Archive for April, 2010

Yard Fresh Eggs

April 27, 2010

I just returned from Portland, Oregon, the city of backyard chickens, where you can find fresh from the garden eggs at your local neighborhood store. These eggs were sitting on the counter at The Meadow, a salt, chocolate, wine and flower shop in North Portland.

I was attending the IACP conference, a food gathering attended by over 900 food professionals from around the world. Part of the conference included an Urban Farm Symposium moderated by Kim Severson of the New York Times. I was honored to preside over a round table discussion about Backyard Chickens at the symposium.  I met some wonderful people such as Sarah Copeland, Patti Londre, Terry Paetzola, Nicole Pedota, Shayna Snyder, Ann-Michelle Albertson, Annakate Tefft, Katie Myers, Karin Endy and Sharon Wiest, along with others, all of whom expressed an interest in starting their own flocks. I hope I’ve inspired them to jump in and do it. We all need to join together and expand the urban flock a little further.

How did the chicks fare while I was away? Well, they went on a walk-about! Yes, the day I was to return, the girls found a hole in the fence. They wandered up the side yard and into the front by the street. Who knows what might have happened or where they might have gone, had Marty not happened to glance out the window! So there he was, by himself, forced to rustle three uncooperative chicks back through the fence into the backyard and safety – and then repair the fence as well.

Lulu on the Run

Thank goodness I arrived home with a suitcase full of Portland goodies for him, along with fresh morels and first-of-spring strawberries from the Portland Farmers’ Market!

The next day, Cleo and Roxanne each climbed into my lap and didn’t want to leave. I think they were glad to be safe in their own backyard–plus I like to think they missed me.

Spring Chicks and Carrot Cupcakes

April 08, 2010


A few cracked eggshells strategically placed were all I did to decorate the house for Easter this year. I had hopes of making a new Ukrainian Easter egg using one of the girl’s eggs, but I never found the hours it takes to create one. Instead, I put out the collection made by Marty, me, the boys and family through the years.


The girls have been taking advantage of the warm weather by lounging about and sunning themselves. They spend hours finding the rays and spreading their feathers to soak up the heat.

Roxanne and Cleo

Whenever I go out onto the deck, Cleo comes running with hopes that I’ll sit on the stairs so she can jump in my lap. She nestles in happy to cuddle until I finally put her down because I have to get on with my day.

Roxanne used to join us, but lately she’s more interested in food (I think she’s getting fat with all her eating) and instead of joining the cuddle, she nibbles at my jeans hoping they’ll yield a treat.

I’ve been into too many treats also, the problem with baking a lot (the eggs come in a little too handy). A few weeks ago I made what I think are the best ever Carrot Cupcakes. The recipe is from King Arthur but I’ve fiddled with it a bit and added more spices, toasted nuts and raisins for a deeper, richer, spicier version. Crowned with a luscious cream cheese frosting, they’re truly irresistible.

read more »