I can’t even remember such a mild and lovely spring. April and May are usually scorching hot, but this year day after day was like a golden sunflower turning toward the heavenly blue each shining hour, and the nights were as cool as cream.
The vegetables are piling up in the garden. I have parsley still, in abundance, fluffy and green like green sea foam at the borders of the garden. I’ve been drying it on trays to keep the whole year.
This year we failed again to keep the wild chickens from becoming exponential. First one little chick came out of somewhere and added to the cuteness out here.
It was fun to watch it fly into the tree to roost with it’s mother once it grew wings, and the rooster, the hen and the chick all walk around as a sweet little family. It’s very funny to watch the chick running after the rooster when the hen is off laying again and the rooster trying to run away.
But then two very large nests hatched from the only two places on forty acres that I absolutely DON’T want chickens – the garden and the barn.
The hen from the garden hatched 15 – it looked like she was walking around with a whole box of chicks, and the hen from the barn hatched 10. Thank goodness we didn’t order more egg chickens this year!
They are nothing but trouble. The barn hen was the notorious chick from last year that would squeeze itself in through the porch lattice to gobble the cat kibbles. Now we have ten of her.
Then a duck hatched nine ducklings out of the brush pile in the orchard.
So we are trying to be more on top of finding nests. Even so, the chickens really do keep us company. It never feels lonely while they are going through a loud crowing -and-clucking routine when I’m trying to talk on the phone, or sneaking into the kitchen to do terrible things while I’m hanging up the laundry.
They are very entertaining. I love watching their society. They drift around like a medieval court, the most beautiful and chivalrous roosters trailing iridescent tails, ducking and nobly lifting their feet, while their ladies, dressed in frilly petticoats, dally and gossip around them.
On the edges lurk the outlaws – the rough and ragged roosters with stumpy tails and bedraggled breasts, who no self- respecting hen would fall in with. They fight always among themselves like bands of rowdy robbers and wait for their chance – one of the ladies straying from the flock, distracted by a good scratching place or a relaxing dust bath.
Then, they pounce – ganging up to chase down their victim, while she loudly protests – her handsome rooster running over with his glorious tail flying to defend her honor – and put the rascals to their heels. Every afternoon they sit all over an old chicken coop in the woods and preen.
I’m making the most of the parsley and fresh eggs with this sauce. It’s so creamy and delicious on just about everything – veggies, meat, fish, etc.
1/2 cup parsley
1 small garlic clove
1 tablespoon lime or sour citrus juice
2 fresh egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Blend the garlic, parsley, salt, and citrus juice in a food processor.
2. Add the egg yolks and blend well.
3. With the motor running, add 1 drop off the oil. Wait a second, add another. Continue, slowly add the oil drop by drop for a few minutes, then pour in a very tiny stream. The sauce will turn a creamy color. It thickens more in the fridge. Will keep fresh about a week in the fridge.