Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Farmer's Market Food

Celeriac & Apple Slaw, Beet Salad, Chicken Nuggets & Apricot Mustard Sauce
Two weeks ago we enjoyed eating from our bounty from the market.  A large variety of foods have been explored, all with things in season and on stock here at our home.  (Though I do tend to try and stock things I know I might want - we have two chest freezers and two fridge freezers and two pantries - AND I want another chest freezer this summer).

I haven't included every single thing we've made, but have tried to include things that were made using market ingredients.  As follows: Lots of asparagus puree for Arya; Beet Salad with feta and pecans; Celeriac and Apple Slaw, Chicken Nuggets and Apricot Mustard Sauce; Chicken Stocks; Salad with Pan Fried Chicken breast, Fresh croutons, Hardboiled eggs, Balsamic vinaigrette and fennel, German Style Potato Salad, Lemon Sausage with Potato Salad, Fried Tomatoes and Eggs fried in leftover tomato juice from pan; Pesto Tomato Frittata with bacon; finger radishes; cooked radish with spinach greens; roasted radishes and ramps; Coq au vin; Lemon sausage, steamed asparagus, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce; spring green soup with tomato cheese sandwiches; Spicy Lime and Cilantro Shrimp with millet and a vegetable but sadly I already forgot what it was, though it was from the market.

All of these things turned out awesome a few I would make some slight alterations to, but overall success all around.  If the ingredients weren't from the market, they were organic from Oryana or from our freezers or fridge.  The chickens were our chickens we raised.  Any eggs are from our chickens.  I feel the quality and integrity and nutrients of our ingredients make a huge difference in the flavor.  If you are inspired to try any of these dishes I suggest you try to get similar wholesome ingredients for tasty delicious in your kitchen! 

Most of my recipes are either from experience of making it a lot or adapted from Martha Stewart, because I love her recipes.  If it is from any of my other numerous cook books, I will let you know!

First off, chicken nuggets made from the chicken breast of our own chickens that we slaughtered.  These were the Rainbow Ranger broilers.  They are tasty.

Chicken Nuggets
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup apricot jam or preserves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack. Spray with cooking spray; set aside.
Place flour in a large bowl and season very generously with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in another large bowl with 2 tablespoons water until well combined. Place the breadcrumbs in a third large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Stir in cheese and cayenne and mix well.
Place chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and toss to coat. Working in 3 batches, shake off any excess flour from chicken pieces and transfer to egg mixture; stir to combine. Transfer coated chicken pieces with a slotted spoon to the breadcrumb mixture and toss until completely coated. Place the breaded chicken pieces on a rack-lined baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Repeat process until all the chicken is breaded. Bake until golden brown and chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir the apricot jam, mustard, and thyme together until combined. Allow chicken to cool 10 minutes before serving with apricot mustard mixture.

Next, the beet salad.  I make this every summer once the beets start coming in.  It is so good.  Great combination of beet with feta and then a balance of pecan crunch.  Highly recommend to anyone who loves beets, or is afraid of them, as this does not taste like pickled beets in any way.  Also, I always burn the pecans when toasting - watch them carefully to avoid my mistake.

Beet Salad
1/2 cup pecans
4 bunches small beets (16 to 20 beets)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet, and toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Coarsely chop, and set aside. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Trim greens and long roots from beets. Wrap in 2 to 3 aluminum-foil packets, dividing beets according to size. Place in oven, and roast until tender, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size of beets. Using paper towels to protect your hands, wipe the skins from the beets. Cut into wedges, and transfer to a serving bowl.
Drizzle vinegar and olive oil over beets; toss to coat (beets can be made ahead). When ready to serve, add feta, parsley, pecans, and salt and pepper to taste; toss to combine. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

Finally, the Celeriac and Apple Slaw.  In the future I will shred the ingredients.  The recipe called for matchsticks, so that is what I did.  However, we decided it would absorb more flavor and be softened more if it were shredded, PLUS it would be easier to eat.  If you have never tried celeriac, I strongly suggest it.  It is a fun vegetable, it tastes a lot like celery, but has the texture of parsnips.  If you have never ever had it before, this is not the recipe I would recommend first.  It is not that this doesn't taste good, it does, but it is not the best way I have EVER had celeriac (that is in a blue cheese celeriac soup, which perhaps someday I can post the recipe for).

Celeriac and Apple Slaw
1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), trimmed, peeled, and cut into matchsticks (2 cups) 
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks (2 cups)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh cider
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Chicken stock ready to start
Now onto the next thing, chicken stock!  It is something we often make here at our home.  It is a very nice way to get more money out of what you've purchased already.  In our case its our own chickens, either the carcasses or tough rooster chickens.

