Sunday, May 15, 2011


I will admit it - I love meatloaf....the singer and the food!  :o)  Mr. Meat can come over and make meatloaf any time....*sigh*....oh sorry I digress....  Back to the food.  Meatloaf is such a teased food.  Commercials make fun of it, kids cringe at the sound of it, but we in the Clucker's household love it, at least our recipe.  Dear Husband (DH) and I have several versions of meatloaf that we all like.  We have an italian style that is saucy and cheesy - sure to harden your arteries before you get to dessert, and the regular non-saucy version.  We have been tweaking meatloaf recipes over the years and DH seen a Mr. Food segment one morning on the TV news, but did not write it down or remember exactly what it was.  He remembered the jist of it so off we went to the store to get the main ingredients.  It took us a couple of tries but we have created a recipe that is wonderfully tender, moist, and oh so tasty.

So head on over to the What's Cooking page for the full recipe and give it a try.  It is yummy hot or cold.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yummy Healthy Summer Squash and Eggs

I love summer yellow squash.  We usually plant a few plants and end up with more squash that one could ever use!  Since it is still way too early to be planting the garden in this neck of the woods, we bought some straight neck yellow squash at the store.  The sat around as we got too busy to cook them up that night or the next night, or the next.  So not wanting them to go bad I finally cooked them up and we all gobbled them down.  I had to make sure I packed my lunch before we all started eating so I would be sure to have some of this yummy dish for my next day's meal.

It is super simple, super easy, and wonderfully tasty.   It is a good source of vitamins and protein when it is completed with the eggs.  Head on over to the What's Cookin page for the full recipe!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Peeps are getting Big!

I had to clean out the brooder the other day.  I just could not stand the smell any more.  Having baby chickens in the basement is not the best set up.  Thankfully it is only for 2 months then we will move them out to the nursery outside until they are laying age.  Then they will be integrated into the coop with the rest of the chickens.

Cleaning out chicken litter from the basement is kinda tough.  I have to first open up the full brooder and shoo all of the peeps to the back new half, then block it back up while I clean out the front half.  To clean out the front half I have to use a flat head shovel and scoop up all the litter and put it into a big much bucket.  Then I have to carry the full muck bucket up the bilco steps and all the way down to the compost pile....again and again.  It took me about 4 or 5 trips back and forth to get all the litter cleaned out.

While I had the time I throughly cleaned the watering can while dear husband put down fresh pine shavings.  We added another set of blocks under the food and water to raise them up.  This will keep things cleaner for them.

We also added an 8 foot long perch for them.  It is a little high for them right now, but soon enough they will be all over it.

The peeps are growing like weeds!  The Easter Eggers are starting to get their fuzzy cheeks.

The White Lace Wyandotts are getting white heads and starting to lace out.

The Black Astrolopes are shiny and black.

I think I have figured out that the two mystery chicks are actually Red Laced Wyandotts.  They are pretty that is for sure.

The yellow/white peeps that I thought were the mystery peeps are turning out to be Easter Eggers.  They have the fuzzy cheeks like the rest of them.  It will be interesting to see what color eggs they will lay.  My last Easter Eggers both laid green eggs but one would lay an army olive drab egg while the other would lay a bright light green egg.  I hope these Easter Eggers have a range of colors and hoe to have a blue layer.

I think all the peeps are looking great.  Some will argue that they are ugly and look like little dinosaurs.  They are almost all feathered out and are getting more inquisitive every day.  They are starting not to run from me, and are actually starting to take an interest in me as I feed and water them every day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Here is another quick and easy week night recipe for busy people.  This sloppy joe recipe was put together by my Dear Husband and me one evening when we got tired of the the canned sloppy joe sauce.

Head on over to the What's Cookin page for the recipe!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Growing Season

Last night there was a beautiful sun set in out neck of the woods.  We were exhausted from mowing the yard.  I push mowed the *long* driveway ditches, making sure to avoid the Killdeer nest, and the sand mound since it is pretty steep.

Both mowings tag teamed to kick my butt!  I will admit this first mowing of the season has been the most exercise I have gotten since our last big snow fall.  Not to worry, I will be getting lots of activity as we will be plowing, rotatilling, planting, and all to soon enough weeding lots of ground and tanks.
Things are starting to come alive around these here parts.  The trees are starting to leaf out and bloom.

My fruit orchard is starting to bloom.

The apple trees are just starting to bud up and bloom:

The peach is about done:

The Nectarine is in full bloom.  I love this tree.  We have yet to get any fruit from it, but the leaves smell like nectarines and send a sweet wonderful sent through the summer air.

