One of our favorite things to do on Saturday morning…..visit NC State Farmers Market! All year around you are able to buy from local farmers bounty! We love the fresh fruit, veggies, breads, honey and plants! Check them out on the web http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/markets/raleigh/index.htm
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After being selected to be a part of the NASA Tweetup, I realize how much I do not know! I am excited to learn. With all the past participants who have posted on FaceBook and Twitter helpful hints, I know my journey will be an opportunity of a Lifetime!!!
Did you know that 4,100 people applied to be part of this NASA Tweetup? NASA selected 150 to participate. It was a random selection. The people were selected from all over the world. I am very excited to meet them. I have learned how to properly contact the local media…thanks to Jennifer Huber. She also was selected for this wonderful event. I will post my Media Release. The past participants have been there for all of us. We post questions and they are right there. They have given us advice on the right lens for our cameras. Did you know that you can rent a lens for your camera instead of buying one from www.lensrental.com? I also need to know if I have all the right Tweeting equipment. Will I just need my Mac or will I also need my Ipad? Is my camera good enough? What about a video camera? Is my phone the right phone? (Actually, I wanted an Iphone….so know I had the perfect excuse!) What about a place to stay? Some of our group are going to rent a house together instead of a hotel….actually the are several houses. I am very lucky to have a relative that lives near Kennedy Space Center. I will be crashing with them for a few days. How am I going to get there? Can someone come with me? Can I get time off of work?
On top of all that logistical stuff, what about my lack of knowledge about the Space Shuttle and NASA. I have been reading, watching videos, websites and watching movies. I have noticed that I am on Twitter a whole lot more. I have decided that I am going to focus on the personal experience. I plan on talking to my fellow tweeps to learn their stories also learn more about our speakers.
Once I think I have things under control……they delay the launch! Need to make sure all of the plans that I made will still be okay for the new launch date. This is not an option…..I AM GOING TO BE THERE!!!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Carol Adams
Wake County Resident is One of 150 Selected to Attend NASA Tweetup, April 28 – 29, 2011
NASA Twitter Followers Will Tweet Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Last Launch
Knightdale, NC (April 05, 2011) – NASA will bring together 150 Twitter followers to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a two-day Tweetup, April 28 – 29, 2011, during the final launch of space shuttle Endeavour. Wake County resident Carol Adams has been selected as one of 150 @NASA Twitter followers to attend and Tweet the event. Endeavour is targeted to launch on April 29 at 3:47 p.m. EDT on mission STS-134 to the International Space Station.
As a NASA Tweetup attendee, Adams and the other 149 Twitterers will interact with NASA shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts, managers and NASA’s social media team as well as tour the Kennedy Space Center and view the shuttle launch from the media area. Attendees were selected through a lottery system in which more than 4,100 @NASA Twitter followers applied.
“Being selected for the NASA Tweetup is an incredible honor especially since the space shuttle program is winding down,” Adams said, “I remember watching the first steps on the moon as a child and now being asked to document this event is a dream come true! Being part of the NASA Tweetup means I’ll meet people who make the space shuttle program successful, and interact with fellow Tweetup attendees from all over the world. Through Twitter, I’ll be sharing the incredible experience with my followers by composing informative Tweets no longer than 140-characters and posting photos and videos.”
Adams is a long time resident of Knightdale. Adams will bring an everyday perspective to an extraordinary event. Follow her Tweets at twitter.com/caroladams1
NASA Tweetup attendees are traveling from across the U.S. and the globe to attend this historic event. A list of registered Twitter attendees can be found on the NASA Tweetup Twitter account: http://twitter.com/NASATweetup/sts-134-launch/members
Information about the NASA Tweetup can be viewed at http://www.nasa.gov/connect/tweetup/index.html
Note About Endeavour’s Launch Date
The date of Endeavour’s launch will be official after the Flight Readiness Review, scheduled for April 19. If the launch date moves or is delayed prior to April 29, NASA will make every attempt to adjust the Tweetup schedule accordingly to coincide with the launch.
I was selected to be a member of the NASA Tweetup group April 18 and 19th to watch the Space Shuttle Launch of Endeavour!!!!
It all began with an account with Twitter. Our son, Mike, encouraged me to set up an account. Why, I am not exactly sure….Who even cares what I think. I don’t even know the lingo! What is a tweet? How do I post something? Who do I follow? What do I say? What is a DM? I just don’t understand! Who sees what I post? So much to know, so much to understand!
