Country eggs raised in a Condo

On our little slice of country living,  we have happy hens. The hens consist of a variety of breeds that lay their own version of a “country egg”. When I was growing up, chickens lived on farms. If you wanted to visit a farm, you had to drive way out to the country. A day spent in the country was a good day.

In the country, the air is fresh. Farm animals for your viewing pleasure and  happy hens to chase. Chasing hens is allowed, you would never want to chase a rooster, happy or otherwise. Barns to play in and wide open fields to run. Great place to visit but even as a child I didn’t want to live there.

Sterling, "the cock of the walk"
Sterling, “the cock of the walk”
Why do happy  hens need a  chicken condo?

I’m pretty sure that I never expected to have chickens. It wasn’t in the grand plan.  After we settled in Fairhope I figured out I wanted fresh eggs. Fresh farm eggs meant Grill Man needed to locate chickens and their home. At out house the chickens would come before the eggs.

I’m not a farm girl but a chicken coop did not sound very appealing to me. Grill Man and I agreed,  happy hens would live in a chicken condo not a coop. Never would  I have imagined,  that I would rent my condo out to chickens. My handy-man is a genius when it comes to building.

Casson with all the chicks
Casson with all the chicks
Eggs and muscadines

Grill Man built the chicken condo around our muscadine vines. He enclosed the condo with a chicken wire roof for the vines to attach and to protect  our soon to be happy hens.  Hens have lots of predators. The roof offers protection from most of them. Then all we had to do was wait for the vines to grow and the eggs to lay.

Our happy hens love the condo. The vines love the chicken fertilizer. The muscadine vines give plenty of shade from the sun for the happy hens.  I love the muscadines and eggs from my happy hens. It’s a very symbiotic relationship.

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Chicken Condo with muscadines

I have learned to make great use of the muscadines. During the season, I juice regularly and freeze grapes for later.  Fresh muscadine juice tastes like no other and provides a burst of energy. The grape contains reservatrol and includes other health benefits. The jelly and pepper jelly it produces has a flavor all its own.

Muscadine juice

 

During August, the best way to beat the heat is a refreshing sorbet. Great addition to any afternoon, dinner party or hot summer day. I love this recipe, and hope you will enjoy as well.

Muscadine Sorbet
Serves 6

Ingredients for juice
1 quart of water to create juice
2 1/2 cups muscadines

Ingredients for sorbet

1 1/2 cups muscadine juice
2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup water, cold
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
Vodka to drizzle
Fresh Mint to garnish

Place muscadines in pot and cover with  1 quart of water . Cook on medium for about 30-45 minutes.

Place gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water and set aside.

Pour juice through a sieve into another container.  Toss the fruit into your compost pile or feed your chickens.  Measure 1 1/2 cups of juice and add back to pot, along with sugar. Cook until sugar has dissolved well. Remove from heat and add  in dissolved gelatin. Allow to cool and then pour into plastic container. Freeze  for a couple of hours or until semisolid.

Scoop into bowl and blend with mixer or food processor until smooth. Add back to plastic container and freeze until firm, usually overnight.  Use ice cream scoop and place in a martini glass. Drizzle with swirl of vodka.

Muscadine sorbet is a great way to beat the heat. Toast to my happy hens.

Alexa, shout out to the theme song from Green Acres. I hear in faintly in the back ground.

Coffee has her eye on you!
Coffee has her eye on you!

 

Author: Mimi

I have a love affair with food, entertaining, travel and music. This site is a vehicle for me to share my journey of food. Traveling allows exposure to all types of cooking. I have learned to cook by being hungry, curious and willing to fail. Food is another form of art and creative expression. Copyright 2016 by Mimi

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