Auto Immune Protocal Breakfast is Nutrient Dense

I have been on my new path to wellness for 5 1/2 months now. A part of this path is following the Auto Immune Protocol.

Pork bacon and greens in pan USE

This weekend Gene and I drove into South Haven to the Winter Market yesterday. This is a small market during the cold winter months but a few vendors grow greens in greenhouses all winter long.

I bought fresh grown rainbow kale, two bags of spinach, two bunches of carrots and kale. My plan I to eat all of that between now and Thursday.

VERT rainbow chard

Another part of my plan is to cook and eat greens at all three meals each day. This is what the protocol recommends. This is nutrient dense real foods at their best!

This morning I sautéed onions, carrots, the Swiss chard and added coconut oil and two thick slabs of the local bacon we bought a few weeks back.  It’s a new mind-set for me to eat vegetables and meat for breakfast but this is what the protocol recommends. Ample healthy fats and protein keeps us full and feeling satisfied longer. Healthy fat is also necessary for our brains to work at their optimal levels.

Thick bacon close

It was delicious and I feel fully satisfied after eating this. And a lovely side effect is that I’ve lost a whole pants size too. Yahoo!

This functional medicine process is SO impressive. They have a way to get questions answered and to take care of serious health issues. After a lifetime of screwing  around with conventional medicine and not getting any answers, this is like a welcome breath of fresh air.

 

Small House homesteader, Donna

New Year’s Day on the Homestead

We tend to favor low-key holiday celebrations these days. Our life is quiet, simple we are older and we are tired!

Sweet potatoe soup

A hearty sweet potato, sausage and kale soup to begin the new year.

This year we will enjoy the simple pleasure of walking Sassy, a bit of the NY day parade, watch a good DVD and a great healthy meal. We will likely talk to some of out-of-town relatives as well which is always a bright spot in our day.

I cooked one of my all-time favorite homemade soups this year; Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup that I adapted many years ago from This Organic Life written by Joan Gussow. This is a great book for any beginning gardener and is about Joan and her husband’s life as college professors and urban gardeners in upstate New York. This is my “go to” potluck soup that everyone raves over. This soup is so good it is almost sinful. I do recommend it!

I’m still trying to find away to make tasty gluten-free biscuits. Not there yet.

Bob's New flour

Biscuits before

Experimenting with gluten-free biscuits today.

Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup

(Adapted from This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader, Joan Dye Gussow. This soup was originally a Portuguese tradition.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)

1 teaspoon sea salt (I use just a small pinch)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Rosemary to taste (try ½ to 1 Tablespoon to start)

1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage (or whatever sausage you like)

8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds or 6 lg. potatoes)

2 cups of cabbage

5 cups water

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

I also add 5 or 6 chicken bouillon cubes

1 (16-ounce) package prewashed torn kale

Parsley to taste (I used about two heaping tablespoons)

1 (16-ounce) can cannelloni beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16 oz. canned tomato) or homegrown/frozen

(I also like to add chunks of cooked/boiled Butternut squash to my soup. (It’s filled with fiber and I love it in my soups.)

PREPERATION:

  1. Boil sweet potatoes and drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion; sauté 10-15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
  4. Add sweet potatoes, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and beans (squash and any other ingredients above)
  6. Transfer to a crock pot and finish cooking and blending all flavors

For our dessert I made my rice pudding. Now that I am on a restricted diet I was looking for a low sugar, gluten-free dessert option.

