Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One Brown Egg

Finally, one day before the chickens turn 26 weeks old, we have our first egg.
It's probably not the first that they have laid, but it is the first we have.  I locked them in the chicken run yesterday, instead of letting them run about the yard.  In one corner, I placed a recycle bin filled with wood shavings and a white supermarket egg to give them a hint of what I wanted them to do (with no risk of mixing up which egg is fresh since all the girls are brown egg laying breeds).  One of them obliged, but I have no idea which one.  They are locked in again today.   Leftover rice really helped encourage them.  While I stepped outside to photograph the egg, they all lined up and stared at me from inside the run, seemingly indignant that I would lock them in for a second day.  Sorry girls, it will probably be a week or so.  They need to get used to laying their eggs in the recycle bin instead of some hidden spot in the yard, leaving the eggs to feed the big possum.

I've spent some time reading Sandor Katz's Art of Fermentation.  It makes me wish it was the beginning of the growing season instead of heading into the winter.  I've been wanting to try some vegetable ferments beyond the kimchi experiments, but couldn't figure out exactly where I would do put some of this stuff.  Our not quite 1300 square foot home is not equipped with what my grandparents referred to as "cold cupboards", closets on the north side of the house that were unheated and used to store food.  We do not have a basement, but as the weekend projects have reminded me, we do have a crawl space.  We have been removing insulation that was installed with the paper outward-trapping moisture-and either flipping it or replacing it, depending on its condition--a horrible, nasty job requiring tyvek suits, goggles, face masks, gloves,lots and lots of crawling on the ground and lots and lots of time.  The area of the crawl space nearest the hatch opening is high enough to sit up in (for me, but not my husband) and could be a reasonable storage spot for some kimchi, sauerkraut, kosher dills or who knows!  I could always dig a bit of a pit to help insulate against temperature changes--but first the fiberglass insulation under the floor boards.

I have to be more careful with the bread ferments, the sour dough bread, pancakes, appams, etc., because of the 1500 calorie issue.  The breads (sigh) add up quickly.  I did try sour dough pancakes this weekend, they weren't sour tasting because I added baking soda shortly before cooking them.  I fancied them up with apples and cinnamon inside, and a bit of my apple butter on top.  They came out pretty well, but I'm going to tweak the recipe a little.

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