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Scattered Sundays

The Cook family grew by 8 new members this week! After a friend kindly agreed to raise some chicks for us, the new ladies joined our existing flock on Saturday night.

chickens in a cardboard box
It’s my chicks in a box

Our friends brought them over Saturday night because I’m a big believer in introducing new chickens in the evening. Everyone’s sleepy, they’ve eaten and played all day, and they don’t have enough energy to start a battle. They’re basically toddlers with beaks and claws.

We’ve introduced new chickens to our flock many times over the years, and each time it has followed the same routine. The older ladies bully and peck at the new girls, but eventually they figure it out. Sometimes it takes a few days, sometimes it takes weeks.

It has always involved the older ladies freaking the cluck out and losing their minds when they see or sense the new chickens. This time…was unlike anything we had ever seen before.

The new chickens are the smallest we have ever introduced to the flock, but when they came out of the box, you would have assumed they were giants. The older chickens were TERRIFIED and ran into the corner to huddle together. What a bunch of chickens. Oh, wait…

small chickens huddling next to a woman in a blue shirt and glasses.

The new girls, whom we call “the babies”, stuck close to me for the first hour. They did some exploring but only within a 5-foot radius. The older ladies headed into the coop and it took a while and a lot of catching of the babies to get them all inside for that first night.

Troy built them a tiny roost so that they wouldn’t be bullied by the older chickens. The babies (and all chickens) are pretty dumb, and instead, all 8 of them perched all night on the edge of the food bucket we keep in the coop.

The older ladies spent a solid 3-4 days super scared of the babies. I had never seen anything like it, but I just let them all be. I’ve only seen the older girls peck at the babies once, and that is when they tried to venture into the prime area of the yard.

Everyone is settling in nicely and I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers that they will all remain drama-free. Eventually, the babies will need their flight feathers clipped (it’s as “invasive” as giving a person a haircut) so that they don’t go over the fence and into the neighbor’s yards.

I’m so appreciative of our friends raising the babies for us for nine weeks. With Troy’s allergies, we have never been able to raise chicks before, and have always relied on the kindness of other chicken families to add a few chicks to their brooder for us. We do always pay them, but I know it’s a lot of work.

Chick selection was slim this year since everyone decided to panic-raise chickens when egg prices were really high at the end of winter. I desperately wanted more Buff Orpingtons, because they’re just the sweetest. Our all-time favorite chicken was a Buff, and they’re known as the Golden Retriever of chickens.

But, you couldn’t find them anywhere, and egg houses were backlogged until July to ship Buff Orpington chicks. So, we took what we could get, and I’m excited to learn more about the two breeds our friends could find.

We have four Easter Eggers and four Sapphire Splashes. The Sapphires are the white chicks, and Easter Eggers are the brown ones. Easter Eggers lay super colorful eggs, and the Sapphires lay brown eggs.

As soon as our friends brought them over, Jack claimed the right to name one of the white chickens, Oreo. I had been planning for months what to name four of the chickens and had planned to lay claim to the white ones, but oh well.

The four brown Easter Eggers are Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia, and Rose. 🙂 It’s appropriate on so many levels, but most importantly, because we let our chickens live out their lives at our house. They cohabitate and support each other in their golden years.

Bennett says he wants to name one of the white ones, “Chicken Alfredo” which seems a bit weird, but “a bit weird” also describes my youngest. So there’s that. The other two are not named yet, but soon. Soon.

chickens foraging.
I swear they doubled in size overnight.

This was overall a busy week, but also a week that saw an end to a two-month schedule of being double or triple-booked most days. Jack finished up cross country this week, and we’re still in the lull before the next season of soccer starts.

Baseball is maybe almost over. It’s hard to say. We had our last regular season game on Thursday and started post-season play yesterday. Why do 6-9 years olds need post-season play? The answer is: “they don’t”.

Bennett adds very little value to his team, other than a sweet smile, great pitching (but he cannot catch to save his life), and the fastest dash to the concession stand after a game. If he put that much energy or focus into actually playing baseball, his team would be on fire.

I’m truly hoping this is his last season of baseball. He doesn’t care, it’s boring (for everyone involved), and it makes an already busy few months absolutely banana pants. I told him I’ll drive him to the concession stand each week and buy him a damn treat, even if he doesn’t play baseball.

In the Garden This Week

More weeding and more watering were pretty much the name of the game this week! I direct-planted green beans on Mother’s Day, and I have never seen seeds sprout as quickly as these did. It was wild! They are growing steadily and should be climbing our DIY garden trellises soon.

This coming week I should be planting cucumbers into one of the raised beds that is currently empty. I’ve found a few volunteer cucumbers in another bed and will also transplant those. It will be a cucumber surprise kind of year.

Our tomato plants are growing steadily but not at the rapid pace that I expected given our unseasonably hot weather. Last year our tomato production was terrible, and I blame the fresh woodchips I used as mulch. But this year, those chips are seasoned and (hopefully) shouldn’t be such an issue. So I’m not sure what gives.

