Month: September 2014

Guinevere’s Story

guinWe have been so grateful for the support  shown to us and our little hen, Guinevere, though we are realizing that many of you do not know exactly what is going on, and you may be interested.

This is her story so far:

Guinevere was happily eating, walking around, and cuddling on Sunday, September 21st.  The plan was that she would soon leave quarantine to become a companion for Nutmeg at the Triangle Chance for All microsanctuary.  Her caregivers, Linda and Alan, left the house to go shopping, planning to pick up raspberries for Guin, since they are her favorite treat in all the world.

When they returned, Guinevere’s right leg was four times the size of her left.  She was still acting well, but this felt like an emergency.  Of course, this happened on a Sunday, so the long wait for the vet’s office to open began.

Justin and Linda took Guinevere in on Monday afternoon, and Dr. Burkett diagnosed Guin as having an abscess due to what he believed to be a snake bite that probably occurred several weeks prior. Guin stayed at the vet’s overnight, with the plan that her leg would be opened and the abscess drained on Tuesday.  Dr. B also planned to clean a buildup of fecal material from her vent while she was sedated.

On Tuesday, we waited to hear from the vet. He called with news very close to closing time. Again, Justin and Linda headed for the vet’s, where Dr. B told them that he had found no abscess, but instead, a great deal of inflammation. He had sent some tissue to the lab to perform a culture and find out more.

He was equally concerned about her vent.  He had anticipated an easy removal of built-up fecal material, but the more he worked, the more appeared.  Bits of tissue began to peel off with the fecal material, so he stopped working. He believes Guin has a neurological deficit in the area, most likely caused by the same snake bite that caused so much inflammation in her leg. This means she will likely have issues with incontinence for the rest of her life.

Dr. Burkett sent Guin home with a bandaged leg and instruction on her care, after Linda received a crash course in chicken medicating.  This proved very easy, despite Guinevere’s loss of appetite and energy.

On Friday, we were instructed to remove Guin’s bandage. If her leg was blacker than before (which would mean there was more necrotic tissue), we were told bring her back in. It was, so Justin and Linda headed back to the office on Friday evening.

They were told that her leg will get worse before it gets better.  At some point, the necrotic tissue will slough off, and it will take months for her to recover. They were shown how to bandage her leg and what to look for.  Her weight loss was a concern, so Dr. Burkett and vet tech Rebecca demonstrated tube feeding.  Guinevere came back home with bags full of medications and materials for her care.

A change in medication proved very helpful, and Guin is eating quite robustly though there are still periods of concern about her appetite. Linda and Rosemary managed their first tube feeding, which went well. Linda and Alan changed Guinevere’s bandage for the first time yesterday, and were pleasantly surprised by how well Guin took it.

All of us at Triangle Chance for All are committed to Guinny’s recovery process for the long haul.  She will remain with Linda and Alan, as she knows them best, and we are doing all we can to reduce her stress.

We know this is a lot to take in, but we want all of our supporters to know that we will care for Guinevere the way we would take care of any loved one, making her quality of life our absolute top priority. She will get the best care we can possibly provide until she is healed and healthy again.

We know you will keep her and us in your thoughts, and that means so much to all of us.

If you would like to help us in caring for Guinevere during her recovery, you can contribute, or you can donate some of her medical supplies through Guinevere’s Amazon wish list.

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Guinevere: Ups and Downs…and Ups

I woke at 4am feeling both dread and determination at the possibility that I’d need to gently guide a feeding tube down Guinevere’s throat to provide her with the nourishment she needs to heal.

A trip to the vet’s last night (Dr. Burkett, Rebecca, the vet tech, and Michael at the front desk all stayed long beyond closing time to help Guin and to advise us on her care; such caring people!) revealed that our little hen had lost an alarming amount of weight very quickly, so tube feeding seemed imperative.

Guinny had other ideas, and she ate! We’re hoping the universe is kind to us and this very sweet and fragile girl for the rest of the day.

She is resting now. Sleep deep and long, and get well, Guinevere. Know that you’re loved.

– Linda Nelson

Vegan Lime Curd

Lime is to me as chocolate is to most people, so I really feel excited to share this recipe with you! What is more tart, tangy, and refreshing than fresh lime?

