...and here are  the ducklings, all grown up. (I know, I've been reeeeally behind on updated pictures of the new flock, so I'm trying to redeem myself with some cute duck pictures.)

The grey one is one of our Blue Indian Runner ducks (either Daisy or Delilah), and the black one is one of our Cayuga ducks (either Daria or Darcy).


Remember how we wanted a rooster? Yeah, I know I've been lax with updated chicken and duck pix...which brings me to my question....Have you met our new rooster, Roscoe? Our white straight run chick with the black wing patches sure enough turned out to be a one of these. :-)

Chicken Run

Two weekends ago we finally bit the bullet and built a chicken run (hens roaming two houses down--and they're not close-together-houses, mind you---was a bit much. The neighbors thought it was funny...but...y'know. "Good fences make good neighbors" and all....)

It's pretty roomy, though...we haven't heard too many complaints.

The gate is quite temporary, and still needs some work. We have a better one in the works and it's in the process of being painted :-)

Bread and Butter Pickles

After our several-weeks-long ordeal of icicle pickles, we decided to try something easier. We'd only ever really made sweet pickles before, and our recipe collection had a nice bread and butter pickle recipe that called for a weight of pickles divisible by our actual weight of pickles (we had another 8 lbs) so we thought we would give it a try. (Note: Turmeric stains a lot and is fact commonly used as a dye. Yeah. Forgot that and our counter has some interesting yellow-hued patches now...) :-) Ah the marks of a canning kitchen.

First we mixed up the pickle juice with turmeric, onions, etc. (cool color, huh?)

Then we put the cucumber slices in the mixture and brought it back up to a boil.

After that, it was all downhill....we only had to pack the jars. :-) Much easier.

I can't wait to try these...I've never had Bread and Butter pickles and they really smelled amazing!


What's that teeny tiny little egg? It's our first pullet egg of the year.

More harvest time

The squash just keep coming in...

Isn't this white one cool? It's the only one we've gotten so far.

I'm happy our okra did so well. Hopefully even better next year!

(Please excuse the yellow incandescent refrigerator glow)

Icicle Pickles

Two weeks ago (wow, the days fly by) we embarked on an icicle pickle adventure. I say adventure because S. and I had never made a pickle recipe that required multiple draining and bringing, etc periods. We used the recipe for Sweet Icicle Pickles in the ball blue book. So, basically we had to find containers to house 8 pounds of sliced cucumbers (and associated liquid) over a week-long period)... We used some gallon jars...

First you brine them (water and salt) and let them sit for a week. Then, we rinsed 'em and covered them with boiling water and let them stand overnight again. Next, it was time for the pickling we boiled those, vinegar, and sugar, then let the whole mess sit for another 24 hours. Now's the fun part...Every day, for the next week we drained off the liquid, re-boiled it, and put it back over the cucumbers.... (ag). So finally, we were ready to can them! One more boil and then into the jars (we actually came up a tiny bit short on brine and had to whip up some sugar-vinegar-pickling spices at the last minute....). And voila.... here's hopin' they taste good! (and yes, they're slices...not typical "icicle" style..but some of our cukes--ok most--were waay too big for spears.)
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