Mabel and Maddie Open Thread

I totally missed their duck-versary. But I just wrote about our summer adventures here.  It’s way too long to post here, I didn’t realize I had so much to say about a couple of ducks, lol. A lot of concern because they stopped laying eggs this week after giving me a faithful egg-a-day each for the last year. Seems they are molting and should get back to egg production in a few weeks. Phweee! My vet’s not versed in duck care. Though he does love my ducks (he’s mobile vet, so he checks out everyone when he comes for a visit).

Since it’s Sunday garden day – I prepped the backyard for fall yesterday. Put down a bunch of manure, planted some fall bulbs, pulled the dying garden plants. I still have buckets of grapes to harvest, but I’m thinking I’ll take the bird-netting off and let the critters have the remainder (I’ve harvested a good gallon already).

What are you doing this Sunday? I may have a recipe later today for you…

Open thread


85 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    Are those giant ducks or is that a tiny pool? I didn’t know they came in small sizes.

  2. 2

    @debbie: Four foot pool, domestic ducks are huge! About the size of Canada geese.

  3. 3
    jeffreyw says:

    Season 2 of Ozark is at Netflix. Yes, there are hillbillies.

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    I had no idea! Good thing they’re friendly.

  5. 5

    @jeffreyw: Are there any Ozark Hillbillies? Possibly anyone we know?

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    They’re so cute. I hope they start producing eggs for you again.

    Here’s a funny song about Beto O’Rourke taking Lyin’ Ted’s Senate seat: BetoSong.

  7. 7
    Ruckus says:

    A noun and a verb.
    Sister won a small little bird at the city fair one year, coin toss. Guy grew up to be a beautiful mallard. Unfortunately we also had a Golden Retriever. I think you can see where this is going. She’d retrieve the mallard up onto the back porch for one of us to take him out of her mouth and within a couple of days they’d be back up on the porch. Didn’t appear that she actually harmed the duck, she had a very soft mouth, but he really didn’t enjoy the event. We couldn’t train the dog, she wasn’t all that bright, but did she ever have the retriever genes in full.

  8. 8
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Since OT, does anyone else think the commercials (“I traded in my lederhosen for a kilt!”) are ridiculous?

  9. 9
    Cermet says:

    Fixing my computer; had to re-set it to factory settings and can’t use the mirror image I saved; worried about conflicts so re-loading all 250 + windows updates. No wonder gates is a billionaire many times over – he sells near junk at premium cost and we fix his f-ups for free. Utter asshole like most all billionaires. No one can be that rich who hasn’t stolen all their wealth from everyone else – period. That should be a world-wide law: anyone with over $10 million in US dollars value (all assets) should have their ill gotten thievery returned to the public.

  10. 10
    Platonailedit says:

    No golden eggs yet? Useless blighters

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Are they Trumpists too?

  12. 12
    efgoldman says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    does anyone else think the commercials (“I traded in my lederhosen for a kilt!”) are ridiculous?

    Most commercials are ridiculous.

  13. 13
    sukabi says:

    @A Ghost To Most: yes, genetics tests to prove where your family “came from” assumes people (who have migrated) didn’t migrate prior, or at least that’s the message of the lederhosen ad….and the Italian / eastern European ad.

  14. 14
    brendancalling says:

    We have been at the muddy roots Festival in Tennessee all weekend. The lineup has been nothing short of incredible. Om played last night, Sleep played the night before. TSOL played, Dead boys and X play tonight. We also got to see slim Cessnas auto club. And the camping has been glorious. Today were just sitting around enjoying the sun and the music

  15. 15
    efgoldman says:


    Most commercials are ridiculous.

    That said, I’d love to be able to waste the money and challenge them to find my (and especially our daugher’s) ethnic stew.

  16. 16
    Platonailedit says:

    A judge has rejected Alex Jones's attempt to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against him by Sandy Hook parents, siding with families who Jones claimed staged the massacre of their children.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 2, 2018

    I hope the parents bankrupt this scum totally.

  17. 17
    efgoldman says:


    I hope the parents bankrupt this scum totally.

    And his issue unto the 99th generation.

  18. 18
    debbie says:


    They are very determined to do exactly that.

  19. 19
    geg6 says:

    Laundry and some minor housecleaning. Boring.

