Father Christmas is a chook. Yes, I know this may come as a surprise. (In America they call chooks – chickens – whereas in New Zealand a chicken is more likely to be found in the freezer section of the supermarket and is never Father Christmas. You forgot I was a New Zealander didn’t you – you do not hear my accent on your screen).
But this chook reminds me of Father Christmas – jolly and magnanimous though somewhat stern.
Anyway Father Christmas is a very big chook with large wide feet, long legs and a huge body. She likes to be in on the action and waits for me outside the barn. When she sees me approaching with the heavy buckets of hot water for the milking she ducks in behind me, shoving ahead of the dogs and Geraldine and joins the parade into the milking room where she sets up camp under the cows feeder in case of spillage.
She is a most unusual chook is our Father Christmas. Very determined and ridiculously friendly. I am not at all sure where she came from. There seem to be a lot of chickens about at the moment and not as many eggs as one would expect.
The toad is still there too by the way, he lives in the gap between the walls.
Aunty Anna is such a saucy cow that she has sent Carlo the Tiny quite mad with desire. He was threatening my fences and going hoarse from calling out to her in a fierce manner, so he and Alex were transported to the West side on Sunday so we could all get some sleep. She still has two more months before he can have his way with her.
Here is Bobby 2, (the hereford beef cow), with Aunty Anna behind him and Difficult stood in the mud (which is drying thankfully – if only this next round of rain would pass us by).
Alice Berbers (Apple) Pancake from the Farm House Cookbook by Susan Hermann Loomis.
Heat oven to 400F
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup of flour
2 tablespoons melted butter.
Mix the eggs and milk, Whisk in the flour, Whisk in the melted butter. Sit 10 minutes.
Pour into hot cast iron skillet. Reduce to 350F and cook for 15 minutes.
It will puff right up and become the base for any toppings you desire. Serve hot.
I do not have time to write out the apple topping. Just cook little cubes of tasty spiced apple and pop on top (Whitney added dollops of labneh)
This one I will be making often – it was the perfect breakfast.
I have another recipe being prepared for you – Turkish beef on an eggplant sauce. I will write that one out today.
Good morning. We brought in 227 bales of hay on Monday and have been stacking hay ever since. I have another 120 coming today. We are all quite worn out already. Nick comes back on Thursday and asked us to save him some and we are very happy to oblige once we reduce the latest pile enough to pull the trailer into the West Barn. So we will be stacking at least another hundred today.
I am kitchen Mama today so I need an early start to get the sourdough on its second rise.
I hope you have a lovely day.
She looks like a very stern chicken. The chicken lady at the farmers market has had less eggs off and on over the summer. She says they don’t like laying when it’s hot and some will stop laying altogether or only produce medium sized eggs.
Yes, it is the heat but interesting to know that some just never lay again – I think I have quite a few of those.. c
How weird! I didn’t know that.
The Apple pancakes look delicious! I think I will have that for breakfast tomorrow.☺
Great – let me know how it goes! c
Yes, our chooks are laying a lot less than I think they ‘should’ be too! Of course our girls are getting a bit elderly, and that surely has something to do with it too! We have 29 new ‘adolescents’ who will hopefully be laying in about two more months! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe! I will try this! And look forward to the eggplant recipe, as it’s the only veggie that has done well for us this summer!
I have many many chooks who are Past It – I am hopeless at dealing with them! c
Can we say “Num, num, num”? So the man’s parrot had a filthy mouth. The man cautioned that unless the mouth cleaned up that he would put the parrot in the freezer for five minutes. No such luck and into the freezer went the parrot. Five minutes later the gent retrieved the parrot who said, “What did the chicken do?” Just a little humor for you all AND on topic too! Much love, Your Gayle
I have two elderly girls who are laying once in and while. They’ve been sporadic since their moult last fall and the heat this summer hasn’t helped I think. I have three new kids who should be starting any day. I may have to drop some veiled hints to them about what happens to slackers! Mayhap that’ll get them started.
I am in awe of your hay count and can actually feel how you feel from stacking your green gold in the barn. Nothing, so far in my opinion, is as hard as putting up hay!! Congratulations on getting it in a barn with no rain. I LOVE seeing a barn full of hay. Worth it’s weigh in gold. Equal is seeing freezers full of food and the basement full of quart and pint jars. Hoping your day is uneventful.
