Fresh Eggs

We have this saying around our house that has us always in project mode- “why not?”.

We’ve had this corner of our suburban yard that has long housed a large purple rhododendron that was adored by me and despised by the Handsome. An agreement was made that it could be removed upon the addition of something really cool that doesn’t require pulling weeds.  Enter the chicken coop. (Why not? Remember?)

Crafted with our own four hands and a bunch of amazing reclaimed fence materials, in three (maybe 4) weeks after work and on weekends, we made this little gem.  It houses nesting boxes for three chickens, a roosting ladder, a window, garden space, and a small, self-contained chicken run. A friend had more than her share of mature hens and was happy to re-home three lovely ladies.  I will be introducing them in the future, one by one, as they allow me to hold and take their photo.

After getting them settled last night, we woke up to a beautiful brown egg this morning, only to be followed by two more by noon. We can’t wait to see how we do on the daily with this backyard flock, but if the eggs keep looking this beautiful, I think we will all get along just fine. Why not?

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In the Garden

I have this little piece of paradise. It happens to be in my very own backyard. It is so peaceful and calm- in the middle of the Suburban west. Slug destruction aside, this is a quiet little delicious sanctuary that I take pride in every time I clip a leaf of kale for salad or pull a carrot fresh from the soil.

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Market Finds

Oh, sweet Pacific Northwest Summer.  I love you.

The Olympia Farmer’s Market is currently packed with the most amazing produce- local farmers are really delivering the goods this year.  I picked up a few ingredients from three of my favorite vendors (Smoked Chicken from Johnson’s Smokehouse, Beets/Carrots from Kirsop Farm, Walla Walla Sweet Onions from The Fresh Approach, rosemary garlic bread from the San Francisco Street Bakery this week to throw together some smoked chicken stew.

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Mid-Week Retreat

I’ve been working. A lot. So has the Handsome.  He managed to swing vacation this week which he deserved and needed so much.  Knowing I couldn’t take a whole week off, I opted for a mini break from my hectic schedule.

We took to the woods for an overnight and midweek recharge and retreat.  With such short notice and a very busy holiday weekend ahead of us, we stayed close to home and stayed at Millersylvania State Park.  Staying mid week, we almost had the entire campground to ourselves. We had our girls in tow, so we didn’t take to the lake on the canoes/kayaks, but did managed to let them paddle near the shore for a bit. We love to camp. Our dogs love to camp. The smell of the forest is healing and refreshing. We had a great camp fire, chatted, and heard every bird in what seemed within a mile radius. It was the perfect way to slow down and catch up with each other.

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Sweet Tooth

Our house has always embraced the old fashioned, outdated qualities that slow living provides.  I love technology in so many ways, but really admire the classics and the quality and pride of making something for yourself.

I recently had an ice cream making experience with my favorite ginger that was so successful we were trying to figure out ways to bring the “left overs” home more than a few hours away. Afterwards,  I scoured the web for my own little piece of ice cream history.  I found my very own antique maker thanks to In the Top Drawer via etsy.  After gathering my favorite (and locally sourced) ingredients, we were on to our frozen kitchen adventure.

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The Must Have:

    • Plenty of Ice & Salt for the bucket
    • 1 1/2 Cup half & half
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 Cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream
    • FLAVOR: Fresh Strawberries (you can really add anything here

 The How To:

1. Heat the half & half in a sauce pan over low heat.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar.

3. Slowly add the egg and sugar mixture into the saucepan.

4.Continue to cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.

5. Add heavy whipping cream to the  mixture.

6. Pour everything into the metal canister and secure the lid.

7. Insert canister into bucket, surround with crushed ice, add salt, and crank it for almost 30 minutes or until there is resistance in the cream.

8. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze over night.

9. Scoop and enjoy- even for breakfast.