    Planning a nice dinner of crispy almond chicken with noodles and an apple fennel salad. We’re still getting red raspberries, so those with ice cream for dessert. The only conundrum is the reisling or the Pinot noir?

  20. 20
    MagdaInBlack says:

    When we were in our “homesteading” days, I kept a pair of Rouens ( big fat mallard looking) who got a new wading pool each year . We referred to those pools as “duck accessories.”
    I highly recommend one with a slide, they’ll love it. 😊

  21. 21
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Also too, gardens love the dirty duck water 😉

  22. 22
    efgoldman says:


    Planning a nice dinner of crispy almond chicken with noodles


  23. 23
    zhena gogolia says:

    I was sorting through photographs and came across pictures of the Muscovy duck that used to come visiting in our yard. So sweet. I think a coyote got him (her?).

  24. 24

    @MagdaInBlack: Everything about ducks is good for the garden. They eat the bugs, I use their dirty straw as mulch, both their pool water and water dishes are used to water plants. And their poop just makes the grass thrive. And since they don’t like peppers and tomatoes, once the plants are big enough I can just let them wander through the rows to catch bugs. I fence off any plants they like or could crush (did I mention they are huge?). They completely killed a blueberry plant by eating all the leaves and then crushing the whole thing under their weight. I have those fenced off now. It only takes those little 12-inch wire fences. $5 for a good 12 feet of fence.

  25. 25
    dmsilev says:

    @geg6: I vote for the Riesling.

    I got a new cookbook yesterday (“Mastering Pizza” by Mark Vetri). Found this wonderful bit in the introduction: “Just don’t go in expecting to find edamame pizza with a fucking cauliflower crust. That is not in this book.”

    (yes, that’s an exact quote)

  26. 26
    jeffreyw says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wendy (the wife/mother main character) reminds me of someone but I’m at a loss remembering just who.

  27. 27
    Kristine says:

    Storms moved through far NE Illinois last night. Not as much rain as I feared–under 2 inches–but quite the light show with added sound effects. Gaby hates it–she’s become more storm-averse with age. I’ve tried calming pheromone and calming treats. Both help a little. I may try a thunder shirt next, but I’ve heard mixed reviews.

    More storms tonight and tomorrow, then off and on through the week. July weather in early September. Yea.

    Pork tenderloins marinated overnight–an Anne Burrell recipe. I’ll try broiling instead of grilling. Sauté bok choy as a side. Maybe some rice.

  28. 28
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    When my husband mowed the lawn, he would have an arc of ducks following the arc of thrown grass: crickets!
    And the eggs for baking and ice cream 💞omg
    I’m getting homesick 😋

  29. 29

    @MagdaInBlack: And they are so smart! They know words, they know routines, voices…oh and the sound of corn flakes box, even through the closed patio door.

    And fearless. I love that about them. When I rescued them, I was set on re-homing them. I am so glad I didn’t.

  30. 30
    gene108 says:

    Going to visit my brother in a bit. My niece starts middle schism week and my nephew starts high school. I have no idea how time just flies by like that.

  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    1 1/2 cups panko
    1/2 cup almond flour
    grated zest of 1 lemon
    kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
    2 large eggs
    8 thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Combine panko, almond flour, lemon zest and 1 tsp each salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in a separate shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.

    Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Working with 2 or 3 chicken breasts at a time, dip each piece in the egg, letting excess drip off, then press the chicken into the crumb mixture to coat. Add to oil and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels to drain and keep warm. Reduce heat if chicken is browning too quickly and add olive oil as needed between batches.

    Serve on noodles in a cream, butter, garlic and parsley sauce.

    It’s like an almond-y schnitzel. Delicious, especially when you lighten it up with the apple fennel salad.

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:


    My niece starts middle schism

    Every once in a while, autocorrect works on a deeply philosophical level.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:


    Oops, forgot I was replying to you. See #31.

  34. 34

    Hey, question. I’m thinking of turning a small portion of the yard over to a dog pit – for digging and lounging. Someone said a mix of peat and sand. Does this sound like a good idea for the mix? Any other ideas? They both really like to dig and they seem to pick a spot and they’d dig to the center of the earth if I didn’t stop them. They don’t dig multiple holes, they just like one spot. I’m hoping if I give them one and refill and smooth out the hole it will keep them out of trouble elsewhere in my yard.