Don’t worry about it Mom, just do it! So I did. So forgive me Tweeps if I do something wrong. This is all trial and error! I am here to have some fun!
So I followed Mike, Jim and Emmy (my husband and daughter). I followed some celebrities. I used the suggested “Who to follow”. I tried searching for things that interested me. So that is where it began. Slow!
Then my son, Mike, was selected to be part of the Tweetup group to watch the last launch for the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Wow, what an honor! He was so excited! I was so proud of him. I followed his tweets and posts while he was there.
So the next time NASA was accepting applications for the next Space Shuttle Launch Tweetup, we all applied! No luck…well, we really did not expect to be selected anyway. Don’t they select NASA nuts, people who use Twitter all the time???
Once again, NASA sent out another post that it was time to apply again for another Launch. Oh well, it is worth a try. But really, out of thousands of applicants, why would I be one of the lucky ones?
I return from work one day and my husband said “Well, I received my email today and I was not selected for the launch.”
My response to him was, “Well, that is so sad for you but I feel lucky today!!!!” Since I do not check my personal email at work, I opened my email. At first glance I did not notice anything from NASA. But at closer inspection, I saw an email STS-134 NASA Tweetup CONFIRMATION!
I opened it and started reading:
Dear Carol Adams,
Congratulations, your registration has been selected to attend the NASA Tweetup at space shuttle Endeavour’s targeted launch April 18-19 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida! The event will provide you the opportunity to speak with shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts, and managers, and to experience the launch of space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station.
After reading several times, I made Jim read it to make sure it was true! After screaming and jumping up and down, I called Mike. He was so excited for me. Of course, the first thing he did was send out a tweet! Boy, do I have a lot to learn!
I need to get up to speed on how to tweet correctly, how to post pictures, how to live tweet (which is apparently different than just tweeting), how to retweet. Also I need to get better at blogging. I need to learn more about the space program, Endeavour, NASA and a whole lot more. I need to make travel and lodging arrangements. I need to ask for time off of work…because this in not an option….I AM GOING!!!! Do I have the right stuff to record this wonderful, once in a lifetime experience!!!!
Someone pinch me…..I am going to be a guest of NASA to share my experience of the last Space Shuttle Launch of Endeavour!
PS. At this point, I think I have a total of maybe 40 followers on Twitter!
It all started with my daughter, Emmy, leaving for Spain to study abroad for six months. We needed a way to communicate. We decided Facebook would be an easy and inexpensive way to go. We also opened accounts on AIM and Skype. Emmy, of course, had to introduce us to use all of these new forms of communication. I loved being able to see her face when she was so far away! We would chat and see pictures that she posted of all of the places she traveled.
When she returned, I kept all my accounts active. I discovered that I could reconnect with friends from my past. We moved from the town I was raised in the early eighties. I lost contact with most of my childhood friends. What a blessing to know when a major event happens in their lives. I was able to let a friend’s mother know what she meant to me as I was growing up before she passed. Send birthday wishes, tease each other on getting older and remind each other of old times.
My son, Mike, is the one who encouraged my husband, Jim, and I to start a blog about our backyard farm. We recently started raising chickens. We put in some square foot gardens. We struggle with making the time to blog. Mike is always telling us that people are interested in what we are doing, so we try to think of things we find interesting to blog about.
Mike is also on the leading edge of technology. As a web developer, part of his position is to test and he is encouraged to explore social media. Mike is very active on Twitter. Mike also encouraged us to join. He is always going to Tweetup Meetings. He meets interesting people. Mike was even selected to watch and report on the NASA Space Shuttle Launch of Atlantis. What a wonderful honor!
So this is the beginning of my own journey into the land of Social Media……more posts to follow!
This is an awesome dip. Thanks Ann!
2 – 10oz cans chunk white chicken – drained
2 – 8oz pkgs cream cheese – softened
3/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
In a skillet heat chicken and red hot sauce until heated through. Add dressing and cream cheese and heat until completely combined. Add half the cheese and transfer to slow cooker. Top with remaining cheese and heat on low until hot and bubbly.
Well, it has been almost a week since we put the sand in the chicken run to reduce the smell of the chickens. The chickens are no longer in mud. The eggs are cleaner (which is a big plus!!!) I think the smell is not as bad. But we are having rain right now so…..we will see if the drainage is better. We will keep you posted.
