Monday, October 25, 2010

Got Green Tomatoes? This Recipe Takes the Cake

I'm still plucking pinkish-orange tomatoes out from under their plastic cocoon, but I also know the abundance of greenies hanging out there are just not going to make it.  I found this unusual recipe for Green Tomato Cake on the Food Network website.  It's from Paula Deen, so it's loaded with butter, y'all! 

You can see the diced green tomatoes in the batter
I did a little recipe adjustments; substituting a 1/2 cup of canola oil for one stick of butter, and I did not make the brown butter icing, but opted for turbinado sugar sprinkled on top. The cake has a wonderful, moist pound cake texture and you'd never know green tomatoes are present from taste (although you can see pieces of green). 

Yum!  We could hardly wait to give it a try - it was delish!
 I'm always happy when I bake a success, it doesn't always work out this way (just ask my friends about the cheesecake and the chainsaw).  However, this is one that I would make again and actually serve. A sweet way to use up those those last few emerald gems of summer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Watch Out for Jack Frost

It's amazing, it's October 15th and our garden is still going strong.  We've been laying plastic sheeting over the tomatoes for the last two nights, but so far we haven't had any frost.

I think that is about to change this weekend.  If you still have an abundance of green tomatoes like we do, you might want to cover those tonight.  Just about anything lightweight will work - sheets, plastic garbage bags, 5 gallon buckets (great over pots).  

If they make it through the frost, the next step is to pull those tomatoes and hang them in the garage (or basement) so the remaining green toms ripen.  Or you can pick the greenies, wrap them in newspaper and pack in a cardboard box.  They will ripen anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.  I've done it both ways and have had luck with each method.

I'm not giving up on the garden yet, but it is probably time to say goodbye to the tomatoes and cucumbers.  The arugula, spinach and lettuces, chard and carrots are just loving the cool temps and I'm loving the fact that I am still harvesting in mid-October.  

But do keep an eye out for old Jack Frost, I hear he is in the neighborhood!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Preventing Chicken Cooties

If you have outdoor pets, horses or livestock,  you know that these animals need to be wormed on occasion.

Well City Chickers, your back yard flock is no different.  In fact urban coops could have a higher incidence of internal parasites due to space constraints.  Good sanitation practices go a long way in keeping your flock healthy, but you can't always guard against the bugs your hens ingest.  Yep, your happy hens can get worms from eating worms...and slugs and bugs and all those other juicy creepy-crawlers they find so delicious. 

Even if you run a tidy coop your flock can benefit from regular worming, since birds confined in a small space will inevitably come into contact with droppings (they often show questionable taste in what they peck at). 

Roundworms are the most common internal parasite and are easy to treat. I called a few local farm stores looking for chicken wormer but no one had anything nor had they even heard of such a thing (I won't be getting advice from these places anytime soon).  I called my vet who, thankfully, did know about internal parasites in fowl and he prescribed Panacure (Fenbendazole).  A few cc's by mouth, with a follow up in 10 days is all that is needed; about once a year.  Pretty simple.

And, it actually was.  It took two of us - one holding the hen firmly and one prying the beak open and administering the chalky liquid down the gullet.  We don't plan on eating any of the eggs produced in the next month - but this little preventive measure is well worth it for healthy hen in the long run.

Has anyone else wormed their flocks?
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