Winter Morning Homestead Chores
Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 3
Week 6: February 11, 2023
Each winter morning after my quiet time, I zip myself into my chore coat, the one with mud spatters and pockets full of pebbles and pretty acorns and slide into my Muck boots.
I catch up the wire basket I found at Goodwill for $2 and a container of kitchen scraps for the chickens.
Gathering handfuls of lush wild greens for the bunnies on the way, I call out, “beep beep!” and the ducks do the same. The chickens and ducks are always happy to see me when I open their small door. They tumble out and down the ramp, scurrying to grab the small offering I brought. I fill their pan with the day’s rations and they are overjoyed! Today is all that matters.
I gather the eggs still warm from the nest boxes. “Just” a basket of eggs. A dozen fragile spheres of humble nutrition.
The two muscovy ducklings enjoying the morning sun.
Then I head for the garden, where the bunnies reside in their side-by-side hutch. I check on their water and refill their bowls with alfalfa pellets but they are more excited for the bunches of greens I hand-picked than dehydrated pellet-food.
A quick survey of the greenhouse to see that my overwintering citrus trees, scented and blooming geraniums, young lemon eucalyptus seedlings, and tender herbs are comfortable, and then back to the kitchen for breakfast. Usually an egg in some form.
I have heard people say that keeping chickens isn’t worth the trouble and that fresh eggs are a lot of expense. They are right, but they’re also wrong. Getting up in the morning and going outside to take care of animals is part of a healthy routine, one that includes exercise and thinking about something besides myself. I breathe in lungfuls of fresh air and my thinking expands. It connects me with nature and the God who made all. After all, I am thankful for winter morning chores on the homestead.
Traditionally Samuel and I go the Oregon coast to celebrate our anniversary. We were married right around Valentine’s Day, which is an expensive day to find lodging, but we can always find a bargain if we pray and search carefully. This year rooms at the coast were out of our budget and we almost stayed home. We decided on a day trip instead of overnight. We live about 2 1/2 hours away from Brookings, Oregon, a beautiful and rugged Oregon coastal community.
There is no better spa treatment for rough winter heels than walking barefoot in the sand! Sam and I love to walk barefoot, hand-in-hand, no matter what the weather.
We lunched at Kaya Sushi and Noodle House. Amazing food. Their Honey Walnut Prawns are absolutely perfect and the sushi is great.
We hit the local Goodwill thrift store after lunch and were impressed by the selection of gently used goods, including a grand selection of books and a unique Oreo cookie pan.
Sam did his research ahead of time and discovered this gem: the Pete Happ trail which offered incredible golden sunset views winding along a trail.
We drank in the waves and the golden sunset and returned home happy.
Favorite comfort meal
Everyone has their favorite when it comes to comfort food, what is yours?
Ours favorite comfort meal starts with a poached chicken accompanied by a lot of vegetables.
A poached chicken and vegetables will provide meals for days. We like to serve chicken pieces in bowls with the broth, topped with kimchi or Golden Sauerkraut and a big handful of fresh salad shoots from the indoor salad garden.
Often I will cook a big pot of soaked brown rice and roasted vegetables to accompany. This time I made daikon radish chips with my Swismar Börner mandolin slicer and seasoned them well with smoked paprika and cumin before broiling them in the oven. Meanwhile, diced sweet potatoes and beets roasted in a cast iron skillet on the stove.
I make homemade corn tortillas regularly and find it rewarding as well as delicious. This is one of the skills I chose to master this year in our ongoing effort to replace store-bought with homemade. Every batch of tortillas is a little better.
February is a great time to mix up a batch of Carob Cocoa Mix.
If you have a sensitivity to chocolate or caffeine, you are going to LOVE this! CAROB COCOA tastes so good, so rich and creamy and indulgent you won’t believe it. Stir up an easy homemade mix to keep on your pantry shelf and you will be ready to enjoy a warm mug whenever the mood strikes. No more feeling left out when everyone else is enjoying hot chocolate.
Have a great week!
Michele and Samuel
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