Ahh….the internet

We have been having some challenges here with this site. It was down for quite a while because of a coding error and we couldn’t get back in to fix it. Mike (my wonder-hub) figured out a back door and was able to reboot the site and remove the offending code. However, I did lose some blog posts and photos with the reboot. I am in the process of trying to figure out what is missing, and reviewing each page to make sure there aren’t any other issues. It will take a while, as I sadly don’t have large swaths of time to devote. However, I am working on it! If you are a blog subscriber, you may receive multiple notifications of new posts, and some may seem redundant. For that I apologize in advance. Hopefully, we will soon have it all wrapped up in a pretty little bow for you again!

All the best and thanks for following along

Christy, your sixty acre baker

Banana Bread

As 2020 pandemic isolation progressed into the sweet spot between, I finally have time to make all the things, and I am so sick of cooking (and eating), everyone seemed to be making banana bread. As a contrarian, the more popular it became, the less I wanted to make it. Now that it seems to have lost its popularity, I’ve decided I want back in the game.

While traveling in Hawaii, over a decade ago, Mike and I got a real taste of what an obsession with banana bread can lead to.

On the island of Maui stretches the Road to Hana, and it is lined with banana bread. It is a picturesque and windy road dotted with roadside stands; each selling the “island’s best” banana bread. Each recipe touted as unique and handed down for generations. As we slowly took each curve and marveled at the waterfalls and dense tropics, we made a plan to stop at every roadside stall bar none. At the end of the day, we tried all the versions of banana bread, a few juices, and a sugar cane. Each bread was indeed different, and they all were tasty. 

I just love the idea of taking a few ingredients and manipulating them to your specific taste. I knew upon coming home that I would be creating a banana bread recipe of my own. The beauty of a banana is that it is perfectly delicious when just yellow and still a bit starchy as a snack or embellishment to any number of other foods. As it continues to ripen (and rather quickly, I might add), it becomes soft and sweet and a much loftier version of its young self. We are so lucky to be able to follow this fruit throughout its lifecycle. I am continually stashing them in my freezer for all sorts of uses.

My version of banana bread is dense and wholesome and carries with it a bit of gravitas. It is made better by slicing, toasting, and topping with a whipped schmear of peanut butter, cream cheese, and a bit of honey which we lovingly call “the elvis”.

1/2 cup butter–room temp
1 pkg cream cheese–room temp
1 cup light brown sugar–lightly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs–room temp
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 large over-ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
1 ripe banana for topping (optional)
1 Tbs granulated sugar for topping (optional)

Cream the butter and cream cheese using the paddle attachment on your mixer. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes…you do not want it to be light and airy, as you are making a dense, moist bread. Toss in the mashed bananas and again mix for about 2 minutes.  Mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and baking powder together in a bowl.  With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and sour cream, beginning and ending with flour, in 3 parts.  Stir the walnuts in by hand.  Pour into 2 loaf pans (or a double long loaf pan) that have been buttered and floured. Thinly slice the (optional) banana and place on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.  Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
*note: the spices of cinnamon and nutmeg are not clearly noticeable in this recipe, they just give the cake a bit of depth. if you love the taste of either one, you can increase as you see fit.  I like the roundness a bit of spice gives without it overpowering the banana flavor.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I must admit that the provenance of this recipe or idea of it anyway came from elsewhere. I have been making it for so many years and have futzed with it along the way, that I have no idea where it all started. It has become a favorite of ours and our farm stand guests mostly because it lives under the guise of being healthy. You know, with it being loaded with veggies and all.

We grow a ton of zucchini here. This is a story told by anyone who successfully grows zucchini. We are all trying to unload our bumper crop by mid-summer to anyone who makes eye contact. It is a prolific and delicious vegetable that is difficult to stay ahead of. Now that I grow my own, I am always amazed at the perfect (and small) grocery store versions of them. I imagine they must pay people to sleep in the field with a ruler in hand and harvest at just the right moment. Mine are always imperfect and sometimes downright giant. This cake is filled with grated zucchini. It can be a perfectly beautiful one or a monster from your garden, but I do recommend that you have more flesh than seed when grating.

The recipe calls for oil and duck eggs. I have had success using vegetable oil, olive oil and lard. I have not made this recipe with butter, nor have I substituted apple sauce and cannot endorse either. As for eggs, I use duck in most of my baking. For this rustic cake, I would use large or extra large chicken eggs if you cannot find duck. If you cannot find large or extra large, you can use what you have. It may alter the result, but it shouldn’t ruin it. If that just won’t work for you, look up the weight (liquid weight) of a, extra large chicken egg, multiply by two and then weigh the eggs you have until you get to the number you need. If you end up needing only half of your egg–whisk it before measuring. Baking is a science, but its not a science fair.

