Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Great Quiche Experiment. Fun with Chickens!

Last year I boarded a couple of Bloodhounds for a friend. He also had five chickens which I took care of. When he found his new home, he asked me if I wanted the chickens. I said *SURE!* So I named four of them after the Golden Girls, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Buffy is a bit of a snob, you see. But the Golden Girls are REALLY sociable! There's Sofia, a light red Rhode Island Red hen, Dorothy, who is MUCH darker red, and also a Rhode Island Red. Buffy is an Ameraucauna, she lays blue-ish green eggs that are really pretty! Easter Eggers, they call these hens..and Blanche and Rose are black hens of extraordinary beauty. I believe they are Australorps. So after I lived with these five, Greig came home "with a new beak for Wolfdancer Creek" a Black Star pullet we named Belinda, the Chicken Who Saved Oz. Then I bought two more Black Stars, Grace and Faith, because Buffy -who was low hen in the pecking order - decided she just moved up a rank, and she really gave Belinda what-for... So I thought having 2 more pullet hens would make life a little easier for Belinda.
A bit about Belinda. Her name came from the Wizard of Oz series. L. Frank Baum wrote several books about Oz. In "The Road to Oz" we are introduced to "Billina the Yellow Hen". I didn't remember her name right, I remembered her as "Belinda". Billina saves Oz from the Goblin King. Turns out the Goblin King is deathly afraid of eggs, so Billina pelts him with eggs, and saves everybody. So Belinda is the Chicken Who Saved Oz at Wolfdancer Creek.

So, then I had all these eggs.. EVERYbody was laying! I was getting a dozen a day! Luckily, I am a member of Certified Naturally Grown, a grass roots organic certification program, so I can sell them as free ranging spoiled rotten "better than organic" eggs... But still... What to do with this many eggs? Enter the world of quiche!
My first quiche

preparatory to being popped into the oven.
OK, well, my first TWO quiches

They were delicious! And despite what they say about real men and quiche, Greig gave them the "Two Forks Up" award for Nummyness.

Sadly, a coyote came in and killed Dorothy and Grace. Rose got broody, so a friend of mine gave me six little mixed eggs (Rhode Island Red/Delaware/Red Star) that Rose has been a'settin' with great glee. She is a GOOD Mommy, and every day I go and sit with her and rub her neck behind her head while she "cooos" at me... It is a strange sound, not a *bawk* but more of a murmur. I think she will be a very good Mommy when the babies hatch. We're trying to figure out where the 'yotes came in from, and will be fencing off yet another parcel. Greig mowed so the 'yote can't hide in the tall grasses anymore. So far, so good... But 'yotes are smart, and this one has my number... So I might have to shoot a coyote, something I am SOOOOO not looking forward to doing... But I have to protect my little Ladies!

In Memory of Dorothy, a chicken of rare beauty and strong personality . A True Golden Girl! Her namesake would have been proud of her. Depending on how many hens I get out of my six eggs, I think I shall name them Grace, Hope, and maybe, if there's a really strong personality in this clutch, I shall name her Dorothy. I look forward to my new babies!