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March 2010 Chickens in the Road Newsletter

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March 2010 Chickens in the Road Newsletter

IN THIS ISSUE:

*Story: The Little Dog Who Wanted to be Big

*Kitchen Extra: Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

*Embarrassing Photo of the Month: Dirty Mop

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: Coming Up Stinky

*Recent Highlights: Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake, Sunny Stripes, Monkey Farm, and More

*Sneak Peek: A Room of Their Own

*Blast from the Past: The Tale of the Tail

*Forum Feature: Homemade Paper

*Newsletter Sponsor:

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*Story: The Little Dog Who Wanted to be Big

Boomer and Coco are the best of friends. They do everything together–and just the same. Coco takes a walk. Boomer takes a walk. Coco takes a nap. Boomer takes a nap. Coco stares out into the woods, guarding her goats. Boomer stares out into the woods, guarding his— What? Sometimes he’s not quite sure why he’s doing things, but he does them anyway, and he says, “I will be a big dog someday! Just like you, Giant Puppy!”

They bounce in snow drifts and rain puddles. They run through a pile of chickens just to make them squawk. They pull…..ick, the worst stuff….out of the woods and bring it proudly home. And Boomer says again, “I will be a big dog someday!” Then asks: “Do I look big yet?” And the Giant Puppy picks him up by his collar and walks across the yard with him. She doesn’t want to tell Boomer that he looks awfully little to her.

One day, Boomer got tired of waiting. Surely he was big by now!

He asked everyone on the farm. “Do I look big yet? Do I? Do I?!”

Poky took a long, hard look and said, “I don’t like little dogs.”

Clover said, “I don’t even speak to little dogs.”

Annabelle said, “You aren’t as big a dog as me, Boomer, but I still love you.”

Everywhere he went, everyone told him he was just a little dog. And then Dookie told him that he wasn’t even growing.

Boomer was so crushed! He went back to the porch and sat down to cry.

The Crooked Little Hen patty-patted by on her two little feet and she said, “Why are you sad, little dog?”

Boomer said, “Nobody thinks I’m big!”

The Crooked Little Hen said, “Nobody thinks I’m pretty, but I’m not sad.”

Boomer looked at her crooked little beak. She was, after all, very ugly…. Wasn’t she? And he said, “Why aren’t you sad?”

Crooked Little Hen: “Because I feel pretty. And that’s all that matters!”

Boomer bounced up and said, “I feel big!”

And so he was. The End.

*Kitchen Extra: Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

The best time to make a tomato and basil bruschetta is when you have the fresh goods coming in right from your garden, but if you put up tomatoes and froze or dried basil, that’s the next best thing and it’s a treat too delicious to pass up throughout the year! You can also use tomatoes and herbs from the store, of course, if you don’t have any preserved from the garden. I made this for company this past weekend, and also when Weston brought his vegan girlfriend to visit again. To make it vegan, just leave the cheese off some of the slices. It’s an easy dish to make for a bunch of people yet still tailor to specific tastes. It makes a light meal or just an appetizer. For the cheese, I used some crumbled homemade queso fresco, but you can use shredded or sliced mozzarella. I also used home-canned tomatoes, cut up, and dried basil from last summer. Since this can be made in any quantity you need, I’m listing the ingredients without measurements. Technically, the bread for bruschetta is sliced and toasted then the toppings are added. I like it hot from the oven, toppings and all, so I add the toppings then toast it all together. Up to you! I also like a dash of red pepper flakes at the end for some kick.

How to make Tomato and Basil Bruschetta:

Italian loaves
olive oil
garlic salt
diced tomatoes
basil
cheese
red pepper flakes (optional)

Note: Of course, I make my Italian loaves with Grandmother Bread.

To assemble: Slice loaves horizontally then make approximately two-inch slices across the loaf halves. Place on a baking sheet with the pieces all pushed together back into place. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle garlic salt. Add tomatoes, basil, and cheese. Sprinkle the tops with red pepper flakes if desired. Broil until the cheese is hot and melty. Enjoy!

See all my recipes.

*Embarrassing Photo of the Month: Dirty Mop

Another seriously tragic revelation.

Okay, you’ve seen him this way before. But wait till you see him all clipped up and clean! It will warm up enough soon for Dookie to be groomed. You won’t recognize him! In fact, you might want to prepare yourself. I’m not sure it’s an improvement. See what Dookie looks like when he’s clipped. In the meantime, he appreciates your support.

