Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Chicken eggs are coming, and more holiday ideas
I haven’t talked about the chickens lately, but I have big news. We are starting to get eggs on a daily basis! The older girls have started laying, and the second younger batch of six should also be laying in the next few weeks. The eggs range from brown to light blue to green – proving that, indeed, there is such a thing as green eggs and ham.
We can positively identify two of the layers. Zelda, true to what her previous owner had told us, tends to lay double-yolked eggs. Her eggs are larger, and we need to avoid them in recipes where another yolk might be a problem. For your information, using a double-yolked egg in brownies may not be the best thing for your cholesterol, but it sure makes them extra “cakey.”
Squishy is the one who lays the brown eggs; this I know because I got a frantic call from my son one day telling me, “Mom, I saw the egg come out of Squishy. She was yelling, and then it just sort of popped out. How does that big thing come out of her like that? No wonder she was squawking.”
When I got home, he hugged me. “Mom,” he said, “do you know that you essentially popped out an egg like that six times? Wow.”
Yes, indeed, we are all still learning from our chickens.
Here are some more holiday memories when money was tight that will warm your hearts.
n Every year, whether money was tight or not, my children and I made something homemade; even when they were teens, they still wanted to do it. We would buy plain Christmas balls and cover them with glitter, or at the craft stores, you can get little knickknack things and paint them. One year, we made Santas out of felt and walnuts still in the shell. Anyway, my mom and aunts still hang them on their trees each year. My children are now 25 and 29!
– SUSIE TAYLOR, Harpswell, Maine
Last year, I had $49 to my name. (I had savings, of course, but being retired, you never know how far they will go, and that’s for the future, anyway.) My day-to-day expenses left me with $49 until the end of the year. I had a thrifty year, because the economy took away the ability to withdraw from my savings, so it’s good that I ended in the black at all!
As a result, my grandchildren were the only recipients of gifts from me. I asked each one what they would like for a painting for their rooms. Kate chose horses galloping across a field, and Ben chose a soccer player scoring a goal.
– PAULA SUPER, Merrimack
There were many years my mother wouldn’t waste money on gift wrap and instead used the funny papers for wrapping presents. I’ve learned from her – my kids have been receiving gifts from Santa in the same recycled gift bags for years.
– GWEN MIKAILOV, Nashua
The adults in my family have, for a number of years now, decided that we can’t afford to buy presents for each other, and none of us really need anything anyway. (We’re not a well-off family, but we’ve also – knock on wood – been pretty lucky about staying employed and keeping roofs over our heads.)
So, one year we decided to start making gifts for each other rather than buying them. We make the same thing for everyone, so when the family gets together to celebrate Christmas, we all open, for example, my sister’s present at the same time, then my parents’ present, etc. That way, the surprise isn’t ruined for anyone else if one person opened the parents’ present while another opened sister’s. There have been some pretty imaginative and well-made gifts over the years.
The real concept is that a handmade gift is of far more value to us than a store-bought one. Of course, we each think our own handmade gift is the stupidest yet, so we ended up calling these our “Stupid Christmas Crafts.” I’m still working on mine for the year, and, yes, I think mine is the stupidest yet!
– JANE LAW, Concord