August 2009 Chickens in the Road Newsletter

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August 2009 Chickens in the Road Newsletter


*Story: Mean Rooster’s (un)Happy Place
*Kitchen Extra: Maple-Spice Butternut Squash
*Embarrassing Photo of the Month: All Jarred Up and No Place to Go
*My Favorite Thing Right Now: The Things You Send Me
*Recent Highlights: Coffee and Cream Cookies, Castles, the Funky Chicken, and More
*Sneak Peek: But Wait, There’s More!
*Blast from the Past: Coco the Pest

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*Story: Mean Rooster’s (un)Happy Place

Every once in a while……


……..about every couple of weeks…….


…..Mean Rooster hauls his big giant bottom up from its earthly bonds and he swoops into my garden.

I mean, there’s good stuff in there! Tomatoes! Corn! Squash!

And hens. The hens hang out in there quite a bit. I think they go there to get away from Mean Rooster’s over-abundant amore.

They don’t have big giant bottoms, so they can fly in and out at will.

It’s quite a feat for Mean Rooster.


Then they leave, and he’s stuck with hard green tomatoes, which really aren’t that appealing. And it’s quite difficult for him to work up the energy to haul his big giant bottom back out of there.

So there he is, sometimes for the ENTIRE DAY, before the power of his desire to roost on the goat pen gates overcomes his fear of flying.


That’s right, I’m accusing you of being afraid of something, Mean Rooster.




I have a lot of fun with Mean Rooster when he’s in the garden. I walk around without my rooster rake. I dance in front of him and call him BABY GIRL.


The other chickens frolic and say things like: “The king is dead!”

And: “Long live the revolution!”

And I say: “Nanni nanni boo boo.” Cuz I’m all mature like that.


I give bread and cracked corn to the other chickens just to watch Mean Rooster pace the fence and suffer.

And then….always….eventually…..inevitably…..he finally lifts his big giant bottom out of the garden.

And he tries to kill me.


Just another day on the farm.

*Kitchen Extra: Maple-Spice Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of the wonderful goodies readily available at this time of year, so go grab one and….


….make this! This is my own concoction and I adore it.

How to make Maple-Spice Butternut Squash:

1 large butternut squash
1/2 cup butter, melted*
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
ground cloves

*Replace butter with margarine if you prefer.

Cut squash into quarters. (Butternut squash is hard to cut! Get a big knife.) Scoop seeds out with a spoon. (Reserve seeds to roast! See note at end of recipe.) Place pieces cut-side down in a large baking pan. Pour hot water in the pan to a depth of about 1/4-inch. Bake at 350-degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Cool squash; peel.

Cut squash into 1/2-inch slices and place in a lightly greased pan. (Depending on the size of your squash, choose a pan that will allow you to place the squash slices in a single layer.) Pour melted butter and maple syrup over squash then sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Cover pan and return to 350-degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes, covered, then another 10 uncovered, until glazed and hot and delicious! (Optional: you can add 1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped pecans on top.)

This is a great Thanksgiving dish, too, (easy to make ahead a day or even two then do the final glaze-bake right before serving) and you can also make this same recipe using baked sweet potatoes. Double the recipe if needed for a holiday meal.

P.S. Don’t forget you can roast butternut squash seeds, just like you’d roast pumpkin seeds. Tossed with a bit of oil and salt, it is a great snack! Preparation of butternut squash is very similar to pumpkin. See how to prepare pumpkin and roast pumpkin (or butternut squash) seeds here.

P.P.S. This recipe makes your house smell awesome.

*Embarrassing Photo of the Month: All Jarred Up and No Place to Go

Another seriously tragic revelation.


We can’t even eat at the dining room table anymore because it’s covered in jars from this summer’s canning blitz. Shelves, shelves, my kingdom for more shelves in the pantry…. (Soon, I hope!)

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: The Things You Send Me

From time to time, readers send me lovely things they have made. I am always grateful and often stunned by the talent of so many of you. Heidi, who calls herself the Milk Man’s Wife, asked me to send her a piece of wood when the maple tree at the old farmhouse was cut down.


The Milk Man himself crafted this small vase from that piece of the old tree. I think it makes a perfect nest for a homemade container candle. Go visit The Milk Man’s Wife here. (They are real farmers and are having a bit of a hard time these days, so give them some support!)

*Recent Highlights: Coffee and Cream Cookies, Castles, the Funky Chicken, and More

In the barn, check out the Funky Chicken, The Graduating Class of August 2009, and Kitten’s Great Escape. Find all my cute farm animal stories here.

It was a cookie kind of month in cooking! See Coffee and Cream Cookies, Cheesecake Cookies, and This Isn’t Your Mother’s Chocolate Chip Cookie. Don’t miss a thing! Get all my recipes.

Relive my trip to England with Clotted Cream Wishes and Merry Sheep Dreams, Very Woo Woo, Plain English, and It’s Just a Small Castle. See all my country living stories.

Don’t miss Picking Hot Peppers at the Old Farmhouse and all my other garden stories.

Also see all my posts in crafts.

*Sneak Peak: But Wait, There’s More!

One fainting goat, two fainting goats…..

Photo: Bob Lewis.

….three! Sprite won’t be joining Pepsi alone. Her sister will be coming with her, completing our mini-herd of fainting goats. Meet Fanta! (She is the fully black one on the right. Sprite is on the left.) Watch the blog for their arrival on the farm soon!

*Blast from the Past: Coco the Pest

It’s so hard to be a Giant Puppy! See what happened when Coco, at four months old and already giant, tried to follow the goats all day, lick them, bite their bottoms, and love them way too much in Coco the Pest

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