With all the rain we’ve had, our chickens have been claw deep in mud lately….with the mud comes the stink!!! The placement of our chicken coop was not necessarily the best. It is one of the lowest areas in our yard. The chicken run has became very muddy. The chickens don’t seem to mind but the eggs are muddy and need to be washed. Even though the rain has tapered off, the run is not drying out enough. We are having some issues with smell from the chickens as well. Wet chicken poop smells more than dry poop…who knew. What are our options??? We considered moving the coop and the run to higher ground but how? That seemed like a huge undertaking….so off to the internet for help. After cruising the chicken chat rooms, we decided on a load of sand. The sand should raise the level of the ground. The drainage should be improved. The chicken poop should dry quicker which leads to less smell. Also we are hoping to have cleaner eggs. We will let you know if this works next time the rains come; or if we need to move the chicken coop.
We’ve been cooking whole turkey on the grill for years. In fact, I learned how from my Dad, Larry Adams back in the 70’s. Since he didn’t have a blog, I guess it’s up to me to post this for the world to see.
Go to the store and buy the turkey a few days in advance (or better yet, raise your own!). Make sure it’s thawed well before putting it on the grill. The one pictured below is about 20 pounds. Try to get one that is broad-chested, but not too “tall”. That way the grill cover will definitely close without touching the turkey.
Take everything out of the cavity.
Next, pour some oil right on the turkey.
Now, rub the oil all over the bird. Add more oil if necessary. Keep rubbing until you start getting excited. Then rub some more! Just remember to stop when it’s thoroughly covered.
Add the seasoning of your choice. No need for very much seasoning – this cooking method brings out the awesome flavor of the turkey. A little Sea Salt and maybe Garlic Salt and some Pepper should be sufficient.
I prefer the Weber One-Touch charcoal grill.
The Weber Grill allows you to close the vents and choke the coals out when you’re finished cooking. That allows you to recycle charcoal. Leftover charcoal stays dry even in the worst weather with the lid on and vents closed.
Add the “used” charcoal to the bottom of the chimney. Then fill it up with new charcoal.
Crumple up a couple full newspaper pieces and put them in the bottom of the chimney.
Light the newspaper!
Now go pour the beverage of your choice and relax. The coals should be ready in about 25 to 30 minutes depending on wind and humidity. You know the coals are ready when the top pieces get a little gray on them. I think I let this one go a little too long (it was a good beverage!), so I had to add a few fresh charcoal briquettes to the top to compensate.
Now set the chimney aside for a minute and prepare the grill. Make sure any ashes from previous cooking are cleaned out and that the bottom vents are open for good air flow. Put in the side rails to hold the charcoal to either side.
Carefully pour the charcoal from the chimney on both sides of the rails. This is for cooking indirectly.
Put an aluminum pan in the middle. This will catch the drippings so you can make gravy. It also keeps the bottom of your grill clean!
Now put the cooking grate on. Make sure the handles are over the coals so you can add charcoal later.
Place the turkey directly on the cooking grate, right over the aluminum pan.
Put the cover on the grill. Make sure the vents are wide open for proper air flow.
Now it’s time to pour another beverage of your choice. Total cooking time is about 12 minutes per pound. No peeking except when you add charcoal every hour. Here’s what it looked like after one hour (and it smelled soooo good!). I added 8 pieces of charcoal on each side at the end of each hour cooking.
Lookin’ good after 2 hours!
This turkey is done! Notice the red pop-up on the left side. That means the meat has reached about 185 degrees. If your turkey doesn’t come with a pop-up, just use a meat thermometer. Time to take it off and let it sit for about 10 minutes before slicing. Make sure you rescue the aluminum pan with the drippings so you can make some delicious gravy.
After letting the turkey cool for at least 10 minutes, go ahead and slice it up. This turkey cooked faster than anticipated, so we let it sit covered for nearly 45 minutes while finishing up all the fixins (and for all the guests to arrive!). It was still nice and moist when we ate it.
Reference: Here’s a link to the Charcoal Grill Owners Guide that comes with the Weber Grills.
Page 11 has instructions for cooking with the indirect method. Page 14 has the turkey recipe.
