A little more than ten years ago, we started to celebrate Passover instead of Easter because we, personally, found the symbolism more meaningful to our Christian faith. (Passover was March 27 this year.) However, we feel it’s up to each family to choose how they celebrate the Messiah’s death and resurrection, and we hope those who celebrated Easter had a beautiful holiday.
The weather was gorgeous this weekend with sunny skies and warm temperatures. I wore just a light sweatshirt outside–and even that was almost too heavy. The daytime temperatures are supposed to remain in the low- to mid-60s (F) all week, although there is a chance of rain each day. Still, rain is not snow…
We got a lot of tasks done this weekend. EJ cleaned up a lot of winter’s debris in the back yard. I moved the patio furniture from the covered front porch where we store it during the winter over to the deck. I couldn’t delay it any more, even though everyone knows that if winter items are put away too soon and summer items are brought out too early, we will get hit with a massive snowstorm. It’s not exactly true except in the sense that sometimes nice weather can trick us into thinking Spring is here to stay when Winter hasn’t yet released it’s grip. However, we’ve had enough nice weather that I think Winter really is over. (Unless it isn’t.) EJ read that this Winter has been so mild that it looks as if we will break the last record for “least amount of snowfall” by 7 inches.
After I moved the patio table, I swept the autumn’s dead leaves off the porch. I also removed Hannah Joy’s poop from the front yard with a shovel and flung it into the forest.
Yesterday morning as I was in the coop scooping out feed for the chickens, I heard low menacing growls. I thought, “Oh, crap!” as I envisioned a vicious critter of some sort lurking in the shadows. But I saw no murdered chickens, which I’m pretty sure I would have found if a predator had gotten into the coop. Then I became aware that along with the growls, I heard irritated clucking. I looked around and quickly realized what was going on: The hens’ favorite nesting box is a covered litter box that I filled with straw and put in the coop for them. It’s also Millie’s favorite place to sleep at night. A hen was irritated because couldn’t go into the box to lay her egg because Millie was still in it. Millie was annoyed because she couldn’t get out of the box because the irritated hen was in front of it. Now and then the hen pecked at Millie and Millie swatted at her. When I approached them to arbitrate the conflict, Millie fluidly leaped out and went on her way into the garden and the satisfied hen entered the box to lay her egg. Conflict resolved. LOL.
Yesterday afternoon Hannah Joy wanted outside so I fastened her on her tie-out in the front yard and then went to gather eggs. Hannah heard me in the back yard and started barking. I brought the eggs into the house and then went out to get Hannah. Usually, I make her sit while I take her harness off her and then I “release” her with a command and a treat. She knows the routine and automatically sits when she comes into the house. However, yesterday I had to tell her several times to “sit” and as soon as I got her harness off, she ignored her treat and ran over to the kitchen counter where I had put the basket of eggs. I always give her an egg when I bring them into the house. I realized then that she had been barking because she knew I was out gathering eggs while she was tied out and she was afraid of missing her favorite egg-licious treat. LOL. Hannah Joy is such a character.
Both the new food processor and the 30 lbs of peanuts I had ordered arrived this weekend. The food processor arrived as scheduled but the peanuts delivery was rescheduled for Monday (today). I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to try making homemade peanut butter with EJ. I was surprised when the FedEx truck drove up our driveway yesterday–not only because it was Sunday, but also because it was EASTER. It sucks that the deliveryman had to work on Easter. As the man handed over the heavy box of peanuts, he said he loved my welcome sign at the bottom of the driveway, which I had made a couple years ago. I made it because we are remote enough that I don’t like uninvited strangers driving up, especially when EJ is at work. I was glad the sign brought a smile to the deliveryman’s face. He is actually the first visitor who has ever commented on it.
Once EJ and my outside tasks were completed, we went into the kitchen to try our hand at making homemade peanut butter. I had printed off several different recipes. They were all basically the same, but each had slightly different instructions, some more detailed than others. I combined the instructions and read them off to EJ while he actually made the peanut butter. I told him that I thought he should be the one who made the peanut butter this first time since he eats it more than I do and I consider him to be the peanut butter connoisseur. Once he tweaks the recipe to exactly how he likes it, he can write it down and I can make it the way he likes it.
Hannah Joy, as always, was keenly interested in what we were doing.
It is very simple and easy to make homemade peanut butter. The ingredients are peanuts, honey, salt, and peanut oil (optional for smoother butter). We–or, more precisely, EJ– put the peanuts in the processor, pureed it for several minutes, stopping every minute to scrape the mixture from the sides. After about the thrd time, EJ added the honey, salt, and oil, and ran the processor again, as we watched it all magically transform into yummy peanut butter. The recipe we used that has the most detailed instructions is here: thekitchn.com. We used roasted peanuts rather than raw ones but, as recommended in a different recipe, we put the roasted nuts in the oven for 2-3 minutes to warm them and release their oils.
My only regret about homemade peanut butter is that we didn’t make it ourselves years ago.