– Linda Nelson

Vegan Lime Curd

Ingredients:

1 cup lime juice (please use fresh squeezed juice; it makes a huge difference!)
2 cups organic/vegan granulated sugar
zest of two or three limes
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup cornstarch mixed with 3/4 cup warm water (please mix very well so there are no lumps)

Directions:

Mix the lime juice and the sugar in a pot, and stir constantly as it comes to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat as soon
as boiling starts to medium, add the zest and butter, and stir as the butter melts.

Slowly stir in the cornstarch and water mixture, and stir until the mixture thickens. When it reaches the point where it thickly coats the spoon, you’re done.

I canned mine, but there is no need to do so. This will make 24 ounces so you may want to give some to a friend. Refrigerate your curd, and use up in a week or ten days.

I use lime curd inside cupcakes, on waffles, toast, pound cake, or ice cream. Sometimes I just eat it straight from a jar with a spoon! Death by lime, anyone?

Our cat Nandi wonders whether I’ve made this curd for him.

Update on Guinevere

We at Triangle Chance for All want to extend our thanks to everyone who kept our beloved Guinevere in their thoughts today during her medical procedure. She is back home with our board members Linda Rapp Nelson and Alan Nelson, where she is being cared for with the most attentive love possible.


Unfortunately, Guinevere’s issues were more dire than we anticipated. Her leg swelling was due to severe inflammation. Dr. Burkett’s best guess is that it is from a snakebite she received prior to arriving at Triangle Chance for All. Along with that wound, however, was a severe impaction in her vent, likely due to neurological damage possibly sustained with the same injury to the leg. Dr. Burkett did his best to clean out the area, but the impaction was so extensive that only part of the material could be removed. And the neurological damage means that she will have trouble with incontinence long-term.


Added to that, although she has not laid an egg up to this point, if she were to start to lay now it would be life threatening. We are starting her on a supplement that will prevent egg production, as well as providing other care, such as anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and pain medications, that will give her the best chance at a good quality of life.


At Triangle Chance for All, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our residents, no matter what that entails. We rely on your support to make this happen. If you would like to contribute to Guinevere’s ongoing care, you can do so at http://trianglechanceforall.org/support-tca.


Thank you from all of us.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

Though it is possible to buy vegan Worcestershire sauce, I much prefer to make my own. It is both less expensive and fresher, and it is easy to make, too.

I use this sauce as an ingredient in my BBQ sauce and in many other dishes where a spiky dash of flavor is wanted.

– Linda Nelson

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce, or use tamari to make this gluten free
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground yellow mustard seed or dry mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about twenty minutes, or until it has been reduced by about half. This need not be exact! Once it has reduced, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, and pour it into a jar. Allow it to cool, and store in the refrigerator. It will last about three months.

Thanks to Martha Stewart for the inspiration!

Love for Guinevere

I just finished my yoga practice. I dedicated it to our sweet, sweet Guinevere who is away at the vet’s tonight so as to be ready for a surgical procedure tomorrow. I found it impossible not to cry on my mat.

Alan and I went shopping yesterday. I had spent plenty of time with Guinevere in the morning, and I was eager to get some tempting foods for our very picky chicken at the store. We were gone for no longer than an hour and a half, but when I walked into Guinevere’s room, my heart dropped.

As usual, she ran towards me in her friendly, eager way, but I immediately saw that her leg was swollen, and red, and angry, and I felt so scared. I immediately called my much more knowledgable friend, Rosemary, to tell her what I was seeing. We both went to work trying to figure out what was wrong.

Guinevere was walking on her leg, eating robustly, and being her usual adorable and affectionate self though I could see that her leg was bothering her.

We set her up in a dog crate for the night with pillows, soft towels, food, and water after Rosemary had given her an oral anti-inflammatory, and I had held lovely Guin while Alan gently rubbed her leg with a topical pain reliever. I slept fitfully, waking often to worry about this precious, little hen. Why do they always get sick or hurt on the weekend or a holiday? Anyone who has ever had a sick loved one knows what it is to wait for Monday or morning, when the vet or the doctor can be called.

Justin and I took Guinevere into the vet’s for an afternoon appointment. Dr. Burkett diagnosed Guin with an abscess. He found a puncture wound and looked for another. He is assuming this was an injury from before Guinevere’s arrival at Triangle Chance for All. Apparently, abscesses can occur quite a bit after the initial trauma.

The doctor will sedate our girl, open her leg, drain and flush the infection out before suturing it and starting her on a course of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory medication. He will send the drained material to the lab to figure out what one of so many different types of bacteria is causing her pain. It struck me as so sad that the antibiotics used to make chickens lay and chickens grow for greedy humans are just what makes it tricky to know just how to treat Guinevere.

