Have Chicken, Will Travel

When Mocha first fell ill (see “Gone Awry”), I regarded the prospect of toting a chicken along on our anniversary trip as only marginally more acceptable than that of having a toddler in tow. I have to confess that I spent about twenty-four hours hoping for a hasty demise.

But after two days of intensive care, Mocha had perked up considerably. Since reuniting her with the flock seemed premature and asking a sitter to provide the requisite TLC unreasonable, that left two options. A) Make chicken soup or B) load Mocha up in the Birdmobile and hit the road.

The probable breakdown of family relations upon Brianna’s return from DC, among other considerations, swayed me toward option B.


Gone Awry

So many things can go awry on a farm (as Farmer Burnes well knew), among them chicken necks and pea vines.

“The best laid schemes o’ Mice and Men

Gang aft agley.”

–Robert Burnes, 1785

I was so pleased with my ingenuity when, back in March, I drew on renewable, free, local resources to stake my peas: small limbs stripped from our oak and maple trees by winter weather.

I stuck them in the ground, laced them together with twine, and for two months was lulled into complacency by the seeming success of my resourcefulness. But I failed to calculate the collective weight of peas.


Arugula Pesto

Whether it’s the nutty flavor of arugula or the peppery bite of cress, I find something about those little greens irresistible. This week I cobbled together this recipe from several online sites to make use of our bumper crop of arugula. Throw in some cress (which we also have aplenty) for extra zest.

Arugula pesto

Grate in food processor and set aside:
1/3 – 1/2 c. parmesan

Chop in food processor:
1/3 – 1/2 c. cashews, sunflower seeds, or other nuts
2 cloves garlic

Add and pulse until fine:
4 oz. arugula (2 cups tightly packed)
½ t. salt

Add in a stream while processing:
1/3 c. olive oil

Add parmesan, blend until smooth and enjoy. (Suggestions: as pizza sauce, on toast with avocado or bell pepper, on pasta or salad).

Farm Life

Killdeer babies

Until spring of 2020, I had read passing mentions of plovers in nineteenth century British fiction but had conception of what one might look like. For some reason, though, when a bobbing bird with a banded face like a bandit turned up behind our house, the word “plover” popped up in my mind. And, indeed, I discovered these were killdeer, a variety of plover, which tend to live near water.