Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our newest additons

Last week we added three new members to our little farmette-ette.  Three baby ducks!
     We've never had ducks before.  We have chickens and rabbits right now.  Jim would like to get something bigger - a goat or cow.  I'm pulling for a pig, mostly just because I love baccon.  Is that so wrong?  Anyway, someone gave us these ducks, and so we've got a new adventure on our hands.
     I thought a chick would be a chick, but no.  They're different then the chickens.  They have a quieter little peep, they stick together in a little flock all the time, and these ones are super scared of us.  They huddle in the corner of their cage when we come near and run evasive maneuvers when we try and pick them up.
     Random duck fact:  Ducklings don't make their own oil for waterproofing.  They rub on their mama to get it and so, if they're mother isn't around, you need to be careful with your ducklings around water, because they can get tired and drown!  Who knew!  Don't worry, we're very careful with our little flock.
   We took them outside the other day, Life got such a kick out of it!
She almost caught one!
On an unrelated note, the iris' have bloomed!

Menu 26

So here we are at week number 26 of the Gutsy Cooks Challenge.  Who knew my family would put up with it for so long?  ;-)  They haven't asked me to quit yet, so I'll keep plugging along.  This week's menu was Roasted Beet and Feta Salad (pg. 221); Cassoulet (pg. 338); and Baked Pears in Marsala (pg. 457).  Eww beets.  I didn't make that.  And I didn't attempt the Pears in Marsala.  The kids nearly swallowed their tongues when they found out there was wine in the Cassoulet they would have just fainted dead away if dessert would have had alcohol in it too!  Ha!  They're funny.  Plus, they don't like pears.  Anyway... to the Cassoulet!
I love to just say the word... "Cassoulet"  Did you say it?  Isn't it fun?  It makes me feel fancy.  This dish contains all things meat .  We like meat here.  The recipe called for Italian sausage, pancetta and duck.  Wait.  Seriously?  Duck?  Shockingly, I couldn't find duck in my local super market.  I used chicken thighs (they were on sale, as was the sausage, WINNING!)  Are you familiar with a cassoulet?  I was not.  The cookbook says it's "A hearty bean and meat dish from southwest France."  I followed the directions and made my layers of beans then the various meats and then topped with more beans and then crushed tomatoes and wine.
See that?  Lots of meat.
Then I slow roasted it and topped it with the tasty bread crumb topping
I like this picture of my bread crumbs.  I added cheese to them.  mmmm cheese.
And then I had a pot filled with meat and beans and topped with these bread crumbs.  I just didn't get it.  I made dinner and then a put it in a big pot and cooked it again and covered it with breadcrumbs.  Honestly, I didn't get it.   I brought it to the table and Jim said "Now what"  I said "I don't know.  The cookbook says how to make it, not how to eat it." 
It was like... did you ever play that game as a kid when the grownups hid a bunch of change in a big pile of sawdust... this was like that only you were hunting for sausage links and chicken thighs.

So we each just heaped our plates with meat and beans all coated with breadcrumbs.  It was not attractive at all.  It tasted good, like meat.  But.... yea... I don't get it.