I thought I'd share our fallen tree, although pictures can't really convey just how massive this thing is. First of all, here is the branch that fell:
The diameter of the branch is about 2 1/2 feet. When I stand next to it, it's almost knee-high. In the second picture you can see a bit of our 6 foot high fence on the left, which helps to illustrate the scale.
Here is the poor, sad, giant tree:
Apparantly it's not 300 years old as we originally thought, it's probably closer to 400 years. A couple of the tree guys that have come to give us quotes have stood, mouths gaping, staring up at it, trying to figure out how they're going to get it down. It should be fun and involve lots of heavy equipment and cranes and things! They tell us that the trunk alone will yield 8-10 cords of wood. Poor tree, you made it so many hundreds of years, I wish you could have made it the next 50 or so of my lifetime.
Here is my fashion tip for today: When purchasing $10 fake Crocs from Target, it's always good if they match your pajamas, so when you go out at six a.m. to let the darn chickens out, you look good for the neighbors. You might think that no one will see you at six a.m., but you are probably very, very wrong about that fact. I may have bed-head at that hour, but at least I have cute shoes and pajamas.
Speaking of letting the chickens out, I decided to expand my repetoire of egg recipes and add two really great cookbooks to my collection. First is The Farmstead Egg Cookbook, by Terry Golson and second is simply Eggs, by Michel Roux. I've enjoyed Terry's hen cam for a long time. When I'm at work and missing my girls, I can just pop on over for a quick chicken fix. What a great little cookbook she's written. The photos are just lovely, and I will probably make nearly every recipe in there. So far we've made a couple different frittatas, and the shirred egg with spinach is one of my new favorite breakfasts. Doesn't it look so pretty with some good, toasted olive bread? Yummy! And the Carbonara is so very easy and delicious.
We've been sharing eggs with neighbors and co-workers, and it's so funny how people think about eggs. One of the husband's co-workers wasn't too sure about taking some of our eggs, worried that maybe they weren't 'safe'. Wow. Eggs that I collect every day, from chickens who are free to roam and scratch and take dust baths and eat good quality feed as well as treats like lettuce, grapes and apples versus eggs transported after who knows how long (eggs can be labled 'very fresh' when they make it to the store in a week, and 'fresh' after 2 or 3 weeks, I believe), from chickens crammed 6 to a cage, unable to stretch their wings, in a factory-like building. The choice seems obvious to me.
The other book, Eggs, is also really beautiful and has recipes not only for chicken eggs, but also quail, duck and goose eggs. Those will come in handy when the geese start laying! All the basics are covered, in great detail. It's a good reminder to re-learn how long to boil an egg or make really creamy scrambled eggs. I think I might even be brave enough to try poaching some eggs again, although I've never been able to do that successfully.
A lot of the recipes are a little more fussy and exotic, and even though I might never make them, they inspire simpler versions. One thing I did learn, while attempting to make the Spanish Tortilla, is that Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo are not at all the same thing. At all. Well, I suppose they are both meat products, but that is where the similarity ends. Instead of nice chunks of spicy sausage, I ended up with a soupy, greasy mess. We just threw some cheese and avocado on it and pretended that was the plan all along. It was a pretty tasty mistake :o)