Coming home from the vets without her was so hard. I wasn’t home for long before I thought I’d go up to Guinevere’s room to give her a snuggle. This is something I’ve been doing at least a dozen times a day for the last month. It is a lovely and comforting routine for both of us. And then I remembered that she isn’t here and sought comfort in my yoga practice.

Guinevere is such an important part of our Triangle Chance for All family, and we so hate that this gentle little chicken has had to go through so much in her short life. We just want her well. It isn’t lost on us that so many would say, “She is just a chicken,” but she is not “just” anything but pure love to us.

-Linda Nelson

Butternut Soup

I love pumpkin and other squashes so much that it is a wonder I don’t end up as orange as a well known politician.

One of my favorite squashes is butternut. I have made butternut squash soup over and over, but I have never prepared it the same way twice; it is just that versatile.

I’m really happy with how this worked out. It is velvety smooth with so many interesting flavors peeking through.

– Linda Nelson

Butternut Soup

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegan butter, olive oil, or water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup orange juice (it is so much better if it is fresh squeezed)
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup coconut milk from a can (feel free to use the light, if you want)

Directions:

Saute the onion in the butter, olive oil, or water until soft in a stock pot. Add the squash, apple, toasted pecans, and orange juice, and stir to mix it all up. Add the vegetable broth, ginger, and nutmeg.

Bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to allow for a slow simmer with the pot top on. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Use an immersion blender or use a upright blender to blend the cooked mixture smooth. Please blend in batches if you are using an upright blender so that you don’t have soup fly out and burn you.

Add the coconut milk, and blend until all is smooth and creamy. Sprinkle chopped, toasted pecans on top, if you like.

Orange Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Scones

Gluten free friends, this one is for you! We will also have plenty of gluten free choices at our BIG Bake Sale on October 4th at Weaver Street Market in Carrboro. We’re aiming to please!

I grew up outside of Buffalo, New York where orange chocolate is a very popular treat. I thought I’d recreate that taste in a scone. I’m pretty happy with the results.

– Linda Nelson

Orange Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Scones

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free flour (or all purpose flour, if you aren’t worried about gluten)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (leave it out, if you are using all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons vegan butter or solid coconut oil (make sure your butter or coconut oil is cold and cut up into cubes)
1 cup coconut milk from a can
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup fair trade, vegan chocolate chips (I use Equal Exchange)
if you want an extra orangey taste and aroma, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425.

Whisk the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, and sugar together in a bowl. With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter or solid coconut oil into the flour mixture just as you would when making pie crust. Cut until you have pea sized crumbs. Stir in the coconut milk and the extract, if you are using it, and fold in the orange zest and chocolate chips soon after. There is no need to mix this too smoothly. Just stir until the flour mixture is incorporated.

Lightly oil a scone pan, or oil or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. If using a scone pan, drop equal amounts of the dough into the sections. If using a cookie sheet, pat the dough into a circle, and cut it into six or eight wedges using a pizza cutter or a knife. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops are lightly browned.

Cool on a baking rack for about ten minutes, and add a glaze of 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and one to three teaspoons of orange juice. Drizzle all over the scone tops, and eat and share!

Fig Chocolate Chip Scones

There’s just something about fresh scones. Once we got a basic scone recipe down, the possible variations became endless. Our newest creation, and possibly new favorite, is this fresh fig and chocolate chip scone. If you have leftover figs and some hungry rescued chickens, fresh figs are a favorite with our feathered friends as well!

– Rosemary Van Kleeck

Fig Chocolate Chip Scones
[Makes 8 scones.]

Ingredients:

1 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar (+ optional 2 tablespoons brown sugar for sprinkling)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh figs (we used black missions)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Lightly grease a scone pan or a baking sheet for drop scones. Measure out the milk in a large measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Whisk and set aside to curdle.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and chocolate chips. Add the coconut oil in small clumps, then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut it into the flour until the dough texture becomes pebble-like. Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil, and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until about half of the flour is incorporated. Mix again until all the ingredients are just moistened, taking care not to overmix. A couple of dry-looking spots are fine.

Carefully fold in chopped figs.

Distribute batter evenly in scone pan, or scoop ~1/4 cup portions onto a baking sheet for drop scones. Dust the tops of the scones lightly with brown sugar, then bake for 18-22 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and firm. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least ten minutes before removing from pan.