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Blessings for our Thanksgiving!

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Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays. An acquaintance wrote my sentiments to a tee and I would like to post them. So without further ado… She says, For weeks I look forward to preparing a beautiful meal and relaxing with my family. Sadly, Thanksgiving night invariably finds me deflated. I regret having gotten irritable in the final crazy minutes of gravy making and turkey carving or feel dispirited by the lack of meaningful conversation at the table. I miss the family members who are absent. I wish people would have gotten along better and connected more deeply. The list of discontents varies from year to year but the theme is the same: it didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped.

This year I am on to myself. All month I’ve been thinking about letting go of my imaginary ideals and showing up with an open heart for whatever happens. I anticipate that it may be a little hard to pull off on the big day. I know I’m not alone. For many people the holidays are a time of heightened need for things to be a particular way. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with wanting a lovely holiday. But high expectations can hold us in their grip. What we want to see blinds us to what is actually in front of us and diminishes it. If we then distance ourselves from the imperfect, that gap makes it even harder to connect to things as they are. It is only in approaching a thing — be it this particular holiday meal or an individual human being — with attention that we can fully appreciate it, for all its faults and strengths, for all its funky uniqueness. Paying attention with kindness opens us to the wholeness around us. From there it is a short leap to gratitude. That which we see deeply enough can virtually always be counted as a blessing.

As we each look around our Thanksgiving tables next week, may we focus on the kindness and generosity that is shared between us and give thanks for the day we have been given, whether or not it is the one we had imagined.

Blessings on your holiday table.  Don’t forget to invite a friend or two who need a family to share this day with! 

Thanksgiving-Dinner-Turkey

Honey Roast Turkey

Turkey ingredients

  • 1  12 – 14  pound  fresh or frozen natural turkey
  • 2 cups  water
  • 1/2 cup  Hive & Honey BEEpothecary honey
  • 1/4 cup  finely snipped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons  finely snipped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons  snipped fresh thyme
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup  Hive & Honey BEEpothecary honey
  • 2 tablespoons  butter
  •  Apple Cider Sauce (see recipe below) (optional)

directions

1.Thaw turkey if frozen. In a medium saucepan combine water, 1/2 cup honey, and about half of the parsley, sage, thyme, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in olive oil. Cover; let stand 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids.

2.Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Skewer the neck skin to the back. Tie legs to tail. Twist wing tips under the back.

3.Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Using a flavor-injector syringe, inject the honey mixture into the meat of the turkey. (This may take up to 20 injections, so try to evenly distribute the seasoned mixture in the turkey. If the syringe gets clogged with a bit of seasoning, you will need to flush it out with water and a toothpick.) Sprinkle turkey lightly with salt and pepper.

4.Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles without the thermometer touching the bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 2-1/2 hours.

5.For glaze, in a small saucepan, heat and stir 1/4 cup honey and butter until butter is melted. Stir in remaining parsley, sage, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.

6.Remove turkey from oven. Cut the string between the drumsticks so the thighs will cook evenly. Remove the foil to let the bird brown. Brush about one-third of the glaze over turkey. Return turkey to oven and roast for 30 to 60 minutes more, brushing two more times with remaining glaze, or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F and juices run clear.

7.Remove turkey from oven and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Carve turkey into thin slices and, if desired, serve with Apple Cider Sauce. Makes 18 servings.

Apple Cider Sauce

 ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons  butter
  • 3 tablespoons  flour
  • 1 1/2 cups  chicken broth
  • 1 cup  apple cider
  • 1/4 cup  Hive & Honey BEEpothecary honey
  • 2 tablespoons  cider vinegar
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper

directions

1.In a medium saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, broth, apple cider, honey and cider vinegar. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From the Laurie and Pete Dotson and Jeannie and Steve Saum,

We wish you Great Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving Eating !

(P.S. Take your Propolis and Honey and stay healthy this holiday season!)

Psalm 95:2-3  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.

Baked Egg in an Avocado

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Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

Today, I walked out to the back of our property, to feed the girls (Chickens).  We love our girls.  We have 12 laying hens.

I have named them all, but I could not tell you from day to day who is who.  haha! They are all “Girlies!” to me.  Back in March, I had my husband, Peter, build me a portable chicken coop.  I wanted it for a couple of reasons.March 2013 Chicken coopTo Raise Chicken and to have a coop on wheels.

Chickz rules coop

We wanted the girls to have a fresh salad everyday

Chicken Coop with Chickensand we get the benefit of less bugs in our yard and a well fertilized lawn.  Now don’t you want to get chicken?  I love our visits, they love my treats.  I love to pat them they love to jump on my back.  I push their coop a coops length down the line and they quiet down and eat the fresh greens.

Everyone is happy! 🙂

Chicken coop in back yard 2013 Our partners and friends,  Jeannie and Steve, have 24 girls.  Their coop is stationary and the girls seem just as happy.

So, you can imagine how many eggs we can gather in a weeks time.

Egg fresh

That Brings me to this great recipe.  I love finding creative ways of cooking up eggs.  I found this recipe on Facebook.  A girlfriend sent me the link and I had to try it!  Two thumbs up from this cook to your kitchen.

I have now prepared it a couple of different ways.  Whatever you like, add it and it will be umm umm good!

Baked Egg in Avocado

Baked Egg in an Avocado

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients – Serves 1 or 2:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • optional- chives, bacon bits, herbs or cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the avocado in half and remove the stone. Keep the skin on, as you will be baking it in the skin.
  2. Scoop out some of the flesh of each half, to make room for the egg.
  3. Crack an egg into each half and sprinkle over a little salt and pepper
  4. Put in a oven that is preheated to 425F/220C and bake for around 10 minutes (depending how you like your egg)
  5. Serve with some really good bread and honey

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/health-benefits-of-eggs.htm

Happy Eating !

You must follow the Lord your God and revere only him; and you must observe his commandments, obey him, serve him, and remain loyal to him. Deuteronomy 13:4 NET

Cumin Chicken Skewers with Honey Lemon Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

You can tell fall is in the air.  The cool smell of fall in the mornings, the leaves are starting to fall, and the neighbors burning their garden waste…ahhh!     I wasn’t happy about this a month ago, when school started back up and I had to go back.  I just wanted to enjoy every last minute of summer.  But today, Pete and I went to the Cyclopes Festival in Yellow Springs, Ohio. We  just needed to take a day trip away from everything.  A fun place to be with a market of DIY items for sale.  To tell the truth, I felt quite comfortable, like I was home…a bunch of modern day hippies living life, simply.  We went to get some ideas for our booth and our next event, but came away with a full tummy and excitement for whatever.  I still want to enjoy what I have left of this tween season.   At the Festival there was a vendor who made Lebanese food and that got me a thinkin’. I pulled chicken out to thaw this morning and I’ve been harvesting onions, cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes and herbs.  So, how can I use these and make a delicious meal .  Lightbulb going off – festival, garden, summerish food …Try this out, So yummy!  

Cumin Chicken Skewers with Honey Lemon Yogurt Dipping Saucecumin chick skewers

INGREDIENTS

Cumin Chicken Skewers

  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 oranges, rind finely grated, segmented
  • 2.5 lbs chicken thigh fillets, excess fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch square pieces
  • 2 x 14 oz cans brown lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh continental parsley leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1cm lengths
  • 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, trimmed, halved lengthways, thinly sliced

Honey Lemon Yogurt Dipping Sauce

  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons – honey
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons – fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups – plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons – sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon – black pepper, fresh ground

Step 1  Honey Lemon Sauce:  In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice, yogurt, salt and pepper. Stir gently, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Step 2   Combine the cumin, garlic, oil and orange rind in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Thread 4 pieces of chicken onto each skewer.

Step 3   Preheat grill on medium-high. Line a baking tray with foil. Place the skewers on prepared tray. Cook under grill for 3-4 minutes each side or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step 4   Combine the orange segments, lentils, parsley, chives, onion and cucumber in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among serving plates and top with skewers. add a dollop of Honey Lemon Sauce

Happy Eating !

Genesis 1:29  And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Peeling Fresh Eggs – It CAN be Done!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Eggs, eggs and more eggs!

Laying here and there.

For sale sign went up today

And a potful boiling on the stove.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

Fresh from the hen house!

Fresh from the hen house!

I am here to testify, that my Hive and Honey partner, Laurie Dotson, has discovered a successful way to prepare and peel fresh hard boiled eggs!  All over the Internet, there are suggestions for how to do.  But all the responses say, “Unsuccessful!”  “Can’t be done!”

Well, I can’t take credit for this method, but I will verify that it really works!  Did it yesterday with a dozen fresh eggs right out of our backyard coop!  Got all the shells off and the eggs left in one piece – pretty enough to make deviled eggs out of, though that was not my intent.  Just wanted some yummy egg salad for a sandwich for lunch!

Here’s Laurie’s fool-proof method of preparing fresh hard boiled eggs so they will peel.

  1. Double boiler to steam eggs

    Double boiler to steam eggs

    Put a half pot of hot water on the stove to boil.

  2. Put your eggs in a steaming basket or add-on double boiler, ABOVE the water.
  3. Bring water to boil, and STEAM the eggs for 20 minutes.
  4. Take eggs off the stove, pour out boiling water and run pan under cold water to cool off.
  5. Fill cooled pot about 1/4 full of water, add lots of ice, and put the eggs in the ICE WATER to cool.
  6. When cool, crack the eggs, and start peeling, being sure to get under the membrane as you peel.  The shells should come right off, leaving the whites in one piece!
Ice bath to cool

Ice bath to cool

Try it for yourself and see.  I’m a believer!  And it’s a good thing it works, because with 21 chickens, we have more eggs than we know what to do with!  Quiche two nights ago, egg salad yesterday, and I sense some deviled eggs coming on tonight!

John 3

12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up

15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Our First Egg!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Our first egg!

Our first egg!

Our first egg

A tiny little thing!

But evidence of big things to come.

Soon we’ll have

20 a day,

Goodness to share!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

An old friend stopped by for a visit the other day and wanted to see the chickens.  We went out to the coop and started showing him around outside and it.  As we looked around in the coop, our friend found the first egg from our flock!  it was a tiny one, but we were so proud!  And kind of annoyed, too, as we were set to leave on vacation in just one day!  We were going to miss the first days of our girls’ laying!

While we were at the beach, we had to keep a running text-fest going with our kids, to keep up with the laying!  Sarah and our grandkids, Naomi and Madi stopped by every few days to check for eggs, and Nate came down each evening to check on the chicks and collect eggs.  So THEY got to eat the first eggs from our flock!  By the time we got back a week later, the flock was laying about 7 eggs a day, and this has continued into the next week.  The eggs are still small to medium-sized, but we hope that by the end of the month, we’ll have 20 or so a day of large , fresh, organic, eggs!  Can’t wait!

Up to 8 eggs in a week!

Up to 8 eggs in a week!

Psalms

8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;  where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of  joy.

You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.

10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.

12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.

13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Escape Artists!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Not just one

Flying over the cuckoo’s nest

But many, escaping each day!

Once out, they can’t get back in

And scramble , frantic,

Back and forth outside the fence.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

Oh, we have escape artists in our chicken flock!  Many have figured out how to fly over the 4 foot high fence, or up onto the gate rail to perch, and then over.  At first, they’d go  over and then realize they couldn’t get back in and get frantic.

Up on the gate, trying to get out!

Up on the gate, trying to get out!

They’d run back and forth outside the fence squawking and trying to find a way back in.

But this frenetic prancing didn’t last long!  They soon discovered it was fun to explore, outside the coop – in our yard, in neighbor’s yards, in their vegetable gardens, and down the long driveway towards the road!  We’d discover they were out in the neighbor’s driveway, or in our back yard, and have to go out to round them up, chase them down, and throw them back over the fence.

We kept saying we’d better clip their wings or put netting over the run, but kept putting it off.  And we hated to have to clip wings.  It sounded like a lot of work.  How would we keep track of which ones we had done, and which not?  And would we clip too close and hurt them?  And we’d have to chase them down and grab and they would not be happy!  Then, we figured, we’d also have to keep doing it every few months.  So, we did nothing…

Then, one morning, we got a call  at 7:15 am on both our cell phones and our house phone because we were ignoring this

Grab that girl and throw her back in the pen!

Grab that girl and throw her back in the pen!

interruption to our retirement habit of sleeping in!  When the 3rd call came through, I figured I’d better answer it, as it must be an emergency.  Well, it was – sort of!  It was our neighbor, calling to tell us that several of our chickens were in “Rich’s Garden” and she was worried they would eat his tomatoes.  So, up we got, threw on our clothes and muck shoes, grabbed a few left over corn cobs from last nights dinner from the “Chicken Scrap Bucket” and rushed next door!  They weren’t about to listen to any clucking or shooing, but the minute they saw the corn cobs in my hand, they came running.  I led them out of the neighbor’s backyard, around the fence and into our yard, just like the pied piper, leading the rats in Hamlin.  When I got to our back yard, I picked up a few more, who were scratching under our big trees along the fence.  In all, I had 7 or 8 of our escape artists following the corn cob treat, back to the run !

Okay, it’s time to do something, we decided.  We were set to leave on vacation in less than a week, so we could not have this happening, while our son “babysat” our chicks.  And getting roused at 7:15 in the morning kinda cramped our retirement style!  So we set about to “Cook  their Goose”, so to speak.  A trip to the hardware store for 3 foot T posts, 2 foot chicken wire, zip ties and wire and we were ready to show these girls a thing or two!  We spent a few hours over  2 days, adding a 2 foot extension to the top of the fence around the run and to the gate.  Hah!  now we’ve got your number, girls!  And with one day to spare!

Two days later, all packed and ready to the beach, our daughter, Bekah took the last scraps from the counter, out to the chicks before we left.  And then not one hour into our trip, at,  yep – 7:15 in the morning, – we get a call from our neighbor again, saying the chickens were all in our  front yard and heading for the road.  AUGH!!   How did they escape?!

We made a frantic call to our son, interrupting his Saturday morning sleep in plans, and he ran down the road to deal with our little escape artists!  What he found, was the gate wide open – evidently Bekah didn’t hook the gate well enough and they had pushed it open!  So they didn’t really escape, just took advantage of a mistake on our part.  Since that day, we’ve had no more chicks outside the run, so hopefully, we’ve WON!

Foiled! Can't escape now!

Foiled! Can’t escape now!

Psalms

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High  will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you  from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;

     his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,  but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes  and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”  and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

Where Did Our Cute Little Chicks Go?

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

The cuties are gone

All grown up

Wearing their grown up girl feathers

And headdresses

Squawking big girl talkGrown Up Girl

Demanding treats!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

Well, the cuteness factor is officially gone from our chickens – the Golden Comet girls.  The chicks are nearly grown.   They no longer peep, but squawk and cluck.  They are starting to get their red combs and red around the eyes.  Their feet are yellow, lined and bumpy.  They do have beautiful red feathers and some are red and cream.  I wonder if they will stay mixed in color, or will that change, too.  But they will be even more beautiful in a month or so, when they start laying eggs!

We finally have the automatic door opener functioning, after a few glitches with the timer and the opener string.  It sure is nice not to have to get up early every morning to let the girls out!  We have a pickle bucket homemade feeder in the coop, so we don’t have to feed them every day.  But we still go out to see them every day and they EXPECT a treat!  Sometimes, we pull up a handful of chickweed from somewhere in the yard, or take kitchen scraps to them.  They start squawking and demanding the minute they see us coming!  Recently, our son and his wife gave us several bags of bread cleaned out of their freezer.  The chicks LOVE bread, but I read that it is very drying to their crop, so it need to be wet down with water or milk.  They can hardly wait while I crumble it up in their pan and add water!

They don’t seem to be using the pickle bucket with nipple waterers on it, hanging in the coop.  We keep an open pan of water in the yard for them, and they always seem so thirsty when they come out in the morning.  We may have to retrain them to use this.

Big Girls, now!

Big Girls, now!

And we do have chickens flying the coop.  They have learned to fly up to the top of the gate and then out.  Then they want back in and can’t figure out how!  They don’t go far, they know where they live and where their food is!

We found out, too, that we are in civil disobedience!  It never occurred to us to look into the rules for livestock out here in the country, in our township.  We just read in the local paper, that people with 1-5 acres can only have 16 hens, no rooster, no turkeys, no guinea fowl, no peafowl.  Oops!  We are 6 chickens over our limit.  Steve says if anyone comes out to complain, he’ll just wring the necks of 6…!  Our township IS amending the rules to allow people with less than an acre to have up to 5 hens – so that’s a good thing!

So,the cute little peeping chicks are gone, but soon we will have eggs – lots and lots of eggs!

Psalm 33

20 We wait in hope for the Lord;  he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,   for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,  even as we put our hope in you.

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