Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Quick Update

No pictures today, but I promise to have new rabbit pictures up soon.

I had a couple people look at the momma rabbit and confirm that she is a Dutch. It's almost certain that she is bred as well. We just have no idea how bred. I have a nest box in with her that she is currently not at all interested in, so I'm cleaning it out ever day. But I'd rather have the need for that than have her not ready to take care of the babies.

The night we got the rabbits, the little doe had babies in the night. We had no idea she was bred, although I'm not surprised since they were too old to still be together. But since we weren't prepared, the babied froze to death in the night. I know, sad. Luckily, the little doe recovered from birthing just fine.

Speaking of the little doe, she is the sweetest thing EVER. She loves to be with people. If I take her out of the hutch, she will sit on the ground right next to me while I clean it. That would never go over with her brothers. They would be gone in a flash.

The market does have been bred. We are really hoping that things go well with them. Jade needs either a single rabbit or a pen of three for the auction at fair.

I now have three broody hens. Two have been sitting for just over a week and the other for just two days. Although I'm not sure the one that just started is going to stay on her eggs.

So that's what's going on here. Hopefully I will have lots of pictures of babies in the next month to post. And keep a watch for pictures of baby goats I took at a friends farm this week. Baby Togs are soooo adorable!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nest Box Anyone?

I found this giveaway contest on "Life on a Southern Farm". They are giving away a two hole nest box. As much as I'd like to win it, I don't want to be selfish and keep this opportunity all to myself. Plus, I get three extra entries for blogging about it. (Ok, so maybe it's just a little selfish) So get over there and see if you can win it. And if you don't win, you can always buy one from them.

Personally, I'd like to win it so I can talk my husband into building me a second coop where I can raise silkies.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Bunnies

We are now a seven rabbit family. We got Snowflake and Brownie last fall. They are nice rabbits and the kids and I just love having animals to take care of. So when a neighbor told us that she knew of some rabbits that needed a good home, we said we would take them in.

She had told us that they weren't being very well taken care of, but I didn't really understand what that meant until I came home yesterday to find their hutch had been dropped off. When I looked inside it never crossed my mind that it was the actual hutch that rabbits had been living in. I cleaned just under 30 gallons of rabbit droppings out of the four rabbit hutch. It was unbelievably deep. The saddest part was that we actually found a dead baby buried in one of the sections.

Thankfully the neighbor kept the rabbits at her house overnight since she wasn't sure when we were going to be home. That gave us time to clean up the hutch as best we could. It will do for now, but the wood is rotting pretty bad and they will need something new soon.

Here is Megan's rabbit, Snowflake. She is a New Zealand/Rex cross.

This is Jade's rabbit, Brownie. She is also a New Zealand/Rex cross.

Now here are pictures of the new rabbits. When I saw the state of the hutch, I was really worried about how healthy they would (or wouldn't) be. But so far they seem to be OK, just in need of baths.

This is the momma rabbit. I have no idea what breed she is. She is too small to be a dutch and her fur isn't right to be a Rex. She also just a bit small for a Rex. If I had to guess, I'd say she is about 6 pounds. We also don't know her age.

Here is another view of the momma. She seems to have a very nice temperament.

One last view of the momma. If anyone has a guess on her breed, please let me know.

Here are two of the three babies. I didn't get a good picture of the third one, but they all look alike. We have two bucks and a doe. There's another reason to get a new hutch built soon. We don't need more babies!

This is the daddy. I'm quite certain he's a Holland Lop. He's a bit skittish, but seems to like being held as long as you scratch between his ears and talk softly. I think with a little work he could be a good show rabbit for Jade to take to the fair.

Here's another view of the daddy. It might just be me, but I think he looks a bit weary. I hope that we can take good care of him and make him happy.

And last, but not least, is our guest photographer. Jade spent quite a while taking pictures of the rabbits. In fact, she was out there with them so long I forgot where she was and it took me 10 minutes to find her when it was supper time. :o)

Again, if anyone has any guesses on the breed of the momma rabbit, I would love to know. Also, we need to name them. Any suggestions would be welcome. I'll probably let Megan and Jade help make the final decisions on names.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Steak Flambe?

Ok, so maybe not so Flambe, but that's what it was suppose to be. And once again, I'm a day late and a dollar short with my Recipes to Rival recipe this month. As if that weren't bad enough, I didn't realize until we were all done eating that I forgot to take a picture. So sadly, there will be no pictures this month. :o(

The hosts for month of March were Temperance of High on the Hog and Shawnee of Delishes Delishes. The recipe they choose for us was Steak Diane Flambe. (However, the flambe part was not an actual requirement.)

Here is the recipe. At the end I will tell you what I did differently and what we thought of it.


For the steaks
4x85g beef medallions
1 tsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground salt and pepper

For the sauce
1 tsp Butter, clarified
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Shallots, finely chopped
50g button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
125ml double cream
1 tbsp Chives, snipped
50ml Brandy

Method 1. Rub the medallions of beef with the mustard, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and when hot, add the clarified butter and Worcestershire sauce.
3. Add the shallots and mushrooms, and push to the centre of the pan. Arrange the medallions around the edge. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring and tossing the mushroom mixture as you go. If you prefer your steak well done, give it an extra minute or 2.
4. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
5. Turn the steaks over and pour in the cream and chives. Tilt the pan slightly (away from you) and pour in the brandy at the far end. Now turn up the heat to high so that the brandy ignites. Swirl the sauce around in the pan and turn off the heat.
6. Put the medallions on 4 plates, pour over the sauce and serve.

Disclaimer:We do not require that you flambé, if you choose to flambé and burn down your kitchen, don't sue us. If you choose to flambé try and get a picture (I recommend getting someone to help). Remember when playing with fire keep a fire extinguisher close and never use water on a cooking fire.

Here are some links to help, an Online conversion calculator , and a guide to flambéing.

My local grocery store didn't have any medalion steaks of any kind, so I got petite steaks and they worked just great for this. I did have to cook them a bit longer though as I think they were probably a little thicker. Also, the same store didn't have any shallots or brandy. So I used onion and vodka. I also used green onion tops in place of the chives (I would have prefered chives, but the green onions worked great too) and added garlic with the onion and mushrooms. I also used more butter than the recipe called for, because you can never have too much butter.

The falmbe didn't work for me. I'm not sure why. It's something I've never done before, so I need to try again sometime. I can't it when something doesn't go the way I want ti to in the kitchen. I did cook the sauce longer to help cook out the alcohol since it didn't flambe.

This was another big hit. Jade hasn't tried it yet, but I know she will love it since it's red meat smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce. I think I might make it again next week so she can try it since she was spending the night with a friend.

This is a recipe that will be going in the archives here at home. Something that I hope to be able to teach my girls to make, and my son if he wants to cook. So try it and enjoy! Oh, and if you aren't interested in doing the flambe at all, just leave out the brandy all together.
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