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: Coming Up Stinky

The odiferous springtime delicacy of Appalachia has arrived! My ramps are up!

Want to know how to find and grow your own ramps? Read here. See Cooking with Wild Ramps for recipe ideas.

*Recent Highlights: Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake, Sunny Stripes, Monkey Farm, and More

Get sentimental reading A Crooked Little Hen Love Story then laugh out loud at Clover in That’s Dominatrix to You, Buddy and don’t miss the surprise new additions in Monkey Farm. Find all my farm animal stories here.

I finally got it right in Making Fresh Mozzarella and I finally started Making Corn Tortillas, but my favorite recipe creation this month is the wildly decadent Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake. Don’t miss a thing in my kitchen! Get all my recipes.

From an old manual typewriter to a bill of sale for a slave, see what I dug up at the county clerk’s office in a rare late winter trip in I Don’t Get Out Much, the day the cast came off in A Girl in Two Shoes, and adventures in sexing lambs in Totally Qualified to be a Farmer. See all my country living stories.

Make candles in Sunny Stripes, Crochet a Spring Bird’s Nest and learn How to Make Soap with me. Browse all my posts in crafts.

Planting time is upon us! See me Dreamin’ in the Color of Seeds and seeking out a Fortune Teller in the Garden as I anxiously awaited spring. Be sure to see all my garden stories.

*Sneak Peak: A Room of Their Own

IMG_7081

We’re building a duck house! Okay, that was a royal we. But I’m getting a duck house! 52 has promised to build me one. Well, actually, it’s for the ducks, but you know what I mean. Then the ducks won’t have to tolerate those awful chickens and I will have a safe place for them to live–so they don’t all run off and leave me heartbroken again! This also means–ducklings will be coming soon!

*Blast from the Past: The Tale of the Tail

It was a little over a year ago that we had Annabelle’s tail docked. And then it mysteriously disappeared. I was pretty sure I knew who was at fault, but she wasn’t talking.

img_57833

Read the saga of the disappearing tail in The Tale of the Tail and the ridiculous end of the story in The Return of the Tail. And, oh yes, I was SO RIGHT.

*Forum Feature: Homemade Paper

New feature in the newsletter this month! Each month, I’ll be featuring a great idea shared on the Chickens in the Road Forum. This tip for repurposing junk mail or other discard paper into artistic homemade craft paper was shared by CindyP from Chippewa Creek.

To make the paper mixture: Cut paper into one-inch strips or run through a shredder. Paper with pen ink will take on the color. Using a big bowl, fill loosely with cut or shredded paper then add boiling water to cover. Allow to sit. How long it takes to soften depends on the thickness and type of paper. Place softened paper in the blender, including plenty of water from the bowl. Make sure you hold the top of the blender. Blend until all the paper is just pulp. Pour into a small tub or tote.

To make a frame: Use an old picture frame with the glass, etc, removed. Put the frame inside an old knee high nylon and tie the end in a knot. Put in any additives–thread, raffia, yarn, tinsel, glitter, broken up pieces of pinecones. Almost anything works. Mix well. Dip frame into tub at an angle, sliding down one side into the water and back up the other side. How thick your paper will turn out depends on how deep you go, how mixed up the pulp is, and how much pulp you have. Place the filled frame in a folded towel the size of your frame. Using a few layers of paper towels that are the size of your frame, press down on the top of the frame to blot excess water. Work carefully to pull the entire piece up. The better pressed the paper is, the easier this is to do.

To dry the paper: In the microwave, lay the paper on a plate and microwave for one minute at a time, flipping it over after every minute. In the oven, set it at the lowest temperature. Lay a piece of aluminum foil on the rack. Place the paper on and let it dry out for a bit, checking it, times vary as each piece of paper could be wetter than others. Turn over when you’re able. The oven is the fastest method.

Thank you, CindyP! See more ideas and details in the discussion about making homemade paper here. Maybe yours will be the next great tip shared in the newsletter! Come join us on the Chickens in the Road Forum.

***

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And, always, feel free to forward this newsletter!

Thank you for your comments, your support, and just for being there. Here’s hoping to see you on the Chickens in the Road Forum (make friends, have fun, come join us!) and every day on the farmhouse blog!

Love,
Suzanne

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What are you fixing for supper tonight? Check out the Community Cookbookyour recipes.

*I’m giving away a Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving once a week (sometimes more!) so don’t forget to watch the blog for The Ball Blue Book Project days!

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