Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chickens, and Kittens, and Goats...Oh, My!

A week or so ago, I visited lovely Merry Mount to see the summer transformation of the little farm. . . and to meet the new residents! Rett and I had a lovely weekend visit (Pat was in Tennessee), and saw a breathtaking sunset (above) over the rustling fields of tall, tall corn.
I got a tour of her beautiful garden, and we made my favorite, summer pasta for dinner (recipe on one of the first posts of this blog).

But best of all, I got to meet the new additions to the farm!

Walt and Wilmer are adorable, little Nigerian Dwarf goats.

We had our cocktails in the goat barn with them, and that's the first time Walt was comfortable enough to let Rett pet him -- guess he just needed to relax around a glass of wine. (He actually was curious about what was in the glass but we guided him to the goat-molasses-lick instead.)

They are pretty happy at Merry Mount and will be allowed to go out into their "pasture" soon (they had to adjust to their new surroundings first). Next up, Rett will add two doe goats to the herd!

The chickens are doing great, though Rett is waiting for them to start laying eggs. They should be old enough now but they haven't gotten down to business. Rett even bought a few fake eggs to place in the laying boxes to help the ladies get the idea! Soon, soon!

I won't pretend to know who is whom, but the colorful chickens include Bertha and Buelah (Buff Orphingtons), Edith and Eloise (Plymouth Barred Rock Hens), Wanda and Wilma (Silver Laced Wyandots), and Gertie and Gilda (Golden Comets).

 Two kittens -- Maude and Rowdy -- and their mom Moocher, along with Jack Russell terrier Jackpot round out the animals. Oh wait, I forgot about the canaries -- who have laid three more eggs!

Here is a summer appetizer recipe, in case you have the delightful chance for a cocktail party in a goat barn or simply on your patio:

Roasted Beet Hummus

1 small red beet
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 teaspoon grated lemon rine
1/4 cup water
2 T lemon juice
2 T walnut oil (I think you could substitute olive oil)
3/4 teasoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 450. Leave root and 1-inch stem on beet; scrub with a brush. Wrap beet in foil. Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 35 min. Add walnuts and garlic to pan, bake 7 min longer or until nuts are toasted. Cool 10  min. Trim off beet root; rub off skin. Cut beet into quarters.

Place garlic and beet in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add walnuts, lemon rind, and remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Enjoy with raw vegetable sticks or crackers.

RIP my sweet, sweet Rio: You loved Merry Mount too!

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