Monthly Archives: March 2014

Modifications on a Perfect Morning

cup of latte with biscotti on side

My perfect morning begins like this

After writing this post I realize it is primarily about appliances; the good, the bad and the simply amazing. Off topic for a blog focussing on  self-sufficient living and micro farming? I would agree but my inner barista, not so. She has always insisted that, to be perfect, every day should begin with at least one large latte, plus almond biscotti on the side; no matter what. She had a good point but  it was  purely hypothetical until now, seeing as how I’d balk at spending four dollars on a coffee, not to mention driving the requisite number of kilometers (still in my jammies) to locate such treats.

I’d considered acquiring my own espresso/cappuccino maker but they seemed like such complex, not to mention expensive, little beasts that I’d decided they were not for me. That was until I literally bumped into one. It had been reduced so many times I just couldn’t resist. And I’m so glad I didn’t. We have bonded and in contradiction to all the negative comments I’d read on-line about such appliances I find it relatively fail-safe; providing a perfect way to start any day. For me this emphasizes the fact that even the simplest of living does not have to be totally stripped of more worldly pleasures. I think it’s all about balance, about recognizing the difference between rustic and downright primitive. And it’s definitely about making simple moments special before the speed of life whisks them away.

Early mornings are indeed special here, and not just because of the lattes. The rising sun has a way of  illuminating whatever happens to be at the eastern end of the kitchen counter with a gentle, warm glow, but only for a few minutes before it moves on up. Recently my Valentine’s Day gift, a super little seed sprouter, has been soaking up all these early morning rays. I used to sprout seeds in mason jars but this unit is much more efficient, and so convenient. It consists of four circular trays that stack on top of each other. The top three trays have a single valve which drains rinse water into the tray below.

Seed sprouter opened

Yummy! Alfalfa, Spicy Salad Mix and Crunchy Bean Mix

The fourth and bottom tray is a reservoir the rinse water eventually flows into, prior to being discarded. Sprouts are ready for harvesting after five to seven days. This is a fab way to have crunchy greens all winter long and I would highly recommend these sprouters. They are amazing in their simple efficiency!

Back to perfect mornings. They can get off track with little to no warning. It doesn’t take much. A freezer malfunction, for instance, will do it every time. And it seems to me that freezers rarely malfunction when they’re empty, only when they’re full. In my recent Downhill Day the freezer was discovered to be full of partially thawed chicken. And not just any chicken. No, these were the Meat Kings we’d neglected to harvest at an appropriate time.

picture of large roasted bird

No, really. This is not a turkey.

For anyone not familiar with Meat Kings, they’re simply feathered eating machines. All the food they consume translates rapidly into heft and if they’re not harvested early in the growing cycle they become the Godzillas of the chicken world. We let ours go, or I should say grow, too long. It’s surprising how much a seventeen and a half pound chicken looks like a turkey!  However, it seemed to be pretty much unanimous among the various recipients that it was the best chicken they’d (ever) had. Certainly the two I roasted were  excellent, which is just as well as we’ll be eating chicken for quite a while to come.

chicken and sprout sandwich

Chicken sandwich a la chez nous

A simple  chicken sandwich can seem positively gourmet when everything is home grown/made and this makes them uber satisfying in more ways than one.

Earlier that morning I hadn’t anticipated I’d be driving around with a truck load of chicken to distribute, only an hour or so later. And returning home I didn’t expect to find a couple of goats hanging out on the back deck.

Seems like Sidney and Sabine decided they wanted to come on inside the house for a visit. They were determined. A hour or so after I’d coerced them back into their pen they were back on the deck, Sidney up on his hind legs peering quizzically through the kitchen window. Just another typical day on Quackadoodle Farm!

I’m seeing a pattern here; one appliance perfects my morning with a latte, but then another throws it into chaos with a truck load of partially thawed chickens to distribute, while the third simply, naturally keeps those seeds right on sprouting. Hmmm! I think there’s a message here. And the goats? Well, they just keep on being goats.

Goats looking through gate

Back behind bars again – but planning on the next escape