Thursday, June 27, 2019

Apricot Coffee Cake

I'm horribly embarrassed, but I didn't write down where I got this recipe. I'm pretty sure I got it from a Joanne Fluke mystery.  I made a few minor changes, but I can't claim it as solely mine.

I was looking for a recipe to use up some eggs.  Now that we have chickens, finding a recipe to use them, or a friend to take them, is a regular problem.   This apricot recipe uses 6 eggs, so it shot to the top of the list!


Apricot Coffee Cake


1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 eggs
3 cups flour


3 cups chopped apricots  It took me 10 apricots
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup flour


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, not softened


Pre-heat the oven to 350°.  Spray a 9X13 baking dish with Pam.  Set aside.

Notice how yellow these eggs are!!

Beat the butter until it is light and fluffy.  This is easiest in a stand mixer.  I use a Kitchen Aid.
Add the sugar and beat until fully blended.  Mix in the salt, vanilla and baking powder.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.


Add the flour, one cup at a time.


When all is mixed in, place half of the batter in the prepared dish.  Spread it evenly.


Chop up the apricots and place them in a medium bowl.  I chose to peel them, but I don't know if it is necessary.   Sprinkle on the sugar and cinnamon and stir.  Stir in the flour.


Drop the fruit mix evenly on top of the batter in the dish. Spread evenly.


Drop remaining batter over the fruit mixture.   I used a cookie scoop.  Once again, spread it evenly. You may have some fruit showing through. Don't worry about it.


Prepare the crumb topping.


Place the sugar and flour in a medium bowl and mix. Cut up the butter and mix it in with a pastry cutter, or forks, until crumbly.  


Place the crumb topping evenly on top of the batter.


Bake for 45 or 55 minutes or until golden brown.


Serve slightly warm.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Safety First


Our deck has two levels.  The wood is painted. Both levels are painted the same color.


This has almost caused some falls.

I decided to put something at the edge of the step. The wood is not new and will at some point be replaced with Trex or at least new wood.  Because of the roughness, we didn't think brightly colored tape would stick well.

I decided to paint a bright yellow stripe to clue people in that there was a step.  People including me.


I nailed a few of the popped up nails flush with the wood.  I measured in 1 1/2 inches and marked the wood.  I placed tape and paper to try and make an even stripe.


Because the of the uneven wood, the tape didn't fit flush and a bit of paint inched under the tape in a few places.


All in all, I'm happy with the solution and look forward to not having my guests fall down.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Work Is For The Chickens

The chicken coop and runs we inherited are pretty nice.


It has two chicken coops with nest boxes and roosts. It has a fully enclosed run for the nights and a larger fenced run for daytime.


Making them mostly free range.

The enclosed run has netting over the top but it is still quite large and most people would consider it an adequate run for 10 chickens.


The previous owner had 50 chickens and they were free range during the day and enclosed at night.


Then the coyotes came and he had 12 chickens so he built a fenced run for the day.


Unfortunately, the fenced run never had a gate.  The fencing material overlapped and the wire had been bent to hook around the wire of the first run. This made it a pain to get in twice a day to let them out and then back in.  A literal pain as I kept getting scratched.


Until we could get a gate and get it installed, I switched to closing the opening with small carabiners. This was faster and less painful.  But this week we got the gate and installed it.

I also cleaned out the coop and added new food grade diatomaceous earth, not the stuff you put in pool filters.


This is an organic form of pest control for chickens.


I sprinkle some on the roosts, floors and nests.  It doesn't hurt the chickens, but if ingested by insects, like mites, it kills them. Although it feels like dust, it is microscopically scratchy.  This is what kills the bugs.


I mowed both sides for the chickens and they have a pretty nice yard.  I have a much easier way to get in and out.


Friday, June 21, 2019

Big trees. Big problems

We have a lot of big trees here.  I absolutely love them.  But big trees are susceptible to big winds and we had a problem recently.

We have a very nice chicken run for our 10 chickens. By the way, I like having 10 chickens, but it means we get more than 2 dozen eggs a week.  We eat a lot of eggs.  I give away a lot of eggs.


I went out to let the chickens out of the enclosed portion of the run to the merely fenced run and discovered a very large limb had fallen on it.


The enclosed portion has netting placed over arched sprinkler lines.  This helps to prevent predation by hawks, raccoons, coyotes, etc.  It probably helped to keep the whole weight of the limb from breaking the chicken coop.


The limb broke a lot of the arches.  We removed it a piece at a time.


We are left with a giant broken limb.  It needs a bigger chain saw than we currently own.  And a bigger ladder. We have better and bigger ladders, but they are in the storage unit.  We need to build a new shop to have room for all the tools in storage.


Actually, what it needs is a tree company to come in and remove the whole branch.  I don't trust the rest of it to heal and be strong enough that it won't break off in the next big wind.

I'm not sure free range, antibiotic-free, hormone-free eggs are worth all this work.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


I haven't been writing. Not because I don't have a lot to say, but because we no longer live at SGF and I can't decide on a new name for this house.  I would then need to change the name for the blog.  Then I would need to change the heading and link to the former blog. And it all rests on the name. I have a few ideas, but nothing jumps out at me.


We live on Snickersville Turnpike.  It is a historic byway that started out as an Iroquois trail and has been used ever since.  You can read the history here.

So I would like to incorporate that name.  We no longer have horses, nor do we cut hay,  We have a bit more than 6 acres, rather than the 57 acres we had before.  It is a lot more land to mow, so we just bought our first zero turn mower. Lee is trying it out now.


We do have chickens and brought our  dog and two cats.  Not much of a farm.

I'd like to name the house and then use that for the blog. That means that my first inclination, calling the blog Snickers Doodles, may not work.

But I have a lot of things going on here, so I will just start and name this thing later.