Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to locate and prepare Heritage Breed Chickens

Everything old is new again, with farmers and eaters rediscovering heritage breeds of chickens. But finding and cooking one isn't as easy as heading to the local grocery store and buying a pack of chicken breast filets. Here's how to cook a chicken that actually tastes like chicken.

Heritage-breed chickens are defined by The Livestock Conservancy as breeds with four characteristics: they were recognized as an American Poultry Association Standard Breed prior to the mid-20th century, they are naturally mating, they can live a long and productive life outdoors and they have a slow growth rate — meaning they reach market weight in no less than 16 weeks. These are different than industrial-breed chickens – the kind you typically find at a grocery store or restaurant – in price, form, conformation and genetics.

They’ll also likely cost quite a bit more than your normal bird – expect to pay anywhere from $5.50 to $10.50 per pound for your heritage chicken – but many cooks and eaters swear by their flavor. Heritage birds also look a bit different, as Americans’ obsession with huge chicken breasts is a relatively recent phenomena. Expect, instead, to see longer-bodied chickens with smaller breast-meat portions and darker dark-meat portions.

Heritage chickens aren’t typically sold in a grocery store, so you might have to do some research to find them in your area. Look at the farmers market, at the co-op, or online at The Livestock Conservancy’s directory,, or Heritage Foods USA.

A Breed for the Table
Heritage-breed chickens were developed for different purposes and climates – some strictly for eggs or strictly for meat, and others for dual purpose, meaning both eggs and meat; some for cold weather, and others for tropical climates – so you won’t find every heritage breed in every locale. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find some of the following breeds of heritage meat birds for your home use:

Brahma: 8- to 10-pound market weight; found in cold climates; was considered the best meat chicken from mid-1850s through early 1900s

Buckeye: 5.5- to 8-pound market weight with meaty thighs; developed in Ohio

Catalana: 5- to 6.5-pound market weight; known for succulent meat; warm-climate bird

Plymouth Rock: Fast-growing; 6- to 8-pound market weight; cold-hardy bird; foundation breed for industrial-chicken production

Orpington: 7- to 8-pound market weight; slow-growing chicken; excellent for cooking at any age

Delaware: Fast-growing; 5.5- to 7.5-pound market weight; flavorful when eaten at any age

Wyandotte: 5.5- to 7.5-pound market weight; fast maturing; cold-climate bird

Sussex: 6- to 7.5-pound market weight; known for flavorful meat

Cornish: 6.5- to 8.5-pound market weight; very muscular; young birds eaten as Cornish Game Hens; foundation breed for industrial-chicken production

Rhode Island Red: 5.5- to 7.5-pound market weight; flavorful meat; hardy in all climates

Dorking: 6- to 8-pound market weight; cold hardy; tender and delicate, especially white meat

Langshan: Slow-growing birds; 6.5- to 8-pound market weight; abundant white meat

In The Kitchen
When you get a heritage-breed chicken home, don’t cook it like it’s any ol’ bird. Here are five cooking tips:

1. Make sure you’ve selected a bird of the proper age for your desired dish. Get a younger bird, which will have more tender meat, as a fryer; an older bird as a roasting or stewing chicken.

For example, the French dish coq au vin literally translates to cock (rooster) with wine. It’s considered a peasant’s dish, because this method of cooking is designed to break down tougher – and therefore less desirable – meat. An older bird can be marinated and cooked slowly with moisture to produce tender results.

2. A Dutch oven is an excellent tool for roasting a heritage-breed chicken. The large, heavy, lidded pot is designed to retain moisture over long periods of oven cooking. Place the chicken, breast-side down to keep it moist, in the Dutch oven with quartered onions, garlic cloves, a cup of water and some butter. Roast it for 30 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F.

3. Use fat. Coat your chicken in oil or butter — try coconut ghee — to create a crisp skin, and cook it in a rotisserie oven with water in the bottom pan to produce steam to keep the meat moist. Leave it on the rotisserie at a medium to low temperature for 20 to 30 minutes per pound.

4. Stew on it. Heritage birds, particularly older birds, make excellent stewing chickens. Put a whole or cut-up chicken in a pot, add enough water to cover, and simmer on low heat for about one hour per pound. Try this in a slow cooker, too, on low. Do not allow the water to boil. As it cooks, the meat will fall off the bone, ready to be used in soups, casseroles and other recipes. Strain the resulting stock for all manner of use, as well.

5. Low and slow wins the day. Experiment using heritage-breed chicken in your own recipes, but always cook it slowly, at a low temperature, with plenty of moisture. Like you should all meats, don’t cut into it right away; let the heritage chicken rest for 10 or so minutes after cooking so the juiciness is sealed into the tender meat.

