Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Every spring when the rhubarb gets big enough to pick, I make a strawberry rhubarb pie, from scratch.   This is when I know that spring has really, truly, finally arrived. sliced strawberries IMG_3586

a pie in the making.... strawberries and rhubarb and butter and sugar
a pie in the making…. strawberries and rhubarb and butter and sugar and a crust with some more butter… a lot more butter…
strawberry rhubarb pie means it is finally spring
… a mere two sticks of butter in each pie, one pie for a neighbor and one pie for us.  I use the Joy of Cooking recipe for the filling, and a recipe from my mother for the crust…

I think I have some new fans of this spring-pie-from-scratch ritual; the chickens love to eat the strawberry hulls.  Do you recognize these guys without their baby chicken fluff? Mottled java hen eating strawberry hulls

mottled java flock eating strawberry hulls
Pie is fine by us! Keep it coming!  The Barred Rocks are eating their own pile of hulls outside the coop.
Mottled java rooster and hen, almost two months old
Mottled java rooster and hen, about two months old
mottled java rooster and hen on some rough rock steps
Coop door, a young roo, a hen, and my improvised rock steps

And, we have a fancy automatic door, with a built in daylight sensor, which shuts once dark, and opens in the morning.  Powered by a small solar panel on the south gable end of the coop.  The chickens are in the coop about 15 minutes before their automatic door shuts each night, settled on their roosts well before it gets dark.  I check on them after the door shuts, and haven’t run into a straggler yet.  I’m glad there’s no chicken wrangling involved, no chicken herding, no coaxing necessary.  The door does re-open, one minute after closing, for a ten second final all in for the night last chance.

mottled javas explore the outdoors
Small section of the fenced in chicken yard (more on the fence in another post).  The Barred Rocks are also doing well, and both breeds have been integrated into same coop. Those windows open in warm weather, with hardware cloth screening inside.
IMG_3612
A very old 5 gallon cast iron kettle near the coop door, now planted with hens and chicks sedum.

Happy spring to all.

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A Sunday Walk in Vermont

The river is high, the banks still snowy, a Sunday walk in Vermont
The river is high, the banks still snowy

This past Sunday we went for a walk, the first of the season.  There are no sidewalks in our neighborhood, so winter makes it too dangerous to walk on the road, once they have been narrowed by snowbanks.  Our road is not straight, it goes up hills and around treacherous blind curves, and down and across fairly narrow bridges.  We wait to walk until the snow has receded, and the roadsides are clear of snow, gritty in places with sand from the plow trucks, the shoulders soft mud topped with the same gritty sand.  Rivulets of snow melt off higher ground and run down the edge of the road pavement, shimmering slight currents catching the eye.

We keep an ear out for cars, and they often steer clear over into the other lane.  Many of the drivers wave, or lift two fingers off the steering wheel in greeting.  Further down at the end of the road, you can hear the river, the current strong and water high, chattering over rocks and against icy banks.  The air is cold; it’s good to feel the sun, to walk on the road after a winter inside…

Continue reading “A Sunday Walk in Vermont”