Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Turkey for 5, Please

There once lived three happy domestic white turkey's named Billy, Bob, and Bojangles. They pecked, flapped, and gobbled every day in the sunlight. "Bliss" could have been their last names if turkeys were legally required to retain such lineage....but it is unessesary as the "White Broadbreast" term is clearly enough to identify and categorize these majestic birds into our rigid human system of zoology. But! they would have been of the "Bliss" heritage if they had a last name.
And bliss they lived in for many months here at the Big-Betsy Homestead. Billy was the friendliest turkey. Bob was the quite one and prone to gambling. And Bojangles would just stare at you with his big red gooobly bird bits in full dangle (properly known as a "comb and wattle"). These big white Turks even made friends with the 7 Chicas living in the coop nearby. It was a cozy life they had.

Then Thanksgiving came early,
with the oven turned on, surely.
Tonight, our tummy's needs would be met,
a table for 5 was set.
With much humane respect and adoration,
and thanks the Lord, plenty of salivation.
All friends gathered close and united,
and Bob was indeed invited.

So now there are only 2 turkeys on site here, and the livestock population still remains strong overall. I don't mean to always be eating birds when i write on this Blog but its Spring! What do you expect? Everything is in full flushed bloom and there a wondrous amount of plant and animal life to enjoy in the backyard. And happenstance, enjoying it all means more than an adorning glance through binoculars. So Bob, the White Broadbreasted Turkey was led out from the rafter and into the open yard where it grazed joyfully on all the spring greens. Then with a pellet rifle, cutting board, and knife his life was taken and turned into a feast for five.
It started at 4:30PM and we were eating by 9. The feathers came off easy with a dip into boiled water. The feet and certain organs were saved in the freezer for a soup. The legs and wings also frozen for another sunny day's BBQ. And the breast meat was placed onto a bed of vegetables with sweet potatoes and a vegetable broth, then into the oven for a slow cooking. It was a delicious meal and all were well fed and Bob's life was much appreciated.

In other news, the Pakistani Mullberries are off the charts delicious! Its a small tree but produces so much already. Next will be the Persian mullberries and one day the White ones if it fruits. In the main garden there are lots of new little quinoa sprouts finally popping up. The buggers didn't nibble them to death this time. QUinoa (chenopodium) is a great plant to grow in summer. Its well worth it for asthetics, but then you can eat it like a spinach. Crunchy and fresh or sauteed. The harvesting of the seeds is still tricky business but i will try again after summers over and i get my chlorophyll quinoa-fix first!
Lastly, there are two new batches of Saurkraut bubbling away. I've been using big glass vase' from Salvation ARmy with nearly perfect fitting pots and plates that are great inset lids to hold the cabbage below the brine level. Its easy-peasy to do. Just get cabbage and salt then your ready! This is worth a watch
But tomorrow I'm getting a propper Crock Pot to try out. It is ceramic and has stone weights that slip inside.

Okey Dokey,
Garden-on, brothers and sisters!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BBQ Blue Jay

So here I am, living on a 1.5 acre homestead. I have been for almost 3 years now, but never thought to wright about it until my sister made me so inclined.

For starters, you should know i've tried many things during this experimental trek into self-reliance and yummy homemade food products - many of them being unorthodox - and today I ate a Bluejay. It was actually the common Scrub Jay that is very loud and always happy to invest its time in your fruit trees munching down on whatever is in season. There are so so so many of them and I feel like they are similar to deer in the sense that there is a natural limitation for thier population and the Scrub Jay as a species has somehow far exceeding its carrying capacity in NOrthern California and especially my i shot it with a pellet rifle and respectfully cut it into meaty peices of legs and breast then fried it in ghee. It was about 4 chopstick-full servings of rice in overall portions. Had some chew to it but was tasty and i plan to hunt thier kind further and prepare a proper dish of Scrub Jay grub one night for myself and any lucky woman who can appreciate a home cooked and foraged meal. Or a lady who just likes surprises.

Anywho, it was a good day overall. I have 7 hens that i have put into a new scratching area consiting of 2 terraces along the hillside. THe 3 White Broad Breasted turkeys have the old 2 upper terraces to themselves now. They don't use much of the space anyway and didn;t mind the hens, but the hens needed a new top soil to scratch clean and fresh new greens to glean as well. And boy where they happy! THey loved it. I will let them stay down there for a few months then cycle them back up to the other terraces. Fukuoka style!

Also, I inspected my 2 Bee colonies. Both are looking good for month old Nucs. A medium Langstroth and a Deep. After the inspection i added a second Super (box) to each hive then topped off thier sugar-water mix for the early Spring supplementation. Got to get the bees off to a strong start this Spring since its been crap weather and bees all around are in a crisis already. Be kind and bees be kind in return.

OK, more to come soon about the lovely QUinoa sprouts growing, my perennial garden, the greenhouse that got the goosebumps, and how aphids stole my girlfriend.