You will want to sneak this into your lunchbox on-the-daily despite it being loaded with veggies

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 duck or extra large chicken eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lard (melted) or oil of your choice
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (you can add more or less to your individual taste)
powdered sugar for decoration

Prepare an 8×13 high sided baking pan with vegetable spray or butter and preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are well incorporated and they begin to lighten. Add the lard (or oil) and whisk until fully emulsified. Whisk in the yogurt and extract and give it a good 30-second workout. Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in the salt, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Do not over mix, but make sure everything is incorporated. Stir in the zucchini. If your cake mix is stiff, add up to 1/4 cup of water to help loosen. You do not want it to be runny, it should be the consistency of warm pudding. Add chocolate chips and tip into your baking tin. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes. It is done when the top is resistant to your touch or a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Sift a bit of powdered sugar on top and serve straight from the pan. a

If I am to be honest, this cake gets about a 30-minute respite in our house. It is lovely served warm accompanied by a cold glass of milk

Spaghetti alla Vodka

My grandmother was famous for her alla vodka but not exactly like this. For one thing–she was a traditionalist and used penne. She also didn’t make her own tomato-infused vodka because she was a widow raising kids, with limited amount of time on her hands.  Not all sorts like I do (she says with her tongue firmly in cheek). Our garden produced so many late harvest tomatoes that I found myself using them in a variety of ways; sundried, oven-roasted, confit, and soaked in vodka.

Tomato Infused Vodka

This is really simple.  Peel tomatoes and cram into a jar, use a skewer to secure tomatoes if they start to float to the top.  Fill the jar with vodka and store in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.  I make several jars because I like to use the tomatoes and the vodka for my sauce. Leftover vodka is really great for a bloody mary.

Alla Vodka

1 lb spaghetti or pasta of choice
olive oil
1/2 of small onion–finely diced
2 garlic cloves–finely diced
6-8 basil leaves–chiffonade
1 large tin peeled whole tomatoes or combination of vodka soaked tomatoes and tinned tomatoes to equal about 4 cups whole
1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup tomato soaked vodka (or another vodka you have on hand)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan plus more for serving
Cook pasta in salted water,  according to package instructions.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over low heat, careful not to brown, but allow to get translucent. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.  When the onions and garlic are ready, add the tomatoes and vodka and let simmer for about  10-15 minutes.  Add the basil, red pepper flakes, and heavy cream. Allow to heat through then stir in parmesan, and toss in the drained pasta.  If the sauce seems too thick,  use a bit of the pasta water.  Shave a bit of parmesan on top of each individual serving, along with additional crushed red pepper, if you like spicy.

Iced and Snowy Stars

I love this shortbread recipe and use it shamelessly whenever I can. Every Christmas my mom would bring out special cookie cutters. The ones she used for shortbread. The mystery still remains why they were shaped like playing card suits and; how”spades” and “diamonds” scream Christmas I never thought to ask
perhaps I should have
She rolled the dough out thicker than usual,  slightly underbaked them and half-dipped them in chocolate. They are perfect that way and are still my favorite way of eating them
They are also delightful rolled a bit thinner and baked a bit longer. When  glazed with ivory tinted royal icing, and flavored with a bit of almond they are the best accompaniment to your morning cuppa.

Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter–room temperature
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Beat sugar and butter until completely mixed together, but not light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and salt and mix until just incorporated. Slowly stir in flour and only mix until just incorporated.  Divide dough in 2 portions, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.  When ready to bake, roll out and bake on parchment paper.  Top with sprinkles or leave plain and bake at 325 until just starting to brown on the bottom. Once cooled you can dip in tempered chocolate or glaze with royal icing (alton brown recipe here), flavored as you choose.
Just a simple tip: I glaze the cookies using a pastry bag and let them dry.  I then dip a small paintbrush in a bit of Everclear or vodka (or you can use extract) and gently swipe it across the top. I then immediately sprinkle the sugar on top. the liquid will evaporate almost immediately–but it will allow your sugar to stick without sinking into the icing.

Parsnip Spice Cake

Living in California affords us a “winter garden.” All my favorite roots and brassicas are thriving in our cold, but not bitter-cold, temperatures. The other day, I found myself with dirty nails and an armload of parsnips.

