Monday, October 8, 2012

Dead Duck

    I had to butcher one of our ducks this afternoon.  We had seven ducks, two of which were males. That was apparently one male too many as they were not getting along at all.  The younger male was getting the worst of it as Popeye, the older male, was behaving more like Blutto.  So I'm sitting under an apple tree in our little orchard plucking a duck when one of our cats became very interested in my activity. Little Miss Buzz Saw is quite the little hunter herself and often leaves us gifts of small dead creatures that she had killed during the night.  She left a dead chickadee on the back porch this very morning. I imagine she was excited to see that I had done a little bird killing of my own. After her fifth unsuccessful attempt to watch the duck plucking from my lap she decided to climb the apple tree instead. I'm sure she was a bit puzzled as to why I would go to all the trouble of plucking off the feathers.  Her tastes run more towards "bird sushi" as she likes to eat her birdies raw.

   I really enjoy eating duck as I'm a dark meat fan. A duck or goose is 100 percent dark meat. However, chickens and turkeys are much easier to pluck than the waterfowl.  Simply put, with all of their down a waterfowl has twice as many feathers to remove. I don't know if there literally are twice as many feathers, but it sure seems that way when I'm trying to remove them. It takes me about twice as long to pluck a duck or goose compared to a chicken or turkey. The only up side to the extra bother is that is I do have a duck down stash that is waiting for a worthy project.
Miss Buzz Saw watches intently

The object of Miss buzz Saw's rapt attention

   Tonight I tried out the lip balm kit. The recipe called for 4 teaspoons of pelleted beeswax (10 grams) 3 teaspoons of sweet almond oil, 2 teaspoons of shea butter and 1/4 teaspoon of a flavor or essential oil of choice. I'm teaching the class at the bee club tomorrow night so I needed a few samples. I made four each of three different flavors, peppermint, pineapple, and tangerine.  If I had to pay $1.50 for each one it would come close to covering the $20.00 I paid for the kit. Besides, I used less than half of the materials in the kit to make the twelve lip balms. I broke down and bought the kit because it came with the little containers I needed. I could have made them a whole lot cheaper if I had planned sufficiently ahead and just bought the ingredients and containers. I happen to be well supplied with clean beeswax.

   I also spent some time looking for lip balm recipes on the internet. Some of the recipes called for some vitamin E and others included some honey.  Most of the recipes were simply a combination of beeswax with some type of liquid oil such as sweet almond oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil., with some sort of essential oil added for  flavoring and scent. The key is to get the right proportion so the lip balm is the right consistency.

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