Rice pudding

Gluten-Free Low Sugar Brown Rice Pudding (my adaptation)

  • 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • I cook the brown rice ahead of time and then assemble. I cook my rice for about 30 minutes and then let it sit in the pan on the same burner another 15-20 while it continues to slowly cook until soft. Just watch that the water does not fully evaporate and the rice burns. Usually this is not a problem, but just be aware.
  • 2 cups milk, divided (I use 1 to 2 cups of organic Almond milk.)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (I use brown sugar.) I can get by with less sugar because the Craisins are very sweet.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I leave out the salt)
  • This year I added 3/4 cup of fresh pomegranate seed
  • I egg beaten
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins (I use Craisins (dried cranberries) since my husband cannot eat raisins.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (I generally don’t use butter but I bet it would taste wonderful!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract When the dish is assembled, I shake on nutmeg on the top.
  • I add a small package of slivered almonds.
  1. I cook the brown rice up ahead of time.
  2. In a separate bowl assemble all the ingredients except the nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. Spoon into the bowl with lid I am cooking it in.
  4. Sprinkle on the nutmeg
  5. Cook at 325-350 for 20 minutes or until slightly browned and looks cooked around the sides
  6. Serve warm (or you can also eat it cooled.)
  7. Will keep for about 4-6 days.

You can make this simple dessert from start to finish in about 90 minutes.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor too and have an amazing new year!

Small House homesteader, Donna

Small House Christmas Dinner

Even though we have kept it pretty simple this year, the past week has been a whirlwind of Christmas activities. Our Christmas cards have been signed and sent, and this past Sunday we enjoyed our families Christmas dinner. We hosted this event in our home so much of my week was spent on planning, shopping, table setting and cooking for the big day. I like to cook as much ahead as I can and set the table the night before.

Gene cooked the chicken and I made the side dishes. I find that healthy home cooked food is one way I can show support to my son and make a small difference in his life. I also like to model healthy food for my grand daughter too.

Susans Fried chicken

I feel blessed to live in the land of abundance where we have the food easily available to create a special and tasty meal but I never forget to remember those who do not. While it has been challenging to switch over to gluten, dairy and sugar-free, I have not forgotten that I am indeed fortunate to have the ability to find and purchase the ingredients I now need. Having computer access to gluten-free recipes and a working stove, refrigerator, electricity and the ability to make these nutritious meals makes us very fortunate indeed.

Our Christmas Menu This Year Included;

  • Susan Lamberti’s Fried & Baked Chicken
  • Twice Baked Acorn Squash Quinoa & Kale with Pomegranate
  • Gluten-free Stuffing
  • Quinoa, Cranberry, Apple, Kale, Pumpkin Seed Pilaf
  • Grandma’s Orange and Cranberry Gelatin Salad
  • Tossed Lettuce Salad
  • Cider (hot or cold) and Water

The highlight of the meal was definitely the Susan Lamberti family chicken recipe we call, Mom’s Fried Chicken. Mom was Gene mother, Susan Lamberti who emigrated from Italy and was a true and traditional Italian cook.

Gene cooking chicken

She fed her family of six every day, making many traditional Italian recipes and cooked everything but the bread they ate from scratch and kept her family fed, full and satisfied. Gene’s childhood holiday meals always included a fully baked turkey with all the seasonal trimming as well as homemade lasagna using her handmade lasagna noodles. Gene says his mother was “a piece of work,” but I think she must have been a saint!

In an Italian family it’s all about family and the food!

Brenna with chair and highchair USE

I enjoyed this chicken for the first time in the fall of 20145 when we visited Gene’s brother and sister-in-law at their home in Upstate New York. Gene’s brother Pat saved this recipe from oblivion. This chicken is lightly breaded, lightly fried and then baked and is incredibly moist and delicious. We watched the making of this chicken then but needed a quick tutorial to answer a few questions so Gene called his brother for the recipe which I have included here.

Susan Lamberti’s Fried & Baked Chicken (Prep 60 minutes, cook time 60 minutes. Ready in 2 hours.)