After a few snaps of frost, parsnips (left in the ground) can become quite sweet and are a delicious addition to a cake heady with spices. Mostly because I can, I like to ice this cake with a nice thick cap of snowy cream cheese frosting, a sprinkle of spice and just enough walnuts to let people know it is a nutty cake.

While you can play with the pan size to make it quite high, throw into a loaf, or double to make a lovely layer cake, I like it best when it is unfussy and almost more of a slice than a cake. This way, as I reach for my second helping, I don’t feel nearly as gluttonous. After all, it does contain a vegetable.

Before you get started, I need to talk to you about the frosting. You may hate me for this, but in my not so humble opinion, cream cheese frosting should taste like cream cheese, not like sugar. This is why my recipe has a “to taste” caveat on it. I start very slow with the sugar and add as I see fit. Yes, it should be sweet, but just at the mark of sweet, not sugary sweet. You can disagree with me and pile the sugar in, it’s your choice, but I think you will be just as happy with something that has a nice tangy kick to it.

This cake recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit 2006

Parsnip Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp kosher salt (i prefer diamond crystal)
3 large or extra-large eggs (duck eggs work great)
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated parsnip–grated on small holes of a standard grater–packed down
1/2 cup walnut pieces–toasted

Place all of your dry ingredients (including sugar) in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated. Stir in parsnip until incorporated, then stir in walnuts.
Pour into a pan of your choice (13×9 makes a cake that is about 1 1/2 inches thick). To prepare your cake tin, grease, then line bottom with parchment paper (i also cut strips for the side of the pan for extra insurance), then grease again. Bake at 350F until done (top is springy) about 25 minutes. I set my timer at 20 minutes and check, then add minutes or pull out of the oven if finished. NOTE: A loaf pan and/or smaller pan for thicker cake will take longer because of less surface area. Please keep this in mind. Let cool completely on baker’s rack.

16 ounces cream cheese–room temperature
8 ounces unsalted butter–room temperature
generous pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of ginger
powdered sugar to taste (start with 1 cup and add 1 tablespoon at a time)
Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated. Add the salt and mix again. Add powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Mix until it is light and fluffy. Place into a large piping bag. Cut the tip off the bag giving you approximately an 1/2″ hole in the end and pipe even lines across the cake. Use a spatula to smooth the frosting, careful to keep at an even level. You are looking for a frosting layer of about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch. Sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger and walnuts over the top.

NOTE: If you are a warm cake fan and like to serve dessert in the vein of an English Pudding, you can serve this cake warm with a bit of custard or double cream. Alternatively, you can use the cream cheese icing and let it melt into a puddle; it will be just as delicious.

Jammy Jam Bars

Being a person that spends the summer and early fall preserving fruit in the form of jam, while also being a person that eats very little jam is the dichotomy I find myself to be.

I do however love things filled with jam; scones, hand pies, thumbprint cookies are all things I love. I also love these jam bars. This is a great way to use up the half-empty or “just a smidge” left jars that may be occupying the top-shelf in your refrigerator at this very moment. If you purchase a jam specifically for these bars, please splurge a bit; you do not want to use a jam that is sticky-sweet.

Jam Bars
makes 9 large bars

1 cup unsalted butter–room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour or 2 cups all purpose and 1/3 cup whole wheat
1 1/2 cups of good jam (single flavor or mixture)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2-1 tsp spices–use is optional. choose spices that are complimentary to your jam. I find ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon work well with most jams, but you can be as creative as you like, or omit altogether.
1/2 cup toasted and chopped nuts–optional

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9″ square cake pan (the 8″ will result in thicker bars).
Cream the butter, sugar, and salt together. Add the vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix well again. Add the flour all at once and mix until just incorporated.
Press about 1/2 of the mixture into the bottom of your pan to a thickness just less than 1/4″. Press some of the mixture up the sides to create a bit of a ledge (about 1/4″). Pour the jam evenly on top of the crust. If you are using several flavors try not to fully mix the flavors; either layer or intersperse to avoid muddling too much.
Add the oats, spice, and nuts (if using) to the remaining mixture and lightly mix with your hands. If you are a salt-loving person, you can add a few more pinches of a finishing salt here, or use salted nuts in the mix. Generously sprinkle the mixture on top of the jam layer. I like to use a mixture of small bits and large chunks on top. To make larger chunks, simply pinch pieces together and drop onto the jam. I’m partial to lots of topping, but if it seems too much for you, don’t use it all. You can bake it off separately and have as a topping for yogurt or ice cream, or even as a snack.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I’m not claiming authenticity here. I mean, this has the elements of a classic gumbo, but then I took a bit of a turn with adding bloody mary mix. I like the ease of it, and it tastes good.

