Posted in Back in the Day, Canning & Preserving, Food Facts, From Scratch, Hen Cackle, Historical, The Scoop from the Coop, Things to Crow About, Uncategorized

Water Bath or Pressure Canner? And a Vintage Water Bath Chart.

1304176654-hey-who-s-the-designer-here-before-after-design-talk-oyxnog-clipartAre you like me? Ready to pull hair and scream over this whole: Water Bath or Pressure Canner debate? I feel you. I really, really feel you. And I can even understand why newbies to Canning are so freaked out. It’s not like the “Canning Police” and the “FDA” attempt to ease our mind any. They have more Do’s and Don’t’s than Grandma and her switched did.


And for those of us who were raised on our previous Ancestors, and how they did things, that’s a real struggle. I’d like to see the “Canning Police” or the “FDA” tell my Grandma or one of my Great Aunt’s how to Can. I’d love for them to say….

  • “You aren’t allowed to Can Potatoes”
  • “You aren’t allowed to Can Tomatoes in a Water Bath and if you Can, which better be in a PC (Pressure Canner), then that better have added Acid in it.”
  • “No Onions allowed!”
  • “Stick to a recipe to a T. If it calls for four cloves of Garlic, you better stick to 4 cloves. If not, you will kill the whole family.”

And last but not least….

  • “Best not EVER use a Water Bath to Can meat!!!!!”

My Grandma would have beat down the entire government. Canning police? Wouldn’t be a switch left on the tree.

Still, today, in nearly every Canning Group out there, the Nazi’s still shake a finger and the FDA is still beating fear into the Masses. And while I WILL NOT tell you what you can or can’t do, I did stumble onto this cool little vintage chart of rules for Water Bath Canners that probably swam around in every kitchen back in Grandma’s day. And I will offer one bit of advice. Not a demand,. Not a threat, just advice….

If you are Canning, do what you feel most comfortable with. I’ve used a Water Bath for everything before I finally bought a Pressure Canner a year ago. I don’t add acid to my Maters. I Can potatoes religiously. And the only difference I can offer you is this one:

PC’s Can in a shorter amount of time. Example: Canning Green Beans in a Water Bath Canner can take up to 4-41/2 hours. In a PC, 25 minutes.

Yep, that’s it. If you are on unfamiliar ground where Canning goes, a PC may make you feel safer but for those of us who were taught by Grandma and those before her, we also feel just fine the Water Bath way. So when it comes to Canning, so what the hell you want. Ask for advice by finding a great support group but a great support group doesn’t bleed and spew nothing but fear. If a Jar is bad, you will smell it. Sometimes you will see it but in case your glasses are fogged that day, the smell will tell you. That’s always worked for me.

And if a recipe calls for 4 cloves of Garlic, don’t think the entire family will die if you add 10. For the love of God, folks, stop trying to duct tape everyone into the same box. winks





Posted in Chicken Scratch, Hen Cackle, Things to Crow About

Beware: Everyone’s Gonna Be Like They’ve Been Smokin’ Crack


This is my own brand of a Public Service Announcement.

It’s Friday the 13th AND a Full Moon…. Farmer’s Almanac is even callin’ it a WOLF MOON??? On any normal moon, we know what it’s like in these Hills when so and so goes out Howling at it. Don’t act like you don’t know who you are.

Ya’ll, If I was you, or me, I wouldn’t even come out my hen house tonight. Just sayin’. It’s gonna be like everybody out there is smokin’ Crack. It’s gonna be like Crackheads gone wild out there.  Imagine your most batsh*t craziest relative turned up five thousand notches. Wound up way too tight, then again and again, then flung on out there to spin like there’s no tomorrow.

Yeah. I’d just lock the doors and pull down the blinds. Keep the TV low so if anybody comes a knockin’, they won’t know you’re in there. You hear any loud noises, just put a pillow over yo’ ears. Don’t look. The worst things in life cant be unseen.

And definitely don’t go nowhere like Walmart. You cant even imagine what the hell will be roaming the isles up in there.

Nah, just stay in.


Posted in Hen Cackle

Damned If I Didn’t Get Caught!

discouragedI SUCK AT BEIN’ BAD. And because I recognize my weaknesses, I do, for the most part, try to live by the golden rule, following as many of the other rules as I can. I “enter” and “exit” where the signs direct me. Obey traffic lights and speed limits. I buckle my seatbelt, say, “excuse me”, when I have to get in someone’s way, “please”, “thank you”, and all of that. I even replace the roll of toilet paper if I use it all up before leaving the bathroom.

It’s not that I’m a goodie-goodie, though. Not by a long shot. My thoughts are not holier than thou. Never do I point a finger and shake my head at another. Never would I deny the fact that more often than not, my mind easily drifts and continuously lives down in the gutter.

I’m not alone down there, either. I would say that 75% of the Population is down here in the gutter with me. There’s also a big ol’ 20% that kind of hang off the edge, that should be down here too, but for whatever reason don’t want anyone else to know it, so they just kind of hang quietly with one foot in and the other foot out.

Then there 5% of the world that would never be caught dead in the gutter nor do they find anything about being in the gutter funny. They don’t find much of anything funny, really. They have managed to get their bloomers so much in a twist, well, not one laugh could be squeezed out of the likes of them.