The Plum is going strong:

As is the small Sour Cherry is just crazy full of blossoms!

The pear tree is blooming nicely as well.  We have two pear trees but the other one has not bloomed since we planted it.  It is healthy and growing well.  We will be pruning it back this year to see if that will spark it to bloom next year.  You have to have 2 pear trees to get the correct pollination.

The Sweet Cherry Varieties are at the end of their bloom.  Hopefully the frost will stay at bay and we can get some fruit this year.

We have a cage of wire around each tree to keep the deer off of them.  The deer love cherry trees and did a lot of damage to them our second year.  We want to fence in the whole area with one fence instead of each tree.  Some day we will get around to doing that.

I also have to rhubarb patches.  This rhubarb is very old....probably at least 45-50 years old.  I remember as a little girl pulling a stalk from my Granny's rhubarb and chewing it right up - eating it like a stalk of celery.  About 14 years ago my Dad had gotten me some divisions of my Granny's rhubarb that I loved so much as a child.  I planted these divisions and tended them to make sure they would grow.  The did indeed grow and flourished!  My in-laws wanted some, so we divided my stalk and I shared mine with my Father in Law and Brother in Law.  We check on the plants we put in at FILs to make sure they are doing well and they are.  My BIL did a great job at tending the divisions we gave him and they really took off!  When BIL passed away - SIL his widow said we could have the rhubarb plants back as she did not want them.  We dug them up and from the 4 divisions I had gave BIL a few years back - he turned them into 11 plants!  We dug up a plot of land and fortified it with about 1200 pounds of top soil, peat, and compost.  I planted each of the plants that we got from BIL and said a prayer that they would grow.  Sure enough they all came up this spring and are growing like crazy!

Now I will have rhubarb out the ears this year!  We will harvest only a little bit of the newly planted stuff this year to give the roots the nourishment that the leaves give it.  We will harvest it next year.  In the mean time I still have the first patch that I can harvest to my hearts desire.  That patch also has 11 plants in it.  That patch is not in a good spot so the rhubarb is a bit spindly - we may move it this fall over to this long patch.

This is the second year for us growing garlic.  We bought bulbs to grow last year and they did pretty good.  We saved all of the bulbs we got last year and planted the cloves again in the late fall.  Said another prayer that they would come up.  Sure enough they did!  I think we can actually use some of these this year but will keep the best ones for next fall's plantings.  Why we are growing garlic I have no idea.  I do not like garlic at all...ick!  However Dear Husband wanted to plant some so we did.

The Blueberries are starting to bloom and leaf out as well.  The red raspberries are starting to come up as well.  The black berries have not made their arrival yet.  There will be lots to do here pretty quick with planting and weeding.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Super Easy - Super Quick Dish - Chipped Ham BBQ

Growing up I loved these sandwiches.  They are tangy sweet and drippy.  Best of all it is very quick to make.  Chipped ham BBQ sandwiches.  I am not sure where the recipe originated as it was in my family for years and years and years.

Head on over to the What's Cookin page for the recipe!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Retro Reversable Aprons

I have been sewing a lot lately.  I have found out that I really enjoy sewing and it is a much needed creative release for me.  I also love to bake - but sewing does not add to my wastline!

Here are some pictures of some cute reversable retro apons I have recently made.

Head on over to the Sew What page for more pictures of these cuties.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Peep Update

My peeps are growing like crazy weeds!  They are now4 weeks old and about 5" tall.  They are very skittish now as well.  I have  a few that are pretty inquisitive and like to investigate me, but the rest run and cower at the other end of the brooder screaming 'Monster!!  Run for your life!!!'  Drama queen birds...

It is about time that we open up the rest of the brooder to them.  This will give them the whole 8x8 area to run and scratch through.

They are also getting pretty stinky.  If it ever quits raining here, I need to clean out the brooder and put down fresh pine for them.  However since it has been pouring for days on end I have postponed cleaning the brooder and started drawing up arc plans.

My older hens out in the coop called me up on the cluck line again requesting life vest be issued to everyone.  Poor hens are knee deep in mud in the run.  I try to let them free range as much as possible when the run gets really mucky.   But when it rains, they all hang out in the run and coop anyway so they end up staying in.

The peep are feathering out nicely.  My basement is riddled with fly away tiny downey feathers.  It is always a cleaning chore when we move the little ones outside from the basement.  They dust and feather everything up something terrible.

Four weeks ago it was all they could do to reach the food and water rings.  Now they tower over them and are ready for some low perches to be added to the brooder, and the food and water tanks raised up.  You have to keep the food and water tanks at about shoulder height on the birds to keep them from kicking litter and flooring into the rings.  Its a clean thing.