The Night Hike
Our New Chickens
My mom, dad, and sister came for a brief visit this past week. We love hanging out with family, even if they don't always get us and our choice of lifestyle.
My family has always been about the food. We all love cooking, baking, eating and drinking. It plays a big role in out lives, and we love to spend our time together in the kitchen. Another reason I love my house...the kitchen is essentially part of the main living area, so we all get to hang out together while cooking, cleaning, and what not.
We ate really well while everyone was here, but the last night together, we had the most amazing meal ever. It started in the morning with my dad cleaning the stewing hen I got from a local organic farmer. We put it in with some veggies and water to simmer for about 5 hours to make our stock. During the cooking, my mom, dad, sister and I worked on planting all the pansies and violas my mom brought. My mom loves flowers and several years ago she got me hooked on Vietnamese pots. We all worked together and finished all my beautiful planters! The rest of us went for a hike and my mom strained the broth and pulled the meat off the bird. When we got back, my sister cooked the Italian sausage from the same farmer. She and my mom worked together to chop all the veggies. In the mean time, we drank some beer and wine, baked and decorated some Halloween cookies, and generally had a lot of great conversation. Around 6:00, I got a call from a friend that she had to give away her flock of laying hens as she was moving. YEAH!!! John and my dad went to get the new chickens while we added the wild rice to the soup. When they got back with the chickens, the kids all picked out one new hen and John and my dad took the rest to our neighbor. While they were gone, we threw the okra into the soup. Finally, around 7:30, we sat down to eat this amazing gumbo that everyone had a little hand in preparing. It was incredibly satisfying!
It was a brief visit, but full of what we all love.