Cosmopolitan Cornbread http://cosmopolitancornbread.com food, family, faith and homesteading Sun, 28 May 2017 02:25:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-CosmoCornbread-hen-400-32x32.jpg Cosmopolitan Cornbread http://cosmopolitancornbread.com 32 32 45592639 I Planted Noxious Weeds in My Garden?! http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/noxious-weeds/ http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/noxious-weeds/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 10:45:45 +0000 http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/?p=32174 I can’t seem to catch a break with purchased dirt for my garden. First one batch was depleted…and the other? Oh my! Grow Your own Comfrey – get root cuttings where I got mine from -> HERE

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I can’t seem to catch a break with purchased dirt for my garden. First one batch was depleted…and the other? Oh my!


Grow Your own Comfrey – get root cuttings where I got mine from -> HERE

I planted noxious weeds in my garden!? | The latest from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

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How to Keep Your Rabbits Cool in the Summer Heat http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/keep-your-rabbits-cool/ http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/keep-your-rabbits-cool/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 12:42:13 +0000 http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/?p=32073 Rabbits do fairly well in cool temperatures, but when it comes to very hot weather, you have to take extra precautions. (Read below) Rabbits are very susceptible to heat stroke and it is of grave importance to keep your rabbits cool. This can be a challenge in very hot weather, but there are a few things...

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This original post - How to Keep Your Rabbits Cool in the Summer Heat - written by Constance Smith first appeared on Cosmopolitan Cornbread | Copyright © 2008 - 2016

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Rabbits do fairly well in cool temperatures, but when it comes to very hot weather, you have to take extra precautions.

(Read below)


Rabbits are very susceptible to heat stroke and it is of grave importance to keep your rabbits cool. This can be a challenge in very hot weather, but there are a few things you can do to keep your rabbits safe. Any time the temperatures get very hot, especially if you reach the upper 80’s or 90’s, you want to take measures to keep your rabbits cool. Depending upon the climate, you may need to do these at lower temperatures. If your rabbit is sprawled out and panting heavily, that is a clear sign that they are hot. If you see your rabbit doing this, don’t wait for the thermometer to reach a certain temperature. Take precautionary measures. Remember: rabbits would much rather be too cool than too hot.

Ice Bottles

First of all, I am not a soda drinker, so I don’t routinely have soda bottles in the house. I went to my local dollar store and got several 2 liter bottles of their cheap soda. I came home, disposed of the soda, cleaned out the bottles and filled them with water. Then those water bottles were put in the freezer. You could also use milk jugs, but I find that the plastic soda bottles last a little longer and stack in the freezer easier. Because I have rabbit tractors, there are two areas for each of the rabbit homes. The “house” structure and the yard. I put a frozen water bottle in each, giving the rabbits the option of where they want to be. The rabbits will lay up against the ice bottles, keeping them cool.

I have enough bottles for one in the rabbit house and one in the “yard” and another full set in the freezer. Each afternoon I will take two frozen bottles out to each rabbit tractor. If you have a traditional rabbit hutch, you will only need one at a time. I will leave that ice bottle there until the next morning. In the morning, I’ll take the thawed bottles out, clean them off and set them aside. In the afternoon (or whatever time the temperatures rise) when I take the ice bottles out to the rabbits, those cleaned bottles will get put in the freezer. This way I always have a rotation of bottles freezing while the others are out with the rabbits. One set comes out, and the other immediately goes in.

Shade

Depending upon how your rabbits are housed, they may have continual shade from a structure. As you have seen, my rabbits live in rabbit tractors with an attached yard. In the summer, I attach heavy fabric over the yard creating a sort of tent for them. I simply attach it with clothes pins. Another option is cutting open empty feed bags and zip-tying them to the structure. Both work well. With the fabric, I feel there is better air flow so that when a breeze comes along, the rabbits can enjoy it better.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are naturally cool, they are also very inexpensive. I headed to my local hardware store and purchased several 12 inch tiles from their clearance section. At 72 cents, it doesn’t really matter what the tiles look like. I don’t think the rabbits would care. These tiles can be layed inside the rabbit’s house or cage, but you could also stick them in the freezer if you like. Laying the tiles on the ground inside my tractor, pulls the cold from the ground. Without the tiles, the rabbits will dig holes to lay in to stay cool. This way I have found, they will simply lay right on top of them. It makes the rabbit happy, and keeps them from digging holes in the ground that I have to repair.

