Some things that make my heart race: November links to inspire

If you’re me, that is. Or if you’re excited about chickens, and worms, and good food, and mulch, and gardens, and whatnot, like me.

1. First: Harvey Ussery! Honestly, I just keep hearing amazing things about this new book of his. I don’t have a copy yet because I’m just a little (cough) embarrassed about my “TO READ IMMEDIATELY” pile of books next to my bed, and how high it has grown. Also, it is on my Christmas list, so I’m hoping that Santa might bring it to me. Perhaps by then my book pile will not be quite so high . . .

And I promise, Santa, to be especially good if you bring me this book . . .

I ran across this great article about Mr. Ussery and his farm, and it really made me excited about spring, and gardening, and mulch, and chickens, and all those things that make my heart race. Many of the chicken practices that Mr. Ussery uses, I subscribe to as well, such as using deep litter in the chicken coop and the yard. It reminded me, too, that I haven’t cleared out my hoop house yet. *groan*

You should see what he does with worms . . . well! You really ought to just take a peek at this article, and the whole website about permaculture (Google it if you’ve never heard of it before) is pretty amazing, too.

If you love chickens, you may be adding Mr. Ussery’s book to your Christmas list, too. 🙂 You’re welcome.

2. Harvey (we’re on first-name basis now, though we haven’t met yet) also has a website. Click here to read it. It’s chock-full of great chicken articles!

3. Icelandic Chickens. Okay, this is from Harvey Ussery, too. Can you tell I’m on a bit of a Harvey kick? But take a look at these amazing chickens and you’ll be excited about them, too!

Icelandics-1 jpg

Here’s an excerpt from his article on these remarkable chooks:

“I’m fortunate to have had a living example of a traditional model: My grandmother’s rugged flock fed themselves almost entirely by ranging over her 50-acre farm. From time to time a hen would disappear, only to show up three weeks later with a clutch of chicks in tow. Granny kept that self-feeding, self-replicating flock going for decades. Every egg, every piece of fried chicken, and every serving of chicken and dumplings came to her table without cost.”

Can you imagine? I’m going to look into getting some of these landrace chickens for the spring, that’s all I can say. And: they’re so pretty! Bonus! The finest chickens in the world are also so, so pretty. What a coup!

Plus: if I could somehow have a self-perpetuating, self-feeding flock with little or no cost involved, I’ll bet Bryan would let me spring for that second chest freezer! Score! (not kidding, honey!) (<3 you)

 4. I’ve never seen anything quite like this pie before, and therefore I’ve got to make it for our Thanksgiving dinner this week. I’ve been thinking about it for days. Every moment. No kidding. I absolutely crave tart, tangy fruits baked into a pie, and the pie cherries from our orchard trees that Amalia and I picked and pitted and squirreled away into the freezer are long gone, and I didn’t put up (alas) any rhubarb this year. Nor gooseberries, boo hoo. But I just know that this pie will satisfy that longing of mine for a tart, tangy, toothsome pie. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂
5. Speaking of pie. (Sigh.) Amalia is making this for Thanksgiving. Mom is making rhubarb, apple, and mincemeat pies. Timothy is making a sweet potato pie. I’m not sure what other pies will show up, but there will be plenty. Something about having a plentiful array of pies makes Thanksgiving very special, even if one can only try a few slivers, lest one swells up to the size and shape of Baymax in that new Disney movie “Big Hero 6.”
5.5. That movie! Which we saw last week. Which we loved. Which, perhaps, you oughta see, too. It’s so much fun. And touching. And surprising. And beautifully animated. A winner, in my book!

This guy. He steals the show, and he doesn’t even have a mouth.

6. Speaking of Thanksgiving. Dad makes the most delicious turkey every year, and then the next year he raises the bar and makes an even better one. Talk about surprising! This year, he is preparing two “spatchcocked” turkeys. I think this is the recipe he is using, since my Dad reads Bon Appetite magazine. (True.) He already prepared a trial one, and shared it with us and I can (burp) attest to its juicy deliciousness. (Can’t wait, Dad!)
Here are the photos Dad shared with me of his trial spatchcocked turkey:
This is the "before" shot . . .

This is the “before” shot . . .


And here is after it was grilled. It takes a fraction of the time to grill, after the backbone is removed and it is butterflied like this. (Photo credits: Jim Young)

Here is a fun article about how Mark Bittman supposedly invented spatchcocking one Thanksgiving day when he forgot to roast the turkey. I love the photo at the top of the article, with the turkey on a platter, wild plums, and tarragon, I think.

Pretty cool, eh? Rumor has it that Mom has a beautiful new platter that she found at the etc. shop for only $8.00. Actually, I’ve seen it and it is all that it is rumored to be.

7. Still working on that Thanksgiving dinner menu?

If so, be sure to check out this homemade roll recipe: it’s the easiest ever.

And cranberries are certainly on your menu, and this is the easiest way to prepare cranberries that I’ve ever seen, too, and it’s good.

And speaking of easy-peasey desserts, my favorite blogger posted this recipe, the Easiest Chocolate Cake Ever.

