Pancakes

Gabe and Homer

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Duck Sagas: Egg-cellent

So Penelope started laying consistently this week. Her endeavors have been adorable. The eggs have ranged from full-sized to fun-sized. I should have added chicken egg for comparison – but the third egg in is about chicken egg-sized.  Duck eggs are much bigger than even extra-large chicken eggs.

You can also see that Mabel and Maddie have been busy, as well. Their eggs are back to being hard-shelled after a few months of soft-shelled eggs. The culprit? Bixby’s dog food. They do love their dog food, so I switched Scout and the ducks back to the old food, while Bixby has to have a beef food because he’s developed a chicken allergy.

Ten days off of dog food and many days of Ducks On Strike and everything went back to normal. Except they still wouldn’t lay eggs consistently, so I relented and give them about 2 cups of Scout’s food to share in the morning. They are eating more laying mix of seeds/scratch but happy to have their dog food back and laying eggs daily.

They are also EXCELLENT bug hunters and I love watching them run around the yard devouring flies, grasshoppers and grubs.


 

A “Little” Gabe and Scout

Gabe and Scout - puppy and kitty

Last time I updated you on Gabe, I think I was still wondering if he was happy here. He’s erased all doubts about that. One day it was like a switch flipped, and he just relaxed into living here. He snuggles when he needs attention, sleeps on my feet at night, spends time outside and comes back when I call him, accepts the ducks as just part of the general craziness here and seems genuinely happy. Oh, and he very often sleeps on top of one of the dogs. Just ’cause.

He has put on a few pounds. But we don’t talk about that here. I’m sure it had a lot to do with being put on such a restrictive diet at the shelter to heal up his UTI. And the stress of the whole upheaval in his life.  As recommended by Way of Cats (and friend), I’ve moved the cats to a mostly wet food diet. He may un-chonk. He may not. He’s still a handsome devil.

Scout is adorable as always.


 

Tidbits

I gathered ripe habaneros for more of that delicious fruity sauce.  I will seal and freeze some and keep the remainder out for another batch as soon as I can get to the store for more juice.Nothing notable about this meal.  I did add some mild curry powder to the rub as an afterthought before popping them into the oven.  It would have been much better to make a marinade of it with some oil.Did I mention that the refrigerator/freezer that was installed for the kitchen remodel quit?  We had a  GE dispatched tech over twice, once to tell me that yes, it was not cooling and the second time to add some coolant gas.  There was some back and forth via texts and emails with the customer rep.  They decided to replace the fridge with a brand spanking new one.
The men delivering the new one carried it through the door by means of straps under the unit – blew my mind.  I had never seen the like.  Ingenious method.I made enough cheese sauce and steak to have another go at it.  The pickled peppers were good, again.  I will make another batch when some of them turn red.I toasted a couple of flour tortillas for tacos the other day.  I had some hot Italian sausage to use up so that became the meat layer.  I browned it in a skillet with jalapenos and onions with a goodly sprinkle of taco seasoning and it was very good.  Also in the taco were refried beans, shredded cheeses, salsa, and fresh tomatoes.Ollie is doing the kitteh safety scan before entering through the open window from the roof outside.  Bitsy will let him go first, just in case he misses the kitteh eating monster that may be lurking within.

Tidbits

Here’s Ollie, stalking through some tall grass.Another sous vide flat iron steak with chimichurri.  We’re liking the chimichurri quite a lot.  This one has red jalapenos for a little color.  Our recipe deletes the cilantro in favor of parsley and fresh oregano.  On the side are stir-fried green beans and hash browned potatoes.

Kroger makes better fried chicken than KFC.  The habanero dipping sauce is just killer.InstaPot country ribs with sauerkraut, carrots and potatoes.  I used the meat setting and did a natural release. The carrots held their shape but were a tad mushy.Cheese steak sammich.  I made the sauce using the sodium citrate/water method.  One cup of water with one teaspoon of the citrate brought to a simmer with shredded cheddar whisked in.  I didn’t use the stick blender and it was fine despite leaving little lumps of cheese.  I saw no downside to that.I’ll leave you with a Tiger Swallowtail on Lantana with a backdrop of Black-eyed Susans.