Making Bagels

Some things are impossible to find in Mexico and one of them is a good bagel. 

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The other day I found a recipe for bagels and this morning I got up, fixed some coffee, and set to work.  Here is the recipe I followed but next time I think I will find another or make some adjustments as they tasted great but got kind of flat.

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I chopped up some onion and garlic for the tops of some but perhaps I cooked them a wee bit too long. Sesame seeds on the others.

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They tasted great with some cream cheese, tomato, avocado and black pepper. Yum!

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Vegetable Garden Attack

Bugs happen and chickens eat; my lessons for this week for growing vegetables in Mexico.
Believe it or not, organic or chemical free fresh veggies are pretty much non existent in this little farming community. I already knew that growing our own was going to have to happen sooner or later. Now is the time to grow them and experiment with what does well and what suffers.
As you can see in my previous post on vegetable gardening, we have broccoli, kale, lettuce and onions among a few other plants. Apparently the chickens were all so fascinated with gardening and jumped over my little fence to eat up the kale and lettuce…. yum yum yum. Jerks. I honestly didn’t appreciate it. As well, the cabbage worms moved in and started biting holes in the kale leaves and eyeing the broccoli. More jerks. So I got out the neem oil spray and went to work finding the cabbage worms and redoing the fence.

Baby chicks! Well at least one so far

Remember our chicken that we saved from a scorpion sting? If not, see the post here.  Her name is Catarina and she has been one of the best egg laying and bug eating chickens in the bunch. A few weeks back, Ana told me that her changed behavior indicated that she was going to hatch some chicks.

The first indicator was that she stayed in her nesting box most of the day; only coming out for a few minutes each day to eat, drink water and terrorize the other chickens. Apparently terrorizing anything close to her is another indicator.  We have been entertained and a bit freaked out by her rapid mood change and altered appearance. When she finally gets put of the box, she puffs out her feathers and runs rapidly about the yard gobbling up food along the way and attacking the other chickens if they get too close. If we approach her nesting box, she puffs up and growls a warning signal.

I have been staying clear until today when Ana announced that she heard peeping from her box. We both approached slowly and sure enough, we see at least one little chick. Catarina is sitting on more eggs so we will keep posted if more hatch. To assist, we placed a new plank that should be easy for the chicks to walk up and Ana cut an access hole in the nesting box for easier entrance and exits.
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Update: We now have 6 baby chicks and its been quite a large amount of work as I must admit to not being prepared to host the little buggers. The mama is a great caretaker and patiently shows them how to eat and clean. One poor little chick has a leg problem which I researched and tried everything recommended to help it to no avail. I fear for the worse for it. Time will tell as its a tough little thing and tries its best to keep up with the pack but rests to the side when the others are too aggressive. We mainly have chickens called “rancheros” and they are fairly hearty. I may be too sensitive for raising animals. Sigh.
Here is todays’ pic when we let them out in the run for a bit this morning, mama is taking a much needed dirt bath while they try and follow her.
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Happy New Year, 2015….with a little wild honey

A few days ago, Tito (Lita’s husband), collected wild honey from one of the nearby hills. I am sure the process of getting to the honey is something I would never want to experience so I am grateful he shared some with us. I posted the pic on FB and my sister Janice was kind enough to send an idea on how to extract it from the comb.

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First, I placed the parts into a large zip lock bag and crushed them with my hand.  I did not capture that pic as my hands got covered in honey!
Then I called Ana in from the yard and asked her to poke some holes in the bag so I could squeeze out the honey.  After that was somewhat complete, I then put the parts into a metal strainer over our container and crushed more with a fork.  It is a really strong flavor, one that I have never tasted in honey….very nice.  I will use the comb too, I think I can soak it in cool water and use the strained water to sweeten tea.

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Oh yeah….and Happy New Year!