Monday, March 23, 2009

A Weekend of Yum

Woo-boy, where to start? It was a weekend of getting shit done. The run for the chickens was moved to a new grassy spot, which was all very exciting because I decided that the chickens should roam free while we worked around them and they sure did make the most of it. The girls are a little haggard right now, I think we are dealing with some picking on each other. When we returned from Portland they were out of food, which makes them grumpy and mean, and a few that looked totally normal when we left now look like their butt got stuck in a de-featherer. The confusing part is that almost everyone looks a little beat up, including the one we had pegged as a main meanie. We are trying some topical solutions, some added protein in their water, and the aforementioned new run area. They continue to lay like complete champs though, and everything I read says that this is the big sign to look for in terms of assessing chicken heath. Any readers with chickens feel free to chime in here.

Seeds were ordered to replenish the previous chicken run. Spinach and argulua were reseeded and this time protected from the birds. Another round of leeks went in. We planted cabbage, broccoli, four types of lettuce, bok choy, and carrots, also protected from birds after learning the hard way. Leaf mulch was dug out from under the leaf pile and sifted. The indoor seedlings were thinned while I was awash in the feeling of "how the hell will we fit everything in" although I practically cried anyway. B made a bird scarer from some shiny ribbon.

Laundry, studying for midterms, two papers written, a bunch of tunes played, some reading, a bike ride, grocery shopping, brunch with a friend, and cooking! I need a nap.

Anyway, the cooking. For some reason I got a huge craving for these pickled red onions that they serve at Zuni in San Francisco. Here are two versions of the recipe. It is fussy but easy and boy they are so good. I went with the version with the chili in it for a little spice, and it's just barely there in a perfect way. I ended up with two pretty jars of them and that was after using quite a lot in our dinner. Which was:

Warm Lentil Salad

1 cup dried french lentils*
4 ounces feta cheese
1/4 of a cup chopped italian parsley
2 sweet potatoes roasted this way, then diced
2/3 cup pickled red onions, chopped, more to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Olive oil to coat
Ume vinegar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook lentils in 2 1/2 cups of water until tender. Drain. Chop all else, mix, and season with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. So good, and ripe for variations.

*no subbing, these are the only ones that will keep their shape!


Chiot's Run said...

I love their zucchini pickles. I find it a perfect way to preserve zucchini for winter eating. We keep several quarts in the back of the fridge. YUM YUM.

dietlind said...

my favorite is pickled baby carrots with some hot chili for bite--like they give you on the side of a sandwich at tartine. hey sweets! i cooked a whole chicken! and i made stock! and killer chicken noodle soup with tons of veggies! i kept wanting to call you and tell you about the whole bird, but i didn't want to interupt your weekend flow and it sounds like it was a good thing i didn't.

Heather said...

You must always call about whole birds! Important! And stock! Yay!

Portland was so fab. It's going to kill me if you move there because I have to peel myself away already. Love that town.

Must pickle carrots...