Throw them into a big pot, fill with water close to top, but not to the very top or it will boil over.  Add one onion quartered with skin removed, one carrot ends cut off and cut into about 2 inch pieces, one stalk of celery ends cut of cut into 2 inch pieces, a bunch of parsley (at least 4 sprigs), about 10 peppercorns (we always use white pepper as we like the flavor better and some of our friends are allergic to black pepper, using white ALWAYS, means I don't have to remember what to use or not use when they are over, which is often), any other herbs you want to throw in for flavor (thyme, sage, oregano, etc), you can also throw in a garlic or a leek, but I generally don't because I consider these more "precious" veggies that I don't want to "waste" in my stock.

Boil until the chicken is completely broken down to nothing and the liquid is literally now cloudy with chicken goodness, will take many hours, start out at a boil and once there reduce to medium and keep around there for the remainder of the time, you will have to keep adding water throughout this process.  Let cool and ladle off the top layer of stock and put in a skinnier tall container, this will allow you to much more easily separate out the fat.  You can save the fat if you want to cook with chicken fat in the future.  It's delicious and I suggest it.  Apparently iron chef, Michael Symon, has talked about how much he loves doing this on that new primetime talk show my mom is always talking about (I have never watched it, but I totally agree with him).

Chicken stock ready to cool
The stock can then be strained into containers to be frozen.  I suggest using quart containers, since that is the size you generally purchase at the store.  One pot usually makes at least 5 quarts of stock.  As far as organic stock goes, this is a score, because it is expensive at the store.  You can reuse that chicken carcass from your rotisserie chicken and get more money from it by making stock for another time!

If you let the chicken stock cool, before you put it into containers, it will become a gelantenous gel.  Do not be afraid, be happy.  This means all the wonderful healthful benefits are now in your stock and will go into your body!

Then if the chickens had any meat left, go through picking it out and put it in a ziploc bag and freeze it.  Now you have shredded chicken ready for making curries or bbq sandwiches or salads or whatever else you want it for.  We do this often.  Give you leftover scraps to your chickens or the compost pile.  Zero waste.

Salad with fried chicken, egg, croutons, fennel and balsamic dressing
Now onto the next photo here: The salad.  Thomas actually put this one together for us.  Salad mix from market, delicious tender baby lettuces.  He hard-boiled two of our eggs, peeled and put them on.  Croutons were our typical style, cut up, throw in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, stir and mix up.  Put on a cookie sheet and put in oven at 350-400 for 5-20 minutes depending on temperature and the size you cut the bread.  We used our popcorn elephant ear bread from Patisserie Amie this time, which made them extra buttery too.  Croutons are better the slower they cook, but sometimes you want salad faster and have no time to wait.  This will hold for a few days, but not forever like a gross bag from the store will, as there are no preservatives (so nothing to preserve your insides, hooray!)  He chopped some of the fennel bulb for the salad and put it on.  He pan fried the chicken with some light olive oil in the pan and a think he threw in a few herbs we had dried in the pantry from last summer, probably thyme and basil.  Then we topped it off with my balsamic dressing.  Recipe is as follows:

Balsamic Dressing
Makes 1 1/3 cups
2 small garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or food processed
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano


Whisk garlic, sugar, mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the red pepper flakes, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk together oils; add to vinegar mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in herbs; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week. (it totally lasts longer than this though, because vinegar has a real real hard time going bad)

Tomato Pesto Frittata and Bacon

Next photo is the Tomato Pesto Frittata and Bacon.  You can see my other post for the recipe and details on this tasty tidbit.  For the bacon I used local Gallagher's thick slice bacon, cooked low and slow, so it gets super crispy and delicious.  I save the bacon fat and refrigerate it for many other cooking uses.

French Breakfast Radishes ready to eat as finger food with lunch

Here we see the radishes cut into fingers.  We ate this for lunch one day with sandwiches or something.  I already can't remember what else we had with them.
Radish greens from lunch waiting in water for dinner

Baked Radishes, Spinach & Radish greens, Coq au Vin
Asparagus, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce & lemon sausages
The radish greens from the radishes, soaked in a water bath until it was dinner time.  This kept them from wilting, since they were now no longer attached to the radishes.

Next is where the radish greens went.  Radish greens and spinach.  Skillet heated with olive oil and chicken stock, greens added.  Pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.  Cooked until wilted down.

Coq au vin, this was actually out of the freezer.  Made a huge batch of it some time ago and portioned it out in the freezer for days with less time, but big hunger.  Perhaps I will be able to get the recipe up here in the future as a separate blog.  It takes many hours to cook, as it uses our tough roosters (that we no longer raise, because they're too tough to deal with, in two senses, personalities and texture).  