  35. 35
    feebog says:

    We picked up our new rescue pup yesterday afternoon. So today we are just relaxing and spending time with both doggies. Baloo’s first owner died and he was adopted by a couple who both worked all day. The dog developed anxiety and they turned him back in to the rescue shelter. We knew we wanted him right away, but we waited as I have been on the road the last couple weeks and we both wanted to be home full time for a few days before we left he for any length of time. It’s great having two pups again.

  36. 36
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    I kept Toulouse geese, the Rouen ducks, Barred Rock chickens, and the little Cochin banties with fuzzy feet, the banties just cause they’re fun.
    I’ll stop now, except to say…roast duck stuffed with apples….mmm.

  37. 37
    Miss Bianca says:

    ooh, what kind of grapes are you growing? I am dying to find a source for good, sun-dried Concord grape raisins.

    Also investigating making pyment, a mead brewed with wine grape juice.

    Any thread with ducks on it is a fine thread indeed.

  38. 38

    @Miss Bianca: I have two vines, concord and red and somehow that seems to have really mellowed the concord, they retain all that good concord flavor, but are much sweeter, even the skins.

  39. 39

    @MagdaInBlack: OMG, we do not eat duck in this house, not even the dog or cat food has duck in it. (I am the world’s worst omnivore). :-D

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @geg6: Oh snap that sounds delicious. Of course I’m seeing this right as I wake up!

    And as much as I love my pinot noirs, that’s definitely a riesling sort of menu. But soak the raspberries in a little red wine and sugar. It’s divine.

  41. 41
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Kristine: @#27.

    That Anne Burrell pork tenderloin recipe sounds delicious. Let us know how the broiling works out. As for my household: easy cooking: lightly breaded cornmeal tilapia, haricot verts with fingerling potatoes and an anti-oxidant salad. (Salad prep already done)!
    P.S. Would love to live in a place where I could have ducks and chickens!

  42. 42
    Miss Bianca says:

    @dmsilev: Oh, that sounds like my kind of cookbook! Or, especially my friend D’s – now I know what I’m getting his for Xmas!

  43. 43
    JaneE says:

    I loved your duck saga. Just a note about mealworms – if these are the same things we used to use as fish bait they are very easy to raise. My dad used leftovers from a fishing trip – built a box with some small air holes, filled with bran and a few of halved potatoes for moisture and let the worms become beetles, lay eggs and voila. You just need to give them a clean box and new food every so often.

    Because I know you really need more pets.

  44. 44

    We were planning to see Crazy Rich Asians, but the theater in my building is showing Black Panther, which I’ve seen by Mr DAW has not. So we’re going to see it instead. Crazy Rich Asians will still be around next weekend.

  45. 45
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I am drooling. Right now. On my keyboard. WANT!! I live at almost 9000 feet here in Westcliffe and I will not be able to cultivate a grape vine to save my life, altho’ raspberries might grow, since we have wild raspberry bushes up here.

  46. 46

    @JaneE: I have a friend and her kid is raising mealworms to sell. I resist buying them, not just the expense, but I don’t want to discourage the ducks from scrounging for all the bugs they can get in my yard. I’ve seen Mabel catch flies from mid-air!

  47. 47
    Kristine says:

    @pamelabrown53: Will do. I recall reading one cooking article that contained the statement that broiling is just grilling upside-down. Not 100% true–no lovely smokiness and char–but the idea of firing up a charcoal grill for 20 minutes worth of cooking on a hot, muggy day just lacks appeal.

    Recipes are one place where the comments can provide useful info. Some folks complained about the saltiness of the sauce. I used low-sodium soy sauce–we’ll see if that helps.

  48. 48
    gene108 says:


    True. I think autocorrect revealed a deeper truth about middle school.

  49. 49
    tobie says:

    @Platonailedit: I didn’t know until I watched the new documentary Active Measures that CNN used to have Alex Jones on as a commentator. The film had tape of him claiming that it was Ukrainian forces, not Russian insurgents that downed the Malaysian Air flight. Jones has been spouting Kremlin-friendly and probably Kremlin-provided propaganda for some time.