These old-school breeds can be a hit in the kitchen with a little attention to the intricacies of cooking a different kind of chicken meat.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Strawberry Smoothie for 2

Ever need a metabolism boost? Ever want it to be natural? Want to use ingredients that you can pronounce?
How about a delicious smoothie with only 3 ingredients!

2 cups homegrown frozen strawberries ( use frozen so you can delete the use of ice)
1 cup Homestead Creamery Milk (if available in you area)
2 tbsp. Raw Local Honey

Blend and enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Very good day for outside work

Today I began my regime of getting up at 5 a.m to get alone with Jesus and afterwards, get the day started. Wow! What a beautiful day today. Was able to get 7 loads of laundry done, de-rocked the new garden, raked up some brush, pruned up some fruit vines and picked up dead limbs for the brush pile, raked some leaves and put them in the dog pen, and I think that's it. Also went and put gas in the truck for Thursday, now I am sitting back for a few and then I'll go check on supper.
Added a few pics of various things over the past week. Enjoy ♥

Pic 1.....Hubby's new nuc box, he was able to split one of our honey bee hives.

Pic 2.....Pic of our "reduce, reuse, recycle" greenhouse. Hope to finish on Saturday.

Pic 3.....Pic of a beautiful Red Bird

Pic 4.....I sent in 4 samples to see if I  can be a blessing to someone who may need a bone marrow transplant.

Pic 5.....Pic of pretty Buttercups.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dental time

Arrived at Duke Pediatric Dentistry with Heaven today. Pray for her as she will need extensive dental work done.
Enjoy this beautiful day that Christ has blessed us with.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Simple Home Decorating Tips

Living Room

Introduce more life and color by adding a vase of flowers (artificial if needed) on your coffee table or end table. They’re a great and inexpensive way to decorate your living room. Try adding some patterns on your cushions or area rug to make the room more interesting. Stripes, chevrons, dots, zebras and damasks are some of the many prints you can try. Mount a mirror on the wall opposite your window to easily reflect light and make your living room look much brighter. Going for a modern look? Keep your design minimal yet functional at the same time. Choose modern furniture and palette colors such as white, chrome and black. Then add little hints of bright colors to liven up the room. When decorating your first home, make sure to choose a neutral palette for your main color scheme. Neutrals like white are very flexible to decorate because they go with everything. It’s easier to just add accent colors to your cushions, vases, lampshades, pots, pans, countertops, placemats, towels, linens and other stuff whenever you feel like changing it up, rather than repaint the entire house to get a new look.


To save more space, consider hanging your pots and pans from the ceiling or on the wall. Hanging equipment always looks good on any kitchen. Another simple way to upgrade your kitchen is to repaint your cabinets. If you’re on a budget, use colors that complement your walls so you won’t have to redo everything. Install more cabinets especially if storage is a problem. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need to minimize clutter in the kitchen and hide the items you don’t always use inside drawers and island. Got a shelf that you want to redo? An easy fix is to add some nice wallpaper or paint on the insides. For example, if you have a charcoal-colored shelf, paint the insides a nice pale red for a surprising touch. Other combinations to try are brown and light blue, white and blue, black and salmon and so on. There are many possibilities–it’s just a matter of selecting the best style for your kitchen’s design.

Dining Room

Create a, intimate atmosphere in your dining area by getting a dimmer switch or lighting some candles on the table. Add a centerpiece of flowers, fruits and others for a more attractive dining experience. If you want more interaction during dinner, consider getting a round table. More conversations happen when everyone can see each other. For those with smaller dining areas and household members, get a table that you can easily place against the wall to save space. When you have people coming over to eat, you can always take the table to the center to add more seats.


Sick of that blank wall in your bedroom? Simply hang an artwork to fill up the space. Patterned quilts, classic movie posters and frames are some good examples. But no matter what type of artwork you use, the important thing is that it always goes together with the colors in the room. Another quick solution to decorating your personal room is to make your linens an accent color. If your room is painted with neutral colors, the best solution is to add accent colors here and there. For instance, if you have light gray walls, you can pair them up with some orange or mustard linens so that the room doesn’t look too monochromatic. Nightstands, headboards, artwork and area rugs are also some things you can bring color to. If the bedroom is small, you can paint one side of the wall in a different color to make the space seem wider. For it, you can choose a darker hue than your current walls, or you can go with a new color entirely. Again, make sure it matches the palette you’re going for. Try positioning some of your furniture at an angle. It’s an easy way to give your bedroom a new feel to it. Remember, your room is your sanctuary, your happy place–which means it should be designed according to you. Show off your personality when you decorate so you can really make your bedroom your own.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The things you find when organizing

Wow! The things you find when organizing. I can across these drawings that I had done for a local church my family attended. The Pastor, at the time, wanted large murals drawn and painted and asked if I would do them. They were done in 2004. Not sure if they are still there as, new Pastor means new views.