Finally, roasted radishes.  If you have never tried roasted radishes, you are SERIOUSLY missing out.  Now, I suggest using fresh ones, not ones from a bag at the store, I have never made them with those, so can't speak for how they taste that way.  But as for the fresh ones, they are delicious, loose most of their bite, but not quite all and are super watery squishy wonders.  I clean them up, chop them into mostly uniform sizes and then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Literally that is it.  This time I also chopped up a few ramp bulbs and tossed them in too.  Put in a preheated 425 oven for at least 35 minutes.  Depending on the size you chop them up as depends on how long you have to cook them, obviously, make sure they are all tender and just starting to get a little brown color on them for a bit of exterior texture!

Oh boy, next onto our delicious asparagus and hollandaise sauce.  People should have a favorite way to eat eggs and it shouldn't be because its the only way they've ever tried them before.  Anyone who knows me with eggs, knows my favorite is eggs Benedict.  If I see it on a menu I am FORCED to order it to see how the restaurant measures up to all others I have had.  I have had eggs Benedict all over the country.  If you have only had hollandaise sauce from a packet, shame on you ;)  It is not so hard to make.  I generally even use a cheater method by using my blender.  Super simple, not sacrificing flavor.

Second, sausage is a delicious breakfast addition.  We have been making sausage for like 5 years now.  Storebought sausage is really not good for you.  It is full of nitrates and other nonsense to make it last longer.  Nitrates are a common cause of headaches.  In addition, storebought sausage lacks depth and deliciousness of flavor.  People who try my sausage often ask how I achieved it, answer, FRESH made.  Finally, premade sausage costs more.  Ground pork sausage, with no spices added, etc.  IS SO CHEAP.  I personally think this is because hardly ANYONE buys it anymore.  I get it from my local butcher shop, Burritts or from two of our different farmer friends, all of which I am obsessed with.  Burritts also gets theirs from a local supplier(s). Try making some and you will not be disappointed.  Start with making patty sausage first, won't be long and you'll want a sausage stuffer.  They are fun, but definitely not necessary for good homemade sausages.

So back to the food.  Asparagus was the base.  For this I trimmed the asparagus and steamed it for about 7 minutes.  Eggs were poached in the asparagus liquid.  I wanted to see if it would turn the eggs green, it did not.  I added a capful of vinegar to the water before poaching, as this helps hold the eggs together better.  If you swirl the water in the saucepan like a flushing toilet before dropping the egg in, the white holds its round shape better.  3 minutes or so in simmering water should be good, but obviously be sure it looks cooked before you pull it out.  Dab the egg (while its still in a slotted spoon you removed it with) on a towel before you plate it, to get some of the excess water off first).

The hollandaise sauce.  I use a cheater method, which means I use a blender.  It still is fresh, still is delicious, almost tastes the same and is about 100 times easier.  It is a recipe from the Joy of Cooking that I have been using since probably 1997.  So I guess I like it.  I again make this with our eggs, which we feel makes a huge difference.  Find some local fresh eggs for this one, since there are so few ingredients, each one is really important!

Hollandaise Sauce

3 large egg yolks
2 tsps fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Ground white pepper or hot red pepper sauce to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 cup very warm to hot clarified butter

Place the first four ingredients into a blender and process on high speed for one minute.  It should turn a much lighter color yellow.  With the machine running, add in a slow stream the clarified butter.  By the time all the butter is poured in - about one minute - the sauce should be thickened.  If not, process on high speed for about 20 seconds more.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as you see fit.  Serve immediately or keep warm by submerging the blender in warm water.  I always make this at the last second, so its just ready at the time to serve.

Finally, with the final part of that breakfast was the Lemon Sausage.  Right around the time Thomas and I got married, we started dabbling in sausage making when we got the sausage making attachment for my kitchen aid mixer as a wedding present.  Since then we have come a long way.  I have now gotten to the point that I have made enough different kinds of sausages that I am fairly adept at creating my own sausage creations that are more delicious than any store-bought variety, plus no nitrates to give you headaches!

So here follows this sausage creation, as I remember it, it was a new creation and I didn't write it down, so I'll do my best to remember it.  Few tricks I use for making tasty sausage:  always add some form of sugar - this helps it caramelize and brown like you are used to, always add heavy whipping cream - this gives it nice moisture, always add enough salt to bring out all the other flavors, always add finely processed onion - onion is good for you and it tastes delicious, finely processing it, means people won't realize why it tastes so good, just know that it does.