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken pieces with skin removed

Salt & pepper to taste

Eggs

Flour

Italian bread crumbs

Olive oil

  1. Remove skin, cut up chicken and dry the pieces well
  2. Roll chicken pieces in the flour
  3. Roll chicken in the egg mixture
  4. Roll the chicken in the Italian bread crumbs
  5. Fry lightly in olive oil, turning often
  6. Drain chicken on paper towels to take out any excess oil
  7. Put the chicken back into the pan and add water, approx. ½ to ¾ cup of water depending on the amount of chicken pieces and the size of the pan. The water will soften the breading and allows you to make gravy in the pan.
  8. Remove chicken from flying pan and put into a baking dish
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

Grandma’s Orange and Cranberry Gelatin Salad (Prep 20 minutes. Ready in 8 hours)

INGREDIENTS:

1 (oz.) package raspberry flavored Jell-O mix

2 cups boiling water

1 (16 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, un-drained

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup pecans

1 teaspoon orange zest

TOPPING:

1, 4 oz. package cream cheese softened (I used non-dairy)

½ cup whipped topping (I used non-dairy)

DIRECTIONS:

1) Place the gelatin in a bowl and pour in the boiling water, and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Mix in the cranberry sauce, pineapple, celery, pecans, and orange zest until evenly blended. Pour the gelatin mixture into a mold or serving dish.

2) Chill gelatin in the refrigerator overnight or up to 8 hours.

3) To make the topping beat the cream cheese with half of the whip topping. Fold in the remaining whipped topping until well blended. Unmold the gelatin and spread with the topping mixture.

Twice Baked Acorn Squash Quinoa & Kale with Pomegranate: (Prep 15 minutes, initial cook 40 minutes-Mix together and bake another 20 minutes)

INGREDIENTS:

2 acorn squash

Quinoa, red or white

Kale, torn into pieces (amount is as much as you like) I use one whole large bunch for three squashes.)

Garlic, fresh or power (I used a large spoon full of prepared ground garlic)

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

½ cup pecans

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and coat the inner yellow portion with butter, coconut oil or olive oil. Place in the oven, right side up, and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the inner portion is soft. For a more seasoned bowl, dust the squash with garlic powder, cinnamon and allspice. When the squash is done, peel out the inner portion and leave enough squash remaining in the bowl to maintain its structure.
  2. Sauté’ the shredded squash, quinoa, kale, spices and /2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic.) and butter in a pan just enough to melt the butter and wilt the kale.
  3. Transfer the mixture into the squash bowls and bake in the oven for 15-30 minutes. Add the pecans and the pomegranates to the top.
  4. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds (toasted or not) Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cool slightly and can be made a day ahead.

Holiday Dinner 2015

Enjoy your holidays all!

Small House homesteader, Donna

A Sunday Morning Frost

Our tiny corner of SW Michigan began foggy and cool this morning with a pretty silvery-white coating of frost on all of the remaining plants. Now the day is brightening up and the sun is out and the sky is blue. It’s a beautiful early winter day on the homestead.Gen and sassy winter sky

Yesterday’s walk under a glorious SW Michigan winter sky!

Gene has gone outside to finish wrapping the netting around our first-year fruit trees to keep the deer and rabbits from nibbling on them when food becomes scarce. Although we have finished with our leaf pickup work this season, more leaves have blown back in from the surrounding woods. Gene will be using our faithful sucker/blower equipment to suck more leaves out of the pea gravel landscaped beds around our ranch-style home.

Gene wrapping wire USE

Netting is going up around our new fruit trees today to keep the critters out.

We are having a very mild winter thus far having had only one snowfall. This is fairly unusual for a Michigan winter but is giving us extra time to complete our outdoor chores, plant more spring bulbs and so on.

 

Todd Farm grat sky and road

Country roads take me home…

Yesterday’s weather was a stunner; beautiful, sunny and warm for just a 40 degree early winter day. I sat outside with my face to the sun with the chickens for almost two hours. The girls were happy to be out and about free ranging. They are giving me 7 eggs a day out of 8 chickens now. YEA!!

Rhodie in leaves nice light USE

Free ranging Elsa in our woodlot. Isn’t she a beauty!

Even Snowball, my Cochin-Bantam that I adopted as a chick and who came to me with a wry neck and serious nutritional deficiencies from eating nothing but cracked corn has just started laying again after her fall molt. She still turns around in circles during times of stress, but she is doing well in spite of that not so good start in life. She is a sweet, happy chickens that stands up to the bigger RIR every time they get in what she considers her territory. It’s kind of funny because the Rhodies are twice as big as Snowball and yet they just fade away. It’s like they are saying, “Oh it’s a gnat, move away.”