I just freeze tomatoes, all kinds of sauces and so forth. The rest we eat – with all the visitors I have and then the rain and then the extreme heat – well the garden gave up the ghost. But the hay is marvellous! c
That’s 834 (including the 120) so far. Well done. Laura
Most excellent! My goal was 800 I think! YAY – thank you for counting for me.. c
Excellent … my pleasure 🙂 Laura
Yay for the hay! It’s been a rough hay year here on the Maine coast, but for the opposite reason, a drought. Glad you could make the most of a few dry days. I love your Father Christmas! I used to have a hen that was always with me. She wouldn’t roost with the others and eventually she was taken by a fisher or a fox.
Those solo birds are easy targets, though i am not even sure where this one sleeps – probably up in the barn – the best place..
The heat gets to the hens and they stop laying eggs…
Yes – it does not seem fair does it – no eggs in the winter not enough sun – and no eggs in the summer – too much sun..
Good grief—sounds like the milking parlor is quite the party parlor these days!
The cows have to watch where they put their feet! c
I love chickens! We used to have bantys in our backyard when we lived up north as bug and slug control with a few small eggs as a dividend! Have a lovely day!
You have a lovely day too Kathe
I hope you get enough hay in to feed your crew this winter! And I’ll take some of your rain. It has been so very dry here!
We are looking good – I am feeling much happier about the winter feed now..
That apple cake looks delicious, Celi. A slice with a coffee would be a great way to start any day.
May Father Christmas live a long life and experience a peaceful death. Reading that Father Christmas died violently might be a bit much for some younger readers googling “Father Christmas”. 😀
Oh dear yes – that would be a fright for a child to read that Father Christmas came to a bad end
Nothing like pancakes to set you up for a day’s hard work. My own favourite is a huge thick bacon pancake with maple syrup on top, straight from my Dutch mother’s recipe book: pannekoeken met speck en stroop. Also very nice if you add apple!
Kate! Do you happen to have a recipe for boterkoek? I asked my Oma for her recipe, but she’s very old and it wasn’t correct. 😦
Natuurlijk! I’ve copied it out of the book for you, in English, and if you’ll give me an email address I can send it to you. Or if you don’t want to put yours out there, look at the Contact Me page on my blog, where you’ll find mine.
Thank you so much! It’s email@example.com
On its way 🙂
That pancake recipe sounds a lot like something called a Dutch Baby. I hate that name! Dutch babies are small humans, not food. *L* And chooks are hens, yes? Or are roosters chooks as well? I try to imagine your New Zealand accent when I read your posts, but in my head you either sound like one of the deep-voiced Wiggles, or my uproariously funny Australian aunt.
Yes – chooks are hens.. roosters are – well – just roosters.. no fun there
My brother has chickens on Tucson, AZ and the heat was extreme this summer. His “girls” slowed down with laying their eggs. I was there for a week and we had fresh eggs each day in some form. Dang, I wish I had some chickens!!!!!
Love your pancake recipe.
Congratulations for the hay! – Ah, and the pancake sounds & looks yummi…
Haha… when I read the first bit of your blog I was thinking Father Christmas was a rooster… then you called him ‘she’… I would love to hear your accent, whether you have picked up any American bits or whether you are still Kiwi!
Pretty KIWI!! c
Gorgeous pancake. That’s my yorkshire pudding recipe. If you pour it into a very hot pan with some hot fat in the bottom and bake til it’s puffed and crispy around the edges, Voila! Yorshire Pudding! We always ate what was left after a roast dinner with cinnamon sugar and milk. Love that chook too.
Wow – that is great – I will have it with gravy next! Thank you.. c
Gorgeous chickie and poor frustrated little Carlos. Loving the recipes!
Carlos is noisy – I am tired of his endless aggressive mooing – so I am glad to leave him at the other farm.
Yay for hay! (I’m remembering that it seemed impossible a week or so ago, when the rain wouldn’t stop)
Things change so fast – we got the dry, got in the hay and now the rain is back. But thats ok! Hope all is well on your beach.
Who knew you had so much company when you go milking! That is quite a parade. Had to laugh that Geraldine wasn’t missing out on it! Silly peahen!
That is a lovely looking chook! Great pics Celi .. That pancake looks rather delicious !
Interesting Christmas post !
Invite to see my Christmas post also f. ex. from Madrid 🙂