There is a short window of time here on the Central Coast where hot stew-like foods coexist with the harvest of okra. That window is now. While our days are still warm, our mornings and overnights are cool enough to crave the warm embrace of this spicy gumbo. And this is spicy. If you find it a bit overwhelming for you, dial back the additional cayenne, and add a dash or two of vinegar in place of the tabasco. You can also dilute a bit more with the chicken stock. If it really, really is too much, add a bit of yogurt or sour cream to your individual bowl to draw the spice back a bit; authentic, no, but we’ve already established that.

My gumbo spice mix is Emeril’s spice mix from his New Orleans’s Cooking book, with just an addition or two on my part. It’s a nice spice to keep around to add a bit of oomph to soups or even baked chicken.
Gumbo Spice
2 TBS Chili Spice & Paprika
1 TBS Ground Coriander, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Kosher Salt
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, & Black Pepper
Mix and keep in an airtight container

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1 1/2 LBS Boneless/Skinless Chicken cut into cubes (I use a mixture of thigh and breast)
2 CUPS Chicken Stock
2 TBS Gumbo Spice
4 Andouille Sausage links–cut crosswise into pieces
1/4 cup flour
2 CUPS sliced okra (fresh or frozen)
1 Medium Onion–chopped
3 Stalks Celery–chopped
1 Green Pepper–chopped
3 Cloves Garlic–chopped
14 oz can Diced Tomatoes–undrained (or the equivalent of diced in-season tomatoes)
1 cup Mr & Mrs T’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup Scallions–sliced
2 tsp (or more) Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
2-4 Dashes Tabasco
Olive Oil
Cooked Steamed Rice to Serve

Brown the sausage in a little bit of olive oil. Keeping the heat on medium, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and add the chicken pieces. Cook until browned on all sides, then sprinkle with the Gumbo Spice. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and add to the sausage. Add more oil to the fat in the pan resulting in about 1/4 cup in total. Staying on medium-high heat, add the flour and stir until the mixture reaches a medium-brown hue. When it is brown turn off the heat and quickly add okra, onions, garlic, celery, and green pepper. Allow the sizzling to stop, then add chicken stock, stir while scraping all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add Mr & Mrs T’s, tomatoes, green onions, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add back the chicken and sausage and let simmer for at least an hour. The longer it simmers the better. Taste for salt and spice level; adjust as necessary
Serve with or without rice, and add Tabasco as desired.
Serves 6-8

Squash Soup

Every year we grow pumpkins and squash in our gardens. It is always a bit of a toss-up which variety gets planted and which survive our very busy ground squirrels. Our rule of thumb is “for every pumpkin or squash you want to survive, plant 10″. It is frustrating…but we can’t stop, won’t stop.
This past year we had good success with the Boston Marrow Squash. It is big and orange like a pumpkin, but it is not round and begging to be carved for halloween.

The Boston Marrow was once a very popular variety which was sold commercially. Its flesh is a bit dry and sweet. I believe it is in the hubbard family.

Our root cellar is not quite finished, so we have been storing our squash and pumpkins on the back porch. I do not recommend this. It is actually a horrible idea. My hope is that I will get through them all before the hand of time takes them away from me (or even worse, those dreaded squirrels).

I wish I had an actual recipe for you…but I never measure and I use what I have on hand. Hopefully, you will feel inspired to do the same.

Here is how it went:

Peel and cut about your squash (or pumpkin) into 1/2″ size cubes–about 3 cups…but as many cups as you would like. I like to match the number of cups of squash to cups of stock (or water). For every 3 cups of squash, finely dice 1/4 of an onion and 1 garlic clove.
In a stockpot, put enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Toss in the onion and garlic and slowly cook until they are soft. If you see them starting to brown, add a bit of stock or water (an ounce or two) to stop the cooking. Stir in 2-3 Tbs curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin & 1/2 tsp paprika. Let the paste get a bit cooked. Add to this the squash and give it a nice stir. Add your stock/broth/water to cover the squash. Grate 1/4 of an apple into the mixture (more if you’d like a bit more sweetness). Cook until everything is soft.
Remove from heat and run the mixture through a blender or use an emersion stick to fully puree the mixture. At this point, you can run it through a tam or sieve to make it silky smooth, but that isn’t necessary unless you are going for a Michelin star.
Rinse your stockpot and then put it back on the stove and pour your puree back in. Turn the heat on low. This is where you start futzing. Add a tsp or so of Braggs, a little black pepper, additional curry powder if you think it needs it. Salt if it needs it. If it is too thick, add more stock/water…if it is too runny, let it cook a bit to reduce.

