Turkey Day Preparations

I must admit that country life agrees with me.  Usually by now I’m getting into a frenzy over all the things I need to get done for the holidays.  Not this year.  Simplify, remember?  I’m off to a pretty good start.

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After feeding and releasing the animals, I came in and baked up some Blueberry Cream Biscuits with Blueberry Sauce.  Yummy!  I was even nice enough to save Nik a big piece since he was out deer hunting.  Such a good mom! *cough*  I found the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens and threw it in a file where it sat for months (possibly years) before I finally tried it.  I just replaced all-purpose flour with a gluten free flour mix and “Tadaa”!  Definitely a keeper.

I finished the Jewel Fudge that I started last night.  Todd loves fudge.  Especially this fudge.  Me, not so much.  Never been a fudge junkie.  But this particular fudge he has to have every year around the holidays.   Thank goodness you can only find the fake cherries when the fruit cakes come out for the year.  Ok, thatJewel Fudge 001 doesn’t sound good… Otherwise I’d be making this stuff all year long.  He’s getting pretty smart though, since the cherries are all dried and preserved he said we could buy a bunch and save them for the rest of the year.  Yay!!  Thanks for the recipe Sandi!!

We had to stop and watch the guineas.  They were flying to the top of the barn.  Such big birds!!!  They still won’t wander away from the pasture though.  Once or twice a couple of them found their way over the fence but they just stood at the fence and screamed until somebody herded them back in.  They definitely don’t like to be separated!032 The boys are out in the pasture working.  We got a huge load of sand so that the ducks don’t make so much yuck when we get wet weather.  The ducks love the mud, the chickens not really.  The girls are going to start baking some pumpkin cookies and maybe a spiced pumpkin cheesecake if we get around to it.  I’m going to mix up an eggnog coffee cake to put in the refrigerator tonight so that I can just pop it in the oven for morning.  One less thing to do tomorrow.

We also get to use our homemade vanilla!  We started this project in the beginning of October so it should be good.  Get yourself a bottle of rum or brandy (any hard alcohol will work) and about a dozen vanilla beans.  Slice the beans and drop them in the bottle.  Allow to sit for 6 weeks or so, shaking the bottle every so often.  Not exactly a science, is it?!  Once we’ve actually used it, I’ll let you know what I think.  I’m definitely going to filter it, the beans have left little floaters that I’ not too sure about!

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Other than that, I am going to relax this evening and watch a movie.  The kids want it to be zombie night, we’ll see…

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Getting up to Speed

Whew!!  What a busy couple of months.

Let’s see.  We moved from a small home in a country subdivision to an old farmhouse on 6 acres.  Our only “pets” were 2 ferrets and a house bunny.  Now we have 16 ducks, 13 chickens, 6 guineas, and a Great Pyrenees added to the bunch.  And NO experience.  Lots of good advice from neighbors and plenty of books, but it isn’t the same as actually doing.  It’s kind of ironic that we were looking for a simple way of living; we just wanted simple but here we are doing more now than we ever did!  We were looking to downsize but boy have we upgraded!!  We just didn’t know it at the time.

Anyway, I’m here to fill you in on all of our adventures!  And that’s what life is… one adventure after another.  Not all of them good, but every one a new learning experience.

So, what have we done?  We watched our baby ducks turn into BIG ducks (who knew?!) and the guinea keets get bigger and balder (not so crazy about the bald thing, but you always think your children are beautiful).  The first order of business was to update the chicken coop and expand it a bit.  We were gifted one hen when we moved in (Henrietta, the only chicken with a name) but then after a week (really, one week) of living here, we ended up with a dozen more!  Bring on the eggs, baby!!!  We can so do this!