Water

Not just water, but cold water. Just like humans, rabbits need to drink lots of fluids when the weather is hot, but rabbits are picky little things. If their water gets hot, they may refuse to drink it. Every afternoon when the temperature rises, I put a ceramic dish in their tractor. I fill the dish with ice and a little water to get it started. As the ice melts, they will have a steady supply of cold water. On really hot days, I’ll fill their dishes with ice a couple times just to be extra careful that they don’t get dehydrated.

Minimal Bedding

In the winter, a rabbit needs lots of bedding (straw) for insulation to stay warm. But in the summer time, too much of that insulation will keep them too warm. Now I do have baby rabbits that like to burrow down in the straw, but this time of year I only put a little bit inside there. There’s just enough for them to think they are hiding, but not enough to block air flow. The house structures I have are slightly elevated off the ground with hardware cloth floors. Keeping the straw to a minimum allows air to flow underneath the floor and keep it more cool in there.

Fans

Another option, if you have your rabbits in a static structure, is to set up fans to blow through their area to stay cool. Because I have the mobile houses for our rabbits, that isn’t an option. So I use all of the above methods.

Those are a few ideas that you can use to keep your rabbits safe from dangerous summer temperatures.

Rabbits do fairly well in cool temperatures, but when it comes to very hot weather, you have to take extra precautions.

Here you can see our buck resting on a tile, next to a frozen water bottle, in the shade.

 

Have another idea that wasn’t mentioned here? Share in the comments below!

How to Keep Your Rabbits Cool in the Summer Heat

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Why You Should Raise Rabbits on the Homestead (or in Your Backyard!) http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/why-raise-rabbits/ http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/why-raise-rabbits/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 09:00:21 +0000 http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/?p=31786 Why rabbits make a great addition to the homestead, and why you might want to raise them, too. I have found that more and more, people are beginning to see the benefits of raising rabbits. These aren’t just something that can benefit a homestead, but also most households. Good, Healthy Meat First and foremost, rabbits...

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This original post - Why You Should Raise Rabbits on the Homestead (or in Your Backyard!) - written by Constance Smith first appeared on Cosmopolitan Cornbread | Copyright © 2008 - 2016

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Why rabbits make a great addition to the homestead, and why you might want to raise them, too.

American Blue Rabbits

I have found that more and more, people are beginning to see the benefits of raising rabbits. These aren’t just something that can benefit a homestead, but also most households.

Good, Healthy Meat


First and foremost, rabbits provide lean and healthy meat. Rabbit meat isn’t available in most grocery stores, so raising them yourself is the only way you can realistically have rabbit meat in your home.

Rabbit meat is a lean, white meat that is very similar to chicken. It is so similar to chicken, that most people can’t even tell the difference between rabbit and chicken in a dish. As a matter of fact, I have a friend who calls it “hoppin’ chicken.” You can use rabbit meat in just about any recipe that you would make chicken.

Rabbit meat has no trans fat, is low in sodium, and is a good source of niacin, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B12, and selenium. According to the USDA, rabbit meat has the highest percent of protein of all meats. Rabbit meat has 20.8% protein, whereas pork has 11.9% per pound. It has the lowest rate of fat – only 4.5%, while pork has about 45%.  Additionally according to the USDA, pork has 2050 calories per pound of meat, beef has 1440, turkey has 1190, chicken has 810…and rabbit only has 795!

Small Spaces

Rabbits take much less space to raise than most over livestock. Even in my case where we use rabbit tractors, it doesn’t require much more than a typical suburban backyard. If you keep rabbits in hutches, it takes even less space.

Low Cost, Easy Work

Rabbits breed like, well, rabbits. Rabbits can be bred anywhere between 3-6 times a year, providing 6-8 kits per litter on average. (A kit is a baby rabbit.) The amount of feed you’ll provide to a rabbit is way less than any other livestock you will raise. If you pasture your rabbits, like I do in rabbit tractors, then that cost is reduced even more. My rabbits require very little food. Most days there is feed left over in the feeder, and the hay I give them isn’t even touched. My rabbits have grasses, clover and other natural plants that they can enjoy every day.

At only 12-15 weeks, a young rabbit will already weigh about 4 pounds and be ready for butchering.  Rabbits are very easy to butcher, and it only takes minutes to go from dispatch to the freezer. No scalding or plucking needed like you would for chickens.

Gold For Your Garden

Seriously, rabbit manure is amazing fertilizer. Rabbit manure is the only manure that can go straight from the rabbit home to your garden without harming it. You can also make a manure “tea” to water your plants with, that is a natural “miracle” without the chemicals.

