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Recipe no. 3: The Omelette

Omelette (also Omelet)

According to Wikipedia, the omelette is believed to have originated in the Ancient Near East… “This dish is thought to have traveled to Western Europe via the Middle East and North Africa, with each country adapting the original recipe to produce Italian frittata, Spanish tortilla and the French omelette.”

Probably most famous is the the classic French Omelette, but what makes it French? As with the scrambled egg recipes, we see that technique has as much to do with a recipe as ingredients do, possible more. Check out this vintage video of Julia Child whipping up an omelette for dinner, notice her clever use chopsticks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmvfUKwBrg

And talk about technique, watch Jacques Pepin’s technique in this demonstration of the Classic French Omelette

Yum. Once you’ve got your technique down, you might want to consider stuffing that perfect omelette with your favorite fillings, my one suggestion is to keep all your ingredients as fresh as your eggs and enjoy!

Have a favorite recipe? Send us a link or post a photo to our Flickr feed!

Chicken Coop Design Considerations

The first thing to consider when planning your chicken coop is size. Obviously, the more chickens you have, the more space you’ll need – for standard breeds, think 2 sq ft per bird indoors, 3 sq. ft per bird outdoors. Also don’t forget that in addition to room to run, scratch, nest, and perch, they’ll also need access to fresh air, clean water, light, shade and greens (if you want rich orange yolks).

Another major consideration when choosing a coop design is protection; protection from predators like dogs, raccoons,and foxes, and protection from the elements and extreme heat or cold. Your chickens should have a safe, dry, draft-free shelter with both light and shade.

And if you live in a city or town, there’s a good chance there are specific rules and regulations regarding housing, especially with regards to size and location of the coop. Be sure to check with your municipality regarding your local ordinances.

Selecting the site:

  • Coops need access to light and air
  • In summer, the hens need airflow and access to shade
  • In winter, access to as much sunshine as possible is best
  • You will need to access the coop to feed, water, and clean the birds
  • The outdoor run should be in a spot with good drainage – too much wetness is bad for chickens, it can cause disease and unsanitary conditions
  • Think about positioning your coop and run facing South which can take advantage of the sun’s drying power warmth
  • In our cold climate, many people insulate their hen houses
  • If space is limites, you may want to consider a portable coop/pen. Primary benefits are allowing the birds to eat the bugs and fertilize the lawn one patch of at a time – and chickens raised on pasture produce delicious pastured eggs.

Protection:

  • You want to protect your hens from the elements and from predators (fox, coyotes, raccoons, and hawks in addition to cats, dogs and even rodents!)
  • To keep animals from digging under the fencing, try to bury the bottom 12″ of fencing; deep; 6″ deep and 6″ of the edge turned outward like an ‘L”.
  • To keep your flock safe from predatory birds hawks, and from contact with wild birds that might carry diseases, cover the run with wire or aviary netting.