  50. 50
    dmsilev says:

    @Miss Bianca: I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet (will next weekend), but they look good. Long slow rises for dough (“Add 0.3 grams of yeast”…), and some interesting topping ideas beyond the standards. The one I’m really looking forward to trying is a pizza version of a cacio e pepe pasta sauce. You cook the pizza dough bare, with some crushed ice added on top. It melts and forms a starchy water sauce base on the surface of the pie, and after baking you mix in grated cheese and ground pepper to make the sauce.

  51. 51
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    2 ducks are fun, 14-16 from a big hatch, are flippin’ annoying.
    You develop a taste 😉

  52. 52
    Schlemazel says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Some people have a lot of their self-image tied up & their ancestral beliefs. If it is somehow important to you that you are “Polish” or “Irish” I suppose it could be unsettling to find out you are some other mix. None of my self-image is tied up in nation of origin for my ancestors so I don’t get it.

  53. 53
    Schlemazel says:

    I have done some reading on testing & the funny part is which company does the test affects the results. One guy sent samples to 6 companies & got 6 different sets of results with only partial overlap. Apparently the science is a lot less decided than they would like you to believe.

    I got lucky in that my sister decided to ante up for a test (from Ancestry) and it was interesting. I don’t put a lot of faith in it but it is a conversation piece.

  54. 54
    Betty Cracker says:

    The ducks’ drop in egg production is almost certainly related to the molting, as you suspect. Same thing happens with hens when they molt — all the energy goes toward regrowing the feathers, I’m told. Anyhoo, thanks for the duck update!

  55. 55
    Ohio Mom says:

    @efgoldman: I just say my ancestors were originally from Ur, before they left.

    I think the idea of tracing ancestry through genetics is fascinating but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay a private company to take my genes to use forever more on whatever they want. Maybe that’s the result of reading that Henrietta Lacks bio.

  56. 56
    trollhattan says:

    Allow me to introduce my inlaws.

  57. 57
    Steeplejack says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Look out for Juliet, Naked. A great movie that seems doomed to sleeper status.

  58. 58

    @MagdaInBlack: That gave me a good laugh!

  59. 59
    MagdaInBlack says:

    You too?
    Interesting group, mine were. 😐

  60. 60
    Schlemazel says:

    Gawd, I do love duck but they are priced out of my comfort zone. I can raise them here but the city says they have to be pets so you can’t eat them.

  61. 61
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    ☺️ My work here is done ☺️

  62. 62

    @Miss Bianca: (Notes location, looks at DarkSkyFinder…) You should really look at the southeast sky in the summer. Maybe get a camera, nice and dark there.

    Actually even this time of year about a hour after dusk you should have a really nice view of the Milky Way(it’s in the southern sky now).

  63. 63

    So Ive noticed. I saw one brand called “Quack-in-a-Sack ( sorry Tamara) and was tempted, but OUF ! @ the $$$

  64. 64
    Luthe says:

    @Schlemazel: My self-image is not particularly tied to my ancestry, but it’s fun to tell people my brown-skinned self is descended from Russian nobility unto the 15th century. And yes, I can pull receipts.

    (My other ancestors are Ecuadorian and English. The only ones who came over without paperwork were the English. Back in 1690-something. This also amuses me to no end.)

  65. 65

    @trollhattan: My dad’s family is from there too.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Miss Bianca says:

    @dmsilev: Oh, wow…you may have to send a photo of that one to TaMara when you finally try it!

  68. 68
    Schlemazel says:

    I also want a goose for xmas dinner but a $7 a pound they turn into an $84 entree and I just can’t justify that. I found a source online for muscovy duck and they are up there too.

  69. 69
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: When the moon is waning, we generally have an amazing view of the Milky Way here. Full moon it gets too bright!

  70. 70

    @Miss Bianca: You should have a nice view tonight about a hour after sunset. The galactic center will have pretty much set before the moon rises.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    Surgery recovery is still going fairly well — they found a slow-release opiate that doesn’t make me puke, but it also doesn’t do a whole lot for the pain relief. 😢 They also gave us a prescription for an NSAID (Celebrex) that my insurance doesn’t cover, so I have a message in to my doctor to see if the pharmacy’s proposed substitute is okay. Funsies!

