I’ve had chickens for about a year and half now. I’ve been meaning to find a way to post about them on this blog and I think I found it. This is a little picture heavy.
I originally got chickens for eggs and because I’ve always wanted chickens. Growing up, my mom always talked about my family getting chickens, but we never did.
Having chickens is fun. At my house, our chicken set up is right outside the kitchen window and my housemates and I all watch them while we eat breakfast. We call it Chicken TV. They all have their own personalities and noises that they make.
About six and a half months ago one of my hens went broody and this seemed like the perfect time to hatch some eggs. I got some fertilized eggs from a local farmer and put three eggs under her. It was a lot of fun to watch her tend to the eggs and candle them to see what was going on inside. One of the eggs turned out to be a dud, but the other two hatched.
As they grew older I quickly realized (although I tried very hard not to believe it) that the white chick that had hatched was a rooster. This was not good because I live in the city and while we are allowed to have hens, we are not allowed to have roosters.
In Portland, it is very easy to find a willing taker of a rooster. However, the likelihood that the rooster will stay alive is very very slim. I decided that I did not want to be one of these oblivious urban farmers. If my rooster was going to be eaten, I would be part of it.
He started crowing about two months ago, but it wasn’t very loud and it wasn’t very often, so we decided maybe it wouldn’t be so bad and we could keep him. However, over the last three weeks he began to crow early and often. Sometimes starting as early as 5 am. So a butchering date was set.
Since we were already going to butcher a chicken, I decided to look on craigslist for a few more chickens to butcher. I found someone in the area selling some older hens they no longer wanted for $5 a piece. While none of the chickens we are butchering are roast chicken worthy, they should make some good soup.
I’ve never killed anything other than a fish. Which I don’t know if that even counts. The idea of killing a chicken, and especially one that I’ve taken care of for the last 6 months, makes me sad. However, I believe that our society has also done an impressive job distancing ourselves from our food and I don’t like that. If we’re going to eat something, we should know how it got there.
So I began researching and found these two sites to be the most helpful:
I am very fortunate to have a housemate that has butchered chickens before. So he helped out. And by helped out, I mean he killed them, while I stood there with a few friends going “OHMYGOD. OHMYGOD.” Because I’m a wuss. I held the feet? I’ll get there. I was really scared that if I did it I would miss and hurt them instead of killing them.
I did the rest though!
I had 5 friends over to help and it went fast. We killed, plucked and gutted the chickens in under 2 hours.
Some of the photos in this next part could be considered gruesome so please click through to read the rest.
Rikki - I have a basic question: when making a cake and the recipe says to stir in.... do I mix by hand or with a mixer? Also, I've made a couple cakes, including your grapefruit cake, and they tend to be dense and little dry. I actually like them that way, but not everyone does. Is that more of a European style of cake? -Jill Rinearson-
You can mix the batter in the mixer with the paddle attachment or with a wooden spoon. If you want a lighter cake- cream the sugar and butter (with the paddle attachment) until light, fluffy and white in color. You don’t have to worry about over creaming. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding the next egg after you no longer see yellow streaks in the butter/sugar.
Watch out for over mixing your cake batter when mixing the dry and wet ingredients together. This will make your cake dense. Mix the batter only just enough so that you don’t have any big clumps, small ones are okay. You can also always use cake flour even if the recipe calls for all purpose flour.
If your cake is too dry, it might be over baked, check the cake a little earlier with a toothpick and rotate your cake 2/3 of the way through baking so it bakes evenly. If you rotate it earlier, your cake might fall in the center when you rotate it.
Rikki- I made your greek yogurt biscuits yesterday. The flavor is great; but they didn't seem to rise very much. Any suggestions what I did wrong? Or what I can do better next time? Thanks. -Michelle-
There are a few things that might be happening:
1.You’ve handled the dough for too long so you’re creating too much gluten so you have a denser dough. When you’re mixing the dough together, make sure that you’re just mixing it enough that the dough comes together. It’s okay if it’s not a uniform texture because it will come together when you roll it out and do the three folds.
2.When you’re rolling and folding the dough, dust the dough with flour as you roll it out each time, this will also help make sure the layers in your biscuits aren’t sticking together.
3.And another, much simpler reason, is whatever you’re using to cut out your biscuits might not be sharp enough, so it’s pressing the layers you’ve created into each other.
Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while and hey, you disappeared!! What's next on the menu?
Thank you so much for following my blog! That’s so great to hear.
I am really sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I promise to have a new post up next week and hopefully a new post each week after that. I’ve been working night shift at Lovejoy Bakers for the last 2 1/2 months and it took a lot more out of me than I had expected.