It was a lovely winter weekend, here on the farm.
The bitter cold weather continues and we have been doing morning chores in temperatures around zero.
But the skies have been clear and blue.
You might remember me talking about the blue heron that spends its nights on the pond. Last week we put a game camera there to try to catch a photo of it. Sure enough... we were able to get a photo every night, and this one as he left in the morning...
And maybe you remember that last Spring we sent duck eggs home with Maggie and Macy for them to try to hatch. They successfully hatched out two runner ducks, Forrest and Ramona. Forrest and Ramona have been living in Maggie and Macy's back yard since they were born... where they had a wonderful summer swimming in their pool. However, now that Forrest and Ramona are full grown, Forrest has become a little aggressive and chases the girls and their dogs around their back yard.
Sunday, Forrest and Ramona moved into the duck yard with the rest of their relatives. The introduction went fine. Then realizing their were females there, Forrest went into courtship mode and greeted the family quite enthusiastically.
These two have bands around their legs so that we can tell them from the rest of the family.
We were encouraged to see that Forrest and Ramona followed the rest of the family to bed last evening. Before long, they will just be part of the flock.
Hopefully when the weather warms up and the snow melts a bit, all of the ducks will be free to roam the farm once again. For now, though, it doesn't seem like the snow is going to leave us any time soon... as this was the scene last night during bedtime chores...
I baked two lovely loaves of seeded multigrain bread this weekend - and it was quite the adventure! First of all, I must say, they were lovely huge loaves!
I carefully held the container against my chest as I removed the lid, and the lid flew off with such force it took my breath away. I told Jack that I now understood what it felt like to get shot with a kevlar vest on! I am serious, that lid flew off with so much force... and the dough immediately sank down in the container. I divided it in two parts and formed the loaves, then baked them in the oven and they came out beautiful.
And then I tasted one of the loaves and realized immediately that I had forgotten to add the salt when I mixed up the recipe. Besides helping to flavor the dough, salt adds strength to the structure of the bread by tightening the gluten bonds. It also helps to slow down the yeast. Without salt, my bread went wild. Worst of all, without the salt, the bread tasted like flour... bland... very, very bland. Hopefully the chickens will like it.
And I will be baking bread again in the morning! (And this time, I won't forget the salt!)