Monday, April 8, 2013

Miss Lindsey Had a Farm



And on that farm......well, backyard really, were three little chickens named Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia....do you know where those names came from??  Do tell!!
That's right, we are now the proud owners of two Buff Orpingtons and a Rhode Island Red - that's Blanche, of course!  We decided to begin keeping backyard chickens, mostly for the free eggs and fertilizer, but also because we're a bit too busy (or maybe a tad lazy) to worry about composting and we needed a place for our food scraps.  Thus far, the ladies are quite happy to gobble down whatever it is we give them.  They especially like cabbage, celery and other green stuff, though we give them fruit scraps as well.
I took the pictures on the first day they joined us, so they were getting cozy and relaxing in the coop, I'm sure I'll get some shots of them roaming about the yard at some point.  Speaking of the coop, we purchased ours from Marco with San Tan Valley Coops and More.  We got the most basic coop out there, but this guy builds some serious stuff, so if you are in the market and in the Phoenix area, check him out.
And since we were in a farm-y mood when the chickens arrived, we decided to make some fresh bread and butter for snack the next morning in our preschool class.  Just in case you are feeling farm-y, here are some recipes for you:

Bread

2 1/4 - 2 1/2 c. flour - I do a mix of bread flour and whole wheat
1 c. warm water
1 1/2 t. yeast
2 T softened butter
Handful of rolled oats
2 T honey - or more if you like
1 1/2 t. salt

Ok, so I cheat and put this in my bread machine, according to the directions for dough, pull it out and let the kiddos make it into rolls or any shape they like.  We cover and let it rest for 15min. and then bake at 375 for 12-15 min. or until golden.  BUT, if you want to do it the old fashioned way, you would:

Mix water and honey, top with yeast, let foam
Add oats, butter, flour and salt, mix
Turn out and knead for 10min.
Leave to rise covered in oiled bowl for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs.
Form into rolls/shapes
Cover and let rest 15 min.
Bake 375 for 12-15min.

And you can't have bread without:
Butter!

Whipping cream
Salt


Baby food jars are perfect for little hands, but I'm sure any jar would work.  Place a few tablespoons of cream into the jar (or no more than 1/2 full if using a larger jar) and add a pinch of salt.  Shake, shake, shake!  Oh, and when you are shaking, you should probably look like this.

If you don't, I'm not sure it'll turn out right.  Kidding, of course!  But, seriously, how funny is he??

Anyway, once your butter has formed, you'll have some buttermilk left in the jar, so swish some cold water around in the jar until that excess washes away and the water runs clear.  I've made butter like this many times in the past, but I've never rinsed with water before, I learned about that part from the curriculum guide I purchased from Little Acorn Learning and let me tell you, it made a world of difference - I'll continue making butter this way every time!

Well, if you've been following along, you should have some warm bread and some delicious, creamy butter ready to devour right about now, so go ahead and enjoy!


4 comments:

  1. Soon you will have farm fresh eggs with that homemade bread and butter, how great is that?! Should I ever make butter I do believe I'll come to Seedlings and have your boy shake it up just so I can see that face ;)

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  2. We do have farm fresh eggs and they are amazing!!!! And I'll be baking more fresh bread today, shall I whip you up a loaf? ;)

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  3. Wish I had seen that comment yesterday! You know, I actually have a bread machine... maybe you can just come by one day and show me how to use the thing!! ;D

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