Dorcas Annette Walker
Our henhouse is bustling with activity. Zebulon rules the outside and the six largest hens, which have been molting during the heat wave of the past month reducing egg production. Despite the heat nothing escapes his eagle eye making him an ideal watch dog. The other day to my surprise and delight I heard an echo of Zebulon’s crowing coming from inside the henhouse. It turns out that Cheesecake is a rooster. Perched on top of a roll of wire, Cheesecake rules the younger brood inside the hen house. While Cheesecake doesn’t have the volume of Zebulon, he still manages to make a respectable sounding crow. The other surviving member of his batch, Lemon Pudding, laid her first egg yesterday. It was a perfect miniature oval.
Two weeks ago Dana took down the protective wire inside the henhouse to let our smallest bunch of half-grown chicks roam free. Blackberry ventured outside the henhouse and met his doom when he had a run-in with Zebulon. Thankfully Mustard, Cluster, Fluster, Blueberry, and Raspberry have played it safe and stayed indoors. Their bodies are growing rapidly and they are quickly becoming adults. It is fascinating to see them take on the mannerisms of their older peers. Instead of hearing peeping sounds, you now hear new-sounding clucks. With colder weather coming up all the chickens will start to go inside to roost at night. Dana is going to separate the young roosters from Zebulon and place them in another pen so we don’t end up raising fighting roosters. Instead we’ll fatten them up for the freezer.
To keep the chickens healthy and our hens laying they have to be fed a balanced diet of grains, greens, and protein. To survive the winter extra corn will be added to their diet starting in the fall to help fatten our poultry up thus enabling them to produce the necessary heat needed for cold temperatures. Chicken scratch is an old favorite chicken feed made up of a combination of whole grains or oats and corn, which is the equivalent of candy to a hen or rooster. That is why layer pellets, other protein sources, and greens are added to their diet.
Corn Pudding is an old fashion dish also known as scalloped corn or corn soufflé. Over the years I have combined a couple of recipes to our old family recipe of Corn Pudding to get the desired creamy texture and taste. You can substitute one can of drained whole corn for one can of creamed corn. Corn Pudding is an ideal dish to pop into the oven on a brisk fall day and is sure to please everyone. Preparation time for my Corn Pudding takes only ten minutes and this recipe serves twelve.
Mix together in a blender:
2 (14.5 oz) cans of cream corn
1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
½ stick of margarine (cut into chunks)
2 tb sugar
2 tb cornstarch
Pour mixture into a buttered two-quart baking dish. Cover and bake at 350º for 1½ hours. Serve warm!
Weekly tip: Some quick crumb toppings for baked casseroles include melted butter drizzled over: crushed Ritz crackers or regular saltine crackers, bread crumbled up fine, crushed corn flakes or bran cereals!