  72. 72

    @Schlemazel: Have you guys tried any local farms? I purchased my first two ducks (young adults, I didn’t want to deal with ducklings) from a local farmer who raised chicken, ducks, even pheasant, for eggs and meat. It might be a more reasonable price.

  73. 73

    I was raising “free-range” poultry before it was trendy: back when it was just considered weird. That just annoys hell out of me!
    Always had fresh goose at the holidays.

  74. 74
    Schlemazel says:

    Right, fun & a conversation I get. I also get people of color because we have made ‘race’ such an important aspect in human relations and the history of color and sex is complicated. We watch “Finding Your Roots” and it is always interesting to see peoples reaction. I know a lot of AA people on the show expect the caucasian in the past was a rapist and, while too often it is, it is interesting to see the reaction when they find out it was not. I remember one result where the ancestor was a white woman & they had moved to a place where they could be married. It really upset that person (I forget who it was – Wanda Sykes? maybe not).

    But for me as a white guy (with all the baked in benefits) whether my genes are found predominantly in Glasgow or Gotha changes my life none at all.

  75. 75
    Schlemazel says:

    Good luck! Pain management is a huge part of recovery and the damn drug companies and junkies have made it harder than it needs to be. I have had some interesting experiences with drugs and recovery. I understand how they could be addicting (I love the way I feel on morphine) but I have never had a problem stopping it when the time came so it is hard for me to understand that part.

    But the big thing is to be sure to press your case, you know your pain level so don’t suffer needlessly.

  76. 76
    Schlemazel says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    We get lamb from a local place but don’t know about ducks & geese. We had a place we were getting chickens from & the flavor was amazing. They quit the business though so we are stuck with the flavorless, yellow-dyed jobs. When I was taught a yellow chicken was one that was dead a long time & maybe not the best. TOday they feed them stuff that makes them ‘golden’ because people find that more appealing

  77. 77
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wow, will take that under advisement, to be sure! Thank you for thinking of me!

  78. 78
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Schlemazel: @#68.

    Me too, me too! Have wanted a Christmas goose for years but they are SO expensive. Some years ago, when I was in Eastern Europe, I found roast goose was common in many restaurants.. Loved it so much. However, I suspect many of my family members are hoping I can’t source an affordable one: doesn’t fit with with the American traditions (read: not what I’m used to-please don’t deviate

  79. 79

    I spent the first 39 years of my life on a true small farm, eating primarily farm raised food. I’ve been in the suburbs 22 years, and I can barely eat the meat in grocery stores.
    That amazing flavor you mention? They’ve ruined it with factory livestock production.

  80. 80
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow, Mnem, I wasn’t here in real time to wish you a successful surgery, so will have to settle for wishing you a speedy (if not pain-free!) recovery!

  81. 81
    debbie says:


    Hope your doctor can help. Still too tender for an icepack?

  82. 82
    debbie says:


    I’ve had goose. There was much less to eat than we’d expected and we were pretty disappointed at the yield. Not nearly as much as we’d hoped. Still pretty tasty though!

  83. 83
    Schlemazel says:

    They also can be tough but the flavor is great. But a 10 pound goose may only have a couple of pounds of usable flesh. The breasts and thighs mainly. I love the skin, all the fat makes it crisp and delicious. I also love to make broth with the bones.

  84. 84
    dmsilev says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’ll be sure to report back once I’ve had a chance to try it.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:


    Opiates don’t seem to work very well for me — they kind of take the edge off and help me sleep, but they definitely don’t relieve the pain. Yeaterday I ended up taking a couple of Tylenol for the pain (after checking that none of the other meda had that in it, of course!) and that helped. The doctor said I can start taking Aleve, so G is going to go out and get me some of that.

    @Miss Bianca:

    It’s definitely better than the last surgery, where the anesthesia and opiates had me constantly throwing up. It turns out that if you tell them that you actually threw up ON a nurse in the recovery room, they take you more seriously. 😂


    I have ice on it right now. I think the surgical dressings were so thick that it was hard for the cold to penetrate, but I was able to take those off today. Now to figure out how to prevent the 15-pound cat from jumping onto my knee again … 🙀

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