Under my belt, so far, are 4 regular size jars of barbecue sauce, 5 jelly size jars of strawberry jam and 6 jelly size jars of strawberry/blackberry/blueberry jam. And we haven't even had the chance to pick berries yet.
All the stawberries came from our CSA share and the blackberries and blueberries were courtesy of BJ's Wholesale.
I can't WAIT until blueberry season comes around. After having some of my friends blueberry basil jam, I'm totally making some blueberry jam. [I don't have nor do I grow basil and I have not a clue how to use it in jam if I had the chance. Maybe I'll be lucky and she'll make some more this year and share it again.]
Also. Some exciting news!
[No. I'm not pregnant. Why does everyone assume that?
Me: Hey! Guess what!
Person: You're pregnant?!
Me: Ya, um, no... ]
I scored a pastured chicken last week from the farmer's market. Its a chicken that, while also fed a mixture containing corn, minerals and I'm sure a few other organic what-nots, it is mainly gallivanting around in a pasture all day long while living the high life eating bugs, worms and whatever else it may find in nature.
I took this whole chicken and made a greek chicken crockpot recipe last week and we tried Lydia on it with the hopes that since it's diet isn't solely corn and soy, Lydia might not have a reaction to it. [She's like that with pork and beef. If the animal eats a diet of corn and soy, Lydia has a reaction. It it is pastured and eats what God fully intended it to eat, Lydia miraculously can enjoy the same meats we can.] I only served her enough chicken to qualify as two nuggets from McDonalds, but so far, a week into it, we never saw any sign of a reaction!
As exciting as that is, I'm not getting my hopes up... yet.
[Yes, it's a baby butt that's all rashy. I totally made it small for all you with a weak constitution. Just think, this rash was mostly healed. It gets so. much. worse!]
I'm not getting my hopes up because THIS is what we get when we feed her "Chop Steak with no seasoning" from Ruby Tuesday. It's also what we battled all summer last year when our elderly neighbors were feeding her store bought hamburger meat once and twice a week.
The farm we receive our CSA veggies from is now selling pastured chicken. In pieces. This week I put chicken fingers on our menu. I purchased two chicken breasts and I'll bread them up and serve them on a salad. Probably tomorrow or Thursday. We'll see how she does. I'll up her portion size to the equivalence of 4 chicken nuggets and see how we do.
At least if she her tummy does swell, we have Zantac on hand to help curb the length of discomfort. And if her butt does break out in another rash, we've figured out that bathing her in baking soda takes away the sting. And bathing her with soap we are also buying from the farmer's market doesn't prolong the rash. And bathing her in epsome salt, not only makes her skin feel wonderfully soft, it also helps heal her wounds faster.
[Side note: Lydia started one of those rashes when we left on our really long trip. Six weeks later, she still had it. To a lesser degree but still, it was there. And quite obviously. I, on a whim, bought oatmeal almond soap from a vendor at the farmer's market and the rash was gone by the end of the week. I'm not sure what's in store bought bar soap, but apparently that doesn't agree with Lydia's skin either.]
Anyway. Here's the recipe for Greek Chicken. Jeremy and Kyra thought it was good and I thought it a bit bland when we started eating it. I had the bright idea to drizzle everything (potatoes, onions, chicken) with honey and it was stinking fabulous. Jer, Kyra and Lydia followed suite and VIOLA! One awesome meal!
6 medium potatoes, quartered
3 lbs chicken pieces, skin removed (I used a whole, 5lb chicken and removed the skin myself)
2 large onions, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
3 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbl olive oil
1) Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Add chicken, onions and garlic.
2) In small bowl mix water with oregano salt, and pepper.
3) Pour over chicken and potatoes. Top with oil.
4) Cover. Cook on High 5-6 hours or Low 9-10 hours.
I'm not a big fan of eating chicken. To be honest, I usually really hate it. It's always greasy, bland and gross or dry, stringy, bland and gross. This chicken, though, was so. very. yummy! After we drizzled the honey. We'll definitely make it again. Especially if it turns out Lydia CAN have pastured chicken!
Oh, it'll be so nice to add a few new items to our menu!