Monday, December 27, 2010

Exciting day at our place!

Our day started out very exciting today.  We were blessed by our first egg from our free range chickens.  We started our layers from chicks, and after 20+ weeks of waiting we received the long desired product, "EGGS"!!  What a way to learn a few basic life principles like: patience, hope, diligence, delayed gratification, just to name a few.  God provides a lot of opportunities through nature to teach principles of successful living.  That is one thing we love about having our own small farm; everyday we get a new opportunity to go out and see what surprises await us and to behold the awesome handiwork of Jesus.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Blessings from our family to yours!

We want to extend a Merry Christmas blessing to your family!  Remembering the greatest gift that was given to mankind, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, may your home be filled with joy and blessing as you build family memories and  fellowship with your loved ones.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mr. Chef

Mark cooked up a fabulously tasting chicken for supper this week!  He looked online for directions on smoking chicken and came up with a winner.  The meat was so moist and delicious that I could not stay out of it.  The leftovers were just as yummy!  I had fixed rice to go with the chicken but it was too bland from not adding enough seasonings.  That made it perfect for combining the deboned chicken for lunch the next day.  The broth made from cooking the chicken added the right amount of moisture and flavoring to the rice.  This menu has become a favorite in our household!

Step 1:  Mix 1 gallon water and 1 cup salt.  Soak chicken in salt solution for 3 hrs.  Rinse chicken.

Step 2:  Combine 4 oz. hickory bbq sauce and 2 oz. Worchestershire sauce.  Brush over chicken.  If using a whole chicken, use a syringe and put brine in the breasts and thighs.  Sprinkle seasoning salt on the outside of the chicken and rub some on the inside.  Wrap in aluminum foil.  Smoke in smoker for 2 hrs. @ 140*. 

Step 3:  Transfer wrapped chicken from the smoker to the baking dish.  Bake @ 225* until done.  Cover baking dish with foil also.  The chicken will produce its own broth.  When you bake low and slow, the meat is tender and delicious!

We learned that the salt brine causes the chicken to draw in moisture.  No liquid was added to cook the chicken in except for the brine.  After we used the chicken for supper, I deboned the rest of the chicken and put the chicken pieces on top of the "bland" rice in a pyrex dish.  I then strained the broth from cooking the chicken and poured it over the rice and chicken.  The broth made the rice moist and flavorful.  We enjoyed 2 meals from one cooking session.  Who knows, maybe I'll let Mark cook a little more often. :) 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

21st Century Workhorse

In days gone by, nearly all farmers had a workhorse or mule on their place.  These animals were used to lift and carry burdens on the farm.  Much like the old days, I recommend farmers have a modern day workhorse to help with getting daily tasks completed on the farm.  Here is my workhorse; it is 20 years old and is still paying for itself.  I use this machine nearly everyday doing multiple chores around our farm.  Here are a few things that I use it for:
  1. Hauling hand tools around the farm like: a post driver, bolt cutters, chainsaws, hay bales, etc.
  2. Streching electric fence wire
  3. Moving the chicken tractor
  4. Checking different pasture areas
  5. Pulling small equipment
Now, like anything else a workhorse must be used responsibly and with caution.  If not used with respect, these useful tools can cause heartache in your family and become a curse instead of a blessing.  So ride with care.