On our little slice of country living, we have 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. It was always a good day spent in the country.
In the country, the air is fresh. Farm animals for your viewing pleasure, chickens to chase, barns to play in and wide open fields to run. Great place to visit but I didn’t want to live there.
I’m pretty sure that I never expected to have chickens. It wasn’t in the grand plan. I figured out, that I wanted fresh eggs. I never would have imagined, that I would rent my condo out to chickens. I’m not a farm girl but a chicken coop did not sound very appealing to me. My husband and I agreed, hens would be happier in a chicken condo. My handy-man is a genius when it comes to building.
He 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 the hens. Then all we had to do was wait for the vines to grow and the eggs to lay.
Our chickens love the condo. The vines love the chicken fertilizer. The muscadine vines provide 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.
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 is loaded with reservatrol and other health benefits. The jelly and pepper jelly it produces has a flavor all its own.
During August, the best way to beat the heat is a refreshing sorbet.
2 1/2 cups muscadines
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. Pour into plastic container and freeze until semisolid.
Scoop into bowl and blend with mixer or food processor until smooth. Add back to plastic container and freeze until firm. Use ice cream scoop and place in a martini glass. Drizzle with swirl of vodka. This is a great way to beat the heat. Toast to my happy hens.