Thursday, July 30, 2009

Now that's local!

One of my favorite breakfasts!
Homemade french bread, soaked in fresh eggs from the Girls, topped with raspberries from the garden.

Urban Hen's Favorite French Bread:
(Otherwise known as "No-Knead French Bread from Southern Living Cookbook")
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 1/2 tsp sugar (I sometimes use honey)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 2 TB butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 c cold water
  • 6 1/2-7 c all-purpose flour (I use a combination of white and wheat)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 TB milk
  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in 1-c liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Combine boiling water, butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl. (I use my stand mixer bowl.) Stir until butter melts. Add cold water; cool mixture to lukewarm.
  3. Stir years mixture into liquid mixture. Add 2 1/2 c flour. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until blended. (Switch to dough hook.) Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  4. Let dough stand in bowl for 10 minutes. Stir gently for a few seconds; cover. Repeat gentle stirring every 10 minutes for the next 40 minutes.
  5. Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 3 equal parts (I always divide into only 2 equal parts.) Roll each portion into 13x8 rectangle. Roll up, jellyroll fashion, starting with long side; pinch ends to seal. *
  6. Place each loaf, seam side, down, on a separate greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Make diagonal slits about 1/4" deep down the length of the loaves. Combine egg and milk. Brush gently over loaves
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.
*I sometimes freeze one loaf and bake one loaf.
This is a great bread to freeze after baking, as well. Pre-slice the loaf and store it for last minute bruschetta!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trauma on the front lines

We have a sick chicken. It's Beatrice.
I had noticed that she hadn't been acting herself over the past few days and yesterday when I went to collect the afternoon eggs I saw the reason why.
She has a hurt leg! There is a nasty scrape and a few infected scales. It is very sad.

So,yesterday I brought Bea up onto the back porch and proceeded to live out my childhood dream. Actually, it is even better than that. I lived out 2 of my childhood dreams all at once: to be a veterinarian and to be a farmer. (I guess they really are two in the same, but who's counting?)

After spritzing off her wound using a water bottle, I soaked her leg in a warm bath with Epsom salts. She seemed to like that. Next, I coated her wound in ointment and she slept the night in her own little box on the porch.

I can't tell if she's doing any better yet. She is currently hiding underneath the porch where I can't reach her. I'm off to tempt her with some tasty scratch grains. Hopefully that will lure her out and we can have our follow-up visit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July's featured items

With only a week to spare... the featured items for July:

Vintage fabrics! Yippee!!

These are amazing finds I uncovered at a senior citizen fabric sale this spring.
It's finally time to let go.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009