Looking at the world from my small rural acres in the Blue Ridge.

tools & utensils

Our Fabulous Homemade Chicken Plucker

Our Fabulous Homemade Chicken Plucker

Next weekend is hen culling day; we have some older spent hens and some hens who don’t lay enough to justify dealing with their aggressive barnyard attitude.  So on Sunday the flock will go from 29 to 15.  This time we will have the use […]

Butchering chickens at home using a steel cone

Butchering chickens at home using a steel cone

Today Kip and I butchered the first ten of this season’s 120 chickens.  At 4 weeks and 4 days these Harvest Whites from S & G Hatchery in Alabama have been fast gainers – the dressed birds weigh on average 2 and a 1/2 pounds […]

Everything but the squeal: Rendering fresh lard

Everything but the squeal: Rendering fresh lard

I made the first of the season’s lard the other day.  It turned out exactly right!  My friend Rowena Morrell recommended I render my lard in the oven in my turkey roaster pan at 225 degrees.  In the past I have always rendered lard over […]

Hand Made Chocolate: the Aztecs, the Spanish and Us: A Class in Chocolate Craft

Hand Made Chocolate: the Aztecs, the Spanish and Us: A Class in Chocolate Craft

Sooooooo, did I mention CHOCOLATE? Creating, savoring, eating chocolate? Our day will be spent exploring all things chocolate. The Aztec rulers drank their chocolate dark and bitter and used cocoa beans as money; after 1530 the Spanish added sugar and spices creating a drink for […]

Easter and my special copper pot

Easter and my special copper pot

Forty-six years ago I received this lovely Bazar Français double boiler as a gift.  Over the years it has taken pride of place in my many and various kitchens (a stunning twelve moves over the years since 1966 now that I add it up – […]