Monday, February 08, 2021

In Bloom

Yesterday I walked all around our property with a can of flower seeds from Renee's Garden, the seed company. I was looking for a good spot to scatter the wildflower seeds, where they'll get sun, and attention, and have a decent chance of not being trampled, nor eaten up. There is an area in the yard that I don't visit as often, and that's where I discovered that our camellias are blooming, again! I love seeing them, for one because they are beautiful, and secondly because they remind me it's February, and winter, and this is the anniversary of the last time we saw Pink Martini in a live concert, and that's when Maria wore a deep pink camellia in her hair. It's just a nice, welcome, chain of happy thoughts. I walked on, and appreciated the peas are coming along, the beets are leafy, the cilantro is plentiful, and the tiny violas, crowded in the garden mix, are stretching themselves to see the sun, and they look so sweet, and earnest, I have to take more pictures of them. Finally, I settled on a few spots in the orchard, along the fence and in other bare spots for scattering the seeds. I raked the soil loose, and patted in the seeds. Rain is in the forecast, so it's only a matter of time, I hope, before wildflowers are blooming, again!
Here is Ventura, one of our three Black Australorp hens, sitting on eggs in the goat feeder. Thankfully she's not actually broody. She just likes to take her time, and nest a little. This breed of hen was new to me, when I brought them home last spring, and I am loving them. They are mild, friendly, and very pretty. I wonder if there is a breed of chicken that I truly object to. I have thought that I would never get a Silver-laced Wyandotte again, because our two, Pepper and Pippi, were such terrors. But after Pepper passed away, Pippi changed moods, and has not been cranky, bossy, or bullying any more. Do you have a favorite breed, for looks, or personality?
Since admitting I don't have a plan for what I would do if we had one less goat, and even stating it that way shows I am still reluctant to be blunt or practical... but I have been thinking about it a lot. I opened up the talk with Geoff, yesterday, and he feels just the same as I do... that it's too too sad thinking of our goats as aging and the dread (and of course, inevitable) prospect of losing one, and having a lonesome loner on our hands, is even sadder. I am not writing this to say that I have a solution, a grand plan, but I am weighing options, and have determined to be mindful. It's a start.

Maria and I got some dough rising for her cooking assignment this week. They're cooking Italian recipes in Culinary Arts, any dish of their choosing. I reminded Maria about the focaccia Samin Nosrat makes in Salt Fat Acid Heat.

Ok. Pause.

I am realizing a goofy thing here. I watched Samin (we are on a first name basis, because I follow her on IG, and have watched the Netflix episodes of SaltFatAcidHeat, two times) and in the Fat episode is when Samin makes the focaccia. So, the goofy thing is, having watched the focaccia segment two times, I have been making what we, around here, call focaccia, and I attribute it to Samin, and SaltFatAcidHeat, but now I am researching things, it dawns on me there is a Recipe. A written, prescribed, specific recipe! I simply took my own bread making experience, and adapted it to be pretty much what I saw Samin do on that video I've watched, and that's kind of goofy of me... I never read her recipe. I never wrote any notes, or even played the segment while I tried following along. There is nothing really wrong with how I cook, with making things up, inspired by what I have seen, but I am amused and a bit contrite that I had not even considered following a recipe. It's such an obvious direction to head: Follow a recipe, get measurements, and guidance. Duh. And! Maria is in a class and following recipes, learning techniques, is the point of it, but I just said things like... "Moosh it down, but not too flat. Let's add these tomatoes! I found olives!" And there wasn't a recipe in sight! It's ok, I believe. She's learning online, remotely. Her classroom teacher will impart some of the things he knows and believes and practices, and every other person she cooks with, or is inspired by, will do the same, and so long as she is paying attention, she will learn how to cook, what works, what she prefers, what could be better. Happily, I notice Samin has notes on the focaccia recipe: "Adapted from Diego with the help of Josey Baker." I like that Samin acknowldeges where, or from whom, she took inspiration, that recipes and cooking are dynamic, collaborative, that they evolve. I do that, too.
Lunch! And homework. If this looks yummy to you, you can follow Samin's recipe, or take inspiration from our bread making experience, or both.


Teresa Kasner said...

Your savory breads look delish. I would suggest adding a younger goat to the herd before you lose one so that it will bond with both older goats and possibly add some fun to their life with it's youthfulness.. and when the time comes that one passes on, the 2 left will have each other. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I was thinking you’d have helpful ideas, Teresa!
Thank you!

gretchenjoanna said...

Those focaccias made my stomach growl the moment I saw them!

gretchenjoanna said...

Oh, and they made me forget to tell you that my favorite chickens ever were Black Australorps. I like Buff Orpingtons, too. I think chickens should be plump and motherly.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Those focaccia are doing the same to me... tummy rumbling! Why didn't I start more dough last night?? I think the hardest part of making them is taking the initiative to start!
Someone, maybe it was you, told me that the Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps are related, and I can see that, because they are both calm, both sweet, and all perfectly plump and motherly. "Big, fat hens," is what Geoff told me he likes best, and I agree, they're ideal!