Snowball puzzled look

Snowball is a feisty little Cochin Bantam ball of energy.

I am moving in slow mode this week as I am battling another bacterial skin infection.This is running right behind a 5-week episode of bronchitis and 9 month of on-going plantar fasciitis pain. I am afraid that my body is just run down.

I am feeling frustrated too because I believe I am doing everything right;  I focus on eating whole organic foods and make almost all of our meals from scratch. I get plenty of sleep and rest, do my yoga stretches and practice good household and personal hygiene. With a mostly indoor dog living with us, we clean weekly and I vacuum nearly every day. While I would not try it, I have been told that you could almost eat off of the floors of my home.

In compst bin heads up best USE

The Rhodies like to free-range in the compost bin.

Gene and I had planned to go out to dinner yesterday to celebrate our 19th anniversary but I just did not feel up to it. I could not see spending the money and then not enjoying the meal.

Gene Donna at Grill house 12113

Last years anniversary celebration dinner out.

I have also started over again with a new physician, a female DO this time ,in the hopes that THIS ONE might be a good fit for me. I need a physician that is more holistic than Western medicine, listens, believes me and understands that I do not want antibiotics every three months and is willing to work with me.

Road moslty right hand side

One of the beautiful back roads of Allegan County, MI.

My skin issue is a hereditary condition; many others in my family also have it. We get frequent boils and cysts and that turn into nasty, hot and painful infections. This week I was told to stop eating wheat, sugar and dairy so this has thrown me for a loop as I will not eat packaged, processed foods with chemicals in them or soy and substitute foods often have these ingredients in them.

I spent a large portion the day on-line researching yogurt, breads and so on that I will be able to eat. We live in a very rural area and do not have a lot of healthy food choices here so it takes planning ahead and a lot of kitchen time.

VERT road and trees

I find peace in the beauty of my rural home.

I am trying to focus on my many blessing today….not the negatives. I go back to see the doctor tomorrow and will stop at one of my favorite large health food stores on my way home.

Things I am grateful for this week:

  • I am grateful that this health food store is well stocked and available to me.
  • I am grateful I have a vehicle that will get me to this appointment and back.
  • I am grateful that I have the choice to start over with a new physician.
  • I am grateful to have insurance and Medicare that will help with these new bills.

Remembering today to find joy in the simple things of my home centered life.

Small House homesteader, Donna

The Real Value of a Home Cooked Thanksgiving Dinner

Last night as I was driving to physical therapy I saw a sign at the Big Boy restaurant in town, it read, “Turkey dinners On Thanksgiving Day, $8.99 per person.” I thought to myself in my 5 p.m. tired fog, I am doing this wrong. Taking my son and family to dinner would cost us about $36.00, plus drinks.

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A fun Thanksgiving game of dominoes with our grand daughter.

Today as I processed the idea overnight I began to realize that my special order organic 9lb. chicken at $4.00 a lb. that the chicken alone equals the monetary cost of the meal advertised on that restaurant sign. Add to that expense the cost of organic; potatoes, carrots, stuffing, Seven Superfoods Salad ingredients, corn bread, Jell-O w/ fruit (for my 6 yr. old granddaughter), two vegetables and dessert, cider, lemonade, cider and tea. And I quickly realized that for many cheap food is a real and deceptive lure.

Add to that my 2015 Thanksgiving Schedule:

Monday: Make the shopping list and grocery shop.

Tuesday: Make the Jell-O and Seven Superfoods salads and bake the pies.

Wednesday: Clean house, change tablecloth, makes the table arrangement and set the table.

Thursday: Get up early to cook the food and entertain the family.

And yet the flip side to this coin is the reality of what a home cooked meal prepared with love truly means. As life gets busier and busier, welcoming family and guests into the warmth and security of our homes for the day is becoming a lost art. But I feel it’s an art worth pursuing and keeping.

