Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter, Smoked Pork Roast

We don't usually eat pork roast on Easter. We always eat ham on Easter but money was a bit tight this week and I had two pork roasts in the freezer already and just couldn't see worrying about buying a ham. I did want it to be a very good pork roast though, so we got out the smoker and, starting at about 9:30 this morning, we put it in and smoked it with apple chips.

The picture looks rather ugly but the smell was absolutely wonderful and so was the taste! I still think that smoker was one of the best purchases we ever made.
For dessert I had a cake, of course. It did not turn out as nice as I would have liked as I had a problem with the cream cheese frosting being too soft for decorating but it is a carrot cake and it was very, very good.

I hope your Easter is turning out just as nice as ours. The only thing that would make it better would be if they boys could be home.

In other news, all the chicks are doing great. The meat birds will soon have to move to an even larger cage though I don't know where I will put them.

We also have a new addition to our family. This is Suzette (Suzie).

The local shelter had some dogs at Tractor Supply last weekend when we went in and Suzie was in a pen with her brother. They were the only two left of a litter. She is 11 weeks old when we got her (making her 12 weeks old today).  She was a bit too thin (hip bones sticking out) and smaller than her brother..she may have been the runt..but she has put on a little weight just this week so you no longer see her hip bones. She is a very happy busy little puppy who loves to chew up wires (we are learning to try to get all the cords and wires out of her reach but she still finds them). Our other dogs are not real fond of her. Romeo and Scooter tolerate her better than Echo does which we found surprising since Echo wanted puppies so bad that she adopted the chicks but even Echo is getting better with her. She loves to play with any of the cats who will play with her (some of the younger ones will) and it is funny to see her chase them and them chase her back.

Anyway, here's wishing you all a lovely Easter!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Getting Better At These Cakes

Yesterday and today I made this cake for my sister-in-law. Her birthday is Tuesday. Every birthday is now a chance to get more practice making cakes. My sister-in-law has become really interested in chickens since I gave them the three at Christmas so it had to be a chicken cake.
I did a lot of looking in the last few weeks to find a cake that I liked and felt I had enough skill to make. I settled on this one, and I think it turned out pretty good. It is a chocolate cake with cotton candy flavored frosting. They had the little flavor packets at the store for the cotton candy so I thought I would try it with my own buttercream frosting. I only used one packet and I think it could have used another one but it was still really good.

The chicken, leaves, flowers, and her name are done in fondant. The straw is buttercream icing.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Meat Birds Go Outside

Anyone who has had meat birds, especially Cornish X, knows that they are just nasty birds. They basically eat and poop and grow. They have to do all these rather a lot if you want them to be ready to eat in 8 weeks. Mine have outgrown their tub already. They kept waking Michelle up at  night because they would get out of the tub and then peep like crazy cause they wanted back in. They also smelled bad and I refused to play my violin in the spare room anymore because of the heat and smell. It was time for them to go out. In order for them to go out the other chicks needed to move. The other chicks had also  basically outgrown their pen and needed something larger. I decided to put them in with my one big mamma bird left from last year. She is a big old meat bird that was always a cripple but somehow managed to live and I didn't have the heart to eat her. She is in her second year of laying eggs for me which is pretty phenomenal for a meat bird who technically should have died long ago. I have some reservations about that pen however. It is protected from the elements because the pen is under the roof of the back shed, but the pen is open on the top. It does not go all the way up to the roof. I am worried the cats will get in the pen so have been watching it all day. The little bantam roosters did get in and I threw them out, they are also a concern. We'll just see how it goes as I really don't have another pen they can go into right now so hopefully this one will work out.

They are quite happy in their new pen and the big mamma bird doesn't move well enough to hurt them. They have discovered dirt for the first time and bugs and they are enjoying both.

The meat birds are also enjoying their new pen which I had to clean all out and add new pine shavings. They had gotten quite crowded, dirty and hot in the tub and they are now enjoying more space and cooler temperatures. Their pen, unlike the other one, is quite secure.

Here's hoping everything goes well for the night.