chickensOur neighbors are raising chickens.

Under county law, they can. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

The chickens wake us every dawn with their screaming. (Forget what you learned from the old song about a “cluck cluck” here and there. Chickens scream.) It prompted this Facebook ditty from a very funny former colleague (who apparently has way too much time on his hands):

Hannibal Lecter: Then something woke you, didn’t it? Was it a dream? What was it?
Clarice Starling: I heard a strange noise.
Hannibal Lecter: What was it?
Clarice Starling: It was… screaming. Some kind of screaming, like a child’s voice.
Hannibal Lecter: What did you do?
Clarice Starling: I went downstairs, outside. I crept up into the barn. I was so scared to look inside, but I had to.
Hannibal Lecter: And what did you see, Clarice? What did you see?
Clarice Starling: Chickens. The chickens were screaming.

***

Giant packs of rabbits have invaded our neighborhood this summer. (So has a fox. Must be the chickens.) They’ve decimated our bean patch. But we’re keeping this very sad plot in tact:

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So far, it’s kept the rabbits away from our new plantings:

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I finally found a way to get the husband to eat golden beets:

If I coarsely grate them …

… lay them down on a sheet of foil …

…. place sugarsnap peas and thinly sliced carrots on top …

… then douse them with olive oil, salt and pepper, fold up the foil and put it on a hot grill for 5-10 minutes …

he loves it! (The kids … not so much. And I could never do this with red beets. It would look like something bled over all the other vegetables!)

***

I’m reading Michael Pollan‘s newest book, Cooked. He continues to sound the alarm over the dearth of home cooks and the state of eating in the USA.

But I wonder: Is it really that bad? One thing blogging has taught me this past year is that there’s a rich community of avid home cooks out there. You garden and preserve and experiment and have a wonderful time in the kitchen.

Cooking is not a dying art.

***

Does Bon Appetit magazine get a kickback every time it mentions Austin, TX, or Portland, OR? Is Editor Adam Rapoport even aware that these cities are mentioned ad nauseum in every single frickin’ issue of his magazine? It’s getting to be a bad joke.

Hey, BA! Here’s a challenge for you: Produce one issue of your magazine without  mentioning these cities. You might have to work a little harder (I’m talkin’ to you, Andrew Knowlton), but I bet you can do it!

***

The little boy ate his tart! Turns out mozzarella trumps summer squash.

***

We’re heading to Ocracoke Island soon for a much needed vacation. The men in my life plan to go deep-sea fishing. We’re told Amberjack, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi are running.

I’m looking forward to fish dinners, new restaurants (we can’t wait to try the Topless Oyster Restaurant) and lots and lots of sleep.

Unless (deep sigh) there are chickens …

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