The Chickens' Last Cluck

Poor chickens...

At least I convinced Levi to let William live at least a few more days (he could stand a little more meat on his bones and love from his caretaker.

(William is the ONLY chicken I can tell apart from the other 53 chickens we have. He has some black spots. I always take a few moment out of my day to tell him how I've been, pet him just a bit, etc. But I'm not a very good friend because I don't really listen to what he has to cluck. And I could clean out his pin a little more often. That is one thing I don't like about William and like-creatures.

Anyhow, back to the butcher shop (garage with tarp down since we live in town and not sure if we are even allowed to have, let alone butcher, chickens here!)

We hung the chickens on a wire by their feet over a trash can for the redness to drip into, so we didn't have to clean up THAT from our garage. Then we slit their throats. (Mainly just Levi did this part. Well, OK. Levi was the only one who did this part, even though Mom and I took our turns at holding the chickens up for him. That's something, right?) And yes, I am refusing to say the bl**d word just so I can stay in my upright position, I'm quirky like that!

Then I'd ask the good Lord to allow me to keep standing and stay conscious even though there was redness oozing. Ya know what?! He did... he showed me mercy and it really wasn't that bad; it's amazing what He'll do for you if ya just ask. Seems as if I'd learn.

Here, the nameless chicken is oozing over the trashcan, after flopping and breaking his wings.

The next thing you must do is act tough. And have your mother in law tell you to stop taking so many pictures. "This is work, Lauren!" OK... put the camera down!

OOp... oh! She's outside, grab a few more, just cause it's so memorable and mersite-in'

Get husband to pose.

OK now really you do have to finish the process. Next you scald the chicken by dipping it in and out of 180 degree water a few times. This loosens the feather so its easier on ya!

Then you take all the big feathers off and toss to your mother in law and nephew.

There will still be some pin feathers on the chicken (like little tubes that hold in the big feathers.

Take the pin feathers out. Ask for patience, take more out. Repeat.

Then you cut up the chicken. But I didn't take any pictures cause I mighta been told not too! "Too much work to do"

Anyways, maybe next time! (We still have 16 left to say goodbye to)

Stay tuned, or don't if you aren't interested in the inner working of chickens!


But I'll try to be nice!


Precious Words Mini Book

So I wanted to share this project with you all so you can make it too!

Sweet and talented Amy has this project on her blog Delightful Distractions.

You can make a miniature version (which is what I made) or a larger version.

I'm to gift it to a friend of mine with a little girl, since my little girl doesn't say too much!

Amy has so many other little downloads for you to try too. She has darling designs and some very cute children!

*I'm not sure why blogger isn't letting me hyperlink, and I'm not smart enough to do it without the convenient little button! But here is a link to Delightful Distractions:


Visiters from abroad

Last winter, while in Florida for a job, Levi and I had the privilege of meeting some folks from VA and PA. They were all up in Ohio a couple weeks ago for a conference, so we had them over for dinner.

It was the first day without rain in about 2 weeks I would say. The sun shone all day and dried up the ground enough to be able to have table and chairs outside. It was lovely!

(From left to right)

Betty Garber- VA; Kenny and Lenora Oyler-PA; Gale and Shirley Turner-OH; Mark and Ann DeMaury-VA

There's nothing like the scent of fresh lavender!

Chicken and Veggie kabobs over the grill

I served the Kabobs, Panzenella, Pea Salad, Italian Salad, Stuffed Watermelon, Homemade bread, and Ann brought homemade apple butter.

For dessert we had a Chocolate torte and Rugelach.

Mmm... Outdoors makes it all the better, in my opinion!


Meet Miss Shayleigh Ann

I must say this is the most exciting thing that happened while I hadn't blogged for a month.

Please welcome the cute Shayleigh Ann Shoup into our grand and glorious world!

Believe me, I had full intentions of getting these up as soon as I got home from the hospital. She would have only been 30-so hours old. Nevertheless, she is now two weeks old and seems to be getting cuter!

Congrats, Nate and Brittany! God bless you as you raise your little girl in God's love!

(And wonderful job at picking out her going-home dress, again!)

Summer Dinner

What can beat it?

Eating a dinner made mostly from the garden, sitting outside in nice (not-rainy) weather, put up a few tomato cages (we didn't have enough for all 39 tomato plants.) and off to bed early!

Strawberry Spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette.

Turkey burgers from Bowman & Landes.
(They fulfil all your turkey fantasies)

And Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies.

They take a little time to make just because they're individuals and have a few steps
but my-O-my they are SO worth it, I'm a-tellin' ya!
I'll share the recipe! MmmmHmmm You're Welcome!

3/4 c finely diced fresh strawberries
3/4 c finely dice rhubarb
6Tbsp sugar, divided
3 tsp orange zest, divided (I used more just cause.)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/4 c shortening, chilled
3 Tbsp ice-cold water
3 Tbsp orange juice
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp whipping cream

Combine strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, 2T sugar and 1 1/2t orange zest in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, salt, and remaining 1/4 c sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in remaining orange zest. Drizzle with water and orange juice. Stir with fork until combined. (Mixture will be crumbly and dry.)
Knead mixture lightly and divide in half. Cover half with plastic wrap and roll the other half to 1/8 in thickness on a floured surface. Cut with a 2 1/4 in round cutter. (You should get about 24 circles out of each half.)
Place half of dough rounds 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet. Top with 1 rounded teaspoon strawberry mixture. Dampen edges with water and top with remaining dough rounds, Pressing edges to seal and crimp with fork. Cut a slit in the top for steam to escape. Repeat with remaining dough and strawberry mixture.
Stir together yolk and cream; brush pies with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Freeze pies 10 minutes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes.

Now, if you try these let me know what you think of 'em! I love the orange in them, it adds a little different flavor than regular strawberry-rhubarb pies.

I'll be back shortly to fill you in on some exciting things that I just have not had time to blog about yet!