1 pound of ground pork sausage
Zest of one lemon and the lemon juice from that lemon
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp ground mustard
6 sprigs of fresh parsley
1/2 small sweet yellow onion
1 green garlic (these are baby garlics)
2 tsp salt (more to taste if necessary)
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Roughly chop the lemon juice, parsley, onion and garlic.  Throw into a food processor and process until fine and juicy.  Mix all ingredients together until well mixed.  Take a small amount of the mixture and fry in a pan.  Taste this bite once cooked and slightly cooled (meaning don't instantly eat it and burn your tongue as I have done a thousand times).  If it tastes delicious, proceed frying the rest of them, if you think it is lacking something, add what you think it needs.  Generally, this may be a bit more salt to help all the flavors really shine!

Spring Green Soup & Tomato & cheese sandwiches on sourdough
 Now onto lunch!  We made tomato and grilled cheese sandwiches with a Spring Green soup.  Turned out rather well.

For the grilled cheese, I used my organic bread that I make myself.  After years of buying expensive organic bread I have finally gotten myself into the habit of making bread every other weekend and freezing two loaves, leaving one out.  As we need them I pull them out of the freezer.  They are delicious and much cheaper than buying organic bread.  In the future I will try to get my favorite and most successful bread recipes up here on the blog.

We then used our local sharp cheddar from an Omish farm that comes to the market.  Quick tip about cheese, if you buy grocery store cheese, ie Kraft, Spartan, etc, most of what you are getting is food grade glue.  This is a product that helps hold together milk that would otherwise be too old or too little in quantity to form as cheese.  The FDA has deemed it safe for consumption despite the fact that it is used as actual glue in other industries.  Food companies are not required to include this in their list of ingredients, due to some fun loopholes and such.  This is why you may notice a stark difference in flavor and stringyness between a cheese from a farmer and a cheese from the store.  Once you get used to real cheese, you CAN taste a difference and it is weird texturally.

Finally, we put in the tomatoes from the market and brushed both sides of the bread with organic butter from oryana.  I like to put a lid on my skillet when making grilled cheese, helps the cheese melt faster.

Now onto the soup.  Wanted to try using some asparagus in a different way.  Had kale from the market too, so it got tossed in as well.  This recipe was modified from Martha Stewart.

Spring Green Soup
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Coarse salt
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, chopped, tips reserved
4 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium canned chicken broth
1-2 cup loosely chopped kale leaves
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped asparagus, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; continue cooking until asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare and ice-water bath. Fill a medium saucepot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt, return to a boil, and add asparagus tips. Cook until just tender. Drain and set aside.
Remove from heat; add kale. Using an immersion blender, puree soup while drizzling in remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Return to heat and cook until heated through; add heavy whipping cream and season with salt.

Laura's German Potato Salad
Onto the next item!  Laura's German Style Potato Salad.  German potato style just means it is served warm and typically means there is no mayo.  I broke this rule slightly, which is why it is just German Style, however, there is very little mayo in it.  I don't think I should type a strict recipe for this, because I sort of mixed and matched and I made it over two weeks ago now, so exact measurements are not something I think I can accurately put down unfortunately. 

Basically, I took the fresh market potatoes and peeled them and chopped them rather small, around 1/2 inch pieces.  This is so they are easier to eat, faster to boil and have more surface area to absorb the rest of the ingredients per area of inside potato.  I then put them in salted boiling water and cooked them until they began to get soft, but not super squishy, you don't want them turning into mashed potatoes when you try to stir in the sauce. 

While they are boiling I worked on the sauce, as usual, all my ingredients are organic versions of whatever I'm listing.  It was a small small amount of mayo, some spicy mustard, white wine vinegar.  I whisked that together, once mixed I added extra virgin olive oil until it became a vinaigrette consistency.  I then added freshly chopped parsley and my favorite herb, tarragon, onion powder and a little garlic powder, salt and white pepper.  Stirred that all together then poured it over the cooling drained potatoes.  Stirred it all together, delicious.

Lemon Sausage, fried eggs over potato salad and fried tomatoes
The next day, for breakfast, we had two leftovers!  Lemon sausage was still left, so I fried the remainder of that up, and served the leftover potato salad at the bottom of the plate.  Years ago I realized that if the potato salad doesn't have much mayo and it has herbs, using it under eggs is DELICIOUS and a simple way to get my favorite thing (this time potatoes) into breakfast without any extra work. 

