Chickens and cooking (not cooking chickens)

The chickens have gotten so big; it is almost hard to imagine that just four months ago they were soft, tiny, fuzzy creatures that were sent via USPS in a box from Iowa. In another month they will start laying eggs (hopefully!).

Chickens love to eat—bugs, worms, grass, and almost anything you bring them; they especially love seeds (tomato, squash, melon), cooked oatmeal, fruit (cherries, peaches, melon rind), and corn (they will pick a cob clean).

They associate people with food, so if you walk anywhere near the coop—or even pull into the driveway—they all race out of their house and press up to the fence to see what you might be bringing them, clucking encouragingly (or a bit stridently if you pass them by).

Chickens

Yesterday was a big produce-cooking day, and so the chickens did well. I made a huge bowl of gazpacho with more than 6 pounds of tomatoes—a colorful medley with Rose de Berne (my favorite, a pale pink), Striped German (a huge, meaty yellow tomato streaked inside with red), Garden Peach (a lovely small yellow tomato with soft “peachy” skin), Jaune Flamee (new this year, a tasty small orange tomato that produces well), Cosmonaut (nice red), Amish Paste (large, meaty with few seeds), and Cherokee Purple (prolific, delicious but seedy).

Next up was zucchini bread.

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Cherisse came home from work in time to clean up the latest round of dishes and slice about 10 pounds of cucumbers, which we turned into pickles and marinated cucumbers. By 10:30 pm the pickles were out of their boiling water bath and we were exhausted!

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