Posts Tagged pulled chicken

When Things Don't Go As You Hoped

4 November 2009
Oh man.  I think I’ve reached the end of my self-confidence when it comes to my horses.  Many of you have been asking about how the visit with the vet went, and frankly, I just want to wipe it out of my memory.  We’re no closer to having an answer, except he totally made me feel like a SH*TTY horse owner, because after examining a flake of hay that Frank hadn’t eaten and I hadn’t disposed of, Dr. Fisher said the cause might simply be “poor hay quality.” WHAT???? I look at every flake I give that horse.  I handed the vet a fresh flake, and somewhere in the middle of examining, he says, “It’s a stretch, but go buy new hay. That may be the problem.”
I love Dr. Fisher – A LOT; and I know through sources close to him, that he feels the same way about me and my animals…but really? Bad hay?  After he left, I sifted through flake after flake, and found maybe a blade here or there that had tiny, tiny specks.  But is that seriously enough to put my horse in the situation he’s in?????  You see, this is where my insecurity flares up. Obviously, I don’t know what I’m doing. And what I’ve been doing is killing my horse. Which means, I don’t deserve to own a horse. Which means….WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW?!?!?
Ok, so maybe I’m over-reacting.  I did say to Greg, “Um, yeah. I’m gonna feel like a dipsh*t if it turns out to be hay quality.” To which he responded, “Nah, it wasn’t something that was so bad that it was obvious.”  Yeah, ok. THAT’S supposed to make me feel better?!?!?
To be fair, we took another blood sample, as well as stool sample and will send to the lab down at Oregon State to recheck everything.  There are a few possibilities – bladder stone (which would be highly unlikely since there’s no blood in his urine, and he’s not having issues urinating), an immune disorder that I can’t remember the name of (it starts with a “p” and goes on for ages), or a tumor (likely effecting the liver or kidney).  The treatment for bladder stones? Surgery. We can’t afford it. The treatment for the immune disorder? Steroids. Frank has ulcers, we can’t give him steroids! The diagnosis and treatment for a tumor? Completely out of my range.
All of that to say that as embarrassed as I would be if the problem is as simple as poor hay quality, I hope that is the answer. Why? Because THAT I can change; THAT I can treat.  If all I have to do is swallow my pride for the sake of my horse’s comfort, health, and life…I can do that, and would do it over and over and over.  I understand now why so many horse owners are paranoid: for as big as they are, they are incredibly, incredibly fragile beings.  Here’s to hoping for the simple answer, and to the opportunity to grow in my personal life!
Aside from my drama with Dr. Greg Fisher (who I love, btw), my day was once again non-stop.  I decided to change things up for Ellie Graye and make her french toast for breakfast. I made her my favorite vanilla french toast, and she LOVED it! I didn’t mind it either! 🙂 That was when my day truly got started…

I had saved a few of the quince I had picked yesterday for my neighbor, and wanted to try my hand at making quince jelly…so that’s what I did…or tried to do.  Halfway through the process, I spilled at least half the juice all over the floor, and had to start all over again! Yeah. I was pissed. It really was “one of those days.” I’ll post the recipe when I get the chance!
From this…

To this!
As I look back on the day, it becomes more and more obvious that I was simply “filling” time so that I couldn’t or wouldn’t think about Dr. Frank.  Because, really folks, wasn’t making quince jelly enough? Noooooo…I also made a batch of green salsa.  Yummy, yummy tomatillo green salsa.  I used jalepenos, onions, garlic, and tomatillos from my garden. I think the jalepenos weren’t quite ready yet, because while they packed a lot of flavor, none of it was spicy.  It’s still yummy, and I definitely love that all of the produce was grown here at Deer Park. Besides, it’s a hidden compliment that nearly 3 batches of the salsa that I made in the summer is gone….all eaten by friends and family!

I think I might have burned it a little…but hey, it lends a “smokey” flavor
We spent lots of time outside, watching the geese and the ducks that decided to make the lake where they spent their day.  Ellie Graye is obsessed with ducks, so it was wonderful to see her be so incredibly thrilled and excited to see them.
The Canadian Geese

believe it or not, there are baby ducks in this photo…
 Later in the evening, my mother came over for dinner and brought along an old childhood friend, Luke Maschmyer.  I hadn’t seen him since he was about 11, so it was cool to hang out with him and actually “meet” him and who he is now.  He, like many of the people I grew up with, is quite an accomplished pianist, and immediately asked to play our piano.  Ellie Graye was enthralled, and at one point, attempted to join in.
So precious!
In the middle of all the hooplah with my horse, as well as the salsa and jam making, I managed to throw together a dinner that I’ve been craving for couple days – Chicken Caprese.  I LOVE caprese salad – with fresh tomatoes and basil and yummy mozzarella.  Over the years I’ve adjusted things to work the way I like, and I think by now I’ve come up with quite a good combination.  I’ll post the recipe once I get my head screwed on straight again!
There’s chicken in there somewhere! 🙂
All in all, it was an exceedingly productive day, and as long as I stay busy, I don’t have time to think about the embarrassment I’ll feel if Frank’s troubles all come down to “poor quality hay.”  Sigh. I’ve done my best, but it might not be good enough!
You’re kidding right? With these ponytails, I certainly know what’s cool.

Boots really wanted those geese, but he’d already seen Jax try to go for them!

This is all Victor has been doing for the last two weeks – raking leaves!


23 October 2009

This recipe can be a bit time consuming, but the effort is well worth it.  I cook the chicken in the slow-cooker the night before I’m going to serve it; then in the morning, shred the chicken, make the sauce, and combine the two in a clean slow cooker for another 4 hours – I like my chicken saucy, so I usually double the sauce.  If you don’t have time to use your slow cooker – the quick way is to rub chicken breasts with the seasoning, grill them, shred them, then add to the sauce.  This GREATLY changes the taste, but is still yummy.

2 tbs. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika (I liked to use Penzey’s Spanish Smoked Paprika)
1 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. ground cumin (I prefer freshly ground…I use a coffee grinder that I’ve dedicated to spices)
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 small whole chicken (or whatever chicken you have on hand!)
1 large onion, quartered

2 tsp. oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbs. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup ketchup
2 tbs. cider vinegar
1 tbs. molasses

1. Combine all but the chicken and onion in a small bowl.  Rub the spice mixture evenly over chicken (if I’m using a whole chicken with the skin, I place the rub UNDER the skin, but do what works for you!).

2. Place the onion quarters in the bottom of the slow cooker and carefully place the chicken on top.  Add 1 – 2 cups water, set slow cooker to LOW, and cook for 8 – 10 hours (I always start the chicken before I go to bed, and turn it off when I get up in the morning).

Here I’ve used bone-in chicken breasts with the skins removed

3. Remove chicken from crock pot (usually it will completely fall apart); cool; shred (this should be incredibly easy).  Set aside. Discard the contents of the slow cooker. Return chicken to slow cooker.

4.  For sauce, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); cook 30 seconds.  Stir in ketchup, vinegar, and molasses; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Add to crock pot, and stir until chicken mixture is evenly coated.  Set slow cooker to LOW, and cook for 1 – 2 hours.

5. Serve with fresh sandwich rolls, or whatever you have handy!