Saturday, September 5, 2009

Good Rooster Wine...

When I make a recommendation and it involves booze, I am always cautious to note the following; "Drink like there is no tomorrow!!!!!" I am kidding of course, at heart I am a teetotaler but I do like red wine and living 45 mins from Napa it is kind of a prerequisite to living here, along with the understanding earthquakes are fun. I am not sure how many of you have experienced an earthquake, but they are fun, for the most part... the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was insane... news reports of the Bay Bridge collapsing, The Marina in SF on fire... The Cypress section of 980 collapsing... I was walking down some stairs in my house and thought a tree had fallen on the roof. I walked down to the first floor where the windows looking out to the backyard looked like water rippling. Then everything went dark. Spooooooky and actually pretty nerve racking.

So, this is why wine is so important!!! Last night my sister in law brought this wine over. Coincidence? I think NOT....

I was skeptical, as imported French wines are brought over here like Chinese toys...often with the same result - cheap crap, and this one had a "screw top"..... I know many are going this way, as cork is getting scarce and plastic stinks! Although I am typing on a plastic computer and therefore I guess we need it.

La Vieille Ferme (translated - The Old Farm)... is a mash up of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. It was surprisingly good. Easy to drink with no strong tendencies of wishing you had licked your shoe instead. It was purchased at Whole Paycheck, but priced like a Chevy on Ebay - $10. BONUS - a hen and rooster on the label. Get it, you'll like it.

Here's to good health and happy times with loved ones!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I am sorry not to have posted sooner, but I am trying to keep up with an ever changing job and more and more work. ARGH!!!!

So, happy place... moving to my happy place...

Check out this harvest tonight.

Three Dusky Eggplants, eight tomato's and one pomegranate. Yes...

So, I skinned the eggplants, cut them length wise 1/4" thick, soaked them in olive oil and BBQ'd them. Added a touch of salt.

In a separate bowl I combined garlic, basil, tomato, ricotta and mixed it all up. Once the eggplant was done, I rolled up the mixture inside the eggplant. Made a quick salad and voila' a meal fit for a frustrated overworked ding dong and his wonderful girls!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some Fun Items

Have been asked from time to time for some Le Coop or ChickenMan goodies, here they are... there are some coffee cups and other things. Someone told me about easy enough to do.

Sunflower Seeds

Annually we grow sunflowers, not in large qty's but in small batches. Per usual, one of the flowers grows as though it was mutant. The flower pictured here is approximately 18" across and yielded well over 800 seeds. I did not want to waste the seeds, so my daughter and I removed all the seeds, washed them, soaked them in a salt and garlic bath and then baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

They ended up turning out pretty good.

The vitamin E content in sunflower seeds is pretty high, entertainment value was priceless. As I sat on the driveway, with my daughter, she says "We really are farmers, aren't we?"

Again, I am striving to get my kids hands dirty and minds wholesome.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hoot Is Awesome...

Hoot said Chickens can't be entertaining...?

This bird is amazingly fun, very bright and quite camera ready. I went out to the coop this morning thinking I would find 5 happy chickens quietly clucking away. Much to my chagrin, the coop was ransacked!!!

The ramp to the nesting box was off it's hooks, the waterer was upside down and the bedding was piles... Wait a minute my mistake this was my DAUGHTERS ROOM!!!! Hey not cool...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Technology and Chickens...

So, I took a little time off over the weekend... soccer tournaments, honey-do lists and some gardening kept me away from the computer. Which is a good thing. I must confess, the computer and a blog about chickens, gardening and the like really stands in juxtaposition to each other.

My wife and I work and I mean work... to keep our kids away from the TV and computer. My brother-in-law affectionately calls kids who sit in front of the TV or video games as "Vidiots". While harsh, I think it is true - TV is the only thing we can do, where it has been proven, our brain function nearly ceases and yet blood pressure rises. How messed up is this? My wife and I have found, that the more one of our kids watches TV, the more they want it and similarly, the less they watch it, the less they want to.

I also think it is tragic in this day and age, we are raising kids who would not know a lawn mover from broom and expect praise for mediocrity. They get 65 out of 100 on a test and think they split an atom and patronizing parents sit around and clap for fear they will ruin their precious little 15 year old's spirit. Then they enter the work-world and wonder why their boss is not automatically promoting them for showing up at 9 and leaving at 4.

Oh my... I am on a tear... So, let's move to a happier conclusion... Having a garden, chickens etc. and asking your kids to go pick tomato's, lettuce, parsley and eggplant for dinner and while they are out there, to feed and water the chickens brings continuity to life. They understand the cycle of sowing and reaping and the fact they don't happen at the same time. There is work in the middle and sometimes the work yields big rewards and sometimes stuff dies, but YOU MUST PUSH AHEAD!