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Showing posts from January, 2013

Oven Fried Chicken

Is there anything more southern than Fried Chicken? I don't think so. Ok, maybe sweet tea but fried chicken takes second.

After raising and harvesting our own meat chickens,  I knew I HAD to learn to make good fried chicken.

My mom-in-law cooked a few of our birds with an old recipe she had. This one came out of a cookbook that I believe she got when she was first married.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter & 1/4 cup shortening in an oblong 13x9 pan.

Butter & shortening, oh my! Ladies back then knew how to cook.

Season chicken with salt & pepper. Then toss in a bag with 1 1/2 cups flour.  Shake to coat.

Place chicken skin side down in butter & shortening.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees.
Turn skin side up.  Bake another 25-30 minutes.

That's it!
This oven fried chicken is so easy, crispy and tasty!

Serve with sweet tea, of course.

Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

Moon Over the Coop

Last night the moon was just gorgeous ~ full & bright. It looked pretty out over the coop.

This morning the chickens are enjoying the break in cold weather.

"Yes, Groucho.  I'll take a picture of you too." 

Silly pig!

Over the weekend, our youngest made some new ramps for the chicken house.  He did a really good job!  We feel it's so important for boys to take on tasks that they can handle as they grow into young men.  

The hens love the renovation.  They would like to see a spring cleaning too but it's still winter.

The chicks are growing like crazy and even have tiny wing and tail feathers.  They will move to the shed soon to transition into adults.  More eggs are in the incubator getting ready to enter the world. 

We are hatching eggs now so that we can re-home our oldest laying hens and replace them with younger girls. I find this helps keep our chicken feed/egg production numbers in balance since chickens lay more eggs in their first year.  Come spring,…

Aluminum Dining Chairs

Contemporary meets farmhouse~ We are always trying to incorporate that into our home.

We had the farmhouse pine table made when we built the house.  Since then we have had antique chairs & a bench around it.   Finally, we got new chairs to go with our table.

They are: Delta aluminum chairs from Crate & Barrel. Very lightweight but sturdy as can be. Big enough for our teenage boys but small enough to fit three chairs on each side.

We love the look of sleek metal with warm wood.
We haven't decided what do with the black chairs on the ends.

I covered a seat with a feed sack from our cattle grain and got corn all over the floor in the process! It's cute but the plastic started stretching after a day.  We may try some reproduction feed sack prints.  That would be fun but functional but maybe a little too farm-ish.

For now they are covered with black with polka dots.   I love polka dots! I think the chairs might look cute painted red with this fabric.   It has red, green &a…

Hatching Chicks

Our youngest boy got an incubator for Christmas.

Of course a few days later it had eggs in it. Since we have a rooster and he is very attentive to his ladies, we took warm eggs out of the coop. There are 6 brown ones and 2 green ones.
He's been turning them three times a day for 21 days.
The eggs were marked with o's & x's so he would know which ones needed to be turned.

Yesterday, right on schedule, they started hatching. Breaks in the shells started as they made their way into the world.

And they started to peep! Even before they hatched.
It was like they were saying,
"I'll be born soon." So cute!

Nana & Papaw came over from next door to watch.

Tuff watched too.

By this morning, six of them had hatched.
One broke the shell open but didn't make it further than that.  And there is one left still incubating.  We're going to wait another 24 hours just to give it a chance.

It's always fun to have baby chicks.
Hatching them from our own chick…

Taking a College Horsemanship Class

Today, I made an important step in my horseback riding journey.  I've committed myself to a 6 month intensive with horses.  I am already taking lessons once a week and am supposed to practice at 5 days per week but I need more help.
I need more time in the saddle.
I need to ride different horses.
I need confidence.

 I've never even been hurt on a horse ~ never thrown ~ never bucked.  I look forward to working with my horse, D.  I want to ride her and I do.  But when I say "ride" I don't mean to just get on her and walk around.  I mean I want to really experience the fun and freedom of riding.

Something is holding me back and that something is fear: fear of getting hurt fear of going fast fear of failing. Fear keeps us from fulfilling our dreams.  

So~ I started taking a college class.

Our son's equine coach has done wonders with his riding and his confidence.  She assures me that riding a lot of different horses will raise my confidence and calm my fears. …

A Boy Raising Beef

Our oldest son loves cattle.  Right now he has ten Black Angus steers that he is raising for sides of beef.  
It's his own deal.  He has a lease on the property behind us and bought the calves.  Investing a year of time and money into them is a big investment for a young man.  But it's something that he loves to do and it's helping support him through college.
It's also a good example of why we built a farm.  In our day and age, boys are not given the opportunity to work.  We believe God instilled in them a need to be active and achieve something.  Hard work and responsibility teach boys to become men. 

Getting up before the sun comes up to feed them isn't always easy especially on the weekend.  The rewards can be small but satisfying.  The cattle allowing him to pet them is one of those rewards.

Jake's cattle are pasture raised but are brought in each day and feed a minimal amount of grain so he can check on them.  They like their daily ration of corn, alfalf…

Roadrunner and a Rig

Last week two strange things appeared on the farm.

While I was having my horseback riding lesson, Jared discovered there was a roadrunner in the flower garden.  I've never seen one up close!

 Even though they are native to the Southwest, I have only seen a few of them in my life. Those were running along the road living up to their name.

"According to legends of the old Southwest, the roadrunner had a foolproof way of outfoxing its enemy, the deadly rattlesnake.  Whenever it found a rattler sleeping, the roadrunner would fence it in with pieces of cactus, then awaken the snake with a quick jab.  Alarmed and thrashing, the rattler would be stabbed to death by cactus spines." (Book of North American Birds, 1990, Reader's Digest)  Such a clever story.  We don't have any cactus but I am glad to know it will kill snakes!

This one seemed to be lost and zoomed around the place before it settled into the barn where it hung out for a couple of days.

Jared was …

Ultrasounds for Ewes

Yes, we had lamb ultrasounds today!

Our oldest son is studying Animal Reproduction in college and one of his professors offered to scan the ewes.  So sweet of her!

It was just like any other ultrasound with the little wand and the blue goo on the belly but I was amazed by how small the machine was.
These girls are not happy about having it done, or maybe not happy about having to wait their turn.  You know how pregnant girls can be. ;)

It looks like four of our seven ewes are bred and some may have twins.  We will put the three unbred ewes back in with Dazs, our most eager ram and try again for summer lambs.

The first lambs should bring in the spring starting April 1st. So exciting!

New life always amazes me!
For his invisible attributes, namely,  his eternal power and divine nature,  have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse. Romans 1:20