Me and the gutter-crew rarely concern ourselves with the 5%, though. We have entirely way too much fun for that. Its pretty crowded down here and we always find something to laugh about. We usually make ourselves the butt of the joke unless Life has thrown us a nasty curveball that has knocked us clean off our giggle-boxes. No matter what knocked us off, we can usually find a way to laugh about that too. Its what keeps us feeling so young. Its what keeps us from puttin’ on the straight jacket.  It’s what keeps us going and what keeps us from giving up.

I usually keep the gutter-bizzzness to the gutter, though. I realize the rest of the world doesn’t always “get” our twisted sense of humor. The 20% doesn’t want to mix gutter-talk with the real-world’s prim and proper etiquette which was probably created and decided by that wound-too-tight 5%.

Everything must be serious in the real world.


Dot your ”i’’s and cross your “t”’s. Life isn’t a laughing matter – not in the real world.

We get it. We totally get it. We, the gutter-folk, recognize and realize this. One person’s humor may not be another’s. Everyone handles stress and tough situations differently. So we try to walk a straight line mixing and mingling as we must until we can retreat into the gutter to blow off some steam. Once in a while, though, life just doesn’t play fair. People crack that whip way too hard or those we love have a rough time even when they follow all the rules. Gutter people have a natural homing device implanted in their brains, I think. We have a way of sensing one another out in times of horrific distress. We gather like a herd in small clusters off the sidelines or in the shadows. We encircle each other trying to collect a tiny bit of privacy. No matter how painful what has occurred, we manage to comfort each other with our juvenile and absolutely ridiculous humor. Not much of what we say makes sense but everything we say will release the Kraken of Laughter. The heavens will depart with relief and all which had power over us will have power no more. Stress has been slaughtered. The gods of Pain have been destroyed. We can  breathe again even though our stomach muscles hurt from all that laughing and our cheeks have grown  numb. Sometimes our eyes are swollen and red from caused by, very much needed, tears of joy.

Perhaps we will mock or mimic the way someone talks. Maybe we will step into the madness of some sort of ridiculous movie we all know the script too. Maybe it’s a joke about – well—we can find a way to joke about anything.

Again, we do this amongst ourselves and only when we are on the verge of exploding or desperate. Otherwise, we mix and mingle with the rest of the world, amongst the 5% as if we are as serious as them. But rest assured every. single. time. I. break. rank. and do this — I, sure as hell, get caught.

Every. Damn. Time.

Anytime I break a rule, no matter how unimportant, someone is there to bust me. Some finger pointer, some louder-than-life bulldog – they are always there to catch me and throw me under a bus and shame me in front of all the world.

Every. Damn. Time. education-teaching-standing_in_the_corner-punishing-inner_kid-teachers-schools-mban3103_low

What makes it worse, is when they start shouting at our inappropriate humor that we were expressing privately amongst ourselves, the only reaction I naturally have is…well…more laughter. Why greet their anger with more anger? Why get so angry over something so absurd? I cant help its funny when people start screaming and acting insane over absolutely nothing. I can’t help I think it’s funny when they start doing the snake thing with their necks or ranting as if someone were murdered or as if I defaced the entire seriousness of the world.

Learn from my mistakes, though. Learn.

Never laugh in the face of something trying to destroy you. It makes them all the more angrier. And sure enough, every 5 percenter from a thousand mile radius will home in on whatever distress or destroy signal the one yelling at you sends out. They will missile in on you like a swarm of yellow-jackets. The buzzards will launch.

There are two types of people in this world – people who try to laugh their way out of nearly everything and people who would rather nuke all  laughter.

The moral of it all… I think I prefer the gutter. It’s kind of cool down here. We have t-shirts, ID cards and everything. Let the serious be serious and just let me hang here and giggle. Not everything has to make sense.

Posted in Back in the Day, Chicken Scratch, Hen Cackle, Hen Hairgasms, Hen Pecked, Herbicidal Hens, The Healthy Hen, The Hen House, The Hungry Hen, The Scoop from the Coop

Welcome to The Crowin’ Hen


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I’ve got a big beak — ah, I mean, mouth. If I know it, am doing it, have tried it — then rest assured, I’m gonna cluck or crow about it. The cluck or crow will depend on how much it blew my mind or how bad it let me down. *winks*

In all seriousness, though, (yeah, I can be serious when I wanna), The Crowin’ Hen is just my place to stash all things DIY, Recipes, Tips & Tricks and more. And when I say more, there will be more because while I’m a Stylist by day (or whatever odd hours I keep), and a Writer by night (okay, once again, weird hours for that one as well), I’m also a wife, mom and well, there’s also all that country livin’ and life — chickens and such.

Whoops! Nearly forgot that Disclaimer!!!

Anything I review, I bought myself. I am not paid. If I got it as a free sample (because sometimes I do get those as a bonus when I order hair supplies for my Salon) then I will say, “I got this free sample.”

If by some squirrelly chance I am given something to review, like a book or such, I will flat out say, “Hey, such and such asked if I’d read or try this out.”

In other words, I’ll be totally honest on what fat I’m chewin’ on and how I got my claws into it.

With all that bein’ said, Welcome to the Crowin’ Hen….. kick back, look around, chill for a spell and hopefully you’ll make yourself at home.