puck puck puck puck.......

Urban chickens seem to be all the rage! Here's a link to another link.

If you are seriously considering raising your own chickens, here is an informative article from This Magazine. Did you know that Niagara and Brampton also allow the raising of urban chickens? So all of you wannabe urban farmers who live in TO, perhaps you should consider moving to the ,burbs...

On another note, if you like the idea of putting the essence of summer in a jar but cannot fathom spending hours on end canning tomatoes or making jam, there is an easier way: go at it in small batches. Although I love having a pantry full of homemade and homegrown cans of tomatoes, I don't really like spending entire week-ends working at it. So I go in small batches: 1kg of fruit fills three 5ooml jars of jam or tomato sauce.

I never could be bothered to peel and seed tomatoes, so I don't! I rarely ever used canned tomatoes for anything other than sauces or stews, so I don't bother with the peel and seeds: most stick blenders (and even regular jug blenders) are powerful enough to blitz seeds and peel. It might take a little more time then blending pulp, but it is less work then blanching and seeding.

Canning in small batches may not be ideal when you decide to bring home a bushel of tomatoes from the market, but it will help to break down the task. Especially if you are short on pots or you do not own a large canning pot. Anyway, those bushels of tomatoes are rarely ever all completely ripe:go through them all, wash them if need be, and sort by ripeness. Damaged tomatoes should be processed right away, and the rest can be canned in the days to come.

Small batch canning is also great if you grow your own tomatoes: after a while you and your loved ones will experience tomato fatigue, and the only beings tempted by the fruits of your labour will be the growing population of fruit flies. If you have other veggies wizening in your fridge, throw them into the pot with the tomatoes. Blitz, pour into a Mason jar, and sterilise (actually called 'processing', this step consists in boiling the filled jars in order to sterilise the whole shebang.)

Summer in a jar! Bon app'!


  1. Hi Dahlia,

    I’m writing on behalf of the RSPCA, raising awareness of an urgent campaign that I think may be of interest to you and your readers. The campaign is trying to protect the welfare of UK meat chickens, so I hope it is OK to have made contact via a comment, since you don’t have a contact page.

    Right now, the UK government is considering new EU legislation that may increase the number of chickens allowed in rearing sheds. Even at current minimum standards, each bird is given less space than a sheet of paper. It’s hard to walk or even flap their wings. But this legislation would allow yet more birds to be squashed in, cutting that space by almost a quarter.

    We desperately need your readers to join us in urging Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister for Animal Welfare, to make the right choice for UK chickens and quash the squash, by sending an email via our campaign website at http://bit.ly/quash.

    We have also created a short film called Irritating Chicken to highlight the plight of broiler (meat) chickens. The video can be found at http://bit.ly/ichick.

    Thanks for your time and any support you can offer,

    Stefan, on behalf of RSPCA


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