I want chickens. Quite badly, actually. I've wanted some for a while now. Matt agrees with me too! But unfortunately, the city does not. Chickens are not permitted to be raised within city limits. There have been a few attempts over the past few years to change this, but nope, nothing doing. Can you imagine the bliss though?
Waking up every morning and walking out to your coops to grab fresh eggs with deep yellow yolks that will make amazing Soft-boiled eggs? Can you imagine how buttery those yolks would taste? And just picture how your baking would be affected with such gorgeously fresh eggs... I'd have different varieties of chickens with different coloured eggs and every week I'd give my neighbours a new basket of them. Sigh. I also want a goat. I could milk it and make my own cheese and it could mow my lawn. And I want ducks. Mmmmm... fresh duck 6 times a year. Ooh! And Geese! Only two of those a year though... we'll have lots of friends and family over for an Easter dinner of beautiful roast geese.
I got my Martha Stewart magazine today finally. Can you tell? And do you want to guess what her first article in this issue is about? That's right - chickens.
Incidentally, I also want my own hazelnut trees (see p. 138).
I just picture so much domestic felicity when I think of these things. I dream of having a huge farm where we'd grow cutting flowers, nuts, berries, fruit and veggies and raise all sorts of animals. We'd go to Farmer's Markets, or maybe even start our own market, and I'd bake biscotti and make syrups to sell along side our bags of hazelnuts, the baskets of blueberries and perfect bouquets of fresh flowers. Wouldn't that be marvelous? My kids would grow up learning where food really comes from and understanding the fruits of your labours and the time commitment would be nothing - 5:30 in the morning is my favorite time of day anyway! I'd love a good reason to get up at that time every day! We wouldn't even need a full farm. An acreage would do. Okay, maybe two acres since I wouldn't be happy with so much space and no horses. So that leaves an acre for horses, goats, chickens, geese, ducks and sheep (I'd never need to buy yarn again!), half an acre for a vegetable garden, and another half acre for our sprawling farm house complete with rows upon rows of flowers directly behind it. Now all I need is a million dollars and we're set :(
Realistically, I'd be contented right now if they would just change the laws an let me have six chickens in my backyard. I understand they could be noisy and dirty and we'd have feathers everywhere, but think of the eggs!
The fruit trees I was hoping to put into our backyard this year until Matt and I started talking again about moving to another house. There's no sense in putting in trees that I'll never get to eat from. I tried planting raspberry cuttings but Cash dug those up. I got one strawberry off of my 6 plants I put in this year and even though I planted my Bells of Ireland in good time and they had plenty of water and sun, they still only grew to about 4 inches tall. Next year I'll do some things differently, I know. But that doesn't help me much right now when I think of all the lucky people in Portland, Oregon who get fresh hazelnuts from the farm down the road. Or even of the lucky people in Edmonton who get to enjoy a real Farmer's Market all year round.
I ought to take initiative though. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a buy-local, farm-fresh movement in our town? (Granted, my two most faithful readers live in Montana and New Brunswick) But we have, within a 50 km radius, some of the best cheese in Canada, game birds being raised and shipped off all across the province, buffalo, long horn cattle, lots of honey and veggies and meats and breads and yet the bounty isn't reflected well. Places like Edmonton and Calgary seem to have more and seem to display it better. What I wouldn't give for a little old fashioned market set up once a week where the focus really was on stuff right off the farm instead of on trinkets and junk items. We need a physical Etsy where, if it isn't edible, it's handmade at very least.
Alas, right now is not the time to introduce such a thing. Maybe I'll brain storm all winter and have some amazing new advancements for Spring?
I did make my biscotti dough this morning so I suppose that's something. Biscotti is such a wonderful thing to make. It's so simple, and the basic dough gives you so much room for experimentation. The baking is a bit tedious however... After rolling the dough out into three equal rectangles, you bake it and then cut it and then bake in again. I'm actually hoping to gain access to my MIL's oven. She has the perfect oven for these since it's exactly like the oven I first learned to make biscotti in, so the temperature will be exact and I can use the convection setting!
Tonight for dinner I think I'm going to make sandwiches. Roast chicken, asian pear, fig butter and brie sandwiches. Although, I may add some roasted red peppers as well.
Now all I need is some brie!
Mrs. Vander Leek ;)