I then took two of our tomatoes left from them market sliced them into quarters and put them in a hot skillet with olive oil.  Fried them until they were soft, added salt and pepper to them.  Put them on top of the potato salad.  I then took my juicy tomato pan and fried some eggs in there.  That is why they look all dirty, they picked up all sorts of delicious leftover tomato juices from the pan.  I put them on top of the tomatoes and potato salad, so that when you break those yolks you get all sorts of yummy all over the lower ingredients.  You may notice that the yolks are a perfect over easy and say, how does this happen.  Here is my secret tip.  Drop the eggs in the pan, then add a tablespoon or so of water to the pan and put a lid on.  The water will evaporate in the pan and this steam will cook the top white over the yolk at the same speed as the bottom of the egg is cooking on the pan.  Works every time.

So that is my market food from a couple weeks ago.  It is not everything we made for food that week, but is almost everything we used from the markets.  As this took me over two weeks to finish, I have since decided that recipe food blogs should be written one at a time!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Johnny Seed Sale

Just a bit of for your information here.  We order a vast majority of our seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds.  They are a company working hard towards organic seeds, heirloom seeds and seed saving of varieties that are vastly disappearing from our world.  You can see this image to get a bit of an idea of what I am referring too.  It's a bit more than scary really.  Relying too much on one thing, is a dangerous route for food to go, since it is very susceptible to diseases, weather, etc.

Anyway, I digress.  The point of this story is, Johnny seeds is having a sale right now.

Nice time to pick up some fun varieties either still this year or stored away for next year.


Monday, June 4, 2012

I hate Cheerios

I hate Cheerios.

That is my statement.  And their new commercial has caused me to want to rant.  Please do not be offended.

I will explain some.  I hate that they use misleading advertising to trick parents and grandparents into thinking Cheerios are designed and perfect for infants and toddlers.  News flash:  They are not.  They are neither made for infants, nor are they good for them.

They are made to make money.  They were invented when Carbs were the answer to weightloss and health problems in the 70s.  Now they are an "American" breakfast staple.  They are not the answer to breakfast though.

Next: they are not good for infants.  This is why.  Babies under a year should not have any salt added to their food, as this can strain immature kidneys and cause dehydration (this is also why fast food and preprocessed foods are bad for infants).  A preference for salt often becomes established at an early age, and eating too much salt may lead to high blood pressure later in life.  Babies up to six months old should have less than 1g of salt (less than a 1/4 tsp) a day and from seven months old to hopefully around 18 months they should have a maximum of 1g a day.  This is why you should not give your baby foods that have not been made specifically for babies.

Cheerios contain loads of sodium, or as we all know, SALT.  On their box they list the serving size for children under 4 as 3/4 cup.  This size contains 120 mg of sodium, which translates to 1.2 g.  News flash again:  This is more than their entire daily intake should be if they are over seven months old.  If they are under seven months, its probably double their daily intake.  This is PREPOSTEROUS!  Not to mention the sugar, modified corn starch, Genetically modified grains used and chemicals for freshness.

Just don't do it.  Don't believe any advertising EVER.  Advertising is designed to make you want things without thinking.  I know, I create advertising and teach people how, though I have morals about what I will advertise and how.  I teach people about these morals and deciding their own.  If you see an ad, realize they are selling you something and check it out yourself first.  Just cause everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean its cool or safe.  And please don't feed your infants Cheerios, it makes me sad inside for the generations growing up with more and more health issues, because we're uninformed or budget crazy and can't buy them infant puffs with no salt or sugar added.

Baby Quail

The baby quail are now almost a month old.  They have at least doubled in size, which still means they are barely the size of a baby chick.  However, their wings are huge and their legs are long.  They run super fast and fly like a powered rocket.

We started with 57 babies (chicks or cheepers).  13 died within the first day.  I know this sounds harsh and it is definitely higher than our normal mortality rate with chicks, geese and turkeys, but we have never raised quail before and as usual, many die when it takes over two days to come to us, in a box, with no food or water.  They also are very tiny, so I feel perhaps they are slightly more fragile in travel than the other poultry we've raised.

I counted yesterday when Thomas discovered one on the top of their cage, the outside top.  We then chased it throughout the garage and under the ramp in our garage and between pieces of vertically staked plywood.  There are now I believe, 39.  So apparently, we have lost 5 to flying out the window or into the garage and out the garage door when we open it for the day and we just didn't notice.  Lesson learned, quail need a screen on top, not chicken wire or the small gauge stuff we have been using.

Today I got carefully got one out to show the neighbors.  I thought I had a good hold on it.  Turns out, I did not.  It flew out of my hands and all the way across the garage into one of Thomas' tool boxes in one feel swoop.  It is astounding how something SO SO small can fly so incredibly high and well.

We are learning a lot.