Gigi's Blog » Tales of the Mortician's Wife

Chicks, Rhubarb & Turkeys

 

 

Early this Saturday morning, Abby drove an hour away to pick up our little chicks. They will be raised for meat and eggs – they are a heritage breed, called Chantceler. We have moved away from the “traditional” meat bird for various reasons {mainly, wanting to be even healthier}. This breed, which originated in Canada, seems to fit all our needs – a good meaty bird, larger, can withstand traditional Ontario winters, and even lay eggs in the winter (we are hoping!).

We may eat half and keep half for the winter. We shall see.

 

 

 

 

There will be approximately 40 in total but the original hatch did not go as planned (when talking about animals, gardens, nature – we really need to rely on God – and whatever happens, happens), so we only have 20 chicks right now.

 

We are also raising a dozen turkeys – they are pretty cute as chicks.

Lacey found a favorite turkey and named him Noah. He pops his head up and down and strides along the cage faster and and peeps louder than the others. I asked her why his name is Noah – silly me, it’s because Noah’s ark landed in Turkey…


She asked that he be spared from eating.

 

 

I have two goose eggs under my friend’s broody hen – so I am praying they hatch! Wouldn’t it be fun to have some little goslings?


With perfect timing – or not so perfect timing – we also discovered a family of weasels or minks living in Abby’s work garage. This is bad news for someone raising any kind of small animal, especially chickens, ducks and turkeys. We have put out traps and poison but nothing has caught them yet. We are praying they do not start attacking the hens – it could only be a matter of time. They are vicious little creatures!

On another note, since our sweet baby #8 is due right in the midst of a big canning season, I have decided to plan ahead. All my soups and stews, I will try to can over the summer. I started canning some homemade chili this weekend, along with an Italian tomato chicken soup. If I can one type of soup or stew each week, we will have plenty for the Provision Room. This is a canning item I cannot skip as it makes such a difference in our busy days – just being able to pull out a jar of homemade soup during the cooler months and warm it up for the children for lunch or dinner is an amazing blessing.

Along with the recent batch of chili and soup, rhubarb was on the canning schedule.

Our neighbours down the road have a lovely, huge patch of rhubarb. They offered some to us so of course, I accepted! The girls helped chop up the stalks and we have made rhubarb ketchup, stewed rhubarb and vanilla rhubarb jam so far.

Would you care for the recipe of the Vanilla Rhubarb jam?

The original recipe is found here.

Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

  • 10 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brewed Earl Grey tea
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 packet of pectin
    (If you are unsure of using pectin, as I am, you may simply try a slow boil to reduce the jam further and skip the pectin addition altogether.
    Your jam may be a bit runnier, but that is okay, in my opinion.)

Combine the rhubarb, steeped tea and sugar and cook till boiling on the stovetop. Add the vanilla, lemon and allow it to bubble away gently for a few minutes (judge how long it will take, depending on how much liquid there is in your pot). When it has simmered away for roughly 10-15 minutes, add the pectin. Stir in gently and cook for another 5 or so minutes. Feel free to do a spoon test (pop a spoon in your freezer for a few minutes, remove and drop a bit of jam onto the cold spoon. Run your finger through the jam – if it stays and does not run, it is ready. If it runs back together, it will need a few more minutes to cook away).
Pour into jars of preferred size.
Wipe rims and ensure they are clean before putting on the new seal lids.
Process in the water bath canner for 10 minutes.

We had the stewed rhubarb sauce over pancakes this morning – it was so lovely! My husband was pleasantly surprised. This rhubarb sauce is scrumptious over vanilla ice cream, as well.

Here is the recipe for stewed rhubarb – which is SUPER easy to make:

Stewed Rhubarb Sauce

  • 6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

    To be honest, since this recipe is so simple, I did not even really measure – but I surely doubled the recipe portions to ensure we have enough later in the year. Cook your rhubarb and ingredients over a medium heat until it a stew-like texture. Transfer to canning jars of your choice. I water bathed it for 20 minutes.

Are you interested in the rhubarb ketchup recipe? It is bubbling away on the stove top right now and we will have it over steaks tonight. It smells so lovely … what have you done with your rhubarb?

 

 

 

 

 

May 30, 2017 - 8:46 pm

Gigi - We love rhubarb strawberry crisp! I plan on making rhubarb strawberry pie filling, as well. Love the idea of rhubarb in the water! Great thinking! I was thinking it would be perfect in kefir water.

May 30, 2017 - 5:54 pm

Rebecca - Thanks for all the rhubarb recipes! Since I live a lot further north than you do, my rhubarb plants aren’t quite ready for harvesting, but I will be ready now when they are! I usually make rhubarb strawberry jam and just freeze a bunch for rhubarb water (instead of lemons, just throw diced frozen rhubarb in the water! Makes it tart and pink!) and rhubarb strawberry crisp. Yum!

May 30, 2017 - 2:06 pm

Gigi - Thank you for your encouragement, Stacy! I do love an old fashioned life!

May 30, 2017 - 6:51 am

Stacy - I really enjoy your blog. I love the old fashion lifestyle you bring. Would love to see your home. It looks beautiful in pictures. Have a blessed week

May 29, 2017 - 5:45 pm

Gigi - That is so kind of you, Kim! I will always take rhubarb! 🙂 But I have a good supply down the road so if you need to share with someone else, then please, share the rhubarb love around. 🙂

May 28, 2017 - 8:24 am

Kim Robbins - Gillian, if you need anymore rhubarb, let me know I have tons!! I am trying your rhubarb jam recipe this week!!

May 27, 2017 - 11:45 pm

Tawnia - Perfect timing for these recipes! We just collected a huge batch of rhubarb while cutting back our own enormous patch! Now I just need some jars!

May 27, 2017 - 9:27 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - Gillian, I can attest to how delicious the vanilla rhubarb jam is!! Thank you for the jar and to confirm, It was DELIOUS! Regina, rhubarb is best gotten free, from nieghbours or friends! It is so epensive in the stores, I could never imagine buying it! Love ruhubarb!!!

May 26, 2017 - 3:22 pm

Gigi - Sure, I’m thinking the favorite turkey can stay for the winter – we shall see. 🙂
Yes, the ketchup is amazing! SO good! My friend shared her recipe and I will share the recipe on the blog. It tastes GREAT on steak or burgers.

May 26, 2017 - 11:55 am

Maike - I love rhubarb but I only know it prepared for deserts. Ketchup does sound quite strange. Have you had it before? What does the rhubarb give the ketchup, does it make it more sour or will the ketchup really taste like rhubarb? I would definately be interested in the recipe. Are you going to let the favorite chick stay alive?

May 26, 2017 - 5:32 am

Gigi - Surely some of your friends will give you some for free – then you can try it. It is so good! Don’t judge it by it’s sour taste because so much can be made from it. I hope to can strawberry rhubarb pie filling today. Yum!

May 25, 2017 - 9:07 pm

Regina Shea - Oh what cute turkey chicks. I’m embarrassed to say but I have never had rhubarb before. I’m 56 years old and never had it. It looks interesting but I worry if I bought some my family might not like it.