Because we use locally raised foods, we are not footing the bill for transporting ingredients across the country or around the globe. So it takes less fossil fuels (or energy) to cook a locally sourced meal at home. Studies show that it takes double the amount of energy to process, package and transport food than it does to grow it

Because we have control over what we are cooking and eating our meal will be more nutritious with less salt, additives and empty calories. Food we cook a home is just plain healthier and the cooking process itself empowers us to make heathier choices.

Cooking at home is also better for the environment as there is less food waste and fewer tossed out items like food wrappings and paper napkins and tinfoil cooking pans to enter the waste stream.

It’s a terrific way to teach introduce children to new dishes as well as about the taste, texture and pleasure of well-prepared food. This process turns the time spent together in the kitchen or dining room a family bonding experience.

The real truth is, the food I cook at home just tastes better. Once I began eating “real foods” I quickly recognized the difference between what I was now eating and the “dead food” taste of the foods in my past.

Their is also the pride I feel when I plan and cook a great meal at home and my family devours it. This is something I cannot put a price on. I know I am giving something of value to them and this is a way for me show my love for my son and granddaughter.

Because we will be using the whole chicken we have less waste. We will eat that chicken for our Thanksgiving dinner and then have leftovers to work with for the rest of the week. For us that means making a homemade chicken pot pie later on that same week, one of my husband’s all-time favorite meals

After that I will take the bones and skin and vegetable trimmings and boilthem into a rich chicken stock. This will be the perfect starting point for a pot of delicious homemade soup later on this winter.

Anything left over will end up in the compost bin and in a year or so it will be turned into wonderful soil and free fertilizer and the leftover bones and skin will be given to the chickens to peck over as a treat.

While we build the basics of a healthy from scratch meal we also build community and lifelong bonding with our loved ones. We make and keep traditions and create memories that are priceless.

The only real ingredients I need for my happy Thanksgiving are real food and my family. And I believe that cooking still matters.

Small House homesteader, Donna

A Day of Thanksgiving Gratitude at Small House Homestead

Everything we have is a gift. Today is a celebration of the harvest, fall, food and gratitude.This is a day set aside for counting our blessings…and the simple gift today is family and friends to enjoy this celebration with.

Brenna Gene and Elsa in hats cuts      Our granddaughter and Elsa the Rhodie enjoy the balmy weather.

TODAY’S THANKSGIVING MENU:

  • Roasted organic pasture raised chicken with red potatoes, carrots tomatoes, flavored by ground pepper and basil
  • Jell-O and frozen peas (both for my 6-year-old granddaughter)
  • Raw Seven Superfoods Salad
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Dishes of green olives, black olives
  • Organic lemonade and fresh local cider

Mom's Stuffing

Mom’s Turkey Stuffing Recipe Yield: Serves 8-10.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of day old French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups each, chopped onion and celery
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of currants or raisins
  • Several (5 to 10) chopped green olives (martini olives, the ones with the pimento)
  • Stock from the turkey giblets (1 cup to 2 cups) (can substitute chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or ground sage (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Method:

1 If you haven’t already made the stock, take the turkey giblets – heart and gizzard – and neck if you want, and put them in a small saucepan, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to a simmer; simmer for about an hour, uncovered. Strain the stock into a container for use with the stuffing. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

2 Toast the walnuts by heating them in a frying pan on medium high heat for a few minutes, stirring until they are slightly browned (not burned) OR put them in the microwave on high until you can smell the aroma of them toasting, about a minute or two. Let them cool while you are toasting the bread, then roughly chop them.

3 Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in the pan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat the bread pieces with the melted butter. Then let them toast; only turn them when they have become a little browned on a side. Note, if you aren’t working with somewhat dried-out day-old bread, lay the cubes of bread in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to dry them out first, before toasting them in butter on the stove top. The bread should be a little dry to begin with, or you’ll end up with mushy stuffing.

