May 2011 Chickens in the Road Newsletter

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*Feature: Country Roads

*Kitchen Extra: Tortilla Chips

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: The New Milk Maid

*Recent Highlights: Herb Garden Design, Rosemary & Garlic Oil, Weaning, and More

*Sneak Peek: Oink

*Farm Bell Recipes: Your Voice

*Blast from the Past: Memorial Day Mowing

*Feature: Country Roads

A country road feels like home even if it’s one you’ve never been down before. A country road isn’t judged in miles but in creek crossings and farms. You take a turn after the house with the barn with the green roof or the place that has the turkeys. You might come across sheep, ducks, goats, chickens, cows, or turtles in the road–but rarely another car.

A country road is lonely and comforting all at once. It’s a path to chug along at your own pace, or to just stop your car and listen to the sounds in the woods around you. You own the world and you are nothing all at once when you are on a country road.

There are “degrees” of country roads. There are country roads that have a yellow stripe down the middle. There are single lane country roads that are paved. There are the country-est of country roads that are “paved” in rock (what there is of it). A country road is hard on your car, but easy on your spirit.

A country road will take your breath away in every season, whether it’s the first blush of spring wildflowers, the verdant green of summer, the show-stopping display of color in the fall, or its picture-postcard wonderland in winter.

A country road is for meandering, stopping, picking things up, looking and listening and just breathing. Whether on wheels or on your feet, a country road is a place for thinking. It’s a destination as much as a path to one. It’s a place to get lost–and yet still find.

Sometimes the road knows more than we do.

*Kitchen Extra: Tortilla Chips

Weston love tortilla chips, and I can’t keep up with his consumption, but sometimes I like to make them at home. I’m not sure that’s all so much healthier (they’re still chips! fried in oil!), but they are much tastier. They’re especially delicious if you start with homemade tortillas. You can find my recipes for flour tortillas here, corn tortillas here, and my special flour-corn tortilla combo here.

Cut the tortillas in wedges or wide strips. (Stack and cut–you can slice through a dozen at a time.) You don’t need a lot of oil to fry the tortilla chips.

Separate them gently while they’re frying and they won’t stick together. You don’t have to flip them. It just takes a couple of minutes–don’t over-brown or burn them. Just fry them enough to make them crisp then drain in a paper towel-lined colander. Sprinkle with salt–or cayenne pepper, herbs, chili powder, anything you like. Homemade tortilla chips! You can make a bunch–fast!

(Looking for something that sounds slightly healthier for a homemade snack? CindyP posted recently on Farm Bell Recipes with pita chips!)

*My Favorite Thing Right Now: The New Milk Maid

Somebody’s milking BP and it’s not me.

I have a milking machine! I’m in love with it. I’m gonna marry it!!!! (Is that legal?)

*Recent Highlights: Herb Garden Design, Rosemary & Garlic Oil, Weaning, and More

Barn: I’m Weaning Glory Bee and I’ve had a few Containment Issues. (And not just with the calf. See my New House Dogs.) Find all my farm animal stories here.

Cooking: See some different ways to use grits in Cooking with Grits! Then try Making Little Cakes or some Rosemary & Garlic Oil straight from the garden. Don’t miss a thing in my kitchen! Get all my recipes.

Country Living: It’s The Season of Abundance (which is better than not enough!). It’s also the season of Prom (see all the pretty dresses–and people). I tried to think of the Ten Worst things about living in the country, but came up empty-handed because it’s all so Magical. See all my country living stories.

House & Garden: Check out my pretty little Herb Garden Design, the significance of Making the Bed, and my Lost and Found season of Spring. Browse all my posts in house & garden.

*Sneak Peak: Oink

We have a pig!

I’m not sure this is a sneak peek so much as an only peek since I doubt I will be posting much about the pig. Maybe it’s a sneak peek of our dinner table. We’re looking for a second pig to keep Pork Chop company. Raising a pig (or two) is part of our ongoing search for self-sustainability and knowing where our food came from. We also have meat chicks arriving this week.

*Farm Bell Recipes: Your Voice

In May, as part of my Merry Anniversary of May giveaways, one giveaway was geared specifically to Farm Bell Recipes blog contributors. One of the things I love the most about Farm Bell Recipes, and which sets it apart from other recipe sites, is that the blog at Farm Bell Recipes is NOT written by paid professional food writers. This blog is written by real members of the real community–with real heart. I have been astounded many times by the wisdom, creativity, sweet sentiment, and hilarious humor of the posts that appear on the Farm Bell Recipes blog.

I give back to contributors in as many ways as I can, by showcasing their enormous talents, and by linking them on Farm Bell Recipes, on Twitter, on Facebook, and in this newsletter. I enjoyed so much being able to give something more to them in May with the giveaway specifically for contributors that I’m going to make it a standing giveaway. Every month from now on, Farm Bell Recipes blog contributors will be eligible (and automatically entered) in a giveaway each month in which one contributor will be drawn (by, using the days of the month that posts run) to receive a prize. Each month’s prize (and previous month’s winner) will be listed here in the newsletter and on the Farm Bell Recipes blog submission page, updated each month. (If you submit a post, you will be notified in advance as to when your post will run. Posts run as space is available and are subject to editorial approval.)

If you’re not sure how to submit a blog post, you can find a tutorial on submitting blog posts to Farm Bell Recipes here. The prize for the June contributor giveaway will be a Nesco/American Harvest Dehydrator.

To submit a blog post, go here.

May 2011 Farm Bell Recipes blog contributors:

CindyP — Chippewa Creek ~ Our Life Simplified
Granny Trace — Granny Trace Scraps & Squares
Larissa — The Henway
Leah’s Mom
Mary J — Retriever Soap Works
Mom 2 Girls
One Old Goat — One Old Goat
Rachel — The Henway
Sheryl — Providence Acres
Syrup and Biscuits — Syrup and Biscuits

THANK YOU! Please give them a visit!

*Blast from the Past: Memorial Day Mowing

The annual ritual.

This post may be from last year, but we do the same thing every year. If it’s Memorial Day, it must mean mowing the old family cemetery across the road from our farm.


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What are you fixing for supper tonight? Browse the goodness at Farm Bell Recipes — your cooking community!

*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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