Anyways I am still glad I came across them.

Project "Growing Celery" from a root

I have been seeing post on Pinterest lately about growing veggies from the root of one that had been used. I thought, really? So I decided to give it a try with a celery root.

So the picture first below is for Day 1 and the second picture is for Day 5. I used regular tap water (well) and have decided to change  the water every 5 days. So, each time I change the water, I will take a photo.

You are welcome to leave any comments below on your thoughts or if you have done the same with the same or different veggie roots.

Another beautiful snowy day

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Clinic visit at Duke Childrens

Had a great clinic visit at Duke Children's. Heavens creatinine level had come down to 1.7... Praise Jesus!!! Will be heading back to Durham on Tuesday for a dentist appt. Keep praying specifically.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Make your own Foam Soap

Do you love the foam soaps? I do, but what I don't like is the overuse of "antibacterial properties". You don't need antibacterial soaps, dish soaps, etc. to keep your hands, dishes or counters clean. All you need is to clean them with soap.

Anyways, back to the foaming soap and how to make your own without having to buy it over and over. Even if you purchase it from the Dollar Stores, it can become expensive. So, I have come to the solution of making my own with what I have already at home.
I use baby shampoo/baby body wash as it has sensitivity properties. It is sensitive to the eyes and skin and with as much as we all need to wash our hands, we could certainly use something sensitive.
So all you do is, keep your foam soap container, fill it with one inch of baby shampoo/baby body wash, then, this is an option but you don't have to, ( if you would like to add lotion this is where to do so), add some lotion (of your choice), just lightly squeeze the lotion bottle and count 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000. There, you have now added lotion to your foam soap.
Now, you need to add water until you are 3 inches from the actual opening, this provides room for the pump to sit down in the bottle.
After you have added the water, replace the pump and mix lightly by rocking the bottle back and forth. Do Not shake vigorously as this will result in over-sudsing. The lotion will break down eventually but not at a first. If you need to, after settling, you can rock back and forth again if needed.
There you have it! Foam soap! So the next time you run out, don't run out to the store, make your own with what you already have at home. Blessings ♥

I have added photos, from start to finish, to help you along.....

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mission Organization

Sometimes you just don't have enough room for all your goods that you purchase for your family. Sometimes you need a place to store small kitchen appliances so that you can store mush needed items in your cabinets, or so that your counter space isn't taken up by all those appliances.
Well, after our oldest and middle daughters moved out, we were left with two extra bedrooms. We really needed extra room as I like to shop by the month and plus over the last several years we had acquired lots of " unnessary things" which were also taking up space in our home.
So, I spent several weeks going through each room and bagging up the things that our family didn't need or use anymore, our youngest daughter went through her things and done the same. Now, you must know, we didn't toss these things in the trash, we simply added a few items to a local online auction site and they sold. Each item that we added that didn't sale, was donated to a local church that gives items to those in need. What a blessing, to clean out and help others in the process.
So now, we ordered four adjustable shelving units from www.Ginny' and they work perfectly and were very sturdy for the job that we need them to do, they are also very easy to assemble. So after they we're assembled, I sprung into action.....several weeks later, lol.
So, after selling and donating all the items we no longer needed, I jumped in...feet first. I was able to organize all my canning items ( I love to can from our garden), I was able to to organize all our cereals and others canned goods, also all of our detergents and cleaners, even wrapping paper and other items. Also, to keep the room cool and dark, we leave the thick curtains pulled closed unless i need more lighting when stocking up and we keep the heat vents closed off during the winter and cover them so that the room stays cool. We also have a shelving until that holds all of our small kitchen appliances so that our counters aren't cluttered and our cabinets aren't filled with them. I now can keep our KA mixers and steamer in the kitchen as we use these two items the most. This shelf is a must to keep your kitchen decluttered. Just a note, I picked this shelf up at a local department store (Roses) and it had a ding in it and the manager let me purchase it for $25, it never hurts to ask.
So, with all that said I have uploaded some pics of our "Family Pantry". Hope this either helps you organize or to get motivated to organize your own family pantry. The first pic is a Before pic and is dark as I couldn't even get to the window to open the curtain, the three pics following, are After pics. For great is the Lord , and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. Give unto the Lord , ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord , because he cometh to judge the earth. O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord .