Thursday, July 11, 2013

Snake in the Hen House

It seems Mars got tired of eating ribs three days in a row.  So I decided to make an old southern favorite  that we both just love.  Chicken fried steak, mashed potato's and white gravy, and our first purple hull peas this year!  And before you ask?  That is NOT my plate.  :-)

I picked the  first bucket of purple hull peas of the season yesterday. It seems so strange to have everything planted so late this year.  With our last freeze being a month later than normal things are obviously late producing.  It's hard to believe it's already time to plant a fall garden and I've not had any tomato's start turning ripe yet here in the middle of July.  

I harvested the garlic and the onions a couple of days ago and have them "hardening off" right now. I think I might even make some garlic powder again this year.  We use bunches of garlic and onions throughout the year.  I'll look over the onions and dry some of them too.  Last year the fresh onions didn't last as long as I had hoped and rather than have them go bad I just cut them up and put them in the dehydrator.  I love having things like dried onions and garlic in the pantry.

For some reason I haven't told you about two of my hens going broody together and hatching 10 little chicks. They are so funny.  The hens are sharing the chicks.  Unfortunately they are sharing a whole lot fewer of them than they started with.  I went to water on Monday and one of the babies was outside the pen trying desperately to get back to mama.  So I caught it up, put it back in the pen plugged the hole he escaped from and counted chicks.  There were only six!  I looked and looked and couldn't even find a "body".   The next morning I went to feed and water and the first thing I saw was a HUGE snake in the nest box.  Once my heart stopped trying to jump out of my chest I hollered at Mars "SNAKE!!!!"  (I don't "do" snakes well)  He grabbed the pellet gun and killed it.  A big five foot long chicken snake.  (shivers...  I would have grabbed a shotgun! LOL)  I counted chicks and there were only three left.  I could see three distinct chick size lumps in this *^@#* snake.  It is the first time that anythings got in the pen and now I'm nervous as a terrorist getting ready to be water-boarded to go in there.  (That should bring my friends in the D.o.D in here *wink*)

Maybe the reason I didn't tell you about the chicks in the first place was because I was worried something would happen to them. Then again, I do this stuff to try and show folks that even the inept can work on living this type of lifestyle. Every day is a new learning opportunity.  I'm living proof!!!





UPDATE - I picked three pink tomato's this afternoon.  Look's like things are going to get real busy for a bit around here very soon!

20 comments:

  1. I picked some pear tomatoes, some cherry tomatoes, and an heirloom tomato (one of the black and red ones) today. FINALLY! What did you do with the snake? I would have had him for dinner.

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    1. Wow, sounds like a wonderful day in the garden! It's been a very interesting spring for sure.

      I don't know what or where the snake ended up, I just wanted it dead. *shivers*

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  2. Another blogger I follow allows THREE snakes to live in her hen house, though she KNOWS that they get some of the eggs. No reptile pets for me, thank you. I don't care HOW many mice they eat!

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    1. Oh Gorges I am right there with you on this!!

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    1. lol PP I couldn't agree more. You know we'll catch grief from kymber's on this, right?

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  4. Sci,

    Damn snakes, I hate them. So sorry to hear about those sweet little chicks, they were adorable when I seen them on Sunday. So precious walking around together. I'm glad Mars killed the little Bastard :-)

    Yay, pink tomatoes ready for picking, do you have plans for those tomatoes? Canning, dehydrating, or freezing?



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    1. I forgot to tell you dinner looks delicious, how were the peas?

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    2. Thanks Sandy. It breaks my heart that something that horrible happened to the chicks. And I'm glad he killed the bastard too!

      As for the tomato's, the first order of business will be salsa. I'm going to use the recipe from last year as we just loved it. I put up 18 quarts last year and we would have used more if I'd have made it. So I'll shoot for .... hmmm.... maybe 30ish quarts. After that I'll probably try making some sort of rotel type tomato and peppers and some italian ones. If I have more tomato's than that I'll probably dry them.

      Oh and I'll be drying ALL the tomato skins as they make wonderful tomato powder. Which in turn also makes some good tomato paste and tomato sauce.
      Whew, I'm already tired of tomato's just thinking about all that! LOL!
      Dinner was pretty dang good I tell ya. The peas were amazing. There is something so wonderful about that first batch of black-eyed peas. There just isn't anything to compare to it. (And my Gran taught me how she cooked hers)

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    3. "(And my Gran taught me how she cooked hers)" I would love to know how your Gran taught you how to cook yours because the only two way I have found black-eyed peas to be tasty is Cowboy Caviar and a Persian dish with spinach and stew meat.

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    4. Judy, it's really simple.Not really a recipe, just a toss the peas in a pot with a bit of salt, a slice or two (cut it in pieces) maybe a little garlic if you want, some chopped up onion (again- your call to how much)cover it with water. You'll need about three inches over the top of the peas. Cover it up and bring it to a boil. Let it cook "hard" ( that means keep boiling) for about a half hour. Check for doneness. When peas are soft, they are ready.
      I hope that makes sense. I've only had one cup of coffee this morning.

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  5. I wonder why Southern Fried is now called Chicken Fried? Hope no more snakes bother the chicks.

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    1. Hmmmm..... Momlady I've called it chicken fried all my life. That's what my Mom and My Gran always called it. Must be a "regional" thing. What do you think?
      As for the snake, I'm sure glad Mars killed it cause if I had been the one to have to do it, the firearms used would probably blow a hole in the nestbox!

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  6. Sorry about your babies! I don't hate snakes per se, but when I found a huge garter snake in my compost pile with a mouse tail sticking out of it's mouth I almost barfed and ran screaming into the house! Oh well. We have a really late harvest with tomatoes too, weird early summer weather...

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    1. I really really don't like snakes even though I know that there are lots of "beneficial" snakes. As long as our paths don't cross I'm ok. I agree about the weather. Spring here was weird as well. Makes ya wonder what's coming next!

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  7. I seriously think I would have ran as fast as I could out of the hen house. Poor little babies, we have plenty of snakes around here but no chickens. We keep an eye out for the rattlesnakes. Scary stuff.

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    1. JMD How did you know?? Hahahaha I hit the door running and yelling for Mars to grab a gun. He ended up using the pellet gun. If he'd have left it to me there would probably be big holes shot in the nesting boxes!

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  8. allrighty gurl...not even going to touch on the snake topic! we only have little tiny grass snakes here - they eat bugs and don't bite so we like them a lot. but your kind of snakes - arghghghghghgh! never seen one, never want to see one.

    okay - give us that chicken fried steak recipe and your gravey recipe right now or i stop visiting this blog! i mean it! bahahahahha!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. I had a feeling you wouldn't care for the outcome of this little venture kymber! Hahhahaaa

      Do you really want the recipe for the Chicken-Fried Steak and gravy? I'll be happy to write it up. You know me, I cook pretty simply for the most part and this is really no different.

      PS You better stop threatening to stop visiting! It makes me nervous. lolllll

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  9. I love having snakes in my yard and garden, but of course we only have harmless little grass and garter snakes...not 5 foot chicken killers!

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