"... it's huge!

 Had to include the above picture.  L-R Trudi the broody hen, Snowball the hen laying an egg, Caramel the next broody hen with almost 2 weeks left.
We put mess up to protect them and keep them all in the nesting area

See, she laid an egg.  Almost everyday.  These eggs will be Partridge Cochin/White silkie mix

The 5th one must be hiding, but aren't they sweet?

Getting tired of posing for pictures

 So sweet how they don't care what breed of chick they hatch, they are their babies!

They are SO incredibly soft, and yes, we love on them too!

1 of Licorice's little eggs is black like her.  She's a mix breed bantam herself.

All moved into a larger pen for the time being.
Have I said how much fun this is?  If anyone is local, just let me know if you want to come out and take in this "show" of nature!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Makes: About 2 dozen 3-inch cookies
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon guar gum
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Icing and sprinkles for decorating

Recipe method:

1. With a stand mixer or electric hand beater, beat shortening, sugar, xanthan gum, and guar gum until well mixed. Add in egg yolks and beat for 1 minute, then add vanilla and molasses and mix until well incorporated.
2. Add gluten-free flour mix, sweet rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and salt. Beat until you've got a smooth dough. Roll dough out between two pieces of parchment until it is 1/2-inch thick and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Remove dough from fridge and cut with cookie cutters. Remove the excess dough from between the shapes and cut the parchment around the cookies with a pair of scissors. Gently move the cookies with their attached parchment to a cookie sheet and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to keep the cookies chilled. Repeat until you've used up all the dough.
4. Once all the dough has been cut with cookie cutters and the shapes are arranged on a baking sheet, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° while they are chilling.
5. Bake cookies for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before moving the cookies, with their attached piece of parchment, to a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before decorating.
6. Decorate cookies by piping with your favorite decorating icing and then sprinkling with colorful sprinkles. The sky's the limit!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Gluten Free Fruit Crisp Recipe ~ Apple, Rhubarb, Peach...

I love this recipe I have been using from my dear friend in Manitoba.  Now what to do about gluten free?  Well, it only had 1 cup flour in it, so I substituted 1/2 cup corn FLOUR and 1/2 cup brown rice flour.  Delicious!

Apple or Rhubarb Crisp

4 1/2 -5 cups chopped fruit ( I have used ANY fruit I have on hand, frozen or not)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp water (omit if fruit was frozen)
1/2 cup sugar (try honey too!)
1/4 tsp ginger
Combine all the above in mixing bowl.
In another bowl,
1/2 cup butter/marg
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup other gluten free flour (either a mix, or 1/2 cup corn flour and 1/2 cup brown rice flour as I tried)  UPDATE:  We like a blend of coconut flour/arrowroot flour better.  It is more expensive though.  Any other GF flour mix works, but I have actually reduced this to 3/4 cup.
AND 2 Cups Rolled Oats.

Put fruit in pan, pour crumb mixture on top.
Bake 350F for approx 45 minutes.

This recipe has never failed me ~ the secret may be in melting the butter and brown sugar together first.