To Top: put some olive oil in a small saucepan…maybe 1/4 cup. Toss in a tsp of curry powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes a handful of dried onions, or fresh onions, or onion powder and a handful of pignoli nuts. Cook until hot and the flavors are melded.

To serve: Put the soup in a bowl and top with your delicious curry pignoli oil. Ta Da!

Harvesting Roosters

Let me start at the beginning

Goldie at 6 years old striking a pose

Our first set of chickens arrived via the afternoon mail and we were giddy upon their arrival. We did all of the things one does with new chicks, including daily health check and brooder cleanings. Fast forward several months and we moved them to their new coops. We had placed several moderately sized coops throughout our property and built a larger barn style coop for the bulk of the birds. We named many of our favorites, and moved to singularly naming a breed {our barred rocks for example were all named roseanne}, when we realized that we were using up “all the good names”, and we would soon have sheep, goats, dogs and pigs to name. I fussed over them and essentially took role-call each sundown.

We had placed coops throughout our property, including a large barn with a automatic door. We were obsessed with doing everything right. Making sure every chicken got back into a coop in the evening., double-triple checking everything was perfect. We also monitored broody hens {broody hens are those that will sit on eggs in the hope of bringing chicks into the world}, to make sure they didn’t hatch out any chicks.
That was how we started.

Fast-forward to today.

Free-Ranging hens and their progeny

These chickens can fly.; not launch and fly away, fly, but fly to the top of fence lines, barn roofs, or to the top of a car.
And they do.
It didn’t take long for them to abandon the coops and scatter themselves throughout the property finding interesting places to roost overnight; most notably, in the trees.
These same chickens have access to 60 acres and countless places to be broody and hide clutches of eggs.
And they do.
Just as the weather starts to warm, I notice chickens disappearing for months at a time only to reappear with a large brood of their own. We welcome this, it is a great way to support natural selection. It transfers the daily routine of cleaning and feeding from us to them. It ensures our flock will continue to thrive without us having to purchase new stock from a breeder each year. It is a good thing, with one small challenge; for every female chick, there is inevitably a male. Unfortunately, a 1:1 ratio of male to female is not ideal for our flock.

Maurice Chevalier {3 years old} roaming the orchard

We like roosters, they are not a problem, unless we have too many.
It’s not the crowing; most people think its the crowing. Even though crowing actually happens all day, and all night {not just at dawn}, it is part and parcel of the music of farm life. Our primary issue is that roosters are rough on the hens. They have their salient points like being fiercely protective, and generous with food (allowing the hens to eat first before taking their share). It is remarkable, but they also constantly grab the chickens by the feathers on the nape of the neck, to mount them; it is rough on the hens.

As a way to control the number of roosters, once (sometimes twice) a year, gather as many roosters as possible and close them in one of our abandoned coops for a day or two. When chickens roost in trees, and run around on pasture all day, it isn’t a simple task to catch them.
On harvest day, the first thing I do is make sure we release any of our favorite roosters.
Yes, we have favorites; Maurice Chevalier for instance.
Roosters are not all the same; we have some that are purebred of special breeds, we have some that are incredibly beautiful, and we have some that are really gentle. These roosters get released; this time we had a handful.

Without going into graphic detail, the process is very quick. We spend more time in preparation for the event than time harvesting. Sterilizing everything, sharpening knives, and setting up the equipment can take hours, but it is vitally important.

We harvested 20 roosters and they ranged in weight from 4-7lbs. We pluck them, dress them, clean them, and bag them for the freezer. From start to finish, it took us about 4 hours.
The larger roosters will be used for coq au vin, and the smalls are best used for stock.
The gizzards were fried for lunch, the livers will go into pate, and I cleaned the hearts for use in risotto and yakitori. Stay tuned for those recipes.

Cotton our LGD with some of her charges

I am often asked about hens for meat, and if we raise them. The answer is yes we have, yes we will again, but we won’t raise chickens that are bred for meat. I will do a post on that soon as I have a lot of opinions about it.

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