Berries, Birds

It was every bit as delicious as it looked, too.

Behold the turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo, sprouts, cuke, lettuce and artichoke hearts on fresh-baked sunflower seed bread. Isn’t it gorgeous? I wish I could take credit for it, but credit goes to Burnap’s Farm Market and Garden Cafe, where I took the offspring over the weekend. It was a bit of a hike, but well worth it. Besides the usual fresh produce, baked goods, jams, cheeses and homespun candies you usually find at these sorts of places, Burnap’s also offers a surprisingly wonderful little cafe. I had steeled myself for chicken nuggets and burgers, but instead had that scrumptious piece of work. The kids shared a homemade pizza, in between scampering off to climb and swing and make friends on the playground. I bought a flat of strawberries and creamer potatoes. Seriously, this place is like the Platonic ideal of a farm market.

They’re not even paying me to say that.

Only one fly in the ointment: when Little Miss Four pointed at another child and said, “That Nazi over there is trying to get me” –a direct result of her having watched Mr. Six-Going-On-Seven play too much Lego Indiana Jones Wii, but try explaining that to a mother in a snit.

When we got home I sat out in the backyard, chickens for company, and hulled the berries. I froze about half of them, ate about a quarter, and saved the rest for strawberry pie. Even though I am a patent leather girl at heart, I do have a pretty wide farmwife streak, and doing things like processing fruit and vegetables al fresco, or in the winter tromping out to the coop in Wellies and an old barn coat to gather eggs, is a good way to indulge that. Without any of the, you know, actual hard work.

Fran and Kluckla, two of our Black Australorps. Although to be honest, I can't tell Kluckla and Ollie apart. That could well be Ollie.

The chickens–they are named Kluckla, Fran and Ollie (not pictured)–enjoyed the hulls very much. They are wonderful little garbage disposals, pet dinosaurs and cheap entertainment during backyard get-togethers. My children really enjoy picking them up and trying to make them go down the slide. The chickens enjoy these behaviors slightly less.

The eggs are everything you could wish for, and more. For a while it skeeved me out to eat eggs that were that fresh, sometimes even with feathers stuck to them and streaks of chicken poo. But they’re so delicious, and wholesome. I think it took me two breakfasts to get over my qualms. The only drawback to fresh-from-the-oviduct huevos? If I want to hard-boil eggs, I have to buy “old” ones from the store. Ours are just too fresh.

Life’s rough, ain’t it?


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