When we lived in North Carolina, we had a pet rabbit. I would sprinkle Cabbage’s manure all over the yard as well as in the garden. People were constantly asking me what I did to make the grass so green. It was so green, it almost looked blue, and you could tell exactly where my yard ended and the next neighbor’s yard started. Rabbit manure was my secret.

People love it so much, they will beg rabbit owners for it, and even buy it!

_

These are just a few reasons that I have given you to think about raising rabbits on your homestead. If you take the leap, I’m sure you’ll come up with even more!

A Tour of my Rabbit Tractor | Cosmopolitan Cornbread

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My Spice Rack, Sewing & a Grisly Discovery http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/grisly-discovery/ http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/grisly-discovery/#comments Mon, 22 May 2017 10:39:39 +0000 http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/?p=32056 I explained how I made my simple spice rack, got a little sewing done, and then I shared about a grisly discovery we made on the property. The recipe you saw in this episode: Chewy Brownies

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I explained how I made my simple spice rack, got a little sewing done, and then I shared about a grisly discovery we made on the property.


The recipe you saw in this episode: Chewy Brownies

My Spice Rack, Sewing & a Grisly Discovery

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Bacon & Egg Strata http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/bacon-egg-strata/ http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/bacon-egg-strata/#respond Sun, 21 May 2017 09:00:24 +0000 http://cosmopolitancornbread.com/?p=32021 This delicious Bacon & Egg Strata is the comfort food of breakfast. There’s just something about a strata. As much as a bread pudding is the comfort food of desserts, a strata is the comfort food of breakfast. Because we have chickens here on the homestead, we always have a supply of fresh, pastured eggs....

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This delicious Bacon & Egg Strata is the comfort food of breakfast.

This delicious Bacon & Egg Strata is the comfort food of breakfast. Enjoy this dish with your family today. Get the recipe from Cosmopolitan Cornbread.

There’s just something about a strata. As much as a bread pudding is the comfort food of desserts, a strata is the comfort food of breakfast.

Because we have chickens here on the homestead, we always have a supply of fresh, pastured eggs.

My Grandma's egg basket with a collection of the day's eggs.

My Grandma’s egg basket with a collection of the day’s eggs.


Of course, I do sell eggs to those who would like to purchase my excess, but the primary reason for raising pastured chickens is to have our own supply of healthy, fresh eggs. This recipe is a great way to put some of them to use.

This delicious Bacon & Egg Strata is the comfort food of breakfast. Enjoy this dish with your family today. Get the recipe from Cosmopolitan Cornbread.

Although this is a “breakfast or brunch” recipe, we will often have recipes like this a couple times a week for supper. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

This delicious Bacon & Egg Strata is the comfort food of breakfast. Enjoy this dish with your family today. Get the recipe from Cosmopolitan Cornbread.

Bacon & Egg Strata
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This delicious Bacon & Egg Strata is the comfort food of breakfast. Enjoy this dish with your family today. You don't need to wait for breakfast, because this makes an egg-cellent supper as well.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 - 5 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Tb all-purpose flour
  • ½ c chicken broth
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ c half & half
  • ¼ c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 1 loaf (16 oz.) of crusty bread, such as ciabatta bread, French bread, or a baguette
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
Instructions
  1. To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 10 inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet), saute the bacon pieces over medium low heat until the bacon is golden and crisp.
  3. With a slotted spoon, scoop the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the skillet.
  4. To the drippings, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute over medium-low heat.
  5. Whisk in the chicken broth. Stirring continually, cook until the broth begins to bubble and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside for a moment.
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and half & half together until frothy. Add in the Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, garlic paste and basil. Stir this together.
  7. While whisking briskly, pour the thickened sauce from the skillet into the egg mixture and combine well. Set it aside a moment.
  8. Wipe your skillet clean with a paper towel.
  9. Take your loaf of bread and cut or tear it into half inch slices or torn pieces and layer this all inside the skillet, filling the skillet evenly. If you are slicing the bread, you can layer it in a nice pattern, but this will taste fantastic whether you take that extra step or not. Just make sure the bread is evenly distributed in the skillet.
  10. Sprinkle the cooked bacon all over the top.
  11. Pour the egg mixture over all of it.
  12. Top with the diced Swiss cheese.
  13. Bake this for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the strata is set and puffy.
  14. Enjoy!
Notes
If you do not have garlic paste, you can substitute one clove of garlic that is grated with a micro-plane or very finely minced OR use ¼ tsp. garlic powder instead.

 

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