It wasn’t a worm, that’s for sure.

A spider, maybe? But it looked too big for a spider.

Perhaps, a slug?

Dorothy discovered the mystery meat from the pile of dirt behind the hen house the other day. Blanche quickly noticed it dangling from her beak and a rumpus ensued. Whatever it was that Dorothy caught, Blanche wanted a piece of it, too. She chased her relentlessly. Wherever Dorothy went, Blanche went. Back inside their run then across the yard toward the fence. She followed her closely, watching her every move. The pair pranced in a dizzying waltz. Inseparable for a moment until Dorothy frantically swallowed her loot.

I was sitting comfortably in my Adirondack soaking in the sun and enjoying a bowl of strawberry sorbet while the mayhem unfolded. It was a beautiful Spring day. A strawberry sorbet kind of day. The sun peered through the limbs of the big, old oak tree, illuminating the house that Dennis built for the girls. The blue hen house with the roost and the laying boxes, and the ramp that connects the house to the straw-covered run below it. The coop was the fruit of his labor. His masterpiece. An impressive masterpiece, in my opinion.

The girls are now four months old and all four are doing very well.  They have acclimated nicely to living in the hen house under the oak tree, and to the routine of roosting in the house at night and traipsing about in the run during the day.

Blanche, the Silver Laced Wyandotte, is clearly the leader of the flock and Dorothy, the Rhode Island Red, is her doting BFF.  Rose, the Buff Orpington, has the makings of a caring, motherly hen. She lives up to her name, to her being “Rose”, if you know what I mean.  She isn’t the smartest and is always the last one to figure things out. She runs around in circles, in a frenzy, whenever she gets flustered and confused. She may be the slowest but Rose is the sweetest among the girls. The friendliest with a penchant for untying shoelaces.

And little Sofia, the smaller of the two Reds, is the garrulous one.  She is the charming talker. She squawks every time she sees us, annunciating our presence to the flock with a loud, long “baaaaawk, bawk!” She squawks with all her might, hoping we’ve come for a visit bringing a handful of scratch or a bunch of bok choy or cilantro.  Every night after sunset, Sofia gathers everyone back to the hen house with a somber squawk. “Baaaaawk!” She cries in a melancholy tone. “Baaaaawk!” She cries while she mulls over what remains of the day.


Chicken Coop Golden Girls

Chicken Coop Golden Girls

Chicken Coop Golden Girls

Chicken Coop Golden Girls


Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet Recipe
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop, makes about 3 cups

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

Slice the strawberries in half and toss them in a bowl with the sugar, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand for one hour, stirring every so often. In a blender or food processor, purée the strawberries and their liquid with the balsamic vinegar and salt until smooth. If not using balsamic vinegar, add two teaspoons calamansi or lemon juice. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to Make Ice Cream Using Freezer Bags

In place of an ice cream maker, use freezer bags to make your ice cream or sorbet. Harold Mcgee shares an easy way to make ice cream using freezer bags in this Chow video.

Make a brine with 3 quarts water and 1 pound salt, divide it between two 1-gallon freezer bags, and store bags flat in freezer. To make ice cream or sorbet, sandwich the bag of mix between brine bags, enclosing stack in towels.


Strawberry Sorbet