I was about to pull two weeds on Wednesday before I realized they were volunteer sunflowers from last year’s plants. I left them alone and can’t wait to watch them grow. Last year was my first year planting actual flowers and the chickens really enjoyed chowing down on the seeds in the late fall.

The strawberries are fruiting, and the raspberries have loads of flowers that will soon translate into our early summer berries. We get a crop of small-sized berries in June and then another round of giant berries in late summer/early fall.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Long-time reader, Andree, left this five-star review on our Frozen Berry Cake {Pin this recipe}:

Another delicious breakfast cake for me this week! Extremely tasty (and sweet without tasting like dessert – I’ve had a lot of sweeter muffins)

Note to self: it ‘feels’ like too little batter in my 9×9 pan (but tasted delicious) – use your small oval Corningware (y’a know, the lidded ones that are sold as a pair): easier to spread the batter, layer the berries etc. 

frozen berry cake on a plate with a fork topped with yogurt and a sprig of mint

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Creamy Pesto PastaThis Creamy Pesto Pasta is a simple meal that is delicious homemade comfort food. You can throw this incredible and easy dinner together in 20 minutes or less. {Pin this recipe}

tongs lifting up a scoop of pasta out of a white pan.

Strawberry PureeFresh flavorful Strawberry Puree is a great recipe to showcase this wonderful summer fruit without needing to know any special kitchen skills (like canning). Homemade strawberry sauce is incredible on baked goods, pancakes, yogurt, and so much more. {Pin this recipe}

a glass jar of strawberry sauce with lemons and fresh strawberries on a wooden cutting board

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  1. Garlic Butter Rice – I can’t think of a week that goes by in this house without at least one batch of this comfort food being made. {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Cookies – I’m a big fan of this recipe and you’re going to love it too! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  4. Ravioli Bake – an easy peasy dinner that can be made ahead of time and is easily customizable to your family’s tastes. {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Freeze Mint – take advantage of in-season mint and freeze some for the winter. Like a good little squirrel. {Pin this tutorial}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: Likely a bonus movie night since there is no school.

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Wednesday:: Grilled cheese, veggies, and maybe something else if I can be bothered. Fruit? Sure. Let’s say fruit.

Thursday:: Troy is making dinner and we’re looking forward to eating it.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos, Garlic Butter Rice, and veggies.

Sunday:: TBD. I have a soccer board meeting and might put Troy in charge of feeding the gremlins.

What are you having this week?

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6 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Yes! I saw the chickens and couldn’t wait to know their names. Hands down, you are the best at naming all the things. 

    I feel you on baseball—my two oldest kids (8 and 6) are playing, and snoooore. Not only are they terrible, but they don’t seem to care at all. And I mean they are terrible! I’ve never seen a kid swing a bat so slow. Is that mean? It’s true. 

    • Boring sports would be one thing if the kids enjoyed it or were good at it. But when it’s boring + no skills…? That’s just torture!!

      I hope that your kiddos decide they don’t want to play next year. Fingers crossed that we can talk Bennett out of it.

  2. Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia and Rose. I got quite a chuckle out of that! 🙂

  3. I appreciate your blog, and am so very glad the days of kid sports are long gone. If I were a fairy godmother, I’d gift you all the energy you need, and maybe a lifetime supply of energy for your vehicles.

    Today, we ate cauliflower crust pizza and chicken sandwiches.
    Tomorrow is a pork and noodle stir fry.
    Tuesday is garbanzo burgers.
    Wednesday, if it’s cool enough, is roast beef and the plethora of potatoes required by the resident spawn.
    Thursday is leftover beef and yet more potatoes in the form of hash.
    Friday is soup, probably bean-based, and bread.
    Saturday is whatever is left from Friday, bolstered by hummus and veg.

  4. So much drama in your Chicken World! I hope all of the Ladies are settling in well. Our neighbors have chickens, and all I know is that they come running when I toss greens over the fence for them.

    Love your Freezer Jam recipe! I’ve employed the concept to create Cranberry-Habanero Jam, Black Raspberry Jam, and yes, Strawberry Jam. 

    Our Menu this week:
    Sunday. Burgers on the grill. Grilled onions and avocado as toppers. Elote Corn on the side.
    Monday. Thunderstorms are forecast, so we’ll have leftover Burgers.
    Tuesday.  A huge green salad because once again I overpurchased at the farmer’s market.
    Wednesday. I’m thinking Grilled Cauliflower Steaks.
    Thursday. Maybe pasta with Trader Joe’s Garlic Onion Crunch sauce? Or something else.
    Friday. All bets are off. We Empty Nesters might find ourselves enjoying a charcuterie board at a winery…or perhaps a take-away pizza with Sangria on our terrace…or maybe grilled Kimchii sandwiches…or we’ll just scramble eggs and call it good.