Friday, January 21, 2011

Popcorn on My Mind

 I'm not much of a farmer.  I don't know how these chicken things work.  But, I think it's a bit like popcorn.  It seemed to take forever for those young hens to start laying eggs.  Hubby would be all happy when he came in with 4 in the morning.  Then, 6...then 7....then 12.  I think the chicken house is like a big popcorn machine.  Once one of those hens starts to lay, there is a chain reaction and all those hens are bouncing off each other popping out eggs.'s January, it's cold, and I'm running out of egg recipes.

Okay - I used 2 eggs to make some chocolate chip cookies.  I follow a couple of blogs that often have recipes.  I'm always overwhelmed by any recipe that has more than 6 steps in the instructions.  But I'm inspired by my fellow bloggers.  I also needed to prove to my daughter that I know how to bake cookies.  And, of course, I blogged the picture so that I could go back and prove it to her later again when she denies I ever baked her homemade cookies.

 Don't expect me to print the recipe.  Go buy a pack of Milk Chocolate Chipits...flip over the package...there's the recipe.
 I feel like Betty Crocker.

My friend Joanne sold her gift shop that she ran for 30 years in our small town.  She found this text book in the basement of the store as she was cleaning it out. Knowing that I'm into textiles, fibre and books, she gifted it to me.
It was copyrighted in 1925, although this copy was printed after that.  It apparently was a text book that young women were taught from. 
It's got some very interesting pictures in it regarding fibre production around the world.
In the glossary, alpaca refers to a textile, not a fibre, that is used for suiting and can be woven from mohair with a cotton warp.  In a section describing fibre-bearing animals, they write of the 'Alpaca Goat',a goat-like animal.
In books written today, a reference to alpaca textile would only mean textile made mainly of alpaca fibre.   Alpacas now are known as new world camelids, as they are related to the camel family (along with llamas, guanacos and vicunas). 
To be fair, in 1925, alpacas would have only been seen in the mountains of Peru, Bolivia and Chile.   Alpacas are ruminants (multi-stomached mammals that chew their cud) like goats.  However, alpacas are sometimes called 'modified ruminants' due to their 3 stomachs (not 4) and their soft-padded feet (not cloven hooves).

One of the great pictures in this book is of a caravan of horse-drawn wagons loaded with wool, crossing some great plain on the way to the mill.  I'm not sure how many days that caravan would have travelled to get to a mill.  I wonder if it was a lonely trip or a party caravan to celebrate the end of shearing season.

Cut to 2010, when I crammed about 100 pounds of raw fibre, along with my overnight bag, into my PT Cruiser and headed south to the mill near Kingston.  Having that much bagged fibre in my car, is like having my own crash-cushion.  Mind you, the rear window is obscured and I am constantly aware that at any moment, my windows might blow out with the force of all this fleece.  That would really make my little car look like a popped kernel of corn, wouldn't it?  All that fleece makes it difficult to find room for the bottles of wine that I pick up at the LCBO along the way...but I manage.  I always make time to visit other alpaca farm friends on my 'fleece delivery to the mill' weekend.

Have a good weekend.


luckybunny said...

Hehe, it would be hard to stuff the wine in that loaded car! Our farm is 40 minutes of North of Kingston, we are near Smith's Falls :) Let us know next time you'll be through and you can stop and have a glass of wine!
I love, love, old books, that is amazing, what a great find.
Congrats on the cookies too - they look really yummy!

Kelly Magill said...

Norma, you do know you can freeze raw eggs? Just put them into ice cube containers freeze then pop them out into ziplocs. They keep for about 6-12 months.

Bug's Mommy said...

Just a line to let you know, I'm enjoying your blog very much. You may remember my mother and I visited your shop in September during a very rainy camping trip. We both love the yarn we left with, and my mother's sock yarn has seen her through a pretty rough patch. Everything is looking up now, and she nearly has her first pair of socks completed. Stay warm this winter, Chrissy

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

LuckyBunny...for some reason I thought you in the northern NY state. I'm going to visit your farm someday for sure. I have to meet Douglas and Norman.

Kelly - thanks for the freezing eggs tip. I had no idea. Things like that just don't even occur to me...sadly I have little domestic skills.

Chrissy - Of course I remember you, your mom and daughter. I remember reading Woolbur to your daughter. Hope all is well at home and library world.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

Well, you can be sure that bottle of wine is well protected from any bumps you might encounter on your trip!
A good quiche with those eggs would be great.

Azure Islands Designs said...

I can picture you driving along the highway in your PT cruiser tuffs of alpaca fibre in your hair and a case/bottle of wine at your side!!! LOL

I don't bake tastes too good!!! Besides I don't have any young children around to bake for. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!

Old books are a treasure...often interesting and informative, if not terribly accurate in this day and age.

Stay warm Norma...hope your four legged ones are as well!

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

About frozen eggs, I just came across this blog post:
Thought you might like to read it.

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

okay...I'm getting closer to domestic order with food. I have a quiche recipe on my counter (actually, it's been there for 5 days). Just have to remember to get all the grocery products in at the same time.
I'll keep you posted....

Sharon U said...

Hi Norma,
Happy New Year. Meringue cookies are a great way to use egg whites- and you can add chocolate chips for your daughter. And they are easy to make. Also my Mum makes a caramel custard that is wonderful that uses quite a few eggs. My three young hens are laying as well. The Ameracauna eggs have the green tinted shells, so are a novelty gift. Take care.