In my humble opinion, the turkey prepared this way is outstanding. It’s always moist with an almost unnoticeable smoky flavor. It also requires very little work while it’s cooking – just add a few pieces of charcoal once an hour. No basting or anything like that. Oh, and the gravy is out of this world (at least the way Carol makes it!)
Enjoy! As always, your comments are welcome.
I’ve been putting off this post for a long time. Here’s the short version of why: “Harvesting those chickens was NOT fun”. It was important. It was educational. It will provide us some awesome meals over the next few months. I’m really glad we did it. But it was NOT fun.
Having grown up in suburbia and never really being exposed to farming of any sort (until recently), this experience was a wake-up call. Stepping on ants or killing spiders in the house is relatively painless for me. But the whole process of catching a live chicken, hanging it upside down, slitting it’s throat, watching it bleed to death, cutting it’s head and feet off, plucking it, cutting it open, pulling it’s guts out, cleaning it and stuffing it in a bag, then repeating the process 15 times, took it’s toll on me. I am really grateful to be living in a time of history when grocery stores and restaurants are everywhere and everything is packaged and sanitized for me. I just wish I had more confidence in the food industry in general.
As of right now, we don’t have plans to go through this process again any time soon (except occasional culling of a single bird from the laying flock if necessary). I’m glad we did it and I’m proud to say that we know HOW to do it first-hand now, just in case of a disaster of some sort.
So, let’s get down to the process we went through. If we ever do it again (buying a bunch of meat chickens and harvesting them all at once), I’ll definitely invest in (or build) a plucker – pulling the feathers out is very labor intensive. We had to kill all of the chickens at once, because based on what I’ve read, they will start dying of heart attacks (one did a week earlier) and/or breaking their legs if we let them live much longer. It’s the way they’re bred (they are Cornish X Rocks).
Here’s the video introduction:
I don’t have video of actually catching the chickens. The first few were easy. The last few literally tried to run for their lives. In fact I had to use a net to catch the last 3.
This is the killing video. It’s disgusting and if you have a weak stomach or some psycho problem about animals being part of the food chain, don’t watch it, or better yet, click off this page and browse elsewhere. This is the first chicken I killed that day. We could have used a “killing cone” instead of hanging it by a rope, but the cones I bought were not big enough for these huge chickens. This video actually makes me a bit nauseous and I’m not real proud of it. But this is the reality of what we were doing.
These chickens spent their entire life (about 8 or 9 weeks) eating, sleeping, defecating and laying around – often in their own feces. So their big fat bellies were caked with excrement and food scraps. We decided to do a quick pre-cleaning of their bellies before starting the scalding/plucking steps. The chicken is already dead in this video in case you need to know that.
Next we scalded the chicken in 150 degree water for 30 to 45 seconds – actually 5 or 6 cycles of 5 seconds in the water and 3 seconds out. That makes the feathers easier to pull out.
The previous video shows me dunking the chicken in a second container of cooler water before starting the plucking. We ended up skipping that step for most of the rest of them. I think keeping it warm made plucking easier.
Next I cut off the feet.
Then I cut off the head (probably way too carefully!) while talking to Kevin about some baby turkeys for sale at the local Tractor Supply store (maybe some other time!).
Carol took over at this point and did the evisceration. She had this down to a science after the first few.
At this point, she rinsed it real well and then put it in a tub of water with some apple cider vinegar in it. She left it there until she was finished with the next bird. Then she put it in a freezer bag and stored it in a cooler. Some of these chickens were so big, they wouldn’t fit in a one gallon freezer bag. So we had to cut off the thigh/leg portions and store them separately. We kept the chickens refrigerated for a couple days and then moved them to the freezer. That’s why we called it Freezer Camp.
It’s been a couple months since we actually did this. We’ve had the opportunity to eat some of these chickens. They are VERY GOOD in my humble opinion. It’s also nice knowing that they had a decent life compared to what it could have been on a factory farm. They were given NO medication or hormones or any other crap during their short life. They were treated well and fed well and had a decent amount of space to move around in. And we’re thankful to have been rewarded for our efforts raising them with the nutrition and wonderful taste they provide, along with everything else that goes with a high quality, healthy meal. Your comments are welcome.
We used a lot of sources to gain an education about the entire process, including Backyard Poultry Magazine and this blog post from The Deliberate Agrarian. A YouTube search for “Chicken Harvest” also turned up countless videos.