Sunday, July 3, 2011

Winter wonders

We are in the middle of winter here; the chickens have shorter days to scavenge and forage so you can imagine how distressing it must have been for the poor little lady scurrying up and down in the second pen the other day wondering why she hadn't been let out with the others. Well, Ms Tagalong, nearly didn't let her out either.

Looking for a few moments reprieve from the stress and strain of moving, Ms Tagalong crept into the garden with an overalled Ms Shorts last weekend. Checking the pen for eggs Ms Tagalong was alerted by Ms Shorts to the distressed chook in the adjoining pen. Maybe Ms Mova had sleepily opened the pen and ignored number 11 who when released scurried rapidly out and hid amongst the privet bush. Surprised, Ms Tagalong would have expected her to run to the water, she crouched down and saw her scratching about and rolling eight hidden eggs.

So that was why we had so few eggs lately!

Ms Tagalong heard a colleague at work championing the flavour of strawberries that she had bought at one of the not-to-be-named supermarkets. She hugged herself joyfully and thought about the little strawberries she had spied on the plants in the garden. If the chickens can be dissuaded from taking a peck along with the snails and slugs, flavour would not be an issue. Ms Tagalong’s colleague would not be able to believe her taste buds, but shhh.. we shall keep it our little secret and wait for them to ripen naturally, no retardant gas, no picking too early.

Advice from whats cooking America says Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened. They should have bright red color, natural shine and fresh looking green caps.

Many myths and legends abound. Do we have any newlyweds in the neighbourhood? If only Ms Tagalong had known this last year she could have served cold strawberry soup at her nuptials like they do in regional France for an aphrodisiac. But then.. it is never too late. If you see someone crouching, keeping guard over the berries it might just be a French provincial chef or indeed, Ms Tagalong!

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