As I get closer to the barn in the morning, I can hear the animals inside. mostly the chickens and goats. When I open the chain link gate of the chicken “fortress” it makes a clank sound. Then the ducks really go off inside. They are very loud and rambunctious. I open the door and there may be chickens at the top of the ramp but if there is snow on the ground, the chickens do not want to go out. The ducks will bully on past them, knocking them out of the way. If it is fresh snow, they will make “snow angels”. Waddling and rubbing in the snow. Sticking their beaks in the snow. Quacking the whole time.
If it is warm enough, and I can fill the kiddie pool, they will stand off watching me. Quacking. No sooner do I pull the hose out and get out of the way then they are falling over the edge of the pool into the water. They stick their heads under the water. They flap their wings. Six ducks try to get into the kiddie pool at the same time. They roll, quack, splash and just have a good time.
The chickens that have climbed the tree are looking at them. Jealous that they cannot join in the splash party.
I have watched the ducks stomp their feet in mud to loosen the dirt or drive the bugs up. Then they use their beaks to loosen the mud even more and get what it was they were after.
When they are free to roam the whole yard, one duck will take lead. I think it is the same female all the time. The two females, Peking ducks, will always be in the lead. And the males will be faithfully following behind. The Pekings are the loudest with one of the males voicing his opinion along with theirs.
They like to get under a pine tree that has low branches. The tall weeds are another good place to hide. There is a small stock tank that can hold one duck comfortably. They will try to all get in.
We do get eggs. Sometimes. They are good for baking, better rising. We eat them for breakfast. Cracking the egg sometimes is a feat in itself. The eggs have a very hard shell and you have to hit them pretty hard on the counter. I tend to have a slimy egg white trail from the place where I finally cracked the egg to the frying pan.
Welcome to the dog and duck yard!
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. We were missing Ted and Zach. We did have a new face.
Meet Ashley! Joe and Ashley will be married in June!
It was quieter this year than previous. Missing a few boys. The times change. The kids were not home for as long but I am so very glad they had the chance to come home. Zach and Ted were picked on even though they were not home. And of course, way too much food!
Kelly, John, Kerry and Heather, and my Mom were all here with us for Christmas dinner. A little Paleo, a little vegetarian and a lot of traditional. Again, I am so very happy that we are able to share these times together. Emma, Chris' girlfriend came over that evening. A long game of Phase Ten passed the night away.
Santa was very good to us, with a big help from the kids.
2016 has begun with a great start. Tim has begun his new job.
I hope that you all have a good, healthy and Peace filled year.
Sometimes I am asked to share a recipe. Problem is that I will read different ways of doing something and then tweak it to suit our family. Very rarely do I ever follow a recipe to the letter.
Here are two recipes to share.
My changes were, first - I doubled the recipe. I did not change much. I used butter, lime and dried cilantro. And I did use paper liners. They turned out good and tasty. Filed in the keeper box. When we put the left overs away we put a paper towel in the bottom of the container. They were a little wet.
Again, our own touch. We used a combination of elk, beef and our pork sausage. I did not have tapioca starch so I used arrowroot, until I ran out. Then I used a combination of coconut flour and almond meal. I would make sure I have the tapioca next time. The coconut and almond was a heavier breading. The arrowroot was much better. And we will add more spice next time.
Having the mashed potato in the meatballs is a great idea. They are kind of light and creamy. I don't think they are going to hang around the fridge for very long.
I will try to remember to share recipes with you more often.