We had to get rid of one our chickens this week. This was not an easy decision as we have come to love our backyard chickens. They’re our pets and we’ve named them all, even though many experts say not to. You don’t want to get too attached to your hens. Betsy Ross was part of our first round of chicks we had raised and had been with us the longest.
Betsy was a good chicken but she was getting older, not laying as much, and being mean to the other hens who were laying. Betsy was at the top of the pecking order and the boss. What she “said” around the coop was it and heaven help the other hens if they got out of line. (I hope this isn’t what menopause is like…)
Betsy kept our other hens from laying so after several family discussions, we all agreed she had to go. We couldn’t stand to hear the cries from the other hens when Betsy got mad. Knowing we couldn’t just give her away on Craig’s List, we took her back to the Urban Farm Store, where we got her as a chick. The store has a weekly collector of old hens, roosters, and other not wanted poultry in case you’re wondering. Don’t worry, dear reader, these ole’ gals aren’t getting made into stew. Pete, the collector of roosters and old hens, has a farm just outside of Portland.
According to “Pete the Rooster Guy” as we like to call him, hens who lay white-shelled eggs are meaner and Betsy’s eggs are white. Betsy is a Lakenvelder breed, or fancy chicken as I like to say. My theory is that fancy poultry breeds are meaner. We’ve had other Lakenvelders – one was killed by a raccoon and one was a rooster – so we’re familiar with the breed. Pete is now the recipient of 2 roosters and 1 hen from our flock. He was pretty happy to see us bringing Betsy into the store. He said he had some roosters who he wanted to introduce Betsy to.
Our family wanted to honor Betsy so we re-named our favorite brownie recipe “Betsy’s Best Brownies” because we used all of Betsy’s pretty white eggs to bake them last night. Over warm, yummy brownies, glasses of milk, and tears in our eyes, we toasted our snail-loving, worm-hogging, helpful-gardening Betsy Ross.
May she enjoy her new life on the farm and may you enjoy Betsy’s Best Brownies.
Betsy’s Best Brownies
These brownies are soft, moist, and can be made quickly. They are yummy with coffee, served as an after school treat with milk or in a lunch box. Most brownie recipes are smaller than this one but if you are baking why not make more brownies and then share or freeze for another time?
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, unsalted
- 1½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla (make your own - it's easy!)
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cocoa, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter in sauce pan and cool.
- Add sugar, vanilla and yogurt.
- Mix until smooth.
- Crack room temperature eggs into glass and stir.
- Add eggs to butter, sugar mixture.
- Mix until smooth.
- In separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
- Add dry mix to wet ingredients in sauce pan.
- Mix completely by hand until all lumps are gone.
- Add chocolate chips and stir.
- Place batter in prepared 13” x 9” glass baking pan.
- Bake for about 33 minutes.
My sources: whole wheat flour is from Bob’s Red Mill, Wholesome Sweetener organic sugar purchased in the 10lb bag from Costco, non-fat yogurt is Nancy’s brand, mini-chocolate chips are from bulk section at WinCo Foods.
A note about my recipes and style of cooking: you can always add more butter (fat) and skip the non-fat yogurt or add more sugar. My goal is to have food taste good and be good for you – and your family. Enjoy!
Which do you like more – a brownie cut from the middle of the pan or one along the edge?
Go Gingham related links:
Homemade granola – easy – made with molasses
Healthy and tasty chocolate chip cookies – yes, with flax seeds and chocolate chips!
Delicious cake to make with apples – excellent cake
The easiest applesauce ever – seriously