And to balance some of the rich and hearty and starchy fare, you might want to make this massaged kale and pomegranate salad. It’s always good to have something green and super-nutritious on the table, isn’t it?

So many choices, so many choices!

Easiest Cranberry Sauce

8. One more thing: I really like this article on how to be a better listener. And what perfect timing, too, when the house will be full of people, many whom I’ve not seen in a while. I’m going to be thinking about these points, and working on my listening skills. Although (truth is) I just wanna hold the new red-haired baby for a long while, and admire the other one, who is too busy now to be held for long.

9: Okay, I’ve got to share this with you, too. As the crazy wonderful holiday season is upon us, here’s a list of ten things that could simplify your life that I really appreciate. I especially like the last one: “Keep a list of the things you don’t want to do,” for this reason, which makes perfect sense to me: “Avoidance wastes resources. Admit that you don’t feel like doing it. “I don’t feel like doing this!” Put it off for as long as you need to, sure. But then get it off the list. And find yourself a little lighter when you do.” Yep.

10. Yikes! One. More. Thing. Honestly, this is the last one, but I just remembered it. When I was sitting in the hospital watching over my son a couple of weekends ago, I read a few magazines, and I ran across this quote that I just had to write down (on a napkin, as I had no paper). It’s from The Journal of the American College of Cardiology:

“Running for as little as 5 minutes per day, even at a leisurely pace, is enough to lower your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 45%.”

Gosh, that is worthy of a repeat, and also a tweet, don’t you think?

Hmm. If running for 5 minutes per day can do that much, think about what a daily 30 minute walk could do? Impressive!

And that really was the last thing, except for this:

I hope you have a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving, Gentle Readers!







19 thoughts on “Some things that make my heart race: November links to inspire

  1. Ashley

    I will have to check out some of those links! I could always learn go for some tarts! I have to say, being a vegetarian that picture of the turkey kinda, slightly turned my stomach!

  2. Alana(@RamblinGarden)

    I am blushing from you including my link to “my” chocolatecake. Meantime, I am so intrigued by the cranberry pie. If we weren’t in the middle of a snowstorm right now, I’d be so tempted to run to the store to get the ingredients. Well, no, wait, I need my cranberries for my cranberry sauce. Maybe next year? Incidentally, re your turkey, spouse has thought of doing that – but he decided not to try that with a 23 pound turkey. You have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I always pick up several bags of cranberries when they show up at the store: they freeze well, and there are so many ways to prepare them! As for the turkey, Dad chose two smaller turkeys this year (I think he was looking for 12-pounders) so he could spatchcock them. You’re right that it wouldn’t work so well for a larger bird! Happy, happy Thanksgiving, my dear friend!

  3. Chef William Chaney

    Now I’m in trouble. My wife loves pecans and she also likes cranberries so I am going to be making this pie before very long. Ah, my favorite home teacher has 10 items in a 9 item list, I am going to need to test Little Mac’s math skills when I visit. Have you told Bryan yet that you would really like him to buy a few acres of the farm next door as a Christmas present so that you could raise more chickens and let them roam free and feed themselves. I bet what you save in the cost of food for the chickens would more than pay for a few acres of farmland. Remind him how much he enjoys home made chicken pot pie during those cold winter days ahead. OK, I just scratched off the words “To Do List” from my “to do list” and replace it with “don’t want to do list.” With that out of the way, I think I’ll grab another cup of coffee and a slice of left over pie, and settle back in the easy chair for a day of doing almost nothing. If my wife says anything, I’ll tell her I have Amy’s permission……….Darn, She just told be that there is a big difference between “don’t want to” and “not doing” so I guess the slice of pie will wait until later.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      You crack me up, Chef. Bryan has been eying the farmland next to ours for years, but since robbing the local bank (we like the folks there too much) is not an option, we’ll have to wait for that proverbial ship full of money to sail up to our door before we can buy any of the overpriced land around here! BY THE WAY that pie is delicious. We had 11 pies here for Thanksgiving, for about 25 people, so we had (cough) a BIT of leftover pie. Happily, my cranberry-pecan pie was one that was overlooked, so I had not one, but TWO leftover pieces and it is a new favorite. (I hope you got your day off!) Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your easy chair!

  4. Monte Turner

    I always get so wrapped up in reading your post…I seem to always have to go back and click the links for this recipe or that *Affiliate link*… so I’m constantly coming back to the vomiting chicken… except when life gets in the way!

  5. M.

    I wanted to read the list as posted in #9, but the link seems to take me some place else. Am I really reading this incorrectly? I don’t put that past me!

      1. dramamamafive Post author

        Okay, so it’s a bad link on the other website’s end. I let the blogger know about it. But here’s how you can find that post, “10 Ways to Simplify Your Life.” Click on the link above, it’ll take you to another post “A Grief Observed” or something like that. Scroll down until you see the “most recent posts” heading on the right side of your screen. The “10 Tips” post ought to be in that list. It’s worth looking for!

      1. M.

        Found it! I put the title of the post 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life in the search box. You’re right, it was looking for. Thanks for your persistence. Have a lovely weekend.

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