4 In a large Dutch oven, sauté chopped onions and celery on medium high heat with the remaining 3 Tbsp butter until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the bread. Add cooked chopped walnuts. Add chopped green apple, currants, raisins, olives, parsley. Add one cup of the stock from cooking the turkey giblets or chicken stock (enough to keep the stuffing moist while you are cooking it). Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper.

5 Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. Check every ten minutes or so and add water or stock as needed while cooking to keep the stuffing moist and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Brussel Sprouts on cutting oard

Seven Superfoods Salad (Adapted)

(Adapted from The Farmhouse Deli, Douglas, MI)

This is my current favorite raw salad. Not only is it raw and tasty it is chocked full of healthy nutrition.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

Raw organic broccoli, Brussels sprouts, purple and green cabbage, cauliflowers florets, curly kale, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, cherries or craisins.

I like to make this as fresh as possible so I make what can be eaten in approx. two days. So my measurements are done according to that.

DRESSING:

The original recipe called for Agave but I used raw, unfiltered local honey. Both work fine.

Mix ½ cup honey and 4 TBLS Braggs apple cider vinegar (with the mother)

  1. Using the Cuisinart, dice 1 cup of the following; broccoli, Brussels sprouts both cabbage and kale. Toss well and set aside.
  2. Add the dressing to the raw vegetable approximately. two hours prior to serving.
  3. Just before serving add ½ cup of sunflower seeds and ½ cup of craisins.
  4. Toss and serve.

Chicken uncoked in pan

Locally raised pastured chicken in the pot with vegetables.

It was wonderful day with family. I am blessed.

Grandma Brenna Else in front of house USE

Small House homesteader, Donna, Elsa and Brenna

Can’t Grow Your Own? Buy Local!

We aren’t as sustainable as some homesteads here at the Small House. But what we can’t grow or produce we can buy from local growers. I’m a softie when it comes to eating my own chickens so this year I ordered them from a local farm.

Chickens in coolor USE

Cornish hens ready to take home for Sunday dinner!

Today we picked up our 18 organic pastured chickens that we ordered last August from a nearby chicken farm owned by friends, Blackberry Pine Farms.

Blackberry Pines Farm sign

The greeting sign at Blackberry Pines Farm

We took a tour of the farm today when we picked up our birds and I was pleased at how clean and orderly it is. Blackberry Pine Farms raises and sells chickens, turkeys and peafowl.

Sign gate and pines

White Pines line the driveway to the farm.

My friend Ann and I went in together on our order and I pre-ordered 18 Cornish hens between us. I made the arrangements, placed the order, picked up the processed chickens and we met today for lunch and a handled the pick-up. She drove down from Newaygo with her husband Terry and we sat on our three season’s porch with lemonade and hot tea and caught up.

Ann & Terry USE

Gene and I spent the day with my high school friend and her husband Terry.

I wanted organic meat chickens in the freezer for the year and decided to test out Farm raised Cornish hens. My plan is to roast one chicken per month over the winter and to cook up a 9 lb. hen for the holidays.

Guys and coolor USE

A cooler full of processed chickens on their way home to my freezer.

We had a nice visit on our sun porch and then drove into Fennville for lunch and to enjoy a bit of the annual Fennville Goose Festival.

Chicken Tractor

The chicken tractor ah la Joe Saladin.

We ate lunch as a great restaurant owned by another friend, Roots, and watched the small town parade go by our window. The Festival is the typical mix of food booths, bands, fire trucks, muscle cars, hay wagons carrying the local football team, the Goose Queen and King and so on. Our lunch that was made from locally sourced foods, was well prepared and tasty. And it was especially fun for the four of us to sit and chat and catch up what is for us, a very unusual day off.

The fall weather cooperated beautifully too; with blue skies and sunshine, warm breezes and lots of autumn color coming on in the trees and shrubs.

This day off was a rare country pleasure and a fine way to enjoy the autumn before the heavy snowfall arrives and